Billy Decker won his sixth Nationwide Insurance 150 for 358 modifieds Saturday afternoon at Super DIRT Week, leading the heir-apparent to his status as king of the New York State Fairgrounds mile, Stewart Friesen, to the checkers after a stirring green-white-checkers finish.
“We had a good day, because the car was really comfortable, and lapped traffic wasn’t as bad as some years,” said Decker of his $20,000 win. “Then Stewart got down
inside us on that last restart. I didn’t think he could draw us on the frontstretch but he did, and it got way dicier than I like to have it.”
Friesen got alongside Decker as they hit turn one, but couldn’t hold the bottom line, had to lift and then slid out a groove, letting Decker
escape with his fourth consecutive win and leaving the hard-charging Canadian with a $10,000 payday.
Tim McCreadie, watching from third after an eventful day, finished there, with Tim Fuller, Ronnie Johnson, Rich Laubach, Andy Bachetti, Larry Wight, Matt Billings and Matt Williamson trailing.
Decker led off the pole on the start, and by lap 12 was lapping the tailenders with the seventh-starting McCreadie in tow.
McCreadie caught the leader in traffic on lap 25, but couldn’t pass him, then seven laps later stopped in turn four, bringing a roar from the crowd.
“We kept getting under guys, but then one lapped car let Billy go but wouldn’t give me a break, and I
finally got the left front knocked off,” said McCreadie.
That brought the major point of contention for the afternoon, as McCreadie pitted with the pits still closed, got back on the track quickly and was in the lead pack when Decker and the other leaders completed their stops after the pits opened and rejoined the field.
“I probably should have been restarting about 15th,” said McCreadie. “But they said at the pit meeting that you could pit when it was closed with a flat. They talked about making me stop again, but didn’t in the end, so here we are. If they had, we would have gotten tires and been good either way.”
The caution was extended while the proper order was debated, with the race going red briefly on lap 41 before restarting with Martin Roy, who had not pitted, ahead of Decker,
the first car out of the pits. Friesen,
David Hebert and McCreadie were next in line. Decker then got his Gypsum Express Kevlar-fired Bicknell around Roy on lap 54, and sailed away.
Friesen moved to second when Roy finally pitted on lap 73, and in the late 80-lap range drew right in on the leader, only to have Decker again turn up the wick and drive away.
In Saturday’s preliminary action, Carey Terrance won the 358-modified Last Chance race over Jeremy Wilder, Jasmine Leveillee, Brian McDonald and Chris Raabe. Billy Dunn won the 20-mile Safety Kleen Shootout, besting Tremont, Wight, Hebert, Hearn, Jimmy Phelps, Decker, Matt Sheppard, Bachetti and Danny Johnson.
The afternoon ended with the crash-marred 30-lap Sportsman Championship, a race that saw Rensselaer High School senior Bobby
Hackel start fourth and fight for the win all the way. He eventually finished second to New Jersey’s Neal Williams, with Tim Sears Jr and James Henry following him to the checkers. Scotia’s Joe Williams was 10th.
Action resumes today at 10:45 with the last chance qualifiers for the pro stocks and modifieds, followed by the pro stock championship at noon and the SEF 200 at
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