Column By: MICHELINA FRISS / DIRTCAR – WEEDSPORT, NY – In one of the biggest weekends of the year at Weedsport Speedway, the Super DIRTcar Series returns to the Central New York track for a $10,000 payday and Super DIRT Week 51 lock-in.
The Cavalcade Cup Weekend will see The Beasts of the Northeast face off in a 100-lap duel around the unique 3/8-mile track on Sunday, Sept. 10. Joining the Series this weekend will be the DIRTcar 358 Modified Series on Saturday, Sept. 9, and the DIRTcar Sportsman Series on Sunday.
Only two races remain before Super DIRT Week 51 for the Super DIRTcar Series. So, far Matt Sheppard, Mat Williamson – who has won the last two Series events at Weedsport – Mike Mahaney and Andy Bachetti have earned guaranteed starting spots for the Billy Whittaker Cars 200.
Here are the top storylines to follow…
DOWN BUT NOT OUT: Mat Williamson currently trails points leader Matt Sheppard by 97 points heading into the Cavalcade Cup Weekend at Weedsport Speedway. The St. Catharines, ON driver has mastered the 3/8-mile track this year, winning both Series visits.
Williamson has stated that Weedsport use to be one of his worst tracks, but now he’ll try to become the first driver since Tim McCreadie (July 5, 2001, Sept. 2, 2001, May 26, 2002) to win three straight Super DIRTcar Series race at Weedsport and the first ever to win three straight in the same year.
HOMETRACK DUO: Heinke-Baldwin Racing duo Jimmy Phelps and Max McLaughlin will have their third homecoming during the Cavalcade Cup Weekend, as the HBR team calls Weedsport home.
Phelps scored his only Series win of the season last year at Weedsport Speedway on Aug. 15 during the opening night of SummerFAST. This season, he recorded a second-place finish duringMemorial Day Weekend, followed by a 12th-place finish on July 16. He’ll look to battle back into the top three in the points race with another solid performance.
Teammate Max McLaughlin has had a challenging season, with just one top-five finish thus far, and will enter the matchup at his home track eight in points. After posting a 13th-place finish andthen 14th-place finish during the first two visits to Weedsport, he’ll look to put those behind him and contend for his first season win. “Mad Max” earned his first career Super DIRTcar Series win (non-points) at Weedsport in 2020.
HARD WORK PAYS OFF: Third-year sophomore driver Tim Sears Jr. moved himself into third place in the points battle after a seventh-place finish at Lebanon Valley Speedway on Sept. 2.
The Central New York native has run well at Weedsport this season, finishing fourth and seventh, respectively, in the first two Series events. He’ll need to continue with his momentum to stay in the top-three as he’s only three points ahead of Mike Mahaney.
LOCKED IN: Mike Mahaney will be one of three contenders hitting the track at Weedsport Speedway already locked into a guaranteed Super DIRT Week 51 starting spot.
Nevertheless, the King Ferry, NY native is in a tight battle to break into the top-three, sitting a mere three points behind third place Tim Sears Jr. Mahaney scored two top-10 finishes during the first two visits. A win this weekend would be his first Series triumph at Weedsport.
SUPER CONSISTENT: Nine-time and defending Series champion Matt Sheppard has been a force to be reckoned with all season, scoring three wins and 11 top-five finishes in 15 starts.
Sheppard added another 32 points to his lead over Mat Williamson after scoring his seventh second-place finish of the season at Lebanon Valley Speedway – now ahead by 97 points.
The Waterloo, NY driver has had considerable success at Weedsport, finishing third and then second during the first two visits this season. He has eight Series wins at Weedsport, including the 2021 Cavalcade Cup Weekend.