When the 2012 race season started, Billy Dunn never expected to be contending for the 358 modified points championship at Mohawk International Raceway.
Then, after missing a week early in the season, he really did not expect to be in contention.
We ran the first couple races with our own car and then we missed a week and (Laurent Ladouceur) offered us to drive his back-up car and its been a good deal so far, Dunn said.
Despite missing a week Dunn, a Watertown native, had climbed close to points leader Chris Raabe heading into last Fridays feature.
Dunn was behind by three points, but after winning the feature and seeing Raabe finish last, he took the lead in the division with 588 points. Danny OBrien is second with 554 and Raabe is third with 552.
We missed that week early so weve kind of been fighting from behind all summer, Dunn, 28, said. Our goal is just to win races. If we catch (Raabe), we do. If we dont, we dont. We handicapped ourselves by missing a week, so if we miss it by a few points its our own fault.
Dunn had not planned on competing full-time at MIR when the season started, but he definitely knows its a track suited to his skills.
Ive always liked this track, ever since we came here with the big block a couple years ago, Dunn said. Its a racey track. If you are good, you can get to the front. Its nice and wide and its been smooth every week. Its just been a track thats kind of clicked for us and it kind of fits my driving style. I enjoy it.
Dunn races on Saturday nights at the Canandaigua Motorsports Park so he can earn points to compete in DIRT series races. He is sixth in the standings at that track with one win in 16 starts.
But overall this season, Dunn had competed in 33 features with eight wins, 23 top-five finishes and 27 top-10 finishes.
Weve just been consistent, Dunn said. Weve been lucky. Everybody here has a bad race or two. Weve been fortunate enough not to have one. We have to keep running the way we have. If we can finish out the rest of the month without having one of those bad weeks, wed be in good shape.
WALLACE COMING TO POTSDAM
NASCAR Nationwide series driver, and SPEED TV analyst Kenny Wallace will be signing autographs today from 11 a.m. until 12:30 p.m. at TJ Toyota in Potsdam.
Wallace is in upstate New York because the NASCAR Nationwide and Sprint Cup series have races in Watkins Glen this weekend.
Wallace, who turns 49 on Aug. 23, has become a fan favorite not just for his on-track achievements but also for his colorful personality. He also competed at Can Am Motorsports Park last August during the Watkins Glen weekend.
LOCALS SIT IN TOP 10
Both Tim McCreadie and Tim Fuller are in the top 10 in the points standings in the World of Outlaws Late Model series with the next event taking place on Aug. 17 in Rothbury, Mich.
McCreadie is in third with 3,788 points but hes ranks second in winnings with $107,970. He has three wins in 29 starts this season and trails leader Darrell Lanigan by 260 points.
Fuller is in 10th in the standings with 3,354 points. Both drivers live in Watertown.
Fuller may not have won Tuesday nights World of Outlaws late model series race at Shawano, Wis., but he had his best finish since hooking up with a new race team.
Fuller finished third in the series race and he clocked the fastest lap in the time trials prior to the feature. McCreadie finished sixth in the feature.
Darrell Lanigan of Union, Ky., continues his hot streak on the tour. He has won six straight tour races.
Sportswriter John ODonnell contributed to this report.