By CAMDEN PROUD
St. Catherines, Ontario native Mat Williamson had himself a fantastic run at Super DIRT Week one year ago. He won the Tuesday Night Tailgate at the Utica-Rome Speedway and finished a very close second to Matt Sheppard in the 2017 edition of the DIRTcar 358 Modified Series Camping World 150.
This year, Williamson has won virtually everywhere. He was big block and small block wins all over the northeast including at tracks such as the Merrittville Speedway, Freedom Motorsports Park, and the Lernerville Speedway.
At Super DIRT Week, Williamson has continued his momentum by qualifying top ten for both the Billy Whittaker Cars 200 and the Camping World 150.
The driver of the S&W Service Centre No. 6m followed his qualifying efforts up with a win in one of the three DIRTcar 358 Modified Series Camping World 150 Triple 25’s and then finished runner-up to Gary Lindberg in the final Triple 30 for the Super DIRTcar Series Big Block Modified Billy Whittaker Cars 200.
“I think we have a really good car for Saturday,” stated Williamson after winning the Triple 25. “For the big block, I actually think we have almost a better car. I’m looking forward to it and just hope the track doesn’t take rubber because it has been a lot of fun to race on. We’ll see what happens.”
For the last third of the Camping World 150 a year ago, Williamson stalked Sheppard for his first career victory at Super DIRT Week. He was all over Super Matt for the win, but just wasn’t quite able to get it done. He says that is something that has stuck with him for the past year. He wants it bad today.
“I would’ve rather finished tenth last year to be honest,” quipped Williamson. “It sucks knowing we probably had the better car. Matt (Sheppard) just outdrove me in the rubber. We’ll see if we can do stuff a little bit differently. You look back at what you did to cause you to not win so we will see if we can correct that and improve for this year.”
Overall, Williamson has been pleased with the track surface this week but is just hoping that it does not rubber up, noting that it did “take a little bit of rubber on the bottom” by the conclusion of the final triple 30. “There was a lot of racing today (Friday), so hopefully that doesn’t happen. You know it’s going to take rubber eventually, but you just don’t know when. Hopefully we can at least make it to about lap 100 before that happens.”
No matter the outcome this weekend, there’s no doubt that Williamson has had an excellent season. He has proven that his team can get it done pretty much anywhere. He says there is no telling what his weekly plans are for next season, but did speak of a few more races that are in the works before the 2018 season comes to a close.
“Nothing concrete yet for next year, but there are a few things in the works for the next few weeks,” mentioned Williamson. “We have an opportunity to run the Atlas Paving car in Charlotte so I don’t know if they plan on doing a little bit more before that or not. Then, the other one is the Behrent’s car on the Short Track Super Series again. We’ll do Eastern States with them and go from there. I just don’t think I can do the full Super DIRT Series with my own stuff. I’d love to, but realistically I don’t think we physically can so maybe if an opportunity comes up there we could take advantage of it.”
Williamson starts third in this afternoon’s Camping World 150 and will fire from ninth in Sunday’s Billy Whittaker Cars 200.