Written by Chris Moore
Photo: Tom Morris Myracenews
GEORGETOWN, DE – Money Mat.
Mat Williamson of St. Catharines, Ont., lived up to his moniker on Saturday night, claiming the ‘Melvin L. Joseph Memorial’ and the $25,000 top prize to go with.
The win was his fourth career Bob Hilbert Sportswear Short Track Super Series (STSS) Fueled By Sunoco victory, and the second worth $25,000-plus.
After a back-and-forth, see-saw battle with Mike Mahaney, Williamson emerged victorious, holding off Matt Sheppard at the end for the win.
Williamson was making his first appearance at the Sussex County half-mile oval during the three-day race weekend.
“It’s just nice to win one of these big races for Jeff and Harry (Behrent),” said an elated Williamson of his win for his car owners. “It’s nice to finish the year off strong and get some momentum going into next year.”
Following the Beyea Custom Headers redraw, Williamson fired from the outside of the front row with Elizabethtown, N.Y.’s Mike Mahaney alongside.
Mahaney fired well at the drop of the green flag, quickly racing to the front, and setting the pace for Williamson and the rest of the field to match.
Four laps in, Williamson was starting to feel pressure from David Schilling, an East Greenbush, N.Y., resident. Williamson held off Schilling’s advances, rolling the outside groove and maintaining his momentum.
Suddenly Williamson and Schilling both began to reel Mahaney in for the top spot just five laps in.
Williamson threw a slide job on Mahaney in the third turn to wrestle the lead away as the field completed the 10th circuit.
Mahaney caught a break the next lap, as Schilling had made a move for second, but the yellow came out prior to the completion of the lap, moving Mahaney back to the runner-up spot.
Mahaney took advantage of his fortune on the restart. Mahaney motored through the bottom groove and took the top spot back from Williamson, which would become a theme over the ensuing restarts.
Meanwhile, Sprakers, N.Y.’s Stewart Friesen was starting to make his presence known. The all-time winningest STSS driver slid by Max McLaughlin to crack the top five with 28 laps left to go.
Another restart came one lap later, and the race saw another lead change. Williamson this time used his top side momentum to drive back around Mahaney to take the lead.
The following green flag run would allow Friesen to slide into the third spot, working over Schilling to crack the podium. One lap later, the race slowed once again due to a slowing Rick Laubach on the back straightaway.
It was Mahaney’s turn to take advantage of a restart, as the driver of the George Huttig owned No. 35 gave Williamson a slide job off the second corner and outgunned Williamson for another change of the lead.
Williamson tried to come back at Mahaney but slipped up allowing Friesen to dive into the fray. The trio went three-wide into the third turn with Mahaney holding the lead and Friesen emerging with second.
The move did not last long however, as Friesen tried the bottom groove in the first turn to get underneath Mahaney and allowed Williamson to shoot back around him for second.
The final lead change came following a yellow with 12 laps to go. Once again, the pair battled into the first turn.
Mahaney fired off the bottom groove and cleared Williamson and moved into the top groove going into turn one. Williamson responded with a dive through the middle of the corner and slid up in front of Mahaney to take the lead away once and for all.
Sheppard raced to second and got an opportunity on the next restart one lap later.
“When he (Sheppard) rolled beside me on that last restart, I thought we were in trouble because he’s been so good and they set the bar with how good they’ve been,” said Williamson of the late race restart.
In the end, Williamson prevailed for the 25k payday.
Sheppard’s runner-up finish was enough to crown him the inaugural Halmar International ‘Elite’ Series Champion, worth $25,000 along with the Hurlock Auto & Speed Supply South Region Championship, worth $15,000.
“We’re excited, it’s been a big year for us,” Sheppard said of his season overall. “The racecar driver in me though is competitive and when we got to second, I really wanted to win the race.”
Friesen settled for a podium finish.
“Good night for our Halmar team, but we’re excited to get to the offseason and get to work and get back to winning these races.”
Ringoes, N.J.’s Ryan Godown came home with a fourth-place run, awarding him the Georgetown Speedway J.W. Brown Logging Modified $2,500 Sunoco Championship.
Mooresville, N.C.’s Max McLaughlin advanced from the 13th starting position to round out the top five.
Finishing sixth through 10th, respectively were Mike Mahaney, who made one mistake on a late race restart to lose a top five; Boyertown, Pa.’s Ryan Watt, who was the Auto Gallery of Delaware Hard Charger ($300) after starting in 19th; Middletown, N.Y.’s Anthony Perrego in the Brian Smith-owned No. 44; Johnstown, N.Y.’s Rocky Warner in the Tadd Parks-owned No. 1; and Pipersville, Pa.’s Danny Bouc concluded his stellar weekend with a top-10 in the Craig and Leslie Pondish No. 6.
Rick Eckert of York, Pa., dominated the 40-lap Super Late Model main event, leading wire-to-wire and claiming the $7,000 top prize after posting the $100 Fee for the Stockley Tavern “Gambler’s Challenge.”
While Eckert ran away to hide for much of the race, Amanda Robinson started in sixth and fell back as far as eighth, before racing back to second for a runner-up finish.
Michael Lake, Ross Robinson, who rebounded from a flat tire while running second, and Mark Pettyjohn rounded out the top five.
Boyertown, Pa.’s Logan Watt claimed his series leading third STSS Crate 602 Sportsman feature win of the season, just two weeks after winning the ‘Speed Showcase 50’ at Port Royal (Pa.) Speedway.
Watt started from the third position and quickly disposed of Ethan Bill and Eric Kormann to dominate the 25-lap affair.
Kormann, of Carneys Point, N.J., would hold on for a runner-up finish. Dagsboro, Del.’s Scott Hitchens rounded out the podium.
Newtown, Pa.’s Joe Toth came home fourth, awarding him with his second consecutive Belmont’s Garage South Region Championship and his second straight Blue Hen Dispose-All Crate 602 Sportsman Georgetown Speedway Championship.
Ethan Bill would round out the top five.
Dylan Betts won an exciting Little Lincoln feature, topping Scott Calhoun and Bunky White in an exciting battle over the 12-lap feature event.
The Smith brothers completed their sweep of the weekend, with David Smith this time winning the Delaware Super Truck feature over brother Robert Smith.
Chris Myers jumped behind the wheel of the Joe Waters No. 3 machine and dominated the field in the Delmarva Charger 12-lap feature.
The Bob Hilbert Sportswear Short Track Super Series (STSS) Fueled By Sunoco returns to action Tuesday-Saturday Nov. 8-12 for the third annual Ollie’s ‘Cajun Swing’ presented by Wegner Automotive. The entire weekend of racing can be seen live on FloRacing (www.floracing.tv) as part of the $150 annual subscription.
Georgetown Speedway, originally constructed by Melvin L. Joseph in 1949, is located at the intersection of Route 113 and Speedway Road in Georgetown, Del., just miles from the Delaware beaches and less than a 40-minute drive from Ocean City, Md.
A website is live for the speedway at www.thegeorgetownspeedway.com. Like Georgetown Speedway on Facebook, follow @thegtownspdwy on Twitter, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or contact the speedway hotline at 302.563.GTWN (4896).
MID-ATLANTIC CHAMPIONSHIP RESULTS SUMMARY – GEORGETOWN SPEEDWAY SATURDAY, OCTOBER 29, 2022
Bob Hilbert Sportswear Short Track Super Series (STSS) Fueled By Sunoco Halmar International ‘Elite’ Series Round No. 6 Feature Finish (40 laps): MAT WILLIAMSON, Matt Sheppard, Stewart Friesen, Ryan Godown, Max McLaughlin, Mike Mahaney, Ryan Watt, Anthony Perrego, Rocky Warner, Danny Bouc, Mike Gular, Ryan Krachun, Joseph Watson, Craig Von Dohren, Jordan Watson, Jimmy Horton, Danny Creeden, Alex Yankowski, Ryan Riddle, David Schilling, Cale Ross, Andy Bachetti, Jeff Strunk, Ronnie Johnson, Rick Laubach, Louden Reimert, Matt Stangle, Brandon Grosso.
Did Not Start: Austin Hubbard
Did Not Qualify: Norman Short Jr., Billy Pauch Jr., H.J. Bunting, Sean Weiss, Brad Roberts, Mike Trautschold, John Willman, Anthony Tramontana
American Racer/Lias Tire Bonuses (FREE Tire Certificates): Rocky Warner (ninth) & Joseph Watson (15th)
Auto Gallery of Delaware Hard Charger ($300): Ryan Watt (19th to seventh)
Behrent’s Performance Warehouse Bonuses ($50 Gift Cards): Ryan Godown (fourth) & Rocky Warner (ninth)
Beyea Custom Headers Redraw Bonus ($50): Rocky Warner (Redrew 12th)
Danny’s Pizza Pizzazz Halfway Leader Bonus ($200): Mat Williamson
Eibach Springs Bonus ($100 Certificate): Mike Mahaney (sixth)
Elite Welder Training & Testing Redraw Bonus ($200): Rocky Warner (Redrew 12th)
Henry’s Exhaust System Power Position ($50 Certificate): Mike Gular (11th)
Penske Racing Shocks Bonuses: Mat Williamson (winner – $150 certificate); Matt Sheppard (second – $75 certificate); Stewart Friesen (third – $50 certificate); Danny Bouc (10th – $25 certificate)
Schultz Racing Fuel Cells Bonus ($100 Certificate): Danny Bouc (10th)
Spyder Performance Filters Bonuses: Max McLaughlin (fifth – FREE Filter); Jordan Watson (15th – 50-percent off certificate)
Sunoco Race Fuels/Insinger Performance Bonuses ($50 Certificates): Matt Sheppard (second), Ryan Krachun (12th) & Andy Bachetti (22nd)
Wilwood Brakes ‘Lucky 7’ Award ($75 Certificate): Ryan Watt (seventh)
Halmar International ‘Elite’ Series Champion: Matt Sheppard ($25,000)
Hurlock Auto & Speed South Region Champion: Matt Sheppard ($15,000)
Sunoco Championship Series Georgetown Speedway J.W. Brown Logging Modified Champion: Ryan Godown ($2,500)
Super Late Model Feature Finish (40 laps): RICK ECKERT, Amanda Robinson, Michael Lake, Ross Robinson, Mark Pettyjohn, Trevor Collins, Donald Lingo, Jr., Trevor Feathers, Bryan Bernheisel, Gary Stuhler, Danny Snyder, Cory Lawler, Rob Schirmer, David Smith, Jamie Lathroum, Robert Paczkowski, Nathan Long, Todd Miller, John Burton.
JD Shuckers Georgetown “Gambler’s Challenge” ($2,000): Rick Eckert
Bob Hilbert Sportswear Short Track Super Series (STSS) Fueled By Sunoco Crate 602 Sportsman Belmont’s Garage South Region Round No. 6 Feature Finish (25 laps): LOGAN WATT, Eric Kormann, Scott Hitchens, Joe Toth, Ethan Bill, Sean Metz, Trent Willey, Dakota Kohler, Ryan Simmons, Brian Calabrese, Jordn Justice, Thomas Sherby, Kyle Smith, Jesse Hirthler, Robert Dutton, Craig Whitmoyer, Dylan Swinehart, Bryan Brobst, Tom Princiotta, David Miloczar, Brian Rodgers, Richie Walls Jr., Zac Weller, Adam White, Paul Hartwig III, Tyler James, Ryan Godown, Jr.
Did Not Qualify: Ryan Charland, Matt Smith, Mia Guy, Rick Wegner Jr., Jeff Marker, Jim DeArmitt, Brandon Banos, Justin Riley, Cody Manmiller, Aaron Headley, Greg Taylor, Shawn Ward, Greg Humlhanz, Tracy Gauger
Accurate Collision Halfway Leader Bonus ($100): Logan Watt
American Racer/Lias Tire Bonus (FREE Tire Certificate): Sean Metz (sixth)
Beyea Custom Headers Redraw Bonus ($25): Joe Toth (Redrew 12th)
Belmont’s Garage First Non-Qualifier Bonus ($100): Ryan Charland
Belmont’s Garage Hard Charger Bonus ($100): Jordan Justice (21st to 11th)
Fastline Performance Bonuses ($100 Certificates): Eric Kormann (second) & Thomas Sherby (12th)
Belmont’s Garage South Region Champion: Joe Toth ($1,500)
Sunoco Championship Series Georgetown Speedway Blue Hen Dispose-All Crate 602 Sportsman Champion: Joe Toth ($750)
Little Lincoln Feature Finish (12 laps): DYLAN BETTS, Scott Calhoun, Bunky White, Kirk Lawson, Jordan Herbert, Justin Zook, Wayne Seaton, Ryan Walsen.
Did Not Start: Mel Joseph Jr.
Delaware Super Truck Feature Finish (12 laps): DAVID SMITH, Robert Smith, Zack Phillips, Matthew Smith, Troy Hopkins, Dale Elliott, Jerry Hill, Jesse West, Scott Trice, Travis Bellew, Mackenzie Williams, Wesley Clifton, Hiram Lasher, Michelle Jackson, Dean Calhoun, Dan Streebig, Bruce Cornelius.
Delmarva Charger Feature Finish (12 laps): CHRIS MYERS, Ron Faulker, Ashley Merritt, Paul Gary, Jeff Merryman, Jay Lowman, John Healy, Robbie Strain, Cody Bottorf, Ed Ford, Rob Pyle, Craig Kelly, Billy Cummings, Geoff Carey, Justin Bottorf, Randy Merritt.