OSWEGO – Mat Williamson endured two years and 200 laps to defend his title in the Billy Whittaker Cars 200 to close out the 49th edition of Super DIRT Week on Sunday at Oswego Speedway.
Williamson fought off second-place Billy Decker’s attempts to pass on the final lap, while Matt Sheppard crossed the finish line in third.
Williamson, a native of St. Catherines, Ont., Claimed his second straight victory in the Super DIRT Week Grand Final after also winning the modified feature jackpot and the $ 50,000 prize in 2019.
Last year’s week-long event was canceled due to COVID-19 state warrants, and border restrictions that remain in place have barred most compatriots and those close to Williamson from joining to repeated celebration.
“A lot of people were missing here,” Williamson said in a Super DIRTcar series press release. “It didn’t seem complete. My close family friends, girlfriend, mom and everyone who should have been here – I miss them. I miss the fans. I miss people who come and tell me they’re from Niagara Falls or Chatham or somewhere near me. It’s a good thing to perform as a Canadian here at Super DIRT week.
Williamson took the lead on lap 151 following contact between leaders Peter Britten and Tyler Dippel which prompted them to briefly off the track.
He held on for the rest despite Decker’s relentless attempts to pass late for the win.
Other notable finalists in the area include Phoenix native Larry Wight, fifth, Brewerton Speedway track champion, Jimmy Phelps, 10th, Tim Fuller, of Watertown, 12th, Tim Sears Jr., Hastings native, 15th. and Michael Maresca from Potsdam to complete the top 20.
Williamson joined Decker, Stewart Friesen, Brett Hearn, Merv Treichler and Buzzie Reutimann as the only repeat drivers as winners of the Billy Whittaker Cars 200.
The victory marked the fourth for Williamson throughout Super Dirt Week, which officially began on October 6 with a parade down Bridge Street in Oswego.
The introductory walk featured a variety of DIRTcar Modifieds taking to the city streets and was highlighted by the announcement from Oswego City Mayor William Barlow and DIRTcar CEO Brian Carter that the event will return to Oswego Speedway for the celebration of its 50th anniversary next October.
Later that night, Williamson started off with a victory in the modified 100-lap DIRTcar 358 in the Super Dirt Week Kickoff Party Race at Weedsport Speedway. He won Hurricane Harvey 75 at Brewerton Speedway with the DIRTcar 358 Modifieds on October 7th.
He also won the Demon 100 at Brewerton Speedway on October 5 and entered Super Dirt Week after winning the Outlaw 200 at Fulton on October 2.
In the other main events held last weekend, Friesen won the Salute to the Troops 150 on Saturday for the DIRTcar 358 Modifieds. Friesen won the prestigious race for the first time in his career, which includes five wins in the 200-lap feature of the Super DIRTcar Series.
Friesen held off Williamson for the win as Jimmy Phelps finished third ahead of Danny Johnson and Decker.
Zach Sobotka – the 21-year-old Parish native – stormed starting 19th to win the Chevy Performance 75 on Sunday to take home the $ 4,000 prize in the main event for the DIRTcar Sportsman Modified class. Matt Janczuk and Brian Calabrese placed second and third respectively.
“I slept in my van last night because I was too afraid not to wake up with my alarm,” the excited Calabrese said afterwards, according to a Super DIRTcar Series press release. “I wanted to lie in my bed, but if my alarm clock didn’t wake me up, at least I was in my van when the guys from the team arrived at the store.”
Also on Sunday, Chad Jeseo outlasted Jason Casey and Rob Yetman to win the DIRTcar Pro Stocks 50 movie.
The only event remaining for the Super DIRTcar Big-Block Modifieds is scheduled for November 4-6 at the World of Outlaws World Finals in Charlotte, NC.