Williamson Comes Out of Gate Strong in DIRTcar Nationals Opener at Volusia – DTD Exclusive

By DIRT TRACK DIGEST STAFF

BARBERVILLE, FL – Mat Williamson picked up 2020 right where he left off in 2019, leading the way at the start Super DIRTcar Series season at Volusia.

“We weren’t spectacular here last year, so to come to Florida and win is real cool,” stated Williamson.  “We are starting off way better than we did last year. We’ll definitely be enjoying this one.”

Behind him, Brett Hearn and Matt Sheppard battled, with Hearn besting Sheppard in the opening laps, but Sheppard fought back to take second with three laps in.

Hearn wasn’t going away yet, keeping pressure on Sheppard, but soon found pressure of his own from Erick Rudolph. By lap eight, the battle for second became a three-car fight, with Rudolph clawing by both and into the runner-up spot on lap nine.




Following in Rudolph’s tire tracks was Anthony Perrego, disposing of Sheppard to get to third at the lap ten mark. As Perrego inched in on Rudolph, both were catching Williamson.

The three way battle for second had transitioned to a three way battle for the lead by lap 13, with Williamson high and both Rudolph and Perrego low. Just as Rudolph went to make a move, the caution waived and the field reset.

“We got lucky with that caution, and my guys in the infield were telling me to go to the bottom,” Williamson said. “But, I wasn’t sure where exactly to go, and I got lucky with the yellow and it gave me a chance to think of what to do.

On the restart, Rudolph nearly stole the top spot from Williamson, but Williamson throttled down and pulled away. Perrego stayed with Rudolph, and those two continued to battle as they did before the caution, just without Williamson as Williamson had opened up a second and a half lead with ten laps to go.

As the lap counter hit 25, the front-runners stabilized in their respective spots, with the highlight being Friesen taking fourth from Wight after a charge from 19th. Williamson had lapped traffic in the final circuits, but worked it flawlessly and did not give Rudolph any chance to close in.

Meanwhile, Perrego made one final run at Rudolph, but ran out of time, as Williamson claimed the first Super DIRTcar Series win of the season, leading wire-to-wire at Volusia.

Rudolph had the second-most wins on the Super DIRTcar Series tour last season with four, ahead of Williamson’s three and behind Sheppard’s eight. Rudolph almost got into the win column in February, but came up short.

“We got to second quick and kind of fizzled out a bit,” noted Rudolph. “After that restart he took off and got a buffer on me, and I just wasn’t able to get to him. I think this is my best run here so hopefully we’ll get a gator sometime this week.”

Perrego came down to Volusia with the team he competes with at Orange County Fair Speedway. While he had a shot at the win around halfway, Perrego had to settle for third.

“It was a good run racing against those two cats,” Perrego said. “Before the yellow I thought I had something, but under the yellow someone knocked water on the track in turn three and I lost my line. Right before that yellow I think I had them both, but we just weren’t perfect afterwards.”

Friesen crossed the line in the fourth position while Wight came home fifth.

DIRTcar Nationals
Super DIRTcar Series
Volusia Speedway Park
Barberville, FL
Tuesday February 11, 2020

FEATURE FINISH (30-LAPS)
1 Mat Williamson
2 Erick Rudolph
3 Anthony Perrego
4 Stewart Friesen
5 Larry Wight
6 Billy Decker
7 Matt Sheppard
8 Billy Dunn
9 Pat Ward
10 Justin Haers
11 Peter Britten
12 Brett Hearn
13 Rick Laubach
14 Jimmy Phelps
15 Billy Pauch
16 Brian Swartzlander
17 Michael Maresca
18 Tim Fuller
19 Jessey Mueller
20 Kyle Coffey
21 Ronnie Johnson
22 Jeremy Smith
23 Matt Stangle
24 Dave Rauscher
25 Dillon Steuer
26 Andy Bachetti

DID NOT QUALIFY
Darwin Greene
Rick Regalski
Russ Morseman
Tyler Thompson
Jim Rasey
JoJo Watson
Demetrios Drellos
Rich Scagliotta
Danny Johnson