Two expressions come to mind when I look back at the NAPA Auto Parts Super DIRT Week at the New York State Fairgrounds – the fastest car does not always win the race and Syracuse it is what it is.
First congratulations to Billy Dunn on his Syracuse 200 victory. He was not the fastest car but his pit strategy and race-long consistency put him in position to win when the frontrunners began dropping out one-by-one.
The rule change to required the final 25 laps of the 200-lap feature be run under the green flag instead of cautions counting and a green-white-checkers finish proved to be the downfall of Stewart Friesen, Brett Hearn, Tim McCreadie, Jimmy Phelps and Billy Decker.
Up until the final laps of the event, they were locked in a tight battle, especially, McCreadie, Friesen and Hearn, for the lead. Friesen and McCreadie had fans on their feet in the closing laps with Hearn watching in third as Friesen would pull alongside McCreadie in the turns only to be outrun on the straightaways.
However, Dunn came away with the $50,000 victory with Larry Wight and Ryan Godown getting podium finishes.
The local tracks were well represented during Super DIRT Week XLII.
Jeff Rockefeller, who competes weekly at Glen Ridge Motorsports Park and Fonda Speedway made a name for himself among the big block competitors and fans.
Rockefeller made his Syracuse big block debut last Thursday and clocked the fourth fastest lap in time trials.
He backed that up by winning the big block futures race with a green-to-checkers run, placed 11th in the first triple 20-lap modifieds heat race and capped off the week on the lead lap with a 12th-place finish in the 200-lap main event after a late-race spin. Rockefeller also had a fifth-place finish in the 358-modified futures event.
Ricky Quick dominated the first of two 12-lap sportsman futures races, pulling away for a 14.069-second victory. Adam McAuliffe was first under the checkers in the second sportsman futures event but came up light on the scales in post-race tech.
Justin House returned to racing last week and came away with a third place finish in the same Futures race.
Craig Hanson does not spend a lot of time traveling to other dirt tracks for big events.
However, last Saturday he did and made his first trip to Five Mile Point Speedway a memorable one. Hanson picked up the victory in the speedway’s 50-lap Short Track Supernationals over Anthony Perrego, Jackie Brown Jr. Pat Ward and Chad Phelps.
The final big race of the local race season, The 602 Nationals, a 125-lap, $2,711-to-win event for the 602 sportsman division, will be run Saturday at Glen Ridge Motorsports Park.
The racing will get under way with warm up at 7 p.m. and heats taking the track at 7:30 p.m.
The winner’s share of the Grit Series 602 race is $2,711. with sponsorship from Dodson Construction and Sowle Trailer Repair. There are also $1,621 in lap money and $50 heat race bonuses and a $200-to-win B-main. Also on the evening’s card is a 20-lap non-winners modified race open to any modified driver who has not won a feature during the 2013 racing season along with a 40-lap rookie sportsman race and a 30-lap lightning cruiser race.