Watertown native Billy Dunn was just three turns away from winning the 150-lap small-block championship Saturday at the New York State Fairgrounds in Syracuse during Super DIRT Week when he ran out of gas on the first turn of the final lap.
Brett Hearn who captured the race for the fifth time, knows how Dunn feels. Hearn ran out of gas with two laps remaining in last years Salute to the Troops championship race.
It was a heartbreaker, Dunn said after finishing the race 26th. I think we had the best car here so we had to gamble to get out front in the clean air. Id rather wreck on the first lap than run out of gas and leading on the last lap.
Dunn said he was aware that Hearn was behind him and that fuel could be a problem.
You just try and save (fuel) as much as you can, Dunn said. You dont go hard coming off the corner.
Edwards native and current Watertown resident Tim Fuller finished second behind Hearn.
My day actually turned out almost perfect, Fuller said. I mean all you do is conserve. I went out after the pit stop and I conserved and conserved. You cant pass anybody anyways you know. I just kept cruising around three-fourth throttle racing the guy behind me and you know I still had a couple of gallons in the end.
Alain Boisvert finished third and Jimmy Horton and Matt Billings finished in the top five. Watertown native Tim McCreadie, last years winner, had car problems early, went to the pits and returned to finish 10th in the race. Carey Terrance of Hogansburg finished 25th, one position ahead of Dunn.
Brad Rouse of St, Catharines, Ontario, won the 30-lap sportsman championship. Jeremy Pitts of Clifton Park finished second and Steve Barber third.
Potsdams Mike Maresca, a freshman at Clarkson University, won the sportsman Futures race on Friday. He won two features this season at the Mohawk International Raceway in Akwesasne. Maresca was Rookie of the Year at the Mohawk track.
The 42nd annual NAPA Super DIRT Week Syracuse 200 for big-block modifieds highlights action today. The race is scheduled for 2 p.m.