By Bobby Sweeney
OSWEGO, N.Y. (October 13, 2019) – Last year, Larry Wight got by Jimmy Phelps late in the Billy Whittaker Cars 200, then held off a charge by Stewart Friesen to grab the win in the crown jewel of Modified racing. Some say winning the first one is the hardest, and Wight enters the 2019 edition of the event now knowing exactly what it takes to win it.
“We’re going to take what we learned last night that made the 358 so good early in the race, and figure out what we got to do maintain that speed,” Wight said. “We faded a little bit late last night and need to stay good for longer. Obviously our goal is to go back-to-back, but first we have to figure out what the track is going to do.”
Yesterday, rain drenched the speedway and pushed the 358-Modified main to night-time on a rather fast surface. It will be about 65 degrees and sunny when the big-block feature hits the track, which will create a much different surface.
“Nobody really expected it to rubber up that hard on Thursday,” noted Wight. “With not a cloud in the sky, it’s definitely going to bake the track. I think that if they stay on top of it and work on it after all the Sportsman and Pro Stock races, we should be okay. Even if it does take rubber, it might be like two years ago where we all came in, put hard tires on, scraped the rubber off, and had four lanes of racing.”
The Billy Whittaker Cars 200 field is stacked top-to-bottom with teams capable of winning. Who does Wight think will be his biggest challenge today?
“I’d say Mat Williamson,” said Wight. “He’s got that 88 car on a rail. Last night, I’m surprised he wasn’t better than he was. I’m not sure if they were trying something out of the norm last night, but his 88 car has been phenomenal everywhere lately.”