July 5, 2024 | By Mike Warren, Super DIRTcar Series PR

Mat Williamson Earns First Super DIRTcar Series Victory at Land of Legends

Photo by Joe Grabianowski

CANANDAIGUA, N.Y. — When Mat Williamson chose to race at Land of Legends Raceway weekly, he had a goal. He wanted to win his first Super DIRTcar Series Feature at the track.

The St. Catharines, ON driver accomplished that goal Thursday, leading the final 62 laps to win the Stars and Stripes Spectacular—his third Series victory in the last four races.

“To win the Super DIRTcar Series race was why we came here every week,” Williamson said. “Traditionally, we’d go and win at Weedsport and do something completely different at [Land of Legends],” Williamson said. “We never stuck to the same thing. It seems like we went to [Albany-Saratoga] after Weedsport and ran pretty good, went to Canandaigua on weekly race and run, then went to Ransomville and won with it.

“It says a lot about my guys to get the car the same between cars, and I can’t thank them enough.”

Anthony Perrego, the pole sitter, led the field to the green in the 76-lap Feature as he pulled away from Jack Lehner on Lap 1.

Behind the Montgomery, NY driver, Williamson moved forward using the outside lane to power past Jimmy Phelps and Jack Lehner to grab second by Lap 8.

Ten-time defending Series champion Matt Sheppard followed Williamson into the top three, using the outside to pass Phelps and Lehner by Lap 10.

Lehner’s top five run ended one lap later, as he slowed with fuel and ignition issues on Lap 11, bringing out the race’s first caution. That put Williamson on Perrego’s outside for the restart.

When the race resumed, Williamson thundered down the front stretch, nosing ahead of Perrego as the two entered Turn 1. Then, with a burst of speed, “Money Mat” thundered around the outside of the No. 4* to take the lead when they exited Turn 2.

Sheppard kept pace with Williamson, using the outside to move around Perrego for second on Lap 19.

Williamson drove to a two-second lead before a right rear flat tire for Zach Payne slowed the field again on Lap 35, giving Sheppard his best shot at the win.

When the green came back out, Williamson beat Sheppard to Turn 1, but the Waterloo, NY driver stayed with him as he tried to pass Williamson on the outside. Sheppard got to Williamson’s right rear quarter panel with him once in the next few laps, but just as Sheppard got close in Turn 2, Williamson pulled away.

From there, Williamson survived another caution with 24 laps to go, leading the rest of the way to earn his fourth win of 2024, and 26th of his career—tying him for eleventh all-time with Doug Hoffman.

The 2019 Series champion said his car was fast despite some handling struggles.

“I felt really good in the middle keeping the torque arms loaded,” Williamson said. “It didn’t steer very good. It was tight, but I think that’s why we were so good at getting off the corner. I could use the lap cars to judge how good I was on the bottom or the top. And when Matt’s behind you, you never stop thinking.

“This win meant a lot for the 88 team, and it’s cool to get the win.”

With the $7,600 victory, Williamson extends his Super DIRTcar Series points lead to 15 points over Sheppard, who finished second.

“Super Matt” went to a backup car after timed Hot Laps, after he said something was wrong with his primary car after Hot Laps. The change benefitted Sheppard, who drove from 10th to a redraw spot in the Heat Race, and sixth to second in the Feature.

Sheppard said his best chance to pass Williamson came after the caution on Lap 32.

“I thought I was going get him for a little bit there, but when I was trying to get by him, I overheated my right rear,” Sheppard said. “(I) blistered it all up and that was pretty much it for me.

“We obviously want to win races, but we keep knocking on the door. If we keep knocking, eventually, we’ll get there.”

Jimmy Phelps crossed the line third, earning his first podium finish of 2024.

“We fell back to fourth but climbed our way back,” Phelps said. “There were a couple of really fast cars in front of us, and we were just a spec off being able to run with those two. But all in all, that’s the goal right now, and we got to be third before we can beat them.

Peter Britten, the race’s hard charger, finished fourth after starting 22nd. Perrego rounded out the top five.

UP NEXT: The Super DIRTcar Series debuts at Thunder Mountain Speedway in Center Lisle, NY, for The Natural 77 Honoring Dale Planck on Tuesday, July 9. Drivers will battle in a 77-lap Feature paying $7,700-to-win.

If you can’t make it to the track, watch all the action live on DIRTVision, either online or with the DIRTVision app.

Stars and Stripes Spectacular (76 Laps): 1. 88-Mat Williamson[4]; 2. 9S-Matt Sheppard[6]; 3. 98H-Jimmy Phelps[3]; 4. 21A-Peter Britten[22]; 5. 4*-Anthony Perrego[1]; 6. 70A-Alex Payne[11]; 7. 99L-Larry Wight[19]; 8. 83X-Tim Sears Jr[5]; 9. 15X-Justin Stone[9]; 10. 35-Mike Mahaney[13]; 11. 25-Erick Rudolph[15]; 12. 14J-Alan Johnson[14]; 13. 27J-Danny Johnson[20]; 14. 3RS-Dalton Slack[12]; 15. 3-Justin Haers[17]; 16. 12-Darren Smith[24]; 17. 27JR-Daniel Johnson[7]; 18. 28-Michael Trautschold[21]; 19. 19W-Justin Wright[18]; 20. 91-Felix Roy[10]; 21. 14-CG Morey[23]; 22. 17-Marcus Dinkins[26]; 23. (DNF) 7Z-Zachary Payne[8]; 24. (DNF) 48T-Dave Rauscher[25]; 25. (DNF) 15-Todd Root[16]; 26. (DNF) 2-Jack Lehner[2]

Contingency Awards:
JAM Performance Fastest Hot Lap Award: Dalton Slack ($100)
Billy Whittaker Cars Quick Time Award: Dalton Slack ($100)
VP Racing Fuels Award: Tim Sears Jr. ($50)
ARP Bolts Award: Peter Britten ($50)
ASI Racewear Award: Mike Mahaney ($50)
Behrent’s Performance Warehouse Award: Mat Williamson ($50)
Cometic Gasket Award: Alan Johnson $50
Comp Cams Award: Mike Mahaney ($50)
DIG Racing Products: Justin Stone ($50)
Fox Factory Award: Peter Britten ($50)
MSD Award:  Anthony Perrego ($50)
Swift Springs Award: Larry Wight ($50)
Hoosier Racing Tire Award: Dalton Slack (Free Tire)
SRI Performance/Stock Car Steel Pole Award: Anthony Perrego ($100)

Post-race Tech: Drain plugs were pulled in the oil pan looking for titanium on the top five. All drivers passed

Videos

Track Talk Live

Track Talk Live

Mostly Motorsports Live

Track Talk Live

Mostly Motorsports Live

Track Talk Live

Mostly Motorsports Live

Track Talk Live

More Videos

Our Partners