Mat Williamson Wins Second Consecutive DIRTcar Nationals Big Gator Trophy. (Quentin Young Photo)

Williamson Wins Second Consecutive Big Gator Trophy

BARBERVILLE, Fla. — For the second straight season, Mat Williamson is taking a Big Gator trophy back to Canada.

With a win and three top five finishes, the St. Catharines, Ont. driver edged Matt Sheppard by six points to win the Federated Auto Parts DIRTcar Nationals title at Volusia Speedway Park. He also picks up $2,000 for his efforts.

“It’s very cool,” Williamson said. “We would’ve liked to race on Saturday and celebrate on the front stretch. And missing out on trying to get a little gator and a Big Gator at the same time kind of sucks. But we’ll take it. It was a good week for us.”

Williamson’s consistency was highlighted by a thrilling victory on Thursday night, where he went from fourth to the lead in the final five laps to earn the win. However, the three top five finishes have him excited for the championship season that starts at New Egypt Speedway on March 30. He said he needs that consistency to win the 2024 Super DIRTcar Series title.

“Last year, it seemed like we won more races but weren’t as consistent,” Williamson said. “It’s kind of the consistency that Matt Sheppard had when he won the Super DIRTcar Series title. It seems like we were what he was when we went up north with a first, a third, and a fifth. It says a lot about our team right now.”

In 2023, Williamson used the momentum he gained at DIRTcar Nationals and turned it into a seven-win Super DIRTcar Series season, including a third Billy Whittaker Cars 200 during Super DIRT Week.

Those two wins at Volusia last season were part of a four-race win streak, as “Money Mat” added wins at Bridgeport Speedway and Weedsport Speedway after DIRTcar Nationals. It’s something Williamson hopes to replicate in 2024. 

“It gave us huge momentum last year winning at Bridgeport, and then at Weedsport,” Williamson said. “Obviously New Egypt is different. We’ve raced there a few times, but you never know what kind of curveballs you may get racing in the spring. 

“We hope we keep the momentum rolling like last year.”