Phelps and Decker take pole positions in Syracuse qualifying Thursday

Jimmy Phelps turned the Moody Mile in 31.592 seconds to score the pole position for Sunday’s SEF Small Engine Fuels 200 Thursday. Phelps beat Billy Decker by less than a tenth of a second to secure the top spot in his Wave Energy Drink-sponsored Troyer.

Decker wasn’t entirely denied on the day. The Unadilla, New York, driver will start Saturday’s Salute to the Troops 150 from the top spot in his Gypsum Wholesalers-sponsored Bicknell.

DIRT PR below:
Phelps Earns 2nd SEF Small Engine Fuels 200 Pole In SDW Big-Block Qualifying

Syracuse, NY – October 7, 2010 – Local standout Jimmy Phelps from Baldwinsville, N.Y. moved one step closer to his goal Thursday afternoon on the Syracuse Mile, earning his second career Bilstein Shocks Fast Time award to garner the pole-position start for the Super DIRTcar Series SEF Small Engine Fuels 200 Presented by Ferris/Snapper/Simplicity Championship scheduled for Sunday at the New York State Fairgrounds.

Phelps ran off in the fourth and final group that took time and the 2004 fast timer navigated flawlessly around the sun-drenched one-mile oval to win the $2,500 American Traditions Motorsports Pole Award after a one-lap clocking of 31.592 sec. (113.953 mph).

“We’ve got a good race car and a great race team, and I think we’ve got a good game plan coming in this year,” stated Phelps, after besting a full field of nearly 60 open-wheel entries signed in to match his starting position earned in the ‘04 edition of DIRTcar Racing’s prize jewel event for Big-Block Modifieds. “The biggest thing now is to have a clean run Sunday.”

“This will definitely help let us prepare for tomorrow and make it a little bit easier not having to worry about qualifying, we’re really excited. There are some things we do to go fast for two laps and there are some things we need to do to go better on long runs … nothing in particular, just a lot of little stuff. We’ll definitely work on fuel mileage, that’s such a big part of Sunday’s race,” added Phelps, 35, driver of the HBR Motorsports no. 98h Wave Energy Drink-Mohawk Northeast/Troyer entry, whose best finish of seventh in the SEF 200 was scored in 2007.

Headlining a list of drivers cracking the top-six to secure guaranteed starter status in Sunday’s Modified main were four-time SEF 200 champion Billy Decker, his Gypsum Express teammate Pat Ward, third-generation standout from Canada, Stewart Friesen, Lebanon Valley Speedway mainstay and 2010 L.V. Series race winner J.R. Heffner, and area tour runner Tom Sears Jr.

“We’re off to a good start here, hopefully it’ll stay that way and we can stay out of trouble and have some fun,” said Decker, who earlier in the afternoon captured the pole-position start for the ‘Salute To The Troops 150’ 358-Modified Championship. A five-time fast time trialer in the Big-Block race, the ‘Franklin Flyer’ still holds the track record of 28.348 sec (126.993 mph) set in 2004. He also led a race record 160 in 2005 when the race was completed in November.

“We’ll just play it by ear on Sunday, try to get the best start we can and be safe getting into turn one. You always want to run with a clean track in front of you whenever you can,” Decker noted.

A veteran on the Central New York DIRTcar circuit, Ward is off to his best start at th fairgrounds since beginning his career in the mid-1970s sporting a full-fender late model car.

“We didn’t get much practice time, it got dusty early on so we didn’t stay out there too long,” said Ward, who was one of the last cars out to run under the clocks. “One spot out there on the track is tight and then another is pretty loose so I just hung on and made the best of it. Its nice to have two Gypsum cars up front, maybe we can get Larry (Wight, 3rd team member) hooked up and he can come race with us, too.”

Looking to improve on a career-best fourth-place finish in the ’08 SEF 200, Friesen will be joining Ward in row two when the first green flag waves on Sunday at 2 p.m.

“We’re super comfortable out there right, both our Teo Pro cars have been great this week, hopefully we can carry it through,” beamed Friesen, who is still looking for his first Super DIRTcar Series victory after a second-place showing at Merrittvile (Ont.) Speedway over the summer. Buckling in behind the wheel of the Original Pizza Logs no. 44 M.R. Burdick Ent.-Jeff Daley & Sons Oil/TEO entry this week will give him the best shot yet.

“We’re really proud of the whole team and everybody that’s helped out, its already been a great year. A win at Syracuse would be huge, it would really cap things off. But we’ll be around for a couple years, if we don’t get it this time we’ll come back and try even harder next season,” added Friesen, whose uncle Alex Friesen took the family’s first checkered flag in the Salt City for his win in the 1996 Dig Safely NY Modified Last Chance Qualifier race.

Posting his lone top-five finish in the 2006 edition of the SEF 200 on the Syracuse Mile, Heffner looks to join weekend rival Kenny Tremont (1999) as the only other Lebanon Valley regular to capture the $50,000-to-win 200-lapper on Sunday.

“Have to thank the sponsors that got us here and especially this Bicknell car and the crew because I wasn’t really too smooth on those laps,” divulged Heffner, after stepping out of his A.Colarusso & Son no. 74 Goodermote Excavation/Bicknell ride for a rare front stretch interview at the NYS Fairgrounds. “What I got done was on the straightaways with a Bedell engine under the hood, because when I reached the corners I was in a little bit of trouble. Now we’re just going to go through some of the fundamentals for Sunday. We’re still pretty new at this so we’re just going to try and cover all our bases and play it safe.”

Posting his first-ever time at Syracuse in the Top-10 on opening day, Sears from nearby Clay, N.Y. was the last driver to lock in a guaranteed starting berth for DIRTcar Northeast’s ‘Super Bowl’ of Modified racing on Columbus Day Weekend.

“Didn’t know if it was the marbles on the track or what on the back straightaway, we were just all over the place,” noted Sears, referring to the wind gusts that kept the cars well off Decker’s track record pace enjoyed a half-dozen years earlier. “Hopefully, the track will clear up before the weekend.”

“If things fall into place maybe we can be a contender come Sunday. Can’t thank Mullen Industrial enough for giving me such a great race car and everybody that helped put this whole deal together for us. I’ve really got a great car to drive, I think its got enough to stay near the front this year,” Sears added.

The remainder of the SEF Small Engine Fuels 200 field will come from Friday’s Modified Triple 20’s and the ‘Dig Safely New York Shootout’ last-chance qualifier on Sunday, with the 5th Annual “Win And You’re In” Big-Block/Small-Block Super Shootout at Rolling Wheels Raceway Park on Saturday giving the 25-lap feature winner an automatic 45th-place starting spot in this year’s marquee event.

Super DIRT Week XXXIX action continues on Friday afternoon with the Big-Block Modified Triple 20s and 358-Modified Twin 20s taking center stage on the NYS Fairgrounds oval, followed immediately by Sportsman Time Trials along with World of Outlaws Sprint Car ‘King of the Mile’ exhibition dash and Pro Stock practice.

But that’s not all as the action then moves over to Rolling Wheels for a 358-Modified/Sportsman Hoosier-VP Racing Fuels Mr. DIRTcar Series doubleheader while across town Cayuga County Fair Speedway hosts a 360 Sprint Car Challenge under the lights plus a Tri-Track Stock Car Series and Mod Lites special.

1 31.592 113.953 98h Jimmy Phelps/Baldwinsville,NY
*$2,500 – American Traditions Motorsports Pole
2 31.651 113.740 91 Billy Decker/Unadilla,NY
*$1,500 – TEO Pro Car Outside Pole
3 31.687 113.611 42p Pat Ward/Genoa,NY
4 31.728 113.464 44 Stewart Friesen/Niagara-o-t-Lake,ONT
5 31.850 113.030 74 J.R. Heffner/Pittsfield,MA
6 31.902 112.846 62s Tom Sears Jr./Clay,NY
7 32.002 112.493 1h David Hebert/St. Damase,QUE
8 32.061 112.286 10 Bobby Varin/Sharon Springs,NY
9 32.065 112.272 77x Dale Planck/Cortland,NY
10 32.070 112.254 747 Ryan Godown/Ringoes,NJ
11 32.077 112.230 32c Vic Coffey/Leicester,NY
12 32.184 111.857 12a Ronnie Johnson/Duanesburg,NY
13 32.250 111.628 1th Tim Hindley/Monticello,NY
14 32.263 111.583 9s Matt Sheppard/Waterloo,NY
15 32.279 111.528 74 Tim Fuller/Edwards,NY
16 32.301 111.452 3 Justin Haers/Phelps,NY
17 32.321 111.383 21m Bob McGannon/Garnerville,NY
18 32.339 111.321 20 Brett Hearn/Sussex,NJ
19 32.400 111.111 98 Eddie Marshall/Ridgefield,CT
20 32.413 111.067 39 Tim McCreadie/Watertown,NY
21 32.456 110.919 115 Kenny Tremont/West Sand Lake,NY
22 32.528 110.674 96 Todd Milton/Auburn,NY
23 32.535 110.650 14 Jimmy Horton/Neshanic Station,NJ
24 32.607 110.406 34 Andy Bachetti/Sheffield,MA
25 32.613 110.385 99L Larry Wight/Phoenix,NY
26 32.644 110.281 45 Wayne Jelley/Pittsfield,MA
27 32.669 110.196 7 Rick Laubach/Quakertown,PA
28 32.670 110.193 49 Billy Dunn/Watertown,NY
29 32.678 110.166 usa1 Richie Tobias Jr./Anneville,PA
30 32.806 109.736 99 Ryan Phelps/Fulton,NY
31 32.896 109.436 27j Danny Johnson/Rochester,NY
32 32.898 109.429 02 Roy Bresnahan/Palermo,NY
33 32.925 109.339 43 Keith Flach/Ravena,NY
34 32.963 109.213 42 Pete Bicknell/St.Catharines,ONT
35 32.965 109.207 24s Chris Shultz/Pawling,NY
36 33.020 109.025 14j Alan Johnson/Middlesex,NY
37 33.028 108.998 16 Lance Willix II/Theresa,NY
38 33.069 108.863 56 Vince Vitale/Phoenix,NY
39 33.207 108.411 85 Ted Lamb Jr./Clay,NY
40 33.219 108.372 22 Larry Lampman,Jr./Port Colborne,ONT
41 33.326 108.024 48too Dave Rauscher/Waterloo,NY
42 33.343 107.969 24 Patrick Dupree/Saranac Lake,NY
43 33.358 107.920 57 Donnie Corellis/Averill Park,NY
44 33.388 107.823 93x Craig Mitchell/Poughkeepsie,NY
45 33.401 107.781 13 Tony Steiner/Jamesville,NY
46 33.425 107.704 3b Chad Brachmann/Sanborn,NY
47 33.558 107.277 19 John Lazore/Hogansburg,NY
48 33.623 107.070 151kb Brian McDonald/Cornwall,ONT
49 33.627 107.057 3j Marc Johnson/Guilderland,NY
50 33.745 106.682 8 Rich Scagliotta/Bound Brook,NJ
51 33.947 106.048 1ny Greg Atkins/Clintonville,NY
52 34.020 105.820 44v Phil Vigneri/Elba,NY
53 34.763 103.558 14s Brian Swarthout/Beaver Dams,NY
54 -NT- —– 1x Todd Stone/Middlebury,VT
55 -NT- —– 24x Mike Perrotte/Plattsburgh,NY
56 -NT- —– 28p Eldon Payne,Jr./Hopewell,NY
*Top-6 locked into front three rows; 56 Cars Entered

The ‘King of the Mile’ Dash field has been set for Friday, Oct. 8 at the Syracuse Mile with Jason Sides, Lucas Wolfe, Chad Kemenah, Kerry Madsen and Keith Dempster participating in the unique World of Outlaws Sprint Car Series exhibition. As an added treat, Work’N Woody, the Official Push Truck & Safety Vehicle of the Outlaws, which has pushed countless cars at Syracuse over the years, will return to the Moody Mile as well and help push off the drivers for the dash which starts at 3:30pm.

*All tmes and events subject to change.
Fri-10/8 8am Pit Gates Open, Sportsman Inspection Open
10am Grandstands Open, 358-Modified Practice
10:45am Modified Practice
11:30am Sportsman Practice
12noon DIRTcar Futures Practice/Qualifying (Modified, Pro Stock)
12:45pm 358-Modified Twin 20s (10 non-qualified cars advance from each)
1:30pm Modified Triple 20s (10 non-qualified cars advance from each)
2:30pm WoO King of the Mile Heat Engines and Hot laps
3:00pm Sportsman Time Trials (2-laps, Top-24 Qualify)
3:30pm WoO Sprint Cars “King of the Mile” Dash
4pm DIRTcar ‘Futures’ Feature Events (Modified, Pro Stock)
5pm Pro Stock Practice
10pm Pit Area Closed
7:30pm Mr. DIRTcar 358-Modified & Sportsman Series at Rolling Wheels Raceway.
7:30pm 360 Sprint Car Challenge, Parts Plus Tri-Track Stock Car Series and Mod Lites at Cayuga County Fair Speedway

358 DIRTCar Modifieds Salute to the Troops 150 qualifying results (Unofficial)
1 91 Billy Decker 32.637
2 45 Wayne Jelley 33.004
3 4* Tim McCreadie 33.059
4 14 Jimmy Horton 33.071
5 76a Ronnie Johnson 33.085
6 42 Pete Bicknell 33.109
7 1x Willy Decker 33.118
8 1wgc Matt Sheppard 33.18
9 1h David Hebert 33.199
10 20 Brett Hearn 33.213
11 19 John Lazore 33.221
12 22c Mario Clair 33.252
13 74 Matt Billings 33.314
14 42p Pat Ward 33.353
15 99 Stewart Friesen 33.37
16 99L Larry Wight 33.378
17 27 Rick Laubach 33.442
18 22j Jeremy Wilder 33.541
19 01 Chris Raabe 33.614
20 8 Rich Scagliotta 33.636
21 6m Matt Williamson 33.637
22 10 Bobby Varin 33.661
23 1x Todd Stone 33.753
24 22 Eric Gauvreau 33.766
25 48too DaveRauscher 33.796
26 22 Larry Lampman 33.876
27 27 Ryan Godown 33.934
28 3j Marc Johnson 33.994
29 115 Kenny Tremont 34.011
30 27j Danny Johnson 34.033
31 24 Chris Schultz 34.048
32 74 Tim Fuller 34.059
33 24 Patrick Dupree 34.098
34 38 Luke Whitteker 34.127
35 4j Jeff Sykes 34.387
36 4 Andy Bachetti 34.413
37 1ny Greg Atkins 34.492
38 34 George Foley 34.578
39 13 Tony Steiner 34.618
40 16 Kyle Hoffman 34.641
41 46 Kayle Robidoux 34.651
42 3m Henry Maier 34.705
43 tj1 Tommy Jock 34.802
44 7g Lance Willix 34.806
45 72 Tommy Flannagan 34.829
46 14 Brian Swarthout 35.319
47 72 Denis Gauvreau 35.414
48 14 CG Morey 35.459
49 124 Pierre Dagenais 37.047
50 85 Ted Lamb N/T