Wright Earns Syracuse Sportsman Pole
SYRACUSE, N.Y. – Brett Wright might be young, but he proved he’s plenty fast circling the one-mile New York State Fairgrounds oval.
The 16-year-old driver from East Chatham, N.Y., flashed his burgeoning skills on Friday afternoon, leading the way in DIRTcar Sportsman qualifying to earn the pole position starting spot in the division’s 30-lap Championship event on Saturday.
Wright toured the Syracuse Mile in 33.605 seconds, locking himself into the headliner in just his second career appearance at NAPA Auto Parts Super DIRT Week. He finished 16th in last year’s DIRTcar Sportsman Championship 30 as a rookie competitor.
“The car felt real good out there,” Wright said after topping the speed chart in time trials. “The track was pretty fast and I just held it to the floor going in the corner and hoped for the best. Fortunately it stuck.”
A regular at Albany-Saratoga Speedway in Malta, N.Y., who expanded his travels to different tracks in his second year as a Sportsman driver, Wright was behind the wheel of a 2005 Bicknell car. He said the vintage machine suits him well.
“It works great for us,” said Wright, a high-school junior who is missing a couple days of classes to compete at NAPA Super DIRT Week. “We get a lot of help from (former Syracuse 200 winner) Kenny Tremont and he likes to run an older-style car like this sometimes too.”
Chris Herbison of Mallorytown, Ont., also secured a front-row starting position in the DIRTcar Sportsman Championship 30, earning the outside pole with his second-fastest lap of 33.619 seconds. The regular at Brockville Ontario Speedway and Cornwall (Ont.) Motor Speedway will make his third career start in the division’s feature one year after scoring a personal-best finish of fourth.
The six fastest qualifiers locked into the 30-lapper. Shane Pecore of St. Andrews, Ont. (33.649) will start third; Cody McPherson of St. Catharines, Ont. (33.717) will start fourth; John McAuliffe of Ballston Lake, N.Y. (33.733) will start fifth; and Dan Wiesner of Geneva, N.Y. (33.792) will start sixth.
A total of 54 DIRTcar Sportsman registered times in Friday’s qualifying session.