Larry Wight: Microds to Pole at Syracuse‏ – DTD Exclusive

By BILL FOLEY

Pole sitter Larry Wight cut his teeth at the New York State Fairgrounds and this year he hopes to celebrate the biggest victory ever for his family and team.

The Roger Phelps look-alike throwback will start on the pole for this year’s “Finale at the Fairgrounds.”

“This is a new car for Syracuse and the theme for this year (retro looks) provided me with a chance to recognize Roger Phelps,” Wight said.  “He gave me my start in racing here at Syracuse when he put me in a microd.”

Interestingly enough it is sort of ironic that he started his racing career on this Fairgrounds at the northeastern corner compact track and will close down the historic dirt track by starting on the front row as he seeks the highlight of his career.

Race morning dawned and Wight admitted he was a little antsy and anxious to get things going.

He is starting on the pole alongside Stewart Friesen. Utica-Rome Speedway know these drivers have a relationship. Over the past few years more than once have these two drivers had moments where they weren’t enamored by one another. There has been contact and sometimes some controversy.

Looking ahead to his dancing partner in the front row Wight said, “I hope there is nothing to be concerned about. I hope there is respect there. Everyone just needs to keep their nose clean and run clean. If it comes to something else we will deal with it.”

There is no doubt that early in his career Larry might have been a little more aggressive and impatient.

“I feel I have become more patient and now I wait for the hole to actually open,” he said.  “In the past I might have tried to make the hole. The knowledge I have picked up about the cars and I know them and understand racing that much better.”

He was quick time in practice earlier this week which gave him the final spot to time trial and he grabbed the pole.

“The pole means quite a bit as we outperformed the caliber of racers that are here,” commented Wight.  “We have a presence.”

“I think we have a shot if we dot our I’s and cross our T’s,” Wight says as he looks forward to the race.  “Obviously here you can’t have a mishap and you can’t get caught up in someone else’s wreck.”

The team is pitting at the other end of the track from Gypsum team mates Billy Decker and Pat Ward.

“We didn’t want to get slowed down by the pace car,” explained Wight.  “I think it will help us to get out faster.”

Syracuse history, according to Wight “has been good and bad.”

“We had a second here to Billy Dunn,” said Wight.  “I really feel it was a race we should have won, but I have to congratulate Billy and his crew for thinking outside of the box.”

Concluding he said, “We need to take what we learn and hope that no one will sneak up on us.”