BARBERVILLE, Fla. – Larry Wight joined elite company by winning his third DIRTcar Nationals presented by Bozard Ford Super DIRTcar Series feature win in a row Friday night at Volusia Speedway Park.
Prior to Friday, only Brett Hearn and Kenny Brightbill have won three or more consecutive races at Volusia Speedway Park in Super DIRTcar Series competition.
Wight’s first two wins this week came from the outside pole position, but Friday the No. 99L started seventh with six very fast big-block modifieds in his way.
Wight’s teammate Billy Decker started on pole-sitter Rick Laubach’s outside but slid to the bottom on the backstretch and outmuscled Laubach out of turn four on the initial start.
As the race progressed and Decker built a lead, most of the top runners were on the high side of the speedway. Wight made his way by two of the fastest cars on the property, Anthony Perrego and Matt Sheppard. Then it was time to reel in the leader.
For the win, Wight was forced to pass the one car on the track he didn’t want to: Gypsum Racing teammate Billy Decker.
“He got stuck behind those lapped cars. He didn’t move up in time and we were able to get that top. I thought after I messed up the first time going after it, Billy would have taken the top away from me but he left me just enough room to enter above the cushion and cut down. Luckily the car turned just enough for it,” Wight described.
Due to a rain shower before hot laps and superior track preparation, the surface was full throttle.
“The track crew did a phenomenal job getting that track turned around today in the short amount of time they had once the rain stopped,” Wight noted. “This car has been working no matter what the surface is. Luckily we haven’t changed the set up much. That goes to show you we got it working good.”
Wight has won four out of the last six Super DIRTcar Series DIRTcar Nationals features.
Decker is a three-time winner at Volusia. He was four laps away from his fourth.
“When you lose the lead it’s disappointing,” said Decker. “We lost to the right guy but we certainly wanted the win.”
Wight has everyone in the Gator Pond scrambling for set up changes. The Gypsum Racing team put their heads together and worked on the No. 91 throughout the day.
“We made some changes but it wasn’t enough. He [Wight] is just too versatile,” conceded Decker.
In third was last defending series champion Mat Williamson. The Buzz Chew Racing team went hammer down to get the No. 88 back to the front.
“We gave it all we had. We were disappointed after last night’s mishap. Fortunately tonight we turned things around,” said Williamson. “We got here at 8 o’clock this morning and put in a day’s work and it really paid off for the guys.”
After starting ninth, Williamson needed a track he could make gains on.
“The track was challenging but it was racy. Given the weather we had today, you can’t complain. It’s a factor. Hopefully, it’s similar tomorrow.”
1. 99L-Larry Wight [$3,000]; 2. 91-Billy Decker [$1,500]; 3. 88-Mat Williamson [$1,000]; 4. 44P-Anthony Perrego [$800]; 5. 98H-Jimmy Phelps [$700]; 6. 4-Andy Bachetti [$650]; 7. 9S-Matt Sheppard [$600]; 8. 111-Demetrios Drellos [$550]; 9. 49-Billy Dunn [$500]; 10. 19-Tim Fuller [$450]; 11. 7-Rick Laubach [$400]; 12. 25R-Erick Rudolph [$375]; 13. 42P-Pat Ward [$350]; 14. 83-Brian Swartzlander [$325]; 15. 3-Justin Haers [$300]; 16. 19M-Jessey Mueller [$275]; 17. 46-Jeremy Smith [$250]; 18. 7MM-Michael Maresca [$250]; 19. 32-Jim Rasey [$250]; 20. 20-Brett Hearn [$250]; 21. 21A-Peter Britten [$250]; 22. 23-Kyle Coffey [$250]; 23. 30-Ronnie Johnson [$250]; 24. 6D-Dillon Steuer [$250]; 25. 1-Billy Pauch [$250]; 26. 30M-JoJo Watson [$250]