CONCORD, N.C. – All eyes were on Super DIRTcar Series championship contenders Mat Williamson and Matt Sheppard Saturday night during the Can-Am World Finals, but Billy Decker decided to make a few headlines of his own.
Decker bested both championship contenders to win Saturday’s season finale for the Super DIRTcar Series at The Dirt Track at Charlotte, ending a winless drought dating back to Oct. 13, 2017 in the process.
Williamson finished two spots ahead of Sheppard, which gave the Canadian his first Super DIRTcar Series big-block modified championship.
Decker started fourth in Saturday’s 40-lap feature as championship contenders Sheppard and Williamson shared the front row. On the start Decker rocketed from the second row, taking second from Williamson as the field exited turn two on the opening lap.
The first and only caution flag of the race waved on lap two when Brian Swartzlander looped his car in the middle of the pack, collecting the cars of Tyler Thompson, Justin Haers and Justin Wright in the process.
Racing resumed and Sheppard continued to lead as Decker and Williamson gave chase. Decker hounded Sheppard for several laps before finally getting a run on Sheppard coming out of turn two on lap 10 to get alongside him.
Decker edged ahead of Sheppard at the start of the next lap to take the lead and cleared him on the next circuit. Sheppard, meanwhile, stayed close to Decker as the race leader soon found himself navigating slower traffic.
On lap 20 Sheppard began to challenge Decker for the lead and after several attempts, got the lead back at the start/finish line to start lap 22. Decker kept fighting with Sheppard and on lap 26 got back under Sheppard’s No. 9s in turn three before regaining the race lead at the line.
At that point Sheppard began to fade, with Williamson getting past him on the 29th circuit to take the second position. Sheppard continued to slip back, with Mike Maresca dispatching Sheppard to take the third position on lap 31.
Meanwhile, at the front, Decker was not going to be denied as he pulled away to a 1.122-second victory to close out the Super DIRTcar Series season.
The victory served as vindication for Decker, who was leading Friday’s Super DIRTcar Series feature at The Dirt Track at Charlotte when a flat tire derailed his evening.
“I’d like to tell you Charlotte has been a pain in my side, but I’ve got a little lower opinion,” Decker joked. “One got away from us last night. This is a product of the LJL Racing and Gypsum Wholesaler team. When that thing came out of the box it was a rocket ship and it is fun to be a part of.
“I’ll tell you, we felt like last night one got away from us and had me down pretty hard. We came out swinging today.”
Williamson finished second, which was enough to give him his first series championship by 28 points over Sheppard, who ended up fourth.
“Man, that was tough. I really didn’t know what to think when Matt got back by Billy,” said Williamson, who became the first Canadian-born driver to win the Super DIRTcar Series championship. “I had to keep my cool and stay with them there. This is everything I’ve ever dreamed of and I can’t believe we got it done.”
Maresca finished third, followed by Sheppard and Max McLaughlin.
Billy Decker, Mat Williamson, Michael Maresca, Matt Sheppard, Max McLaughlin, Demetrios Drellos, Erick Rudolph, Mike Mahaney, Chris Hile, Tim Fuller, Larry Wight, Gary Tomkins, Jimmy Phelps, Billy Pauch Jr., Billy Dunn, Steve Bernard, Ryan Godown, Danny Johnson, Brian Swartzlander, Peter Britten, Gary Lindberg, Jack Lehner, Ronnie Johnson, Tyler Siri, Anthony Perrego, Pat Ward, Paul St. Sauveur, Brett Hearn, Tyler Thompson, Justin Haers, Justin Wright.