GRANBY, Quebec — In what will go down as one of the greatest races in Super DIRTcar Series history, “Lightning” Larry Wight faced down defending series champion Matt Sheppard and his Gypsum Racing teammate, Billy Decker, to claim $7,500 and Autodrome Granby glory.
Wight visited victory lane in series competition for the first time since his win at Plattsburgh Airborne Speedway and did it in style. Wight started on the outside pole and battled with Ryan Godown, Billy Decker and Sheppard to secure his $7,500 win.
The No. 99L was fast off the trailer.
“We had a really good car all night,” said Wight. “I thought maybe about halfway through the race we hadn’t tightened up enough or the track was going away faster than we thought. But the right rear Hoosier finally started working a little bit. It paid off to ride around on the bottom for the first half of the race and try and save that thing a little bit.”
Speaking of tires, Sheppard finished the final 15 to 20 laps with a flat left front tire. Despite the flat, Sheppard still put up a titanic fight for the lead.
“Matt [Sheppard] could have four tires or three tires, he’s still the car to beat. It doesn’t matter. We caught a break there. He clipped the wall and I clipped the wall around lap 20 but mine stayed up thankfully. It was a great race. Our car was free enough to run that top and keep it straight so we were able to get by him,” Wight noted.
Crossing the line in second place was Mat Williamson in his black and red No. 6 modified. Williamson prowled around the top of the field but took care of his race car in order to be there at the end.
“Hats off to Larry [Wight]. He ran a great race,” Williamson congratulated. “I don’t know if we were a second-place car. Matt [Sheppard] got a flat and we were able to get by him. But we were trying to save our stuff for the end. I was wicked tight and throwing the car getting into the corner. I’m surprised we have as much tire left as we do.
Williamson fearlessly drove the No. 6 to the top where only Wight, Decker, and a few others would dare put their cars on the monstrous five-eighths of a mile speedway. That would prove to be the difference for Williamson as he used the top line to get around the three-wheeling-but-fast heppard for second.
Thanks to the heroic efforts of Sheppard behind the wheel of the No. 9S, the MSM machine came home on the podium. In the final frame of the race, Sheppard and Wight were racing side-by-side.
Unfortunately, Sheppard clipped the inside jersey barrier causing his left front tire to go flat.
But he didn’t need it.
“I think we had the best car here tonight. We just didn’t have the best driver,” said Sheppard. “I clipped the wall a little bit in turns three and four and it was enough to flatten it. At one point I actually got the lead back with it flat and I just couldn’t hold on long enough. Every time we put a run on Larry [Wight] I thought we might get him but the car would do something kind of funky on me getting into the corner. I just didn’t know what it was going to do anymore. I’m thankful it happened as close to the end as it did and I’m thankful we could hold on for third.”
Feature: 1. 99L-Larry Wight [$7,500]; 2. 6m-Mat Williamson [$4,000]; 3. 9S-Matt Sheppard [$2,500]; 4. 91-Billy Decker [$1,800]; 5. 98H-Jimmy Phelps [$1,600]; 6. 25-Erick Rudolph [$1,400]; 7. 54-Steve Bernard [$1,300]; 8. 26-Ryan Godown [$1,200]; 9. ONE-David Hebert [$1,100]; 10. 27J-Danny Johnson [$1,000]; 11. 49-Francois Bernier [$800]; 12. 66X-Carey Terrance [$700]; 13. 21-Yan Bussiere [$600]; 14. 2L-Jack Lehner [$575]; 15. 44g-Sabastien Gougeon [$550]; 16. 35B-Francois Bellemare [$525]; 19. 111-Demetrios Drellos [$500]; 20. 18J-Louis Jackson [$500]; 21. 35-Mike Mahaney [$500]; 22. 71-Pierre Hebert [$500]; 23. 73jr-Mathieu Boisvert [$500]; 24. 96-JF Corriveau [$500]; 25. 59-Yanick Mathieu [$500]; 26. 21A-Peter Britten [$500]; 27. R2-Rusty Smith [$500]; 28. 17-Marcus Dinkins [$500] DQ: 25s-Steve Bernier