By MIKE MALLETT
Max McLaughlin is now two for three with second place finishes with the Super DIRTcar Series. Coming off a solid second place at Weedsport Speedway in the Heroes Remembered 100 in the series opener and an eighth in the Showdown at Sundown at the Brewerton Speedway, McLaughlin scored another second place run at the Albany-Saratoga Speedway in the Big Show 10. For the second time he was also second to Stewart Friesen.
“Without Friesen we’d have won two out of three races with the series,” McLaughlin said with a smile. “That’s nice to think about, but you go race the best to beat the best. We got a guaranteed starting spot for Super DIRT Week so that’s pretty cool. There are definitely some good things coming out of tonight. This is a nice momentum booster heading into Cornwall.”
McLaughlin had a great battle with his teammate Jimmy Phelps in the final quarter of the race. He was able to sneak in front of Phelps at the line at the right time. He got there just before a caution with two laps to go. This put McLaughlin in a prime spot behind Friesen for the restart. He expected Friesen to go to the outside at the green, but instead he went low.
“I thought he was going to go top because he ran the top the whole race from what I could see,” stated McLaughlin. “I really thought he was going to go the top and I was going to be able to control the pace on the bottom. He’s one of the smartest people here. He has so much experience. He knows where he needs to be on the race track. He protected the bottom. He knew I was there; knew whoever was behind was going to be there. He was smart. That’s what experience does.”
Phelps Keeps Click Off Podium Finishes
It seems like a broken record, another race, another podium for Jimmy Phelps. On Tuesday the Baldwinsville, N.Y., driver started 11th before finishing in the third spot.
“Now it’s getting a little frustrating,” exclaimed Phelps. “We are close. We are there. We just need a little bit.”
Phelps mentioned that his car was much better on a longer run. Thus, the two cautions in the final five laps were not what he needed. They allowed McLaughlin to drive around him for second.
“My car was really good on a long run for whatever reason,” said Phelps. “Whether it was brake heat getting to my tires or tires were cooling off, I needed another three, four to five laps to get going again. The bottom was slick, but once I got the tires warmed up I could run down there. On the restarts I was slip sliding around a little bit. All-in-all we are happy. The HBR cars were up front and that’s all that matters.”
Fuller Fine with Fourth
Tim Fuller bounced between second and third in the first half of the 100-lap feature. Eventually Fuller faded a bit to end up fourth. The Edwards, N.Y., driver still sported a smile after the race. It was one of his best runs at the facility the last few years.
“We were too good, too early,” he commented. “We just needed to tighten up a little bit. All-in-all, for this place, this was a good run. I haven’t been good here in the last three or four years that we’ve come here. I’ll take it.”
Big Show Bullets
There were was impressive field of 56 cars entered for the Big Show 10…
With the car count at 56 entries five heat races and two consolations were necessary. Heat race wins were earned by Fuller, Peter Britten, Friesen, Willy Decker and Jessey Mueller. Defending Big Show winner Tim McCreadie won the first consolation while Erick Rudolph took top honors in the second…
Ryan Godown, driving the Andy Romano owned No. 97, took a wild ride on the second lap of his heat race. Godown caught the cushion wrong in turns three and four causing him to flip wildly. He was uninjured but the car may be a complete write-off…
Mat Williamson was battling for a redraw position in the final heat race only to break a bolt on the front of the motor. His night was done at that point…
Alan Barker’s night came to an abrupt end in the second consolation race. Barker was running the extreme bottom of the speedway and caught a yuke tower. That contact collapsed his front end…
A 20 minute break was necessary after the second Modified consolation event and before the second Sportsman feature as the lights went out around the speedway after flickering throughout the two consolation events. It was indicated by speedway officials that the lights were turned off as a result of switching power over to a generator…