By BOBBY SWEENEY
OSWEGO, NY – Matt Sheppard, Max McLaughlin, and Billy Decker shared victory lane on Friday night, claiming the three Triple 30 events to qualify for the Billy Whittaker Cars 200.
Keith Flach led the opening duo of circuits in the first 30-Lap shootout, but then relinquished the lead to polesitter Matt Sheppard. Once in the lead, Sheppard shot himself out of a cannon, opening up a big lead over Flach, Tim Fuller, and Danny Varin. By halfway, Sheppard’s lead climbed to a full straightaway, but Flach and company slowly chipped into the advantage the second half of the event.
On lap 25, Tim Fuller made the move to second, with Varin following through and Flach slipping to fourth. At this point, Sheppard’s lead was half of what it once was, but that’s as close as anyone could get, as Sheppard walked away again through lapped traffic. In the end, Sheppard cruised to another win, but the battle behind him was intense. Danny Varin claimed second in a battle that saw second, third, and fourth three wide with half a lap remaining. Tim Fuller was third, followed by Flach and Billy Whittaker.
Rick Laubach grabbed the top spot on the opening lap of Triple 30 #2, but behind him was nothing short of a mad dash for second. Max McLaughlin came out running second after the three wide battle, with Haers falling into third. Laubach never got far away from the pack, as McLaughlin kept the leader well in check.
By lap 20, McLaughlin had drawn to the rear bumper of Laubach and worked him over heavily. However, the top lane was never open for McLaughlin to make a move, as lapped traffic always seemed to be in the way. On lap 26, McLaughlin decided enough was enough, and drove to the top of turn one. As he went high, Laubach was held up, and McLaughlin went around both him and another lapped car for the three wide pass for the lead. Max McLaughlin held on for his first Triple 30 win, and was chased across the line by Laubach, Mike Mahaney, Justin Haers, and Larry Wight.
Super DIRTcar Series points leader Billy Decker started on the pole of the third Triple 30, taking the lead at the drop of the green. Billy Dunn slotted into second and followed Decker, but Decker pulled away. Well, Decker pulled away for the time being, as Dunn began to close in as the race hit the midway mark. Meanwhile, Erick Rudolph lurked in third.
Dunn showed Decker a nose on lap 18, but Decker opened up the gap again. Just as before, Dunn closed in, this time with about five laps remaining. As Dunn chased Decker, the trio of Kenny Tremont, Yan Bussiere, and Jimmy Phelps raced hard for fourth. While Dunn made one last charge, Billy Decker proved too strong, holding on for another Triple 30 win. Billy Dunn followed, with Rudolph, Tremont, and Bussiere completing the top five.
Triple 30 #1: 1 Matt Sheppard 2 Danny Varin 3 Tim Fuller 4 Keith Flach 5 Billy Whittaker 6 Jimmy Horton 7 Adam Roberts 8 Kody Graham 9 JaMike Sowle 10 Gary Tomkins 11 Tommy Flannigan 12 Danny Johnson 13 Dan Humes 14 Jessey Mueller 15 Roy Bresnahan 16 Brian Whittemore 17 Michael Sabia 18 Corey Wheeler
Triple 30 #2: 1 Max McLaughlin 2 Rich Laubach 3 Mike Mahaney 4 Justin Haers 5 Larry Wight 6 Pat Ward 7 Brett Hearn 8 Peter Britten 9 Marc Johnson 10 Alan Johnson 11 Dominic Buffalino 12 Steve Paine 13 Eldon Payne 14 Carey Terrance 15 Daniel Johnson 16 Tyler Siri 17 Brian Swarthout 18 Cody Bleau 19 Brian Sage
Triple 30 #3: 1 Billy Decker 2 Billy Dunn 3 Erick Rudolph 4 Kenny Tremont 5 Yan Bussiere 6 Jimmy Phelps 7 Rich Scagliotta 8 Stewart Friesen 9 Michael Maresca 10 Brandon Walters 11 Frank Cozze 12 Bodie Bellinger 13 Ryan Godown 14 Dave Rauscer 15 Mike Trautschold 16 Nick Webb 17 J.R. Heffner