OSWEGO, N.Y. – Jimmy Phelps topped big-block modified qualifying for the Billy Whittaker Cars 200 Friday at Oswego Speedway during Super DIRT Week.
Phelps cranked out a lap of 21.233 seconds in the first batch of group qualifying, then sat comfortably on the pole as the rest of the field tried to shoot him down.
In the earlier session for 358 modifieds, the track slowed down from group to group and early qualifiers were in the driver’s seat, but with the big blocks, late timers Gary Lindberg and Tim Sears Jr. made the locked in top-six, though nobody could topple Phelps.
Phelps was trailed by Keith Flach, Lindberg, Peter Britten, Sears and multi-time winner Stewart Friesen.
“That proves that our car is pretty good in the slick,” said Phelps. “My worry is that the slick will change a lot for tonight’s qualifying show when the sun goes down, but we should be right on for Sunday’s 200.
“It might rain Sunday but they’re got a handle on this temporary surface now and I’m sure they can handle it. Today the track was smooth as glass and they should be proud of it. It should have rubbered up by now but didn’t, so maybe it won’t take rubber like it did last year. We might have two fast grooves for the feature.”
Tim Fuller, winner of the inaugural 358 modified race at Oswego in 2016, topped 358 modified qualifying with a time of 20.899 seconds. He led a locked in top-six that included Erick Rudolph, Mat Williamson, Ronnie Davis III and Friesen.
With cars sent out in groups of five for group qualifying, Fuller grabbed the pole in the second of 14 groups and held it right to the end. With the track slowing down, the only change in the top six came after round three, when Friesen edged Phelps out of the top-six. From there to the end, the top cars never changed, though behind them the order did shuffle occasionally.
“We’ve got a good Bicknell with a new W16 spec motor and it’s perfect for here,” offered Fuller. “It drives really nice. We weren’t good early in practice but I knew we’d be ok when it slicked off. Now we have to wait and see if it rubbers up tomorrow. I guess it all depends on the weather.”