Home > Divisions > 358 Modifieds > Decker Defends Syracuse SDW Small-Block Title

Decker Defends Syracuse SDW Small-Block Title

Billy Decker
Billy Decker - Alex Bruce Photo

Syracuse, NYOctober 10, 2009 – By Tom Skibinski, DIRTcar Racing Northeast PR Director

Reigning Mr. DIRTcar Champion Billy Decker matched his Super DIRT Week success in a Big-Block on Saturday afternoon at the New York State Fairgrounds by scoring the fourth victory of his career in the headline 30th Annual ‘Salute To The Troops’ 150 Championship for 358-Modifieds.

Already a four-time titlist in the Rite Aid 200 for Big-Blocks, Decker inherited the lead when Frenchman Martin Roy made his pit stop with 99 laps posted on the scoreboard, then out-distanced another four-time winner Brett Hearn by 4.2-seconds to knock down his eighth Modified feature win on the historic Syracuse Mile.

“What a day … the Gypsum Wholesalers car was really good, I can’t thank my team enough as they got me in and out of the pits faster than anybody else today,” remarked Decker, 44, after registering his third victory of 2009 in DIRTcar Northeast’s sister Small-Block class, yet easily the biggest on the circuit this season as the Unadilla, New York veteran pocketed $20,000 for the LJL Racing no. 91 Gypsum Wholesalers/Bicknell Race Team. “That was the key to the race.”

“I’ve got a lot of confidence in my guys, and that baby (engine) was hitting on all eight (cylinders) today. Would’ve rather had to dice it out over speed at the end than lapped traffic but that’s just how things worked out for us today,” Decker said.

Finishing another three seconds behind Hearn under the checkered flag was open-wheel veteran Kenny Tremont, while teenager Larry Wight, Larry Lampman Jr., Roy, Patrick Dupree, Rich Scagliotta and Mid-State Golf Cars Rookie of the Race Marc Johnson were the last to complete the prescribed 150-lap distance.

“My wife Robin does the spotting and Scott (Jeffery, crew chief), they keep track of everybody out there. Scott still said ‘let him go, let him go, we’re just racing those guys behind us’ when (Roy) was pulling way ahead,” noted Decker, who won last year’s 150-lapper after scoring a 50-lap victory in 1992 and then hitting Salt City paydirt in the ’02 75-lapper.

Overnight rain and early morning mist put a serious soaking on the storied State Fairgrounds oval, ultimately pushing back the feature race starting time over two hours from its original 1:45 p.m. slot. Once under green it took Decker another two hours to fulfill his mission with victory number eight on the fabled Moody Mile registered in decisive fashion.

“Tomorrow’s still the big day and we’re looking forward to it even more right now,” added Decker, after joining Hearn (1989), Tremont (1996-97) and ‘Mr. Small-Block’ Pete Bicknell (1982-83, 1998-2000) as the only drivers to capture back-to-back SDW 358-Mod Championships in its 30-year history. On Sunday Decker will be looking to tie Hearn’s all-time mark of five Rite Aid 200 triumphs, with Hearn (1990) and Danny Johnson (2006) the only drivers ever to sweep Super DIRT Week Modified mains on the same weekend after Jeff Heotzler garnered the inaugural 15-lap BM&F Small-Block title in 1980.

“That’s what we came here for, the big one on Sunday, I’m sure gonna try my best. Today I just had to make sure we kept some lapped cars between us and the guys were racing. It was a really good day with a happy ending,” Decker said.

While Decker and Hearn finished 1-2, under sunny, blue skies they also began the 150-lap finale on the front row and it was pole-sitter Hearn jumping out to an early lead to pace the 39-car starting field. A handful of yellow flags flew due to flat tires and a lap three crash by J.C. Flach in turn kept the pack close during the initial stages, with the fourth caution period the most pivotal as it opened up the pit window on lap 30.

Chris Shultz shredded a right-rear tread on lap 28 and before the green lights reappeared all but 11 cars had ducked pit side either for new rubber or splash of fuel, with most prepared to go the remaining 120-mile distance. Those that didn’t were new leader Roy, the recently crowned Airborne Speedway points champion on DIRTcar NE’s only paved oval, Tremont, Quebecois Sebastien Gougeon in only his second trip to Syracuse, fellow Frenchman Mario Clair, Dave Rauscher, Dig Safely NY Last Chance Qualifier race winner Rich Scagliotta, Greg Atkins, Marc Johnson, Mark D’Ilario, Michel Chicoine and Bicknell.

When last year’s SDW Sportsman winner Erick Rudolph slid up against the turn one wall to incur a fifth slowdown on lap 65, the remaining drivers except for Roy and Rauscher idled down pit row. Roy was quickest on the clocks up to this point, with Decker second fasted and already charging into the runner-up position when the grid refired for the ensuing lap 72 restart.

The green flag dropped for just a moment as top-five runner Andy Bachetti went from high to low in a maneuver under the starter’s stand, yet there was not enough clearance as the popular Sheffield, Mass. pilot got turned around and the no. 4 Garrity Asphalt-Albraeda Waste-Steve Hough Motors/PMC ride rammed the end of the cement barrier at the end of pit lane to bring an abrupt halt to his day.

The day suddenly got even brighter for Decker when a flat right-rear tire for race rookie Doug Faulker required caution number eight on the 98th circuit. At the end of the next circuit, Roy became the final driver to stop pitside moving Decker to the point and his nearest chasers Matt Sheppard, Hearn Rick Laubach and Tim Fuller all up an additional spot in time for the extended lap 108 restart.

Only two more caution periods transpired over the next 40 laps yet the 11th and final slowdown on lap 146 for Decker’s teammate Pat Ward put the top three cars together for a final two-lap dash for the cash. While runner-up Sheppard was forced pitside with an empty gas tank on lap 144, new second-place runner Fuller suffered the same consequence as he a limped through turn two on the final lap.

The green lights stayed on as Decker cruised home for a 20 car-length victory over Hearn with 20 cars crossing under the final checkered flag and Decker’s other teammate Wight running out of gas just after ending his best run in fourth.

“We had a really good car today in open air in the beginning, then we struggled a little bit after getting through our pit stop,” noted Hearn, after nursing home an ailing machine the last 40 laps which was still good enough for a $10,000 paycheck. “We kind of rode around for a little while, knew what we had to do after that.”

“Once I was on the gas and got the back of the car to stand up a little bit, it got the fender off the tire which wasn’t all that bad. But if you ever want to be scared in a race car, that’s the race car you want to drive right there,” as he motioned toward the Madsen Motorsports no. 20 Wentworth Custom Homes-Kruger-Benjamin Moore Paints/TEO entry parked on the front chute.

“Looks like we spit out a roller, actually spit a torsion arm out of the roller and amazingly it hung on the bolt that locates the rear-end and stayed there … amazing … and the fender was just about through the tire also. The no. 91 guys had a great pit stop, they got in and out really fast and beat us out of the pits. I don’t know if that was the difference, I’m just happy to be here on the front straightaway now after all that,” added Hearn, who will start eighth on Sunday afternoon on the 38th Annual Rite Aid 200 Presented By Ferris & Snapper Mowers.

All-time Lebanon Valley Speedway Big-Block feature winner Tremont notched another top-five finish n Saturday’s premier Small-Block event, marking a rare appearance made this season by the 1999 Rite Aid 200 champion.

“Definitely didn’t have our fuel mileage down to a science, we just played it a little bit on the conservative side,” acknowledged Tremont, who won his last Syracuse 358 Championship in 199, and on Saturday was back aboard the familiar no. 115 S&S Asphalt-Rifenburg Construction/Bicknell ride. “We just really didn’t get a lot of practice time and weren’t sure of the exact mileage, so we were kinda playing a guessing game.”

“We just decided today we better go a little bit on the conservative side rather than run out of fuel. Just had limited time, not a lot of time given to adjust things on the car and make it any faster than what it was. So it was a good day. Everything went well but I’ve been on the other side of that too, like what happened to some of those guys today. Its unfortunate but it kinda worked in our favor at the end,” Tremont said.

With the Salute To The Troops 150 designated as show-up points race, current Hoosier Tire-VP Racing Fuels Mr. DIRTcar 358 leader Dale Planck elected not to start as did his car owner Carey Terrance and runner-up the past two years Danny O’Brien fro m Kingston, Ontario.

Super DIRT Week XXXVIII concludes Sunday with the prized jewel of DIRTcar Racing in the Northeast — Rite Aid 200 Presented By Ferris & Snapper Mowers — for Big-Block Modifieds paying the winner a whopping $50,000. The ‘Dig Safely New York Modified Last Chance Qualifier rewards the top-five finishers with starting positions 42-46 in the 200-mile main event with Rolling Wheels Raceway’s ‘Win And You’re In 25’ victor Chad Brachmann from Saturday night earning the 47th starting spot in the 200-lap fairgrounds finale.

Pro Stock Time Trials begin tomorrow at 11:30 a.m. with the 25-lap BNC Motorsports Pro Stock Championship the first feature race slated to go off at 1:00 p.m. A pair of Dig Safely NY last-chance qualifiers follow immediately after for Big-Block Modifieds and Pro Stocks which take the first green flag at 12noon. DIRTcar Modified and Pro Stock ‘Futures’ events kick off the first racing action at 11:00 a.m. while the curtain comes down with the 38th running of the Rite Aid 200 on Sunday afternoon at 2:45 p.m.

Mr. DIRTcar 358-Modified Series Race #10 – New York State Fairgrounds, Oct. 10, 2009 30th “Salute To The Troops” 150 Event Summary
FIN STR CAR# DRIVER
1 2 91 Billy Decker/Unadilla,NY($20,000)
2 1 20 Brett Hearn/Sussex,NJ
3 26 115 Kenny Tremont/West Sand Lake,NY
4 18 99L Larry Wight/Phoenix,NY
5 17 22 Larry Lampman,Jr./Port Colborne,ONT
6 12 90 Martin Roy/Napierville,QUE
7 31 24x Patrick Dupree/Saranac Lake,NY
8 38 8 Rich Scagliotta/Bound Brook,NJ
9 40 3j Marc Johnson/Guilderland,NY®
10 10 6 Mat Williamson/St.Catharines,ONT®
11 8 14 Jimmy Horton/Neshanic Station,NJ
12 39 13 Tony Steiner/Jamesville,NY®
13 36 97 Michel Chicoine/Ste-Cecile,QUE®
14 23 1ny Greg Atkins/Clintonville,NY
15 4 74 Tim Fuller/Edwards,NY
16 16 151kb Brian McDonald/Cornwall,ONT
17 42 14x Brian Swarthout/Beaver Dams,NY®
18 9 22c Mario Clair/St-Edmond,QUE
19 34 22j Jeremy Wilder/Fort Plain,NY
20 41 007 Roy Tarbell/Akwesasne, NY
21 3 42p Pat Ward/Genoa,NY
22 15 1w Matt Sheppard/Waterloo,NY
23 25 08 Mark D’Ilario/Smithville,ONT®
24 30 77j John Flach Jr./Ravena,NY®
25 24 35 Mike Perrotte/Elizabethtown,NY
26 5 542 Rick Laubach/Quakertown,PA
27 13 76a Ronnie Johnson/Duanesburg,NY
28 14 48too Dave Rauscher/Waterloo,NY
29 37 95 Doug Faulkner/East Greenbush,NY®
30 21 4* Tim McCreadie/Watertown,NY
31 6 4 Andy Bachetti/Sheffield,MA
32 28 98h Erick Rudolph/Ransomville,NY®
33 19 44 Sebastien Gougeon/Drummondville,QUE
34 22 45 Wayne Jelley/Pittsfield,MA
35 32 16w Lance Willix II/Theresa,NY
36 7 42 Pete Bicknell/St.Catharines,ONT
37 11 24 Chris Shultz/Pawling,NY
38 29 83x Tom Sears Jr./Clay,NY
39 20 3 Chad Brachmann/Sanborn,NY
DNS 27 77x Dale Planck/Cortland,NY
DNS 33 66x Carey Terrance/Akwesasne,NY
DNS 35 7* Danny O’Brien/Kingston,ONT

EVENT SUMMARY:
LAP LEADERS: Hearn (1-30), Roy (31-99), Decker (100-150).
TOTAL LAPS LED: 69-Roy, 51-Decker, 30-Hearn.
LEAD CHANGES: 2 among 3 drivers.
CAUTIONS: 11 for 59 laps.
ELAPSED TIME: 1 hr. 57 mins. 15 secs.
AVERAGE SPEED: 76.754 mph.
MARGIN OF VICTORY: 4.264 sec.
MID-STATE GOLF CARS ROOKIE OF THE RACE: Marc Johnson.
A-1 RACE PRODUCTS HARD CHARGER: Marc Johnson.
SUNY CANTON HARD LUCK AWARD: Tim Fuller.
SHARON’S TOY HARD LUCK: Jimmy Horton.
DIG SAFELY NEW YORK HALFWAY LEADER AWARD: Martin Roy.
GATER RACING NEWS BEST APPEARING CAR & CREW: #22j – Jeremy Wilder.
NYSSCA ‘TOP MEMBER’ AWARD: Brett Hearn.
NATIONAL PARTS PEDDLER POLE AWARD: Brett Hearn (31.712 sec/113.522 mph).
MID-STATE GOLF CARS OUTSIDE POLE AWARD: Billy Decker (31.860 sec/112.994 mph).
PULLEN’S TRUCK CENTER TWIN-20s RACE WINNERS: -rain-
DIG SAFELY NEW YORK SHOOTOUT RACE WINNER: Rich Scagliotta.
RACE ROOKIES®: 9.
ENTRIES: 58.

SUPER DIRT WEEK XXXVIII 358-MODIFIED NON-QUALIFIERS RACE
Dig Safely New York Shootout (12 Laps)
FIN CAR# DRIVER
1 8 Rich Scagliotta/Bound Brook,NJ
2 13 Tony Steiner/Jamesville,NY
3 3j Marc Johnson/Guilderland,NY
4 007 Roy Tarbell/Akwesasne, NY
5 14x Brian Swarthout/Beaver Dams,NY
6 42m Matt Pupello/East Greenbush,NY
7 r40 Ryan Forte/Blue Anchor,NJ
8 72 Tommy Flannigan/St.Catharines,ONT
9 14 Mitchell Jock/Akwesasne,NY
10 122 Scott Duso/Nassau,NY
11 36 Brett Graham/Accord,NY
12 99 Bryon Chew/Southampton,NY
13 14s Scott Duell/Ballston Spa,NY
14 44c Casey Swamp/Akwesasne, NY
DNS 32c Vic Coffey/Leicester,NY
DNS 24z Jessica Zemken/Sprakers,NY
*Top-5 advance to Salute To the Troops 150 starting grid.

Hoosier-VP Mr. DIRTcar 358-Modified Point Standings (Thru Oct. 10, 2009)
Rank No Driver Total Series Bonus Diff Wins Top 5 Top 10 Starts
1 77x Dale Planck 1,167 807 360 0 0 5 7 9
2 42 Pete Bicknell 1,115 755 360 -52 0 4 7 10
3 22 Larry Lampman 1,081 721 360 -86 1 4 7 10
4 7* Danny O’Brien 1,078 718 360 -89 0 2 6 9
5 66x Carey Terrance 1,028 668 360 -139 0 2 4 9
6 3b Chad Brachmann 983 623 360 -184 0 2 5 9
7 22c Mario Clair 942 582 360 -225 0 2 4 9
8 22J Jeremy Wilder 915 555 360 -252 0 0 2 9
9 6m Mat Williamson ® 893 533 360 -274 0 0 1 10
10 16w Lance Willix II 870 510 360 -297 0 0 1 10
11 6 Pat O’Brien 810 450 360 -357 2 2 4 6
12 08 Mark D’ilario ® 791 431 360 -376 0 0 0 8
13 72 Tommy Flannigan 703 343 360 -464 0 0 0 5
14 55 Stewart Friesen 683 323 360 -484 0 2 4 4
15 23 Laurent Ladouceur 649 289 360 -518 0 0 1 6
16 1 David Hebert 645 285 360 -522 0 2 3 4
17 007 Roy Tarbell 630 270 360 -537 0 0 1 4
18 25 Bobby Herrington 602 242 360 -565 0 0 0 5
19 8 Rich Scagliotta 591 351 240 -576 0 0 1 7
20 97 Michel Chicone 568 208 360 -599 0 0 0 3
21 m96 Brian McDonald 552 192 360 -615 0 0 0 3
22 14 Mitchell Jock 550 190 360 -617 0 0 0 1
23 13 Tony Steiner 532 172 360 -635 0 0 0 2
24 33 Mike Mahaney 525 165 360 -642 0 0 0 3
25 89b Todd Burley 522 162 360 -645 0 1 1 3
26 88 Tim O’Brien 520 160 360 -647 0 0 1 3
27 90 Martin Roy 513 153 360 -654 0 0 1 2
28 22e Eric Gauvreau 513 153 360 -654 0 0 1 2
29 44 Sebastien Gougeon 510 150 360 -657 0 0 0 2
30 80x Chris Steele 510 150 360 -657 0 0 1 3
31 61 Jean Boissonneault 507 147 360 -660 0 0 0 3
32 124 Pierre Dagenais 506 146 360 -661 0 0 0 3
33 79 Casey Swamp 502 142 360 -665 0 0 0 1
34 26R Rick Richner 502 142 360 -665 0 0 0 3
35 54 Steve Bernard 502 142 360 -665 0 0 0 3
36 46 Kayle Robidoux 501 141 360 -666 0 0 0 3
37 98h Erick Rudolph ® 500 140 360 -667 0 0 0 2
38 3 Claude Brouillard 498 138 360 -669 0 0 0 3
39 M70 Billy Cook 491 131 360 -676 0 0 0 3
40 39 Clement Therrien 490 130 360 -677 0 0 0 3
41 21K Randy Chrysler 489 129 360 -678 0 0 0 3
42 9 Mark Smoke 485 125 360 -682 0 0 0 2
43 21 Yan Bussière 480 120 360 -687 0 0 0 3
44 73 Alain Boisvert 476 116 360 -691 0 0 1 2
45 91 Billy Decker 475 475 0 -692 3 4 4 6
46 72T Todd Stewart 474 114 360 -693 0 0 0 2
47 96 Kyle Dingwall 472 112 360 -695 0 0 1 2
48 55p Perry Francis 470 110 360 -697 0 0 0 2
49 74 Frederic Gamache 468 108 360 -699 0 0 1 2
50 28 Scott Kerwin 468 108 360 -699 0 0 1 2

FINAL EVENT
The final Mr. DIRTcar 358-Modified event of the season comes in just one more week during the inaugural running of the DIRTcar Northeast Fall Nationals at Brockville Ontario Speedway, Oct. 17-18. Valuable points are on the line towards the overall Hoosier Tire-VP Racing Fuels Mr. DIRT 358-Modified Championship finale, with the biggest event scheduled in Brockville’s 40th Anniversary season.

SUPER DIRT WEEK XXXVIII EVENTS SCHEDULE: Oct. 11, 2009
*All times and events subject to change.
DAY-DATE TIME EVENT
Sun-10/11
8am Pit Gates Open
9:15am Pro Stock Driver’s Meeting (in pit building)
9:30am Rite Aid 200 by Ferris & Snapper Mowers Modified Driver and Crew Chief Meeting (in pit building)
10am Grandstands Open, Track Open for Modified ‘Futures’ Practice/Qualifying
10:15am Pro Stock Final Practice
10:30am Rite Aid 200 by Ferris & Snapper Mowers Modified Final practice
11am Pro Stock ‘Futures’ Feature
11:15am Modified ‘Futures’ Feature
11:30pm Pro Stock Time Trials (2-laps, Top-24 Qualify)
12noon Dig Safely NY Modified Last Chance Qualifier
12:20pm Dig Safely NY Pro Stock Last Chance Qualifier
12:30pm Modified Top-30 Autograph Signing under grandstand (Top 30 in Thursday Time Trials)
1pm SDW XXXVIII BNC Motorsports Pro Stock Championship (25 laps)
1:30pm Cold Pit Tour of Pit Row
2:30pm Rite Aid 200 by Ferris & Snapper Mowers Modified Championship Pre-Race ceremonies
2:45pm Rite Aid 200 by Ferris & Snapper Mowers Modified Championship (200 laps)

Mon-10/12
-TBA- Rain Date for Sunday events.

2009 Mr. DIRTcar 358-Modified Championship Series Schedule
*All events subject to change.
DAY-DATE LAPS TRACK LOCATION/WINNER
Mon-May 18 Merrittville Speedway Larry Lampman Jr.
Fri-Jul 31 Ransomville Speedway Danny Johnson
Sun-Sep 6 Cornwall Motor Speedway Carey Terrance
Fri-Sep 11 Mohawk International Raceway Pat O’Brien
Sat-Sep 12 Brockville Ontario Speedway Pat O’Brien
Sun-Sep 13 Autodrome Granby Billy Decker ($10,000 to win)
Sat-Sep 19 Autodrome Drummond Jimmy Phelps ($10,000 to win)
Fri-Sep 25 Rolling Wheels Raceway Park Billy Decker
Wed-Oct 7 Can-Am Motorsports Park rain-cancelled
Thr-Oct 8 Brewerton Speedway Tim McCreadie
Fri-Oct 9 Rolling Wheels Raceway Park rain-cancelled
Sat-Oct 10 New York State Fairgrounds Billy Decker ($20,000 to win)
Sat-Oct 17 Brockville Ontario Speedway Brockville,ONT
Sun-Oct 18 Brockville Ontario Speedway Brockville,ONT

DIRTcar Racing Northeast main office is located in Weedsport, New York on the Cayuga County Fairgrounds, home of DIRTcar All-Star Weekend in July. DIRTcar Northeast’s crown jewel event —Super DIRT Week at the New York State Fairgrounds in Syracuse— runs October 7-11, 2009 featuring Hoosier Tire-VP Racing Fuels Mr. DIRTcar Championship Series events for Big-Block Modified, 358-Modified, Sportsman and Pro Stock divisions. Ticket and schedule information is available by contacting the Weedsport office (315/834-6606) during the day or logging into www.superdirtweekonline.com anytime.

The Big-Block Super DIRTcar Series is brought to fans across the Northeast by several sponsors and partners, including series sponsors Hoosier Racing Tire www.hoosiertire.com and VP Racing Fuels www.vpracingfuels.com. Promotional partners include Dig Safely New York www.digsafelynewyork.com and the University of Northwestern Ohio www.unoh.com and the contingency sponsors are Bars Leaks www.barsproducts.com, Bert Transmission www.berttransmission.com, Bicknell Racing Products www.bicknellracingproducts.com, Bilstein Shocks www.bilstein.com, Brodix Cylinder Heads www.brodix.com, Ferris Industries www.ferrisindustries.com, Integra Shocks www.integrashocksandsprings.com, Intercomp www.intercomp-racing.com, KSE Racing Products www.kse-racing.com, Motorsports Safety Systems www.motorsportssafetysystems.com, Penske Shocks, www.penskeshocks.com, Racing Electronics www.racingelectronics.com, Rislone Oil Stabilizer www.barsproducts.com and Wrisco Industries www.wrisco.com.

Check Also

MR. DIRTcar Hometrack Championship Returns for 2017 Season

Mr. DIRTcar Hometrack Returns for Seventh Consecutive Year Mr. DIRTcar Hometrack Champion from Big-Block Modifieds, …

error: