What a difference a day made for Billy Dunn of Watertown on Sunday at the New York State Fairgrounds in Syracuse.
A day after he appeared to have won the small-block championship at the state fairgrounds track until he ran out of gas on the final lap, Dunn wrapped up the Syracuse 200 and captured the grand finale to Super DIRT Week.
This time, Dunn made sure he had enough fuel as he pitted on lap 168. Then, on lap 191 misfortune happened to other drivers.
Watertown native Tim McCreadie held the lead until he sustained a flat tire, Billy Decker ran out of gas on the 191st lap. Two laps later, last years winner Bett Hearn ran out of fuel. Jimmy Phelps ran dry on lap 196 and on lap 197 Stewart Friesen also ran out of petrol.
The victory was worth $50,000 for Dunn, telling reporters afterward that he forgot what happened to him on the previous day. He also said he wasnt surprised what happened in front of him in Sundays race.
We knew what lap we pitted on and how many laps we were going to have to run under caution, Dunn said. I wasnt sure they were all going to run out and I wasnt sure how the tires were going to work out.
It was a gamble like I said. We were either going to run out of gas or we were going to finish 10th to 14th. It was worth a shot.
Dunn said as a young race fan before he became a driver he dreamed about winning the race.
I dont think that any of us havent thought about that, he said. Its awesome.
McCreadie congratulated Dunn for the victory.
Thats cool, he said after the race. I mean right now its kind of hard to muster up much but he is a good kid and I said on the radio at least he got it.
McCreadie said he didnt know what happened to one of his tires that went flat.
Its just the way it goes, he said.
Tim Fuller finished 23rd after being among the leaders for many laps.
We ran out of gas, he said. I think we were running third at the time.
Fuller said that the new rules that mandated the final 25 laps run under green condition only hurt many of the drivers.
Billy came in and filled up because those last 25 laps or whatever under green screwed everything up so.
Dunn said his car wasnt running that well early.
We had been fast on and off all week but never really steady, he said. We were a 10th to 14th place car. We werent going to make it on gas and knew if we were gonna pit for gas we were gonna put softer tires on at the end and go for broke.
Larry Wight finished second and Ryan Godown was third. Tim Hindley and Duane Howard finished in the top five.
Rob Yetman of Castelton won the Pro Stock 25-lap championship race that was held prior to the Syracuse 200.
Sid Harmer Jr. of Gouverneur was 10th, while PJ Peters of Akwesasne finished 13th. Dave Rogers of LaFargeville was 28th and Sid Harmer was 32nd.