BARBERVILLE, FL – Mat Williamson took a risk, and then received his reward.
The St. Catharines, ON driver made a last lap pass on the backstretch to take home the win on the second night of Super DIRTcar Series action at Federated Auto Parts DIRTcar Nationals.
It’s his third DIRTcar Nationals Feature win and the first time he’s won a golden gator trophy in back-to-back years.
Willamson started third in the 30-lap Feature but fell to fifth in the early stages of the race. At that point, he knew he had to do something different.
“Matt [Sheppard] got by us, Max [McLaughlin] was under us,” Williamson said. “I just knew I had to do something different than what I was doing. I started driving really hard getting into Turn 3. That probably was the difference in the race.”
After getting back by Sheppard and McLaughlin, he was relegated to the third-place running position for most of the Feature until he found his way to second with 11 laps to go. While he moved forward, Drellos’ command of the lead began to fade.
With laps quickly ticking off the counter, Williamson knew he had to make a decision if he wanted a chance at taking home the victory and decided to bet on a risk.
“[Drellos] was getting tight in (turn) one and (turn) two, and he would get up over the cushion,” Williamson said. “So, he started getting hesitant. I really had nothing to lose so, I just threw it in on the bottom. I kind of turned my head to the right to make sure I was clear, gassed her up a little bit in the brown of the middle of the racetrack and cleared them enough that I could protect a slider going into (turn) three. I got lucky there.”
Drellos’ machine did not have enough juice to fend off Williamson’s move, dropping him back to second.
“I missed the top a few times in a row, and Mat (Williamson) capitalized,” Drellos said. “The last couple laps the car went away really bad. I think I really abused it the first 26 laps. He just snuck up on me and got me. It’s a tough one.”
As far as why his machine faded the way it did, Drellos will be working on finding out why.
“If I had that answer, I’d tell you,” he said. “I think I just got a little snug. I couldn’t rotate on the cushion as well as I think he did. I just missed it by a little bit.”
Erick Rudolph of Ransomville, NY performed consistently for a second night in a row, finishing in third place behind Drellos. He just missed the podium on night one, finishing in fourth. Larry Wight was the hard charger of the night, moving up 18 spots to finish in fourth place.
Night one winner Max McLaughlin finished in fifth place.
UP NEXT: The Super DIRTcar Series Big Blocks are back in action Thursday, Feb. 16, at Volusia Speedway Park for another 30-lap, $5,000-to-win Federated Auto Parts DIRTcar Nationals matchup.
If you can’t make it to the track, you can watch every Super DIRTcar Series race live on DIRTVision – either at DIRTVision.com or by downloading the DIRTVision App.
Feature Results (30 Laps) – 1. 88-Mat Williamson; 2. 111-Demetrios Drellos; 3. 25R-Erick Rudolph; 4. 99L-Larry Wight; 5. 8H-Max McLaughlin; 6. 2L-Jack Lehner; 7. 9S-Matt Sheppard; 8. 44-Stewart Friesen; 9. 98H-Jimmy Phelps; 10. 21A-Peter Britten; 11. 70A-Alex Payne; 12. 9-Marc Johnson; 13. 39C-Kyle Coffey; 14. 7-Rick Laubach; 15. 28-Jordan McCreadie; 16. -Rich Scagliotta; 17. 8S-Richard Scagliotta; 18. 16X-Dan Creeden; 19. 14-CG Morey; 20. R70-Ryan Arbuthnot; 21. 25P-Michael Parent; 22. 215-Adam Pierson; 23. 15X-Justin Stone; 24. 91-Felix Roy; 25. 27J-Danny Johnson; 26. 6S-Matthew Stangle; 27. 30-HJ Bunting