Makin’ Tracks – SDS Mods Finally Arrive in the Sunshine State; Worth the Wait – DTD Exclusive

By BILL FOLEY

Unpredictable.

That word can be used to describe the first few days of the Super DIRTcar Series Modifieds at Volusia Speedway Park.

This is the biggest and probably the most competitive field of Northeast Mods to haul down to the Sunshine State. They came 44 strong and the cross section is amazing. There are the regulars that everyone sees following the tour like Matt Sheppard, Billy Decker, Larry Wight, Brett Hearn, Tim Fuller, Max McLaughlin, Stewart Friesen, Jimmy Phelps, Mike Mahaney, Billy Whittaker along with part timers tour runners Justin Haers, Tyler Siri, Yan Bussiere, Erick Rudolph, Dave Rauscher and J.F. Coriveau.

Toss in the ever popular Timmy McCreadie and then add to the recipe with Billy Pauch, Rich Laubach, Ryan Godown, Ryan Watt, Jamie Mills, Jo Jo Watson, Brett Kressley, Jimmy Horton JR Heffner, H.J. Bunting III along with Rex King Jr., and Jimmy Britt you have a formula for success.

Adding even more to the field are Darwin Greene, Billy VanInwengen, 15-year-old Dillon Steurr, Chad Brachman, Rick Regalski, Kyle Sheldon (in Elmo Reckner’s car), Jessey Mueller, Jim Rasey, Francois Bellemare, Russell Morseman, Jeremy Smith, Scott Hitchens and Kevin Poitras and you have a sensational field.

Who is going to win?

Well in the first two mains it has been McCreadie and Siri, but there are still two races left and plenty of drivers capable of winning.

Pit Stops

McCreadie pulled double-duty the hard way with running the Late Model B-Main, then hopping back into the car to start deep in the field and finish a hard driven seventh in that 50 lappwe. He was then escorted over to the Mod in the staging area where he strapped in for another 30. It was almost like home as they love McCreadie down here too. I’m thinking lots of Northern fans…

Mike Maresca has basically stayed in the WoO Late Models and parked his Mod at Volusia. He noted he was headed to Smokey Mountain next with the Outlaws and will see how it goes. There’s a possibility he might follow the tour. That is a surprise that I don’t think many folks saw coming…

Justin Haers headed for victory when an oil line went with seven laps left. Justin noted while making repairs, “I feel 100% comfortable down here and we run good here. I don’t have to worry about work.”

He indicated he never knew the car was on fire. Flames came out from underneath for nearly three laps and the yellow was thrown as he simply wasn’t aware of it. Haers did come home fourth in the final race of the night…

Matt Sheppard dropped out of the first feature with suspension problems…

Stewart Friesen’s 44 sustained quite a bit of sheet metal damage when his rear tire went after jumping the cushion in one with just a laps left in the first main…

Jimmy Phelps was a bit off the pace and dropped out of the first main and noted, “We just do not have a good feel for hammer down tracks and we weren’t going anywhere so I’ll get ready for the second feature.”…

Kyle Sheldon has been fighting motor issues in the Elmo Reckner car…

Dave Rauscher was in a qualifying spot for the first main, but noted, “We got involved with an argument over gears and I didn’t have enough time to do my tear offs. I put some on, but I didn’t’ tighten them down. Water from the fog got in under them and I couldn’t’ see. I lost my tearoffs in the first couple laps and couldn’t’ see.”

He was in a qualifying spot for the second main in his heat and comfortably in fourth when the yellow came out. He didn’t survive in that position on the restart…

Jamie Mills got hit in the prelims on Thursday night necessitating a new rear end in the 30. He got around and got hit by Kevin Poitras…

Poitras is running a Predator Modified built by Art Holiday. Beautiful machine. He has a Bicknell as a back up…

Billy Pauch apparently got connected with Ryan Watt and the spanking new Pauch car went hard into the second turn concrete. Radius rods in the front end were okay to repair, but the whole rear clip moved over. From behind the car looked crooked. He drove the car to seventh in the feature. Guess it goes to show the car doesn’t know it’s crooked…

Russell Morseman brought out the yellow in his heat with a spin on the front stretch…

In heat two Larry Wight got Matt Sheppard at the line for third place. This battle went on throughout most of the heat. Every kept their eyes on that battle as McCreadie had run away with the lead. Each spot means a difference of four starting positions…

Mike Mahaney was in a redraw position in his heat, hit the hole in four, shot up above the cushion and Siri got under for the spot, however, Mahaney rallied and got the draw…

Tim Fuller has yet to qualify…

Consi qualifiers included Godown, Decker, Kressley and King. There were other provisionals put in the field to start 27…

H.J. Bunting III had looked pretty good…

Brett Kressley is beginning to turn heads as the Grandview regular has made some tremendous adjustments at a place he had never seen before…

Francois Bellemore hauled down from Trois Rivres, Quebec. He has limited Modified experience with some races at Cornwall and Drummond last year…

The way Yan Bussiere is running you’d think he would get in the show, but the competition has been intense…

Friesen rushed over to Volusia after truck practice to finish second in the main. He won’t be in the Mod tonight and should return for the final night of racing…

The Doctor is doing what the Doctor does. He stands second in points and “got on TV” with a third place podium finish…

Pat Ward is third in points after the first two races…

There was a tremendous feature battle with Brett Hearn, Wight and Sheppard and one moment included a four wide run off turn two that was simply breathtaking. It was amazing to see…

Wight ended up 12th, but took advantage of restarts in the early one. On one he went from 12th to eighth and the other from eighth to fifth before the right front went down and he brushed the first turn wall. Not sure if the tire went flat before or after he got the concrete…

Sheppard rallied for a solid sixth place in the nightcap…

Mike Mahaney brought two cars down and ran the older one in the first main…

Track was heavy on Thursday night and cars were picking up at least an extra 100 pounds before crossing the scales…

Ryan Watt, “the Electric Company,” certainly is fun to watch. I think he lives by the 12th commandment….thou shalt not lift…

I think Billy VanInwegen turned a lot of heads with a solid 10th place run. He finished fifth in one of the last chance races the first night. What a comeback…

Jimmy Horton continues to be Jimmy Horton. If he’s out there he’s always a contender…

Billy Whittaker got in the show, started at the tail end and came home 17th in the second main…

JR Heffner started outside front row, but fell back to finish 14th. Disappointing because he’s been fast and fun to watch…

Billy Decker is in a Jeremy Smith owned 91. I think he will be running it in the Deyo shows this year. Jeremy qualified for the main, but was the first car a lap down in 22nd.

Mad Max certainly was mad, but he handled it well. When asked what happened to him after the car crashed on the front stretch he simply and calmly said, “Danny Johnson drove me into the wall.” Interview ended…

Top 10 in points are Tim McCreadie, Danny Johnson (17 points behind), Pat Ward, Stewart Friesen, Jimmy Horton, Tyler Siri, Mike Mahaney, Ryan Watt, Justin Haers and Larry Wight…

Also one final note. I had the opportunity to announce my first DIRTcar Nationals SDS event. It was a bucket list thing. I thought after the cancellation on Wednesday that I was done, but I was invited back to call the main-event. Thanks to all of the SDS and DIRTcar folks for allowing me the opportunity and it was a thrill and pleasure to work with and for you guys. Also many thanks to Rick Eschelman and Johnny Gibson for their support and help. I was a new guy and they didn’t have to go out of their way, but they did. Thanks again for the memories.

Comments, news, gossip or whatever you have can be sent along to foley395@hotmail.com