VERNON, N.Y. – Jimmy Phelps earned a $6,000 payday for winning the Super DIRTcar Series Freedom Fighter 100 Sunday evening at Utica-Rome Speedway.
Phelps and Danny Johnson led the 31-car Super DIRTcar Series big-block modified field to the green flag, with Phelps jumping out to the early lead. Third-place starter Pat Ward grabbed the runner-up spot early, only to have Johnson regain the position on lap five as he set off after Phelps.
Phelps set a torrid pace as he continued to lead the way with D. Johnson, Ward, Billy Dunn, and Alan Johnson all battling for top five spots. The driver on the move was 11th place Stewart Friesen as he quickly moved up to the sixth spot by lap five as he looked to add to his win total as the all-time winner at the Utica-Rome Speedway.
A lap 13 caution would bunch the field, and on the restart, Phelps would continue to lead with Friesen continuing his charge. With 20 laps complete, the leaderboard showed Phelps over Danny Johnson, Friesen, Dunn and Larry Wight. Friesen grabbed second on lap 21 and then set his sights on the leader.
The second caution of the night came out on lap 29 for a disabled car, which put Friesen alongside Phelps on the restart. When the green lights came back on, Phelps maintained his position out front as he ran the lower line while Friesen rand the extreme top lane of the half-mile oval. For the next 15 circuits, the duo would battle for the lead with Friesen nipping Phelps at the line to lead lap 44, only to have Phelps retake the spot a lap later.
A pair of yellows slowed the pace at the midway point of the 100-lap main, and when the field returned to racing speed, Phelps again jumped out front with Friesen giving chase. Friesen’s bid for the win came to an end on lap 70 as he jumped the cushion and slipped of the track in turns one and two. When he recovered and came back on to the racing surface, Friesen had fallen back to the fourth spot as D. Johnson and Dunn took advantage his miscue.
On lap 82, the yellow light again came on for a stopped car on the racing surface which again brought Phelps back to the field. The restart again saw Phelps prove to be too strong as he again pulled away only to have his advantage erased for the final yellow on lap 90.
D. Johnson tried to keep pace with Phelps when the green lights came back on but Phelps was too strong. Phelps would race off to claim his first series win since 2016, with D. Johnson, Rudolph, Matt Sheppard and Dunn rounding out the top five spots.
Matt Tanner wrapped up the Lucas Oil Empire Super Sprints Central New York Speedweek by winning the 25-lap sprint car main event. Danny Varin was crowned Speedweek champion for the second-straight year.
Matt Janczuk won the sportsman feature.
Jimmy Phelps, Danny Johnson, Erick Rudolph, Max McLaughlin, Matt Sheppard, Billy Dunn, Larry Wight, Pat Ward, Marc Johnson, Peter Britten, Mat Williamson, Billy Decker, Tim Fuller, Rocky Warner, Jack Lehner, Matt Farnham, Rob Bellinger, Rich Scagliotta, J.F. Corriveau, Adam Roberts, Billy Whittaker, Brett Hearn, Rusty Smith, Stewart Friesen, Bobby Varin, Demetrois Drellos, Dave Rauscher, Alan Barker, Kyle Coffey, Alan Johnson, Andrew Ferguson.