CONCORD, N.C. — In the midst of the closest Super DIRTcar Series championship battle of all time, every timed lap and every heat race at the Can-Am World Finals is vital.

Thursday night at The Dirt Track at Charlotte saw Mat Williamson draw first blood with a Billy Whittaker Cars Fast Time Award and a heat race victory to draw even with defending series champion Matt Sheppard.

Sheppard fought hard in his heat race, but finished second to Billy Decker, which was worth four points. Williamson cruised to victory in his respective heat race and picked up five.

The Billy Whittaker Cars Fast Time Award is worth five points. It’s what Williamson needed to level off the top of the standings.

The next points opportunity came in the rescheduled Friday heat race from Thursday night’s program. Friday’s heat races began following opening ceremonies.

In a stroke of fate only racing could provide, Sheppard and Williamson started second and third, respectively, for Friday’s heat races.

Rookie sensation Demetrios Drellos was the fastest in each of his time trial groups and went on to win his heat race in convincing style. He’ll try to go 2-for-2 in the fourth heat race on Friday.

Decker drove his Gypsum Express No. 91 quickest in both of his time trial groups, and he also won his heat race. Decker will be tough to beat in the features.

Super DIRTcar Series officials have opted to cancel the two last-chance showdown races and start all 38 cars in both features.

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