By BOBBY SWEENEY
OSWEGO, NY – Billy Dunn, Billy Decker, and Tim Sears Jr. scored wins in the three 20-lap qualifying events for the DIRTcar 358-Modified Series. With six locked in through time trials yesterday, the Triples set another large chunk of the pack, locking in the top eight from each.
Dunn rolled the top around Pat Ward on lap four to take the top spot in the first 20-lap Small Block qualifier. With Ward in second, Dunn quickly gave himself some breathing room, leaving Ward to fend off a group of challengers. At halfway, it was Dunn about a second over Ward, Tim Fuller, and Stewart Friesen, with all the top cars in line through the middle of the surface.
Larry Wight was the first to get the bottom rolling, getting by Friesen on lap 13 and disposing of both Fuller and Ward on lap 16. Switching back to the middle, Wight made one last charge at Dunn, but ran out of time. At the line, it was Dunn snagging the first win of the night over Wight, Friesen, Fuller, and Ward.
“That track changed a lot in the first 20,” stated Dunn. “We lost the lead on the first lap and had to fight to get it back, but we held on. I know I was losing time to the guys behind me, but I was just focused on getting this car home clean for the big show tomorrow.”
Mat Williamson has been on a well-documented hot streak, and started off the second 20-lapper in the lead. Decker was his early chaser, but Decker applied little pressure in the early laps. However, a lap 8 yellow and restart shuffled the order, as Decker rode the rim around Williamson to take the lead.
Once in the lead, Decker was on the nitro button, driving away from Williamson. Ronnie Davis and Rocky Warner slowly inched in on Williamson, but with all three running the top, no major advantage was to be gained. Mike Maresca made a late run to fourth and nearly got to third, but after the end of 20 laps, it was Decker scoring the win over Williamson, Davis, Maresca, and Warner.
“I felt really good there, and Mat raced me really respectfully,” Decker said. “It took a few laps to get the tires where they belonged, and once they took off, it was fun at that stage. I’ve been lobbying to have all the races at night, it showed tonight.”
After lead changes in the first two qualifiers, Sears was destined to change the tone in the third. After starting on pole, Sears launched great and slipped away from Dave Marcuccilli. Early movers included Justin Haers, sliding to fourth, and Britten working to third.
Through traffic, Sears proved rather impeccable in caution-free event. Marcuccilli hung within a couple seconds through the completion of the event, but could never mount a charge on Sears. With Sears winning and Marcuccilli second, Britten came home third and Haers fourth. Rob Bellinger came home fifth in his first competitive race since 2019.
“We all got the same track to work with, but even with it tearing up a little I still felt good,” Sears said. “I had to wait until lapped traffic to see how we raced, and I felt great. This team makes sure this car is perfect every time I touch the track and it shows nights like tonight.”
DIRTCAR 358-MODIFIED HEAT RACE RESULTS (10/8/21):
HEAT 1 — 1. 49-Billy Dunn; 2. 99L-Larry Wight; 3. 44-Stewart Friesen; 4. 19-Tim Fuller; 5. 42P-Pat Ward; 6. 83-Danny Johnson; 7. 111-Demetrios Drellos; 8. 66X-Carey Terrance; 9. 215-Adam Pierson; 10. 27W-Nick Webb; 11. 3M-Michael Stanton; 12. 98H-Jimmy Phelps; 13. 31B-Corey Barker; 14. 21H-Bob Henry Jr; 15. 29-Matt Caprara; 16. 8-Rich Scagliotta; 17. 18-Ryan Macartney; 18. 55-Matt Woodruff; 19. 11S-Steve Lewis Jr; 20. 11-Alissa Cody; 21. 79-Jeffrey Prentice; 22. 21-Ryan Darcy; 23. 28-Michael Trautschold; 24. 28M-Jordan McCreadie; 25. 22-Michael Bruce
HEAT 2 — 1. 91D-Billy Decker; 2. 6-Mat Williamson; 3. 32R-Ronnie Davis; 4. 7MM-Michael Maresca; 5. 98JS-Rocky Warner; 6. 60-Jackson Gill; 7. 31W-Lance Willix; 8. 63R-Billy VanInwegen Jr; 9. 44P-Anthony Perrego; 10. 2A-Mike Gular; 11. 15-Todd Root; 12. 12-Darren Smith; 13. 14M-CG Morey; 14. 69-Randy Green; 15. 21R-RJ Tresidder; 16. 879-Darryl Mitchell; 17. 1NY-Gregory Atkins; 18. 39-Ryan Bartlett; 19. 26R-Corey Cormier; 20. 115-Montgomery Tremont; 21. 34-George Foley; 22. 88-Olden Dwyer; 23. (DNS) 0-Dan Humes; 24. (DNS) 14-Brian Swarthout
HEAT 3 – 1. 62X-Tim Sears Jr; 2. M1-David Marcuccilli; 3. 21A-Peter Britten; 4. 3-Justin Haers; 5. 8R-Rob Bellinger; 6. 3J-Marc Johnson; 7. 34S-Rusty Smith; 8. 38-Jason Parkhurst; 9. 58M-Marshall Hurd; 10. 36-Ben Bushaw; 11. 20K-Kyle Inman; 12. 91-Bobby Flood; 13. 66W-Derek Webb; 14. 713-Tommy Collins; 15. 02-Roy Bresnahan; 16. 9-Tyler Meeks; 17. 7-Michael Sabia; 18. 34F-Andrew Ferguson; 19. 37-Alex Tonkin; 20. 24K-Nick Krause; 21. 11T-Jeff Taylor; 22. 25-Erick Rudolph; 23. 16-Aaron Jacobs; 24. (DNS) 7Z-Zachary Payne