RPW Column: Mat Williamson Races His Way To Pole For Sunday’s Eastern States 200 At OCFS

Column By: BOBBY CHALMERS / RPW – MIDDLETOWN, NY – Mat Williamson had a good Friday afternoon at Orange County Fair Speedway.

First, Williamson was able to parley a good time trial lap into a front row starting spot in the 12-lap Eastern States 200 Race for the Pole.

He then used that position to lead every lap of the event and went on to score the $1,000 victory.  However, was more important is that he’ll now lead the field to the green Sunday in the 61st Eastern States 200.

“Earlier, I didn’t really want to race for the pole,” Williamson said.  “I would have rather started on the outside pole but a lot of fast cars started behind us in that thing and we’re happy we could get by Tyler (Dippel) on the start and just hang on to it.”

Now, the Williamson team can get ready for Sunday with no worries, knowing they’ll start from the best seat in the house for the 200-lap event which will feature live pit stops and two-way communications.

“It’s going to be interesting with this car,” he said.  “We’ll go back to Behrent’s tonight and put a fast fill (for fuel) in it.  I have to thank Jeff and Harry (Behrent), their whole team and everyone that makes the 3 car go around.  This is a big race for them so it sucks we can’t have their car here.”

Unfortunately, the 3 team hurt their engine last weekend at Port Royal so Williamson had to bring his own #6 down to the event, and he’s putting it to good use already this weekend.

“This is a FingerLakes motor in this car,” he said.  “Doug’s getting old but he still builds a good piece so I have to thank him and everyone that makes this car go around.  I really appreciate it.”

Matt Sheppard drove his #9s to the runner-up spot and will start from the outside pole on Sunday.

Quick timer Tyler Dippel finished third in the event and will roll from the inside of row two on Sunday with Jimmy Phelps alongside of him.  Phelps finished fourth in the event with Dillon Steuer completing the top five.

The rest of the field had Max McLaughlin in sixth, Peter Britten in seventh, Tyler Boniface in eighth, Roger Henion Jr. in ninth, Tim Fuller in tenth, Rick Laubach in 11th and Bobby Flood completing the top 12.

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