Column By: BOBBY CHALMERS / RPW – CONCORD, NC – The World of Outlaws World Finals at Charlotte’s Dirt Track helped Jimmy Phelps solidify a solid finish to his 2023 on the Super DIRTcar Series.
Coming into the three-feature weekend at the Dirt Track at Charlotte, Phelps sat fifth in Series points but was in a heated battle with Tim Sears Jr. and Mike Mahaney for the show position (third) in the overall standings.
When Saturday evening was complete, a second place finish to eventual champion Matt Sheppard helped the Baldwinsville Bandit leapfrog both drivers and come away with his the spot.
“That was the goal this week,” Phelps said. “We wanted to come in here, qualify well and take advantage of being in the redraw. After the first two nights, we really weren’t able to.”
Saturday night though, things fell into place.
“We caught a break after the first night here and got some points,” he said. “Then, tonight, we had a pretty solid evening. We’ll take it and move on to 2024.”
Saturday, the HBR driver drew second for the 40-lap finale of the Super DIRTcar Series and fought early with Sheppard for the top spot. However, Phelps believes his tire selection may have been his ultimate downfall.
“We had a good car tonight,” he said. “I think we may have been a little softer on tire (than Sheppard). I knew once he took off and got rolling he was going to be tough. Those guys have been tough all year.”
Even with that, Phelps was able to tie his best finish on tour this season with a solid second place run in the event on Saturday.
“All-in-all, we had a really good car down here at Charlotte,” he said. “We just weren’t good enough to take on that 9s but we’re happy.
After the three World Finals feature that saw him grab a sixth on night one and a ninth on night two, the driver from Lysander, NY will have a fair amount of momentum to work on heading into the off-season.
“We had a decent week and really didn’t have the results to show for it at the end of the first two main events here,” he said. “At least tonight we were able to get a good draw and keep our J&B Installations car up front.”