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‘Lightning’ Larry Wight Finishes Third in the Billy Whittaker Cars 200; Best Finish since 2015

Story By: MATT NOLES / RACERSGUIDE.COM

Photos By: RACERSGUIDE.COM PHOTO STAFF

OSWEGO, NY- October 8, 2017- In the closing laps of Sunday’s Billy Whittaker Cars 200, ‘Lightning’ Larry Wight almost took home the $50,000-pay-day with a slide job on then race leader Peter Britten. Unfortunately, the young driver of the No. 99 fell to third-place due in large part to tire selection.

“I actually sealed my tires up on the long red flag at the end,” Wight said. “I just couldn’t get the car to come back to me enough to be able to run down Peter [Britten] at the end. Before that, I was able to run right on his tail and I was hoping I could pressure him enough and get him to slip up but it just didn’t work out in our favor.”

Considering Wight had to come from the back of the pack after serving a stop and go penalty earlier in the event and work his way back to the front of the field and to be in contention for the win, all was certainly not lost with his second runner-up efforts.

“The car was so good that it’s almost a shame to come up with a third-place finish,” Wight continued. “We took the lead for a moment; we were right in the dogfight so we can’t be disappointed with that. The beginning of the week we were almost a full second off the pace; we made some changes and the car reacted to it and it did all we could ask for.”

Wight did assume the lead for a moment in time with only a handful of laps remaining when he pulled the Hail Mary of slide jobs. Unfortunately for Wight, Britten was able to cross back over and drive underneath him to retake the lead.

“I was hoping that he wasn’t going to be able to cut underneath me,” With stated. “I was trying to use the lapped car as a pinch car hoping that we could keep the lapped cars side-by-side and it wouldn’t leave enough from for anyone to get around me but he was able to cut underneath me; his car had phenomenal drive on restarts and I’d have to chase him back down. We need to do a little more homework to get our car to drive off the corner like he could; maybe that would’ve prevented us from sealing the tire.”

Dirt tracks are ever-changing but on Sunday afternoon, the surface of the Oswego Speedway changed so drastically that many race teams and top drivers were thrown for a loop. In short, it became a 100-mph guessing game.

“Back in the Rolling Wheels 200 days, the track would lay rubber and at lap-80, everyone would pit for fuel and tires.” Wight explained. “They’d put a hard tire on and within 20-laps, the cars would actually peel the rubber off the track and then it’s a mad-dash to come back in and put softer tires back on so you could get out front and that’s definitely what happened today.”

The second-half of the Billy Whittaker Cars 200 became about three key factors; tire selection, tire selection, tire selection.

“We had just under 100-laps on our right rear,” concluded Wight. “And it looked like a candy shell with a seal on it and that’s what hurt us.”

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