SYRACUSE, NY — Story, Photos and Audio by Race Chaser Online New York Correspondent Steven Ovens — Camping World Friday Night Lights is an event that is gaining popularity here at the Moody Mile in Syracuse as a part of NAPA Auto Parts Super DIRT Week. This events stands alone as the only night race that is held on the Syracuse Mile all season long.
The Friday Night Lights portion of Super DIRT Week is simple- all cars that took a time trial run is broken into groups. The Super DIRTcar Series runs Triple 20’s which are a third of the field running a 20 lap qualifying race. The top 10 non-qualified cars transfer to the Syracuse 200. The DIRTcar 358-Modified Series runs Twin 20’s which separates the field in half and takes the top 12 non-qualified cars into the Salute to the Troops 150. The DIRTcar Sportsman also get in on the action as they run Triple 10’s which cuts their field into thirds and takes the top 4 non-qualified cars to the 30-lap Championship for Sunday.
DIRTcar 358-Modified Series Twin 20’s
The night started off with a continuation of the dominance that has been Billy Decker in a small-block on the mile. Decker ran away and hid in his Twin 20 to take the victory. Tim McCreadie did challenge a few times in lap traffic but it was to no avail as Decker would clear the lap cars and cruise to the win. McCreadie came home 2nd, Chris Raabe continued his strong DIRT Week effort by come home 3rd, Brett Hearn was 4th and Wayne Jelley filled the Top 5. Jeff Rockefeller came home in 15th place and would score the final qualifying spot for the Salute to the Troops 150.
The second 358-Modified Twin 20 went to the man who will start on the outside pole for Saturday’s Salute to the Troops 150- Carey Terrance. In fact, this was the second year in a row that Terrance would come away with a Twin 20 victory. He would have to hold off Ronnie Johnson in the Palmer’s 76a ride as the top 2 battled with lap traffic in what was a a fairly single lane racetrack. Johnson would have to settle for 2nd, 3rd through 5th were taken by Canadian-born stars Stewart Friesen, Mario Clair and Alain Boisvert. Jimmy Blewett would finish 15th and take the last qualifying spot from that Twin 20 race.
Official Finish from 358-Modified Twin 20’s:
First 358-Modified Twin 20 Finish: 1. Billy Decker, 2. Tim McCreadie, 3. Chris Raabe, 4. Brett Hearn, 5. Wayne Jelley, 6. Billy Dunn, 7. Marc Johnson, 8. Tim Fuller, 9. Erick Rudolph, 10. Jimmy Horton, 11. Bob McGannon, 12. Pat Ward, 13. Brian McDoland, 14. Jerry Higbie, 15. Jeff Rockefeller, 16. Kenny Tremont, 17. Greg Atkins, 18. Mike Maresca, 19. Ryan Forte, 20. Olden Dwyer, 21. George Foley, 22. Al Blanchard, 23. Lance Willix II, 24. Dave Flannigan.
Second 358-Modified Twin 20 Finish: 1. Carey Terrance, 2. Ronnie Johnson, 3. Stewart Friesen, 4. Mario Clair, 5. Alain Boisvert, 6. David Hebert, 7. Tim Sears Jr., 8. Duane Howard, 9. Larry Wight, 10. Ryan Arbithnot, 11. Rick Laubach, 12. Kevin Albert, 13. Donnie Corellis, 14. Willy Decker, 15. Jimmy Blewett, 16. Chad Jeseo, 17. Brett Wright, 18. Jessey Mueller, 19. Rich Scagliotta, 20. Jamie Maier, 21. Eldon Payne, 22. Yan Bussier, 23. Ryan Darcy, 24. Stephane Lafrance, 25. Brian Swarthout, 26. Chad Pierce.
Super DIRTcar Series Triple 20’s
‘Super Matt’ Sheppard took off and set a rapid pace to bring home the win in Triple 20 #1 for the Big-Block Modifieds. Sheppard beat out Rick Laubach and Billy Decker, while Tim McCreadie and JR Heffner rounded out the Top-5. Bob McGannon finished in the 12th spot and would lock himself into the last qualifying spot for the Syracuse 200 out of Triple 20 #1.
Matt Sheppard spoke with us in Victory Lane to talk about his fast Troyer 9h:
The controversy of the night came after the first Triple 20 of the evening was done. There were several cars including the race winner Matt Sheppard who had a Hoosier D400 on the right front of their cars. There was a rule modification before the Triple 20’s that was going to require that everyone have a D500 (harder compound) on the right front. Several crew members from other teams came down to look at Sheppard’s tires after the race and began asking questions of Super DIRTcar Series officials. They were particularly upset because many cars from Triple 20 #2 and #3 were turned away from the lineup area due to having D400’s strapped onto the Right Front of their cars.
By this time, the 2nd Triple 20 had already made it’s way onto the track and had taken the green flag. But when a yellow flag for an accident slowed the field on the initial start, Super DIRTcar Series Officials chose to bring the entire field of Triple 20 #2 down pit road and allow them to put their D400’s back on their cars. A short delay allowed the teams to make their tire change and get the field back lined up to take the green.
When the green flag came back out it was all Brett Hearn in the Fox Shocks Teo Pro Car. Hearn led from the green to the checkered and would secure the $4,000 victory. He would lead Vic Coffey, Billy Dunn, Peter Britten and Ryan Godown across the line. Dave Allen from Palmyra, NY took the last qualifying spot for the Syracuse 200 by finishing 12th.
Jimmy Phelps of Baldwinsville, NY took the checkered flag in Triple 20 #3 after starting from the pole. Phelps is locked into the 3rd starting spot for Sunday’s Syracuse 200 and is looking for his 1st victory in the 200. Phelps has been painfully close to victory but has yet to walk through the golden gates in Syracuse 200 Victory Lane. Phelps would lead Duane Howard, Donnie Corellis, Erick Rudolph and Larry Wight across the line in the Top 5. By virtue of finishing 12th, Jeff Heotzler grabbed the last qualifying spot for the Syracuse 200.
Jimmy Phelps had these comments after winning Triple 20 #3:
Brian Krummel put an absolute whipping on the field for the first DIRTcar Sportsman Triple 10’s. Krummel who also won the DIRTcar Sportsman Futures event earlier in the day was quite proud of his team’s efforts to get to Syracuse and be running this well. Hear more of what Krummel had to say after winning the first Triple 10:
Mike Butler would take his 04 car to the front in Triple 10 #2 and cruise away to the victory on the Moody Mile. He would tell us in Dirt Track Digest Victory Lane about his win in Triple 10 #2:
The third DIRTcar Sportsman Triple 10 had an element of drama added into the mix when the 7s of Michael Sabia, who led from the drop of the green to the checkered flag, came up light on the scales. The Sabia crew would have a lengthy plea with tech officials after being disqualified and was not available for comment.