By BOBBY SWEENEY
BREWERTON, NY – Mat Williamson grabbed his first Super DIRTcar Series win of the season, leading much of Brewerton’s Duel at the Demon and holding off Chris Hile for the victory and the $7,500 payday.
Larry Wight and Mat Williamson spent the opening circuits of the 100-lap feature battling for the lead, with Wight leading early and Williamson taking the top spot on lap ten. Matt Sheppard started 11th, but big moves at the start saw him in the top five quickly, in fifth when the yellow came out on lap 13 for Chad Phelps and Brian Swartzlander spinning. Williamson wasn’t afraid of flexing his muscle, pulling away fast on the lap 18 restart.
Tim Sears Jr. lost the track championship at Brewerton to Wight, but ended up getting past Wight for second on lap 22. Behind him, Ryan Godown was making ground up top, darting by Sheppard and Chris Hile to grab fourth at the same time. Another yellow on lap 25 for a slowing car brought the pack back to Williamson, who was searching for his first Brewerton win.
Like the restart before, Williamson took off. Behind him, Godown charged all the way up to second, past Sears and Hile, while Wight and Sheppard slipped to fifth and sixth. Keith Flach ended up backwards on lap 35, and a couple laps after that restart, Marcus Dinkins found himself in the same situation. The race hit halfway under yellow, with Williamson the dominant force at the midway mark.
When racing resumed, the battle behind Williamson began to heat up. Godown, who has a podium in a 100-lap event at Brewerton back in 2012, couldn’t shake Hile, and Sheppard was all over both of them. Sears slipped up on the cushion and dropped to the back of the top ten, and Dinkins slowed for another yellow on lap 57.
Williamson continued his torrid pace out front, gapping Godown by almost a full straightaway on lap 65. Behind Godown was a whole host of challengers, including Hile, Sheppard, Decker, and Wight. Dinkins slowed again for a yellow on lap 67, but Williamson kept the same pace when racing resumed. As the field got into a green flag run of some sorts, it was Williamson with a big lead over the battle for second between Godown and Hile, then a ways more back to the fight for fourth between Sheppard, Wight, Decker, and Max McLaughlin from deep.
Tom Sears slowed on lap 81, and Hile took full advantage of what would be the final restart, getting by Godown for second. Wight snuck under Godown too to get third, while Sheppard and Erick Rudolph later did the same. Up front, Williamson wasn’t in his own zip code like he was before, as Hile was hanging within shouting distance.
With ten laps to go, Hile had chipped away at the gap to bring it to about a second. One thing Williamson hadn’t dealt with all night was lapped traffic, but traffic was coming and so was Hile. Each lap, Hile knocked off a little more space, and the lead shrunk even faster when Williamson caught traffic with just three laps left. With the white flag waiving, Hile was there, but the charge was just too late. Mat Williamson crossed under the checkered flag first.
“We we’re starting to fade at the end,” Williamson said. “I didn’t know what to do. This field of Modified drivers is the best in the northeast and you can’t mess up. When you’re leading like that, you’re just constantly thinking about them and trying to win it for everyone that’s helped you.”
Hile continued his late-summer hot streak, nearly getting his first Super DIRTcar Series win.
“105, 110 laps would’ve been real nice,” Hile stated. “My buddy Mat was happy with 100 though, but this is the Brewerton surface we remember from a while ago. These last couple months it’s been real fast, so this slippery track was our bread and butter. We just ran out of time at the end.”
Wight was the only other driver to lead in the event other than Williamson, and settled for third.
“We just missed the setup a little bit,” noted Wight. “It’s the slickest Brewerton has been in a couple months, and it snuck up on us. I spent the first three quarters of the race just trying to save my right rear and hoped those guys would use theirs up, but it just didn’t happen.”
Sheppard finished in fourth followed by a hard charger Erick Rudolph in fifth.
Universal Metal Works – September 13 Super DIRTcar Series Duel at the Demon Results
(Modified Super DIRTcar Series Duel at the Demon 100 Laps) – MAT WILLIAMSON, Chris Hile, Larry Wight, Matt Sheppard, Erick Rudolph, Tim Sears Jr., Peter Britten, Danny Johnson, Billy Decker, Ryan Godown, Max McLaughlin, Alan Johnson, Chad Phelps, Pat Ward, Jimmy Phelps, Tyler Trump, Jack Lehner, Billy Whittaker, Keith Flach, Demetrios Drellos, Jim Witko Jr., Brian Swartzlander, Rusty Smith, Paul St. Sauveur, Tom Sears Jr., Marcus Dinkins, Phil Vigneri III, Rob Bellinger.
35 Cars Entered