Wight Blazes to NAPA Super DIRT Week Pole

Becomes youngest polesitter in history of prestigious Super DIRTcar Big-Block Modified Series event at the New York State Fairgrounds

SYRACUSE, N.Y. – Oct. 8, 2015 – Larry Wight lived up to his nickname during Thursday afternoon’s NAPA Auto Parts Super DIRT Week Big-Block Modified qualifying at the New York State Fairgrounds.

The rising 22-year-old star known as ‘Lightning’ Larry was quickest in the 75-car time-trial session, ripping off a blazing lap of 29.154 seconds to earn the pole position for Sunday afternoon’s 44th annual Syracuse 200 that will serve as the final race on the historic Syracuse Mile.

Using a brand-new Teo-Pro/LJL-Kevlar engine combination fielded by his father John, Wight was fast right out of the gate in Thursday’s morning practice and backed it up when it counted. He was the last scheduled driver to qualify and clicked off the day’s top circuit on his second time around the one-mile oval to become the youngest polesitter in the long history of the prestigious NAPA Super DIRT Week Big-Block Modified headliner.

And after securing the pole, Wight mused that he could have gone even faster.

“I think I left a couple of tenths over in turn three just trying to make sure I hit my mark,” said Wight, who earned $1,000 from Pole Position Raceway for his effort. “The first lap I went in a little bit too hot and slid out of the bite and ended up wasting a lap, so the last lap I made sure I just kept the nose underneath me and probably left at least a 10th over there because of it.

“There’s definitely some changes we can make to make it a little more balanced, so I think we still got a lot of speed in it.

“This is definitely the fastest I’ve ever run here,” he added. “Normally it’s breaking up by now or it’s rough from the start, but the track crew did a phenomenal job this year to make sure the last year was memorable.”

Despite barely being into his 20s, Wight will make his eighth career start in the Syracuse 200 on Sunday. It will be the last race in the century-plus history of the Syracuse Mile, which will be razed by the State of New York as part of an extensive reconstruction of the Fairgrounds.

With his ever-improving comfort level racing on the big track, Wight is one driver who is sad to see the venerable facility hosting its final event this week.

“I’m definitely getting more comfortable here,” said Wight. “To be able to drive into turn one or even turn three without lifting, it definitely takes a little bit of courage, and I’ve been running here long enough now to be able to do it.

“Between myself and (Gypsum Racing teammates) Pat (Ward) and Billy (Decker), we’re able to put everything together and capitalize on all of our knowledge here. I’m a little more out of the box with some of my setups because I haven’t done them before or I’m just naive enough to try it, but sometimes – like today – it works.”

Wight’s dramatic conclusion to qualifying stole the pole position from three-time and defending Syracuse 200 champion Stewart Friesen of Sprakers, N.Y., who settled for the outside pole in Sunday’s race and a $750 prize from Dirt Track Digest. He turned a lap of 29.281 seconds in the Jeff Daley-owned Teo-Pro car that he steered to a $50,000 victory in last year’s event.

“I feel like it could’ve been better,” said Friesen, who has won the Syracuse 200 in three of the past four years. “I think we had a little bit more there. On the second lap I tried to hold it wide-open all the way through (turns) one and two and it just didn’t stick. I got up out of the rubber a little and got into the dust.

“The first lap was really, really good, so I figured I could hold it down a little bit farther and it didn’t really work.”

Carey Terrance of Hogansburg, N.Y., grabbed the third starting spot for the Syracuse 200 with his lap of 29.324 seconds. Locking into the positions 4-6, meanwhile, were 2013 event winner Billy Dunn of Watertown, N.Y. (29.353), Pat Ward of Genoa, N.Y. (29.629) and 2009 race champion Matt Sheppard of Waterloo, N.Y. (29.707).

The remainder of the 45-car starting field for the Syracuse 200 will be determined by the three 20-lap heat races on Friday afternoon, a non-qualifiers race and provisional starters. Heat race lineups will be posted Friday morning.

For more information on NAPA Auto Parts Super DIRT Week, visit www.superdirtweekonline.com.

NAPA Super DIRT Week Big-Block Modified Syracuse 200 Qualifying Results

Pos. No. Name Best Time
1 99L Larry Wight 29.154
2 44 Stewart Friesen 29.281
3 66x Carey Terrance 29.324
4 49 Billy Dunn 29.353
5 42p Pat Ward 29.629
6 999 Matt Sheppard 29.707
7 20 Brett Hearn 29.762
8 43 Keith Flach 29.936
9 91 Billy Decker 29.952
10 6 Jimmy Phelps 29.968
11 66 Duame Howard 30.095
12 39 Tim McCreadie 30.123
13 14J Jimmy Horton 30.191
14 115 Kenny Tremont 30.256
15 220 John Ferrier 30.294
16 1T Tyler Dippel 30.305
17 74 J.R Heffner 30.368
18 35 Frank Cozze 30.413
19 2RJ Ronnie Johnson 30.424
20 6m Mat Williamson 30.430
21 63 Adam Roberts 30.529
22 32c Vic Coffey 30.548
23 747 Ryan Godown 30.557
24 7 Rick Laubach 30.603
25 98 Eddie Marshall 30.623
26 5 Billy VanInwegen 30.648
27 31m Jamie Maier 30.673
28 11 Rob Bellinger 30.676
29 19 Tim Fuller 30.681
30 71 Pierre Hebert 30.699
31 14h Jeff Heotzler 30.706
32 1M Mathieu Desjardins 30.824
33 21m Bob McGannon 30.870
34 51m Dominick Buffalino 30.914
35 28p Eldon Payne 30.950
36 8 Rich Scagliotta 30.965
37 14s Brian Swartout 30.987
38 56 Vince Vitale 31.035
39 21a Peter Britten 31.040
40 34 Andy Bachetti 31.220
41 27J Danny Johnson 31.248
42 5* Tyler Siri 31.270
43 62s Tom Sears Jr. 31.296
44 1H Justin Haers 31.344
45 74d Dave Blaney 31.399
46 M40 Mark Forte Jr 31.422
47 816 Jeff Rockefeller 31.433
48 96m Todd Milton 31.502
49 88 Dave Allen 31.615
50 22c Mario Clair 31.661
51 17 Marcus Dinkins 31.821
52 151 Brian McDonald 31.880
53 48T Dave Rauscher 31.893
54 2K Mark Kislowski 31.919
55 47 Bob Sarkisian 31.925
56 O8 Mark D’Ilario 31.933
57 FX1 Frankie Caprara 31.976
58 39T Alan Therrien 31.996
59 12b Kevin Britten 32.006
60 7z Gary Tomkins 32.020
61 3a Kevin Albert 32.083
62 7s Michael Sabia 32.116
63 72 Tommy Flannigan 32.314
64 19m Jessey Mueller 32.338
65 77h Bob Hamm Jr. 32.685
66 77b Roy Bresnhan 32.841
67 13 Rick Reglaski Jr. 32.907
68 96 Mike Turner 32.924
69 24 Patrick Dupree 33.046
70 87 Neil Stratton 33.138
71 45F Steve Feder 33.240
72 1NY Greg Atkins 33.497
73 29 Kyle Redner 33.687
74 R13 Ralph McBride 33.977
75 99 Mickael Labreche 35.076

The Super DIRTcar Series and DIRTcar Racing in the Northeast Region is brought to fans by several sponsors and partners including Hoosier Racing Tire, VP Racing Fuels, Chevy Performance Parts, NAPA Auto Parts, Pole Position Raceway and Dig Safely New York. Contingency sponsors are ASI, Bicknell Racing Products, Bilstein Shocks, Brodix, ButlerBuilt, Cometic Gasket, Comp Cams, Edelbrock, FX Caprara, Fox Shox, Impact Race Products, Intercomp, JE Pistons, JRI Shocks, KSE Racing Products, Mobil 1, Motorsports Safety Systems, MSD Performance, Racing Electronics, Superflow, TNT Rescue and Wrisco Aluminum.