Makin’ Tracks – World Finals Day 2 – DTD Exclusive

By BILL FOLEY

Why do Modified drivers come to Charlotte for the World Finals?

That question keeps being asked, but you know what I think it is the atmosphere and the fact that 20,000 fans are up there watching your every move.

The Dirt Track at Charlotte is fast and in many ways if you like just speed it is a great place.

However, finally as Friday night wore on the surface became much more racier and crowd pleasing.




So with only one night left in the season the fans walked out after watching Mat Williamson, Brandon Sheppard and Donny Schatz take their respective wins in the Mods, Late Models and Sprints.

I think when Matt Sheppard drew the pole many thought it could be a night where two Sheppard’s would rule their flocks.

Wight Talks Motor Deal

Williamson was a surprising winner by just .479 of a second over the reigning Super Dirt Series point leader and defending champion. It took six laps for the outside pole-sitter to pass Sheppard and the race was a chase to the end.

Williamson nearly was forced to call it a weekend after losing a motor on Thursday night.

Randy Williamson talked to Larry Wight. Larry said, “Randy called and he came back over to our trailer. We put a jack handle through the intake and put it in the back of his truck.”

Continuing Wight said, “I’m real happy for Randy and Mat. This car is something out of the box and they’ve done a lot of research and development on it. It’s nice to have one our motors in victory lane.”

With a smile he said, “Maybe I sold a motor,” but seriously he noted, “It’s nice to have our motors a success in another car. They’ll run it tomorrow night and take it home. We’ll get it back later one as we go up there for parts regularly.”

Larry settled for an eighth place finish after running up front early and noted, “About five laps in the power steering went. I feel we could have had a top three, but I don’t know if I would have had enough for Mat as he was smooth.”

World of Outlaw Late Model Main

The Late Models saw Brandon Sheppard win his 18th World of Outlaw main event of the year and one more will set a new regular season record.

Modified fans were keeping an eye on Tim McCreadie, but he settled for an 11th place finish.

World of Outlaw Sprint Car Main

Donny Schatz does what Donny Schatz does so well…wins.

Bill Balog and Ian Madsen put on a show early, but with slide jobs looming big Schatz won his 10th World Finals main event over Ian and Kerry Madsen. It was a heck of a race until a yellow with six laps to go as the traffic that made this one so much fun to watch had disappeared and it was a clean race track the final half dozen circuits.

Oh well, there is one more night and for Modified fans it could be another Matt Sheppard title run.

Pit Stops

Billy Decker drove like a man possessed as he started tenth and finished third. He’s 37 points behind Matt as the final night of the racing season looms…

Tim Kerr, with help of his crew, Pat Wards and Larry Wight, put the car back together and he won a B-Main to qualify after his machine was basically destroyed the night before. In the feature he was credited with 27th.

Tim said after dropping out, “There are rods sitting in the bottom.”

These guys have gone through hell the past couple days, but he finds a way to keep smiling…

Jim Rasey got the final spot in his B main, but the Ohio based driver smoked heavily in the main and pitted on the third lap…

Nice feature run for Keith Flach as after a nightmare a year ago he came home in fourth on the first night at the World Finals…

First bit of bad luck for fast timer Mike Mahaney. He drew three, but settled for fifth…

Danny Johnson started 11th, but worked his way up to sixth at the end…

Tim Fuller came home seventh after starting in 19th…

Provisionals included Jimmy Phelps, Max McLaughlin, and Brandon Walters along with Rich Scagliotta. Frank Cozze got in the field as the fastest non-qualifier…

Brett Hearn raced his way into the main via runner up in a B as he finished behind Kerr. Brett started 24th and came home 11th…

Mike Maresca won the other B and finished 15th…

Teammates Larry Wight and Pat Ward were eighth and ninth at the end…

Mad Max McLaughlin started 26th and ended up 10th. He’s struggled this weekend as a tough time trial can put someone behind the eight ball pretty quick…

Jeremiah Shingledecker appeared to have motor woes…

Gary Edwards also suffered an apparent motor failure as he brought fire crews to the scene of his stalled car…

Pierre Hebert and Dave Rauscher were out early in the B as “The Big Show” was simply a victim of circumstance after a lap…

Sprint car victims with hard hits included Sadie Siegel, Paige Polyak, Paul Nienhiser, a wild ride by Cale Conley and a couple of multi car accidents…

The provisionals in the Sprints really turned some heads as they included Brad Sweet, Sheldon Haudenschild, Brent Marks, Jason Sides, Jac Haudenschild and Parker Price-Miller…

The show started at 5:06 p.m. and ended before 11 p.m. and included two Mod B mains, six Late Model heats, six Sprint heats, three last chance LM races, a C and B Main for sprints as well as a dash and features for all three divisions. No down time whatsoever. These folks have this down pat…

Funny story in the pits from the Super DIRT Week Mod race at Oswego. When they put a tire on Billy Whittaker’s 109 the five lug nuts were glued on so they also inadvertently put five more lug nuts over the five that were already one. Oh well just one of those things…

Jimmy Horton very appreciative of Larry Wight letting him use Pat Wards back up car for feature action on Friday. Jimmy came home 19th. He wasn’t sure if he was going to stay for Saturday night with only two cars coming out of each B…

News from home which brought back a flood of memories. Ray Haynes passed away suddenly on Thursday. He is the former husband of Carol Haynes who gives so much to racing not only through her work at Speedway (Mitchell’s Press), but also writing. I met Ray when I first started covering racing. He was a crew member at Oswego and along with driver ET (Ed Thompson), Fletch Petrie and Paul Stepien helped me in the early days to gain my footing in the sport. I saw Ray at the SDW parade as he sat with his grand daughter watching the cars roll by. The smile on his face was priceless as he was sitting there with that small treasure. He told me he was spending a lot of time watching her and loved it. My heart goes out to Carol and her daughter Jennifer…

Well, one more night in the season and DTD will be out in force for Saturday night. By the way check out the galleries there are several talented guys shooting all weekend.

For comments and information send it along to foley395@hotmail.com