MALTA, N.Y. — official release — Alex and Helen Bruce photo — After just a few practice laps Wednesday, July 30, Danny Johnson rolled onto the track at Albany-Saratoga Speedway and charged straight to victory in the 100-lap Super DIRTcar Big Block Modified Series feature, taking the impressive $10,000 winner’s share for The Big Show 6 Presented by Recovery Sports Grill, Ferris & VP Race Fuels.
“It was a good race, we had a good race car. I’m very happy with my hot rod,” said Johnson, of Rochester, N.Y., while celebrating his second Super DIRTcar Series win of the season. “We just have a fast hot rod and hopefully, unless something happens, it continues to be fast.”
The Wednesday, July 30, Super DIRTcar Big Block Modified Series continued a feature race that had started Tuesday, July 8. Inclement weather at the track during the race’s original running halted the action at lap 11 with Justin Haers in the lead.
Haers started from the pole when racing resumed Wednesday, pulling ahead at the lap-11 green flag to take the lead over Johnson. Johnson started to catch up to Haers as the leaders maneuvered through lapped traffic in lap 26, but Haers fended him off.
In the end, it wasn’t lapped cars, but rather a broken water pump that sealed Haers’s fate, forcing him off the track in lap 34 and bringing the first caution. Steam billowed from the Phelps Cement Products No. 3 engine as track crews hauled it to the pits, where it stayed the remainder of the race.
Johnson, restarting from the front row, shifted his focus from mounting a strong challenge against the leader to maintaining his newly earned lead, but Billy Decker, then second, wasn’t willing to make it easy for him. Decker restarted on the inside front row, and doggedly pursued the Jethro’s Backyard/Traction Grabber No. 27J through turns 1 and 2, not letting up until a lap-43 caution. After the second double-file restart of the night, Decker wasn’t quite able to maintain the speed he had the first half of the race, and Johnson cruised ahead of the field through the next 67 green laps to victory.
“We started to tighten up, and then we had that caution, and I think our hard (tires) slowed down from there,” said Decker, who stayed strong for a second place finish. “Right at a spot that you would have thought he would have faded a little bit, (Johnson) got better and we got worse.”
Matt Sheppard powered ahead from his lap-11 position to a podium finish, taking home third. Also a hard charger, Albany-Saratoga Speedway star Pete Britten placed fourth after working his way up from 11th in lap 11. Stewart Friesen was fifth, having run much of the race in third before falling to Sheppard and Britten in the last 25 laps. Rounding out the top ten are Jimmy Phelps in sixth, Brett Hearn in seventh, Billy VanInwegen in eighth, Marc Johnson in ninth and Ronnie Johnson in tenth.
The Super DIRTcar Series charges back to Ontario, Canada, for the Monday, Aug. 4, Bob St. Amand Sr. Memorial at Merrittville Speedway in Thorold. The series makes its way to Ransomville Speedway in Ransomville, N.Y., the very next day for Alex Friesen Summer Nationals before rounding out the week at Weedsport Speedway for the Thursday, Aug. 7, Hall of Fame 100. For more information about the Super DIRTcar Series, visit www.superdirtcarseries.com.
RESULTS: Super DIRTcar Big Block Modified Series; The Big Show 6 Presented by Recovery Sports Grill, Ferris & VP Race Fuels; Albany-Saratoga Speedway; Wednesday, July 30, 2014 (continued from Tuesday, July 8, 2014)
A-Main (100 laps):
1. 27J Danny Johnson – Rochester, N.Y.
2. 91 Billy Decker – Sidney, N.Y.
3. 9h Matt Sheppard – Waterloo, N.Y.
4. 14b Pete Britten – Brisbane, Queensland, Australia
5. 1wcg Stewart Friesen – Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario, Canada
6. 98h Jimmy Phelps – Baldwinsville, N.Y.
7. 20 Brett Hearn – Sussex, N.J.
8. TEN Billy VanInwegen – Sparrowbush, N.Y.
9. 3J Marc Johnson – Guilderland, N.Y.
10. 2rj Ronnie Johnson – Duanesburg, N.Y.
11. 1j Bobby Varin – Johnstown, N.Y.
12. 66 Duane Howard – Oley, Penn.
13. 115 Kenny Tremont – West Sand Lake, N.Y.
14. 18B Bodie Bellinger – Johnstown, N.Y.
15. 42p Pat Ward – Genoa, N.Y.
16. 8 Rich Scagliotta – Hillsborough, N.J.
17. 7z Erick Rudolph – Ransomville, N.Y.
18. 43 Keith Flach – Ravena, N.Y.
19. 74m Matt Billings – Brockville, Ontario, Canada
20. 8c Jimmy Cottrell – Rock City Falls, N.Y.
21. 5* Tyler Siri – Watkins Glen, N.Y.
22. 99L Larry Wight – Altmar, N.Y.
23. 35 Mike Perrotte – Plattsburgh, N.Y.
24. 673 Gary Tomkins – Clifton Springs, N.Y.
25. 3 Justin Haers – Phelps, N.Y.
26. 49 Billy Dunn – Watertown, N.Y.
27. 3 Mark Kislowski – Ballston Spa, N.Y.
28. 4* Tim McCreadie – Watertown, N.Y.
29. 41 Jim Davis – Ballston Spa, N.Y.
30. 17E Elmo Reckner – Ballston Lake, N.Y.
Did Not Start:
14 Brett Wright – East Chatham, N.Y.
816 Jeff Rockefeller – Glenville, N.Y.
6h Josh Hohenforst – Gloversville, N.Y.
98s Kolby Schroder – Staatsburg, N.Y.
36 Brian Whittemore – Pittsburg, Vt.
1 John Lutes, Jr. – Altamont, N.Y.
3d Matt DeLorenzo – Cropseyville, N.Y.
16 A.J. Romano – Johnstown, N.Y.
14z Jessica Zemken – Sprakers, N.Y.
14g Brian Gleason – Altamont, N.Y.
34 Andy Bachetti – Sheffield, Mass.