The Super DIRTcar Series kicked off their season opener over the weekend at Can-Am Speedway in Lafargeville, NY where fans saw 42 drivers compete for the $10,000 payday.
To no surprise, the reigning Super DIRTcar Series Champ, Matt Sheppard, picked up right where he left off and dominated the 100-lap main event in strong fashion.
It was the first time the series made their way back to the fast, half-mile in ten years, leaving many teams uncertain of what to expect.
“We didn’t really know what to expect with the early spring and weather, but I had some suspicions.”
Sheppard’s suspicions hit the nail on the head by leading just shy of 90 laps Saturday evening to pull away with the victory and the Super DIRT Week guaranteed starting spot.
Following Sheppard in a tight battle for second was Mat Williamson and Billy Dunn.
Mad Max Makes A Visit
The young hot-shoe, Max McLaughlin, who announced earlier this year that he will be cutting back on his modified racing and will be running fulltime on the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East, made an unexpected trip to the half-mile.
Due to weather conditions down south, McLaughlin flew back to New York to jump behind the wheel of the Graham Racing No.27J, typically piloted by Danny Johnson.
After breaking a front end in the heat race, McLaughlin went on to fix the car and take a provisional for the 100-lap main event. McLaughlin maneuvered his way through the field and was up to 11th when he was sidelined by a broken fuel pump.
Danny Johnson, the driver of the Graham Racing No.27J, had a schedule conflict which then allowed McLaughlin to jump behind the wheel and fill in. Last minute, Johnson was able to make the trip to Can-Am, but with his seat already taken, the team brought out an older Troyer with fresh sheet metal, a fresh motor and threw duct tape No.1 sonto the side of it, making it just in time for the big event.
Johnson and the team ran into issues early on in the evening which then flowed into the 100-lap feature event resulting in a DNF for Johnson.
Williamson Finds Speed
After a not so good outing in Florida for the DIRTcar Nationals in February, Mat Williamson and his new team rebounded with a strong second-place finish Saturday night.
“We struggled down there a little bit, it just took some getting used to everything and getting comfortable with the car.”
Williamson started 15th and quietly sliced his way through the field to make a late race charge passed Billy Dunn for second-place.
After his strong runner-up posting, Williamson and the No.88 team are feeling confident heading into the next Super DIRTcar Series event at Fulton Speedway.
Next on tap for the Super DIRTcar Series will be the $7,500 High Bank Holdup 100 on Saturday, April 27th at Fulton Speedway.