Williamson Dominates the Billy Whittaker Cars 200 at Oswego – DTD Exclusive

By Bobby Sweeney

OSWEGO, N.Y. (October 13, 2019) — Mat Williamson’s dream year continued, dominating the back half of the Billy Whittaker Cars 200 for his first win in Dirt Modified racing’s crown jewel event Sunday at Oswego Speedway with the Super DIRTcar Series.

“Wow, what a dream season this is,” Williamson said. “This year, when we got hooked up with the Buzz Chew team, I was more than excited, and I knew how much they deserved to win a in a race like this. When we got it done at OCFS, it was awesome, but this is insane because I grew up at this race and it means so much to me.”

Billy Decker and Matt Sheppard brought the 41-car field to the green flag, with Decker jumping out front at the start. Demetrios Drellos had electrical issues, stalled, brought out a yellow and stopped the race as fast as it started. Sheppard had a bad restart, as he slipped to sixth and Perrego went from third to the lead. Williamson went to second on lap seven, putting Decker to third before Danny Varin spun on lap eight.

The restart saw Decker blast around the top to regain the lead on lap 12, but Perrego took it back the next lap. As before, Williamson grabbed second from Decker soon after, and Billy Dunn then shuffled Decker back to fourth. Jessey Mueller broke on lap 15, slowing pace again.

The front three of Perrego, Williamson, and Dunn played nice and stayed steady on the restart, with now Jimmy Phelps taking over fourth. Drellos and Mueller brought out another caution with 25 in, and the big movement on this restart saw Sheppard climb back into the top five, slotting into fourth.

By lap 45, Perrego and the rest of the top five had settled in, but thick traffic was ahead, and the racing lane was thin. Perrego tried the top on the first lapped car but handed the lead to Williamson on lap 48. With rubber and traffic, the top five of Williamson, Perrego, Dunn, Sheppard, and Phelps were glued together as the race hit lap 50.

Danny Varin slowed on lap 55, and Williamson and Sheppard chose to pit. Perrego was now back out front, and pulled away from Dunn and Phelps. Perrego led the charge into traffic, but soon as they reached the back of the field, Mike Mahaney spun entering turn three to bring out a lap 67 yellow.

The front few had spaced out by lap 80, while Williamson and Sheppard were slowly climbing through the field, to 13th and 18th respectively. A caution and subsequent lap 86 restart changed little up front, but Williamson was able to crack the top ten. Williamson hit fifth by lap 94, while Tim Sears Jr. had passed Phelps for third. Dunn slowed from second with a flat right rear tire just prior to halfway, setting up another round of pit stops, featuring frontrunners Perrego and Decker. This put Sears and Phelps on the front row, with Williamson now third.

Max McLaughlin seemed to be the only car capable of moving up top, driving from fourth to second on the restart, while Williamson pushed Phelps back to fourth. McLaughlin continued to hound Sears as the laps clicked off, staying within a couple car lengths as they neared traffic on lap 115. McLaughlin’s high-flying line through turns three and four nearly bit him as he grabbed the fence, but a lap 117 caution for Dunn slowing again allowed him to lose no time. The top two of Sears and McLaughlin pitted, along with fourth place Phelps, handing the lead back to Williamson.

The restart saw a crash in the middle of the pack as Lindberg and Sears were the first to go around, with Alan Johnson landing upside down. About ten cars total were involved, and Sheppard slowed on the restart, going off track with assistance from the tow truck and done for the day. Williamson then ran away from Ryan Godown and Erick Rudolph, only to have his lead erased when Watt and Mahaney wrecked on lap 134.

By lap 144, Williamson was up by a straightaway on Godown, while Chris Hile disposed of Rudolph for third, and Perrego was back to fifth. The lead did nothing but grow for Williamson, while Hile was making a strong bid on Godown for second. Jack Lehner slowed on lap 150, erasing the monster lead Williamson possessed. However, Williamson repeated his pace on the next restart, leading by a nearly straightaway once more on lap 160.

Williamson was ready to enter traffic, but Ryan Susice broke on lap 167 for the race’s 20th caution. Sticking with the theme, Williamson darted away on the restart, unchallenged by Godown and Hile with 25 laps remaining. Hile had fallen off the bumper of Godown, with fourth place Rudolph under pressure from Perrego. Dunn’s rough day continued with a spin on lap 179, once more backing Williamson up to the pack.

Last year, Ryan Godown blew up while running in the top five with just a couple laps to go, and his #26 machine started smoking on the restart. Rudolph fell out of the top five on the restart, as Perrego and Brett Hearn moved passed, and by lap 184, Perrego had moved by both Hile and Godown to claim second. Hearn also moved past Godown, but Williamson was still far out in front.

Perrego was charging in the late stages, up to a second a lap quicker than Williamson. As implied, the lead Williamson had deteriorated quickly, less than half of what it was with ten laps remaining. By 192, it was just five car lengths, and Perrego was at Williamson’s rear bumper with six laps left. However, Rudolph slowed to a stop at that time on lap 194, giving Williamson clear track as he was ready to hit traffic.

Williamson fired better than Perrego, opening up a second and a half lead instantly. By lap 196, the gap had doubled to over three seconds, and Hearn was all over Perrego. With two to go, almost a straightaway, and more of the same on the final lap. When the checkered flag fell on the Billy Whittaker Cars 200, it was Mat Williamson scoring the win over Tim Fuller, Brett Hearn, Ryan Godown, and Jimmy Phelps. Perrego broke on the final circuit and fell to the back of the top ten.
Williamson Dominates the Billy Whittaker Cars 200 at Oswego

Williamson made one pit stop during the event, coming on lap 58.

“The guys in my pit are so smart,” stated Williamson. “I told them the less I have to worry about, the better I’ll be. They put their heads down and had an awesome strategy today. It was an awesome points night for us on the Series as well with Sheppard not having a good night.”

Tim Fuller started fourth but had a relatively quiet day. When it was all said and done, Fuller brought it home runner up.

“I’m definitely happy with that one,” said Fuller. “I was fourth with two to go, and somehow ended up second. We struggled all day, and who would’ve thought we would’ve got second. How about Mat, though? He’s made some money this season. I still got the same guys in the pits I had 20 years ago, I’m very fortunate to have such a good group.”

Brett Hearn didn’t even attempt a time trial lap with a blown motor but rallied through a rough race and week to stand on the podium.

“Our strategy was weird with the yellows and fuel mileage and stuff,” Hearn noted. “After a restart jingle, we got a left front flat, we lost a ton of track position and I thought we were in trouble. We just started picking off cars, and at one point with ten to go we were the fastest on track. We just fought back.”

Super DIRT Week
Billy Whittaker Cars 200
Super DIRTcar Series Modifieds
Oswego Speedway
Oswego, N.Y.
Saturday October 13, 2019

Feature Finish:
1 Mat Williamson
2 Tim Fuller
3 Brett Hearn
4 Ryan Godown
5 Jimmy Phelps
6 Stewart Friesen
7 Chris Hile
8 Billy Decker
9 Jimmy Horton
10 Marc Johnson
11 Tom Sears Jr.
12 Kenny Tremont Jr.
13 Anthony Perrego
14 Peter Britten
15 Pat Ward
16 Justin Haers
17 Tim Sears Jr.
18 Danny Johnson
19 Kyle Coffey
20 Dave Marcuccilli
21 Erick Rudolph
22 Duane Howard
23 Ryan Susice
24 Billy Dunn
25 Max McLaughlin
26 Jack Lehner
27 Demetrios Drellos
28 Mike Mahaney
29 Ryan Watt
30 Michael Maresca
31 Matt Sheppard
32 Alan Johnson
33 Rob Bellinger
34 Gary Lindberg
35 Paul St.Sauveur
36 Danny Varin
37 Dave Constantino
38 Jessey Mueller
39 Gary Tomkins
40 Larry Wight
41 Billy VanInwegen