Makin’ Tracks – World Finals Day One – DTD Exclusive

By BILL FOLEY

It wasn’t a night to remember for several top running Modified drivers as the Thursday qualifying at the World Finals at Charlotte was far from routine.

By the end of the night Brett Hearn and Jimmy Phelps had gone to back up cars.

Jimmy Horton launched an engine in a huge plume of smoke in the tenth and final heat of the night. Word later was that Horton will be in Pat Ward’s back up 42p for the remainder of the weekend.

Magic Mike Manages Fast Time Twice




Mike Mahaney turned in a solid Thursday night as he took care of two nights in one by having fast times to lead both groups of big-block Modifieds.

Other group fast timers for Friday included Matt Williamson, Matt Sheppard, Keith Flach and Demetrios Drellos. Meanwhile, Saturday groups were topped by Demetrios Drellos, Matt Sheppard, Mike Mahaney, Keith Flach and Tim Fuller.

In a rarity Drellos, Sheppard, Mahaney and Flach won two heats each.

Active Heat Action

Okay so the first Mod heats were relatively follow the leader, but the second set took on a different look.

Yan Bussiere started outside of the front row in his prelim, but got pushed high above the cushion and by the end of the first lap went from second to seventh. Carey Terrance got past Chad Jeseo with a low move between three and four on the final lap to get the fourth qualifying spot. Meanwhile, The Doctor started fifth and came home second.

Justin Rasey made his first appearance at the track and on the lasts lap of his heat tore off the entire right front. The big move in heat two came as Tyler Siri, who also qualified for both nights, dove under Chris Hile and eventually finished in third. Peter Britten got second in this one.

In probably the toughest heat race up to this point, Mahaney and Billy Decker were in a heated battle for the lead in heat three. In the end Mahaney won and Decker fell five more points behind Sheppard (as he won his heat) in the race for the Super DIRTcar Series title.

Heat four was routine with Flach, Matt Williamson, Pat Ward and Tomkins.

However, attrition was high in the final race of the night. Tim Fuller, Tim Kerr, Larry Wight and Ryan Godown were all contesting the top four spots and throw in Gary Edwards Jr. and Brian Swartzlander (who also qualified for both shows) and it was pretty interesting.

Fuller had contact with Tim Kerr who smashed heavily into the outside wall between one and two. His radiator, fan, suspension parts and an axle were heavily damaged and needed replacement, but even bigger was a bent frame. The team was still looking it over as the night ended. Ryan Godown and Larry Wight were above the cushion as it would appear Christmas cards won’t be exchanged between them. In the end Fuller got the win, Godown, Wight and Swartzlander followed.

Now it’s time for two B Mains on Friday where two cars qualify.

Provisionals could also be in play as Max McLaughlin, Brett Hearn, Jimmy Phelps, Mike Maresca and Brandon Walters are up there in the points.

Pit Stops

Sprint cars just simply fly at this place. The season started at the extremely quick Volusia County and on Thursday night 12.5 second laps were the norm the The Dirt Track at the World Finals…

Neither Matt Sheppard or Billy Decker were able to pick up valuable bonus points with fast time for either show…

In hot laps prior to the group time trials Drellos was the quickest…

Peter Britten was sixth quick in his group for Friday night time trials…

Second quick in groups were Brian Swartzlander, Ryan Godown, Larry Wight, Yan Bussiere and Billy Decker…

Second quick in groups for Saturday were Yan Bussiere, Chris Hile, Billy Decker, Matt Williamson and Tim Kerr…

Dave Blaney was fourth fastest in his Friday TT group…

Chris Hile brought out a brand new car after junking the frame in the “Win and You’re In” show at Fulton the night before the Billy Whittaker Cars 200…

78 Late Models pit-side including Clay Dacy from Salinas, California.  His tow was 32 hours and it is the first World of Outlaw Late Model show he’s run this year…

52 World of Outlaw Sprints were pit side. Notable outsiders included Carson Macedo, Brock Zearfoss, Danny Dietrich, Tony Stewart, Bill Balong, Sam Hafertepe Jr., Terry McCarl, Brian Brown, Sadie Seigel, Dan Shetler, Spencer Bayston and Dave Blaney…

Irony crept in early in the WoO time trials for the Friday night show as early on two drivers who started the year with full time outlaw rides lost them during the season. Joey Saldana and Paul McMahan were second and third behind David Gravel as the field reached halfway and that was the way the first flight finished…

New Yorker Coleman Gullick is in the house for 410 action. His time was erased in the second night time trial as his muffler had fallen off. You have to bring your whole car back to the scales according to World of Outlaw rules…

Larry Wight, Gary Tomkins and a couple of others got through tech a little later than others. I asked Scott Jeffries how come so late? Was it strategy? He smiled and said that with so much down time during the day “we went golfing.”…

Ian Madsen and Trey Sparks were fastest in their flights for the six heats on Saturday for the Sprints…

Mods brought 48 cars to Charlotte…

That’s it for the first day. Woke up at 4 a.m. to catch a flight south and it is 1:38 a.m. Friday as I wrap this up.

Back in action later today.

News, notes and comments to foley395@hotmail.com