SYRACUSE, NY — Story by Race Chaser Online New York Correspondent Steven Ovens — Audio conducted at SDW Media/Press Conference — Steven Ovens, Rodney Mccready & Alexis Sincerbeaux Photos — 2013 was a dream season for Billy Dunn both on the short tracks and at Syracuse. On the short tracks, Dunn won a track championship as a hired gun at the Mohawk International Raceway. At Canandaigua Motorsports Park in his own Big-Block Modified, Dunn led the points late in the season only to come up one spot short to Matt Sheppard. Then came NAPA Auto Parts Super DIRT Week XLII which changed everything.
Dunn and his Number One Speed crew struggled all week on fuel mileage and knew they weren’t as good on mileage as some of the front runners. That led the 49 crew to put into play a strategy that required them to pit for fuel twice to make sure they were still running at the end and hope others would run out of fuel.
2013 was the first year for the ‘last 25 laps under green’ rule to be enacted and that ended up being the key to the race. Several cautions littered the end of the Syracuse 200 last year and those that were close on fuel mileage did not make it to Lap 200. This played right into Dunn’s hand as he raced the Top-5 cars hard and eventually ran them out of fuel. He would cruise on to his very first Syracuse 200 victory as well as his very first Super DIRTcar Series win on the biggest stage possible- DIRT Week.
“I can’t believe this is happening. We struggled all week and struggled during the race. We knew we were going to run out of gas. I can’t believe everyone thought they could make it. We thought we would put that softer tire on and go for broke,” said Dunn in Victory Lane.
On Thursday at NAPA Auto Parts Super DIRT Week, Billy Dunn talked to ‘The Voice’ of the Super DIRTcar Series Shane Andrews about last year’s win and their hopes for 2014.
Then after the Press Conference, Dunn went out and qualified 5th fastest in Time Trials and locked himself into the Top-6 positions for the Syracuse 200. He told us about his run and what the track is doing this year.