Britten, Johnson & Lindberg In Triple 30s

Triple 30 winners Peter Britten, Danny Johnson and Gary Lindberg. (Dave Dalesandro photo)

OSWEGO, N.Y. — Peter Britten, teammate Danny Johnson and small-block racer Gary Lindberg, the surprise of Super DIRT Week 2018, shared $4,000 victories during Friday night’s Triple 30s qualifying program for the Billy Whittaker Cars 200 for big-block modifieds.

Tim Fuller, Erick Rudolph and Mat Williamson were winners in the program opening Triple 25s  that set the field for Saturday’s Camping World 150 for 358 modifieds, with each win worth some $2,000.

The heat races capped a long day that saw Thursday’s practice and time trial sessions, wiped out by rain, run through the day. The Friday Night Lights program then ran as scheduled, with a huge field of sportsman cars participating as well to determine the lineup for Sunday’s Chevy Performance 75.

Britten’s win came at the expense of fast-timer Jimmy Phelps, as the Australian transplant made a bold move in traffic on lap 21, squeezing between Phelps and the inner concrete wall when the leader hesitated behind a trio of lapped cars.

Phelps led handily through halfway, when he and Britten ran up on a gaggle of lapped cars, with Britten attacking and taking command on lap 17. They finished that way, with Max McLaughlin, up from sixth after a great outside charge, home third.

Billy Dunn advanced from ninth to show fourth ahead of Matt Sheppard, Billy Decker, Tim McCreadie, Tim Fuller, Kenny Tremont Jr. and Marc Johnson.

“You never know what’s going to happen in lapped traffic,” observed Britten.  “I stuck it in there and it worked.”

Round two saw Keith Flach lead early on with front row companion Tim Sears Jr in tow, but a lap-12 restart proved to be his undoing.  Danny Johnson, who had advanced from fourth to second, dove under Flach as they hit turn one and hit the backstretch with a lead he would never give up.

Erick Rudolph then took up the attack on Flach, dropping him to third with five to go. They finished in that order, with Justin Haers fourth ahead of Demetrious Drellos, Tom Sears Jr., Chris Hile, Danny Varin, Bobby Varin and Tim Sears Jr.

“No doubt about it, this gives us momentum going into Sunday,” observed the taciturn Johnson.

In the big-block finale, upstart small-block star Lindberg bested the big-block regulars, though he did lose the lead once to Stewart Friesen. But an immediate yellow negated the pass, with Friesen then falling to fourth on the restart.

At the stripe, it was Mat Williamson in second ahead of Gary Tomkins, Friesen, Larry Wight, Carey Terrance, Ryan Godown, race sponsor Billy Whittaker, Pat Ward and Rob Bellinger.

“I thought he had me there,” said the elated winner.  “I got trapped behind a lapped car and I was just lucky that it went yellow when it did.”

Fuller, who turned fast time in 358 qualifying, led flag-to-flag despite the efforts of defending Camping World 150 winner Matt Sheppard to run him down. The front row companions were close together early on but by halfway, Fuller had slowly built a full turn advantage, a gap he opened even further as the leaders hit lapped traffic.

A handful of yellows kept the field closed up in the waning laps but Fuller sailed to a relatively easy win over Sheppard, Jimmy Phelps, Larry Wight, David Herbert, Gary Lindberg, Mario Clair, 19thstarting Alan Johnson and Steve Bernier.

Round two saw Erick Rudolph score an equally impressive win, running away from front row companion Ronnie Davis III in a race that ran green after lap four.  Besides Rudolph’s stellar run, fans were entertained by Billy Dunn’s charge from the rear after drawing the only yellow with a flat tire.

At the checkered flag, Rudolph and Davis were trailed by Casey Terrance, Corey Wheeler, Billy Whittaker, Rocky Warner, Todd Root, Tim Sears Jr., Michel Parent and Jordan McCreadie.

The final round was a slugfest between Matt Williamson and Stewart Friesen, with Williamson fighting off all of Friesen’s restart blasts around the outside to win handily. Behind them, Brett Hearn and Pat Ward tussled for third early on before Ward took command of the spot for keeps.

Peter Britten was fourth at the flag, trailed by Hearn, Marc Johnson, Louie Jackson Jr., Danny Johnson and Kenny Tremont Jr.