BARBERVILLE, Fla. — Phoenix’s Larry Wight won his second-straight Super DIRTcar Series feature during DIRTcar Nationals on Thursday at Volusia Speedway Park.
Wight, who now leads the Big Gator points title at nationals, started on the outside pole. Stewart Friesen finished second, and Erick Rudolph placed third to round out the podium.
Wight has now won three of the last five SDS races at Volusia Speedway Park.
“This car has just been on a rail,” he said. “We were fortunate enough to be able to put the same setup as we did last night. The track didn’t lay rubber or anything and we were still glued to it. We’ve got something rolling so I hope we can keep it going for the rest of the week. Hopefully it will transfer to something up north.”
The 30-lap feature began with Wight hard on the gas on the outside of pole-sitter Rick Laubach. Wight passed him on the opening lap with the same move he made the night before on Brett Hearn. Wight and his team have the car right where he wants it.
“The car is good enough that I don’t even have to run the cushion. It’s a wall over in (turn) three and four,” he said. To try and run that lap after lap without losing the nose or hurt the car is almost impossible. We were able to run about halfway below it, right on the crown where it kind of flattens off. It seemed to like it.”
Friesen started fifth and quickly made his way to Wight’s tail. The race ran green until lap 13 when Williamson broke a left rear shock. The Buzz Chew Racing team quickly changed the broken part and sent the No. 88 car back into the fray where he made his way back up to 15th.
Friesen then lined up beside Wight on the lap 13 restart.
“Any time you have Stewie right behind you, you don’t want to see a restart,” Wight said. “He’s phenomenal on restarts and he can usually make stuff happen. The farther I could keep him behind me, the better.”
Friesen has had his fill of staring down Wight’s exhaust pipe, but his Halmar Racing team is adept at giving him what he needs to win.
“These guys have been working really hard,” Friesen said. “ We’ve just got nothing for them there. We’re going to take the day off and go run Daytona (Friday) and think about what we are going to do to this thing for Saturday because we are lacking a couple of 10ths there and it showed. We’ll put it back together and come up with something.”
Rudolph is ready to take a couple of steps up the podium. Although the Gator Championship points standings show him in third, he will likely overtake Friesen in points since Friesen was planning to be at Daytona on Friday.
Consistency is a huge part of Rudolph’s success.
“We had similar speed to Friesen,” Rudolph said. “We’ve had a decent car. I’m proud of our consistency this week. We’ve got two more races here and I’m looking forward to those. The team is really driving here.”
Feature finish (30 laps): 1. Larry Wight (99L), 2. Stewart Friesen (44), 3. Erick Rudolph (25R), 4. Michael Maresca (7MM), 5. Brett Hearn (20), 6. Billy Decker (91), 7. Matt Sheppard (9S), 8. Anthony Perrego (44P), 9. Billy Dunn (49), 10. Demetrios Drellos (111), 11. Jimmy Phelps (98H), 12. Peter Britten (21A), 13. Pat Ward (42P), 14. Rick Laubach (7), 15. Mat Williamson (88), 16. Jessey Mueller (19M), 17. Ronnie Johnson (30), 18. Tim Fuller (19), 19. Kyle Coffey (23), 20. Jeremy Smith (46), 21. Brian Swartzlander (83), 22. Justin Haers (3), 23. Jim Rasey (32), 24. Andy Bachetti (4), 25. Dave Rauscher (48T), 26. Billy Pauch (1).