After dry spell since 2010, Decker charges claims his 2nd series win of 2013
Rick Young photo
BROCKVILLE, ONTARIO CAN | Oct. 21, 2013 – Billy Decker, of Unadilla, N. Y. sped ahead at Brockville Ontario Speedway Sunday, Oct. 20, to claim his second Super DIRTcar Series win of the season.
“We drew good, lucky there. We had a pretty good car early,” said Decker, who drew second for Sunday’s 100-lap feature after finishing second in his heat race. “I was able to fend everyone off – stayed in line and tried to carry enough speed to hold everybody back, yet keep a right rear tire on the car.”
Decker and his fellow competitors faced a challenging track Sunday, and after two straight days of racing in the 100 Islands RV Centre Fall Nationals, tire maintenance became a central part of the racing strategy at Brockville Ontario Speedway.
Starting in the front row next to LJL Racing teammate Larry Wight, Decker was able to power off the high side to an initial lead. Brett Hearn, who started on the outside of the second row, also found speed off the outside to pass Gary Tomkins and Wight for second.
Decker raced ahead of Super DIRTcar Series point leader Brett Hearn, trying to put some distance between his Gypsum Wholesalers No. 91 and Hearn’s Madsen Motorsports No. 20. Behind them, Wight, Tomkins and Dave Rauscher rounded out the top five while Danny Johnson sat in seventh, hoping to get a crack at the top spot.
Johnson worked his way forward in lap 10, maneuvering around the No. 151 of Brian McDonald to claim sixth and setting his sights on Rauscher in fifth. Meanwhile, Decker soon approached traffic at the rear of the field, lapping Tim O’Brien in lap 11. Heavy lapped traffic on the tight 3/8-mile oval slowed Decker down, allowing Hearn to chip away at Decker’s lead, but an undaunted Decker stayed ahead.
In lap 13, Johnson broke into the top five with a move around Rauscher. Decker cruised past Rich Scagliotta, putting both more distance and more lapped traffic between himself and Hearn in second.
While much of the field struggled to make passes in a field now laden with lapped cars, Johnson continued his progression forward, taking on Wight in lap 20 to claim third place. Decker stayed steady on the inside groove, taking lapped cars low in the track. Wight pulled up to challenge Johnson from the inside in lap 30, with Planck simultaneously challenging Wight from fifth. However, none were able to gain enough ground to make a pass.
Billy VanInwegen slowed in lap 33, but was able to pull off the track soon enough to keep conditions green. However, when the No. 66x of Carey Terrance broke in turn 3 of lap 36, the yellow flag waved and brought the field back together for a restart.
Decker lead off the double-file restart, not allowing Hearn to make a run for first from the front row. Johnson followed in third and Planck sped past Wight for fourth. Soon after, the yellow lights turned back on as Yan Bussiere spun in lap 44.
Once again, Decker stayed strong off the restart, keeping the top spot, followed by Hearn in second and Johnson in third. Further back in the field, Billy Dunn, who started twelfth, was gaining positions, passing Steve Bernard and Tomkins in one fell swoop for the seventh spot.
A multi-car pileup in lap 53 brought out the red flag, with Pete Britten and Scagliotta spun in the front stretch and Michel Chicoine, Rauscher and Tim Currier also involved. With heavy damage incurred, Scagliotta’s and Britten’s rides were towed to the pits. Chicoine was able to continue racing, as was Currier after a brief visit with the pit crew. Not involved in the wreck, Jimmy Phelps took the pause as an opportunity to check his tires and pit under yellow.
Off the restart, Hearn found some speed off the topside, and battled side-by-side with Decker for the lead for a lap. Decker was pulled ahead and maintained his position.
In lap 57, Matt Billings had issues with the No. 74, but pulled into the infield early enough to keep the field green. Matt Sheppard was making his way forward from his eleventh starting position, passing McDonald and Dunn to fall sixth behind Planck.
Decker soon reached lapped traffic again, darting past Rauscher on the inside in lap 63. However, a caution in lap 66 brought by Tomkins, who had spun off the track in turn 1, kept leaders from getting too deep into lapped cars.
The lap-71 restart brought Decker back into the lead before the yellow flag waved again in lap 75 for Bernard and Pat O’Brien, who made contact in turn 2.
After the restart, Decker kept up his pace, and, by lap 79, established a good distance between himself and Hearn. Johnson also kept up, and in lap 80 slid under Hearn on the backstretch, racing side-by-side until he finally pulled ahead in turn 3 to usurp the second spot. In lap 84, Decker again lapped cars at the rear of the field, but the traffic didn’t slow the leaders. Decker stayed ahead, with Johnson, Hearn and Planck all nose-to-tail until the checkered flag.
“It was great to get another position,” Johnson reflected on the deft maneuver around Hearn that brought him a second-place finish. “He was tight, his car was tight. He was pushing going into turn 3. Once he pushed up a little bit, I was able to get my nose underneath him and he couldn’t get back down. He pretty much had to give it up.”
McDonald finished the race fifth after starting sixth. Sheppard finished sixth, Wight seventh, Dunn eighth and Pat O’Brien ninth. A hard-charging Erick Rudolph finished tenth after starting 17th.
The Super DIRTcar Big-Block Modified Series continues with the historic Eastern States 200 at Orange County Fair Speedway in Middletown, N. Y., Sunday, Oct. 27.
Super DIRTcar Big-Block Modified Series – Event Summary
1000 Islands RV Centre Fall Nationals
Brockville Ontario Speedway
October 21, 2013
A-Main FINISH (100 laps):
1. 91 Billy Decker – Unadilla, N. Y.
2. 27J Danny Johnson – Rochester, N. Y.
3. 20 Brett Hearn – Sussex, N. J.
4. 7z Dale Planck – Cortland, N. Y.
5. 151 Brian McDonald – Cornwall, Ontario
6. 9s Matt Sheppard – Waterloo, N. Y.
7. 99L Larry Wight – Baldwinsville, N. Y.
8. 49 Billy Dunn – Watertown, N. Y.
9. 6 Pat O’Brien – Kingston, Ontario
10. 25 Erick Rudolph – Ransomville, N. Y.
11. 10v Billy VanInwegen – Sparrowbush, N. Y.
12. 17d Danny O’Brien – Iverary, Ontario
13. 55J Alan Johnson – Middlesex, N. Y.
14. 98H Jimmy Phelps – Baldwinsville, N. Y.
15. R70 Ryan Arbithnot – Renfrew, Ontario
16. 66 Kyle Dingwall – South Dundas, Ontario
17. 22c Mario Clair – Drummondville, Quebec
18. M96 Lee Ladouceur – Alexandria, Ontario
19. 54 Steve Bernard – Granby, Quebec
20. 3h Justin Haers – Phelps, N. Y.
21. 88 Tim O’Brien – Kingston, Ontario
22. 66x Carey Terrance – Hogansburg, N. Y.
23. 10c Tim Currier – Auburn, N. Y.
24. 97 Michel Chicoine – Ste-Cecile de Milton, Quebec
25. 48too Dave Rauscher – Waterloo, N. Y.
26. 84 Gary Tomkins – Clifton Springs, N. Y.
27. 21 Yan Bussiere – Drummondville, Quebec
28. 74m Matt Billings – Brockville, Ontario
29. 21a Pete Britten – Brisbane, Queensland, England
30. 8 Rich Scagliotta – Hillsborough, N. J.