OSWEGO — Mat Williamson endured through two years and 200 laps to defend his title in the Billy Whittaker Cars 200 to cap off the 49th running of Super DIRT Week on Sunday at Oswego Speedway.
Williamson held off attempts by second-place Billy Decker to make a pass on the final lap, while Matt Sheppard crossed the finish line third.
Williamson — s native of St. Catherines, Ontario — claimed his second straight victory in the grand finale of Super DIRT Week after also claiming the big-block modified feature win and $50,000 prize in 2019.
Last year’s week-long event was called off due to state COVID-19 mandates, and border restrictions that remain in place prevented most of Williamson’s fellow countrymen and loved ones from joining the repeat celebration.
“There was a big chunk of people missing here,” Williamson stated through a press release from the Super DIRTcar Series. “It didn’t feel complete. My close family friends, my girlfriend, my mom, and everybody that should have been here — I miss them. I miss the fans. I miss the people that come over and tell me they are from Niagara Falls or Chatham or somewhere close to me. It’s a cool thing to have happen as a Canadian down here at Super DIRT week.”
Williamson gained the lead spot on lap 151 following contact between leaders Peter Britten and Tyler Dippel that caused each to briefly leave the track.
He held on for the remainder despite hard-charging attempts by Decker to make a late pass for the win.
Other notable area finishers included Phoenix native Larry Wight in fifth, Brewerton Speedway track champion Jimmy Phelps at 10th, Watertown’s Tim Fuller in 12th, Hastings native Tim Sears Jr. in 15th, and Michael Maresca from Potsdam to round out the top 20.
Williamson joined Decker, Stewart Friesen, Brett Hearn, Merv Treichler, and Buzzie Reutimann as the only drivers to repeat as winners of the Billy Whittaker Cars 200.
The victory marked the fourth for Williamson throughout Super Dirt Week, which formally began on Oct. 6 with a parade down Bridge Street in Oswego.
The introductory march featured a variety of DIRTcar Modifieds riding down the city streets and was highlighted by the announcement from Oswego City Mayor William Barlow and DIRTcar CEO Brian Carter that the event will return to Oswego Speedway for its 50th anniversary celebration next October.
Later that night, Williamson got started with a victory in the 100-lap DIRTcar 358 Modified feature in the Super Dirt Week Kickoff Party Race at Weedsport Speedway. He won the Hurricane Harvey 75 at Brewerton Speedway with the DIRTcar 358 Modifieds on Oct. 7.
He also won the Demon 100 at Brewerton Speedway on Oct. 5 and entered Super Dirt Week coming off a victory in the Outlaw 200 at Fulton on Oct. 2.
In the other main event features held over the past weekend, Friesen claimed the Salute to the Troops 150 on Saturday for the DIRTcar 358 Modifieds. Friesen won the prestigious race for first time in his career, which includes five victories in the Super DIRTcar Series 200-lap feature.
Friesen held off Williamson for the victory as Jimmy Phelps finished third ahead of Danny Johnson and Decker.
Zach Sobotka — the 21-year-old Parish native — stormed from the 19th starting position to win the Chevy Performance 75 on Sunday to claim the $4,000 prize in the main event for the DIRTcar Sportsman Modified class. Matt Janczuk and Brian Calabrese placed second and third, respectively.
“I slept in my pickup truck last night because I was too afraid I wasn’t gonna wake up to my alarm,” the excited Calabrese said afterward, according to a Super DIRTcar Series press release. “I wanted to lay down in my bed, but if my alarm clock didn’t wake me up, at least I was in my pickup truck when the crew guys got to the shop.”
Also on Sunday, Chad Jeseo outlasted Jason Casey and Rob Yetman to win the DIRTcar Pro Stocks 50 feature.
The lone remaining event for the Super DIRTcar Big-Block Modifieds is scheduled for Nov. 4-6 at the World of Outlaws World Finals in Charlotte, N.C.