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TALKIN’ PRACTICE: Rudolph, Williamson, Rogers, Stefanski Leave Wednesday Practice on Top

Wednesday Practice at Oswego

Super DIRT Week’s on-track action commenced Wednesday evening with four drivers earning the early title as “fastest in town.”

The Super DIRTcar Series, DIRTcar 358 Modifieds, DIRTcar Sportsman and DIRTcar Pro Stocks each got two practice sessions around the 5/8-mile Oswego Speedway ahead of their Time Trials on Thursday.

Ending the two-and-a-half-hour practice session on top where Erick Rudolph (Super DIRTcar Series), Mat Williamson (DIRTcar 358 Modified), David Rogers (DIRTcar Sportsman) and Pete Stefanski (DIRTcar Pro Stocks).

Here’s how each played out:

SUPER DIRTCAR SERIES: Fresh off his DIRTcar 358 Modified victory at Weedsport Speedway Tuesday night, Erick Rudolph ruled the day by setting the fastest lap in both practice sessions. His overall fastest time was a 22.432 second lap.

Looking for his first Billy Whittaker Cars 200 title, the Ransomville, NY driver – and 2008 Super DIRT Week Sportsman champion – has been strong with the Super DIRTcar Series throughout the year, picking up two wins in two different cars.

Rudolph and reigning Billy Whittaker Cars 200 champion Matt Sheppard were the only two drivers to set top-five times in both sessions. Sheppard was fifth in the first session and runner-up in the second. Of Sheppard’s three ‘200’ titles, none of them have been back-to-back. He’d like that change that this year and add that missing stat to his resume.

Sheppard and two-time Billy Whittaker Cars 200 champion Mat Williamson – who was third fastest overall between the two sessions – are also in hunt for the Super DIRTcar Series title. Sheppard currently leads Williamson by 80 points.

Ronnie Davis III, who’s yet to make the Billy Whittaker Cars 200, came out of the box strong setting the second fastest time overall – from the first session. However, the second session highlighted some gremlins for the Cato, NY as he ended up 56th quick.

Top Five fastest overall times include:
2. Ronnie Davis III (22.434 seconds)
3. Mat Williamson (22.436 seconds)
4. Max McLaughlin (22.444 seconds)
5. Matt Sheppard (22.472 seconds)

DIRTCAR 358 MODIFIEDS: Williamson sat atop the mountain at the end of the two practice sessions with a 22.010 second lap in session #1 and a 22.389 second lap in session #2.

“This car is really good,” Williamson said. “It’s got a W16 under the hood. That’s the motor that’s preferred at this place. Hopefully we can keep the speed this week and be good at the end.”

While the Canadian is a two-time Billy Whittaker Cars 200 champion, he’s yet to win the DIRTcar 358 Modified Salute to the Troops 150. He’s finished second twice (2017, 2021) and finished fifth last year.

“That’s probably the one we really need to get because I’ve never won it before,” he said. “As much of my career has been around Small Block racing, it would be cool to win the Small Block race at Oswego. It’s a pretty big historic race we’ve yet to win. Hopefully we can get that done.”

Marc Johnson, who had a chance to win his first Salute to the Troops 150 last year before running out of gas also showed strong early speed, running second fastest in the first session and then third fastest in the second session. He and Williamson were the only two drivers to crack the top five in both sessions.

Top Five fastest overall times include:
2. Marc Johnson (22.103 seconds)
3. Max McLaughlin (22.117 seconds)
4. Erick Rudolph (22.178 seconds)
5. Anthony Perrego (22.261 seconds)

DIRTCAR SPORTSMAN: Of the nearly 90 Sportsman entered for Super DIRT Week 51, David Rogers ended the first day of on-track action as the fastest of them all.

His fastest time (22.045 seconds) came from the first session of the day. However, with a slicker track for the second round, he fell to 17th fastest on the board.

Defending Chevrolet Performance 75 champion Cody McPherson was second fastest overall, again, setting that time in the first session. Like Rogers, his time slowed in the second session, and he ended up 38th fastest.

Mike Fowler and Stephen Marshall were the only two drivers to show consistent speed between the two rounds. Marshall was third fastest in the first session and fifth fastest in the second. Fowler was fourth fastest in the first session and jumped to the top in the second.

While not in the top five, 15-year-old DIRTcar Sportsman up-and-comer Nicholas Root scored the sixth fastest time with a time of 22.179 seconds.

Top Five fastest overall times include:
2. Cody McPherson (22.064 seconds)
3. Stephen Marshall (22.098 seconds)
4. Mike Fowler (22.147 seconds)
5. Daryl Nutting (22.152 seconds)

DIRTCAR PRO STOCKS: Two-time DIRTcar Pro Stock 50 champion Pete Stefanski was fastest overall for the division with a time of 25.705 seconds in the first session.

He dropped to fifth fastest in the second session as the track slicked off but said that was a case of taking it easy and just getting track time. When it comes to Time Trials on Thursday, there will be nothing left on the table.

“The car feels good, hopefully we can get a good lap time tomorrow for Time Trails,” Stefanski said.

He’s another driver searching for a “first” this year. Both of his Super DIRT Week triumphs came at the Syracuse Mile. Now, he wants one at Oswego Speedway.

Stefanski earned his career best finish at “The Steel Palace” last year with his third-place finish.

Luke Horning, who is looking for his first-ever DIRTcar Pro Stock 50 title was fastest in the second session with a 26.126 second lap.

Along with Stefanksi and Horning, Jay Casey was the only other driver to set a top-five time in both sessions.

Top Five fastest overall times include:
2. Shane Playford (25.736 seconds)
3. Jay Casey (25.816 seconds)
4. Chucky Dumblewski (25.861 seconds)
5. Luke Horning (25.904 seconds)

All four divisions will Time Trial on Thursday (Oct. 5), while the DIRTcar 358 Modifieds and DIRTcar Pro Stocks will also run their Qualifying Heats – a chance for several drivers to lock themselves into Saturday’s Salute to the Troops 150 and DIRTcar Pro Stock 50, respectively.

RELATED: Thursday’s Schedule Update Features Time Trials For All Divisions

For tickets to Super DIRT Week 51, CLICK HERE.

If you can’t make it to the track, you can watch all the action live on DIRTVision.

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