SHEPPARD MAKES LATE RACE PASS OF WILLY DECKER TO TAKE HOME
SECOND WIN OF THE SEASON AT UTICA-ROME SPEEDWAY
NY-Another beautiful summer evening greeted race fans this
past Sunday evening, July 20, at the Utica-Rome Speedway on
Hi-Skor Lanes and NAPA Auto Parts night. The NASCAR Modified
main event saw Matt Sheppard make a late race pass to score
the $2,000 win while Claude Hutchings Jr. dominated the Race
of Champions Sportsman Series event to take the $1,000 top
prize. Tom Denton was the winner in the Pro Stocks while Rob
Thieme was the Pure Stock victor.
Rood and CJ Castelletti brought the NASCAR Whelen All-American
Series feature to the green flag, with Rood taking the early
lead. Jason Rood, coming from fourth, mounted a challenge
and took the lead away on lap two before a caution slowed
the field on lap three. On the restart, Willy Decker took
his machine to the outside and passed the top three to become
the leader. Further back, Larry Wight was using the same line
as the new leader and entered the top five, with ninth place
starter Matt Sheppard on his heels.
and Sheppard battled back and forth for the third position
while Decker extended a sizable lead on the field. Sheppard
won the spot before taking second from Jason Rood on lap 13.
Behind them, a three car battle for fifth was raging between
Pat Ward, Mike Mahaney, and Stewart Friesen. Ward set his
car in the middle, with Mahaney and Friesen trying every line
to try and get around him. By lap 20, Friesen had taken the
position and was working over Wight for third.
at the front, Sheppard was closing in on Decker. They were
both running the high side, but Sheppard dropped to the bottom
of the racing surface to try and take the lead. Lap traffic
was in front of the top two, and Sheppard got caught behind
slower cars, allowing Decker to escape. With seven laps remaining,
Sheppard had to once more catch Decker, who had taken the
opportunity to rebuild his lead. Using the high side in turns
one and two and the bottom in turns three and four, Sheppard
caught Decker again. With two laps left, Decker stayed on
the cushion at the top while Sheppard stuck to the bottom
groove. The two raced side by side down the backstretch, with
Sheppard taking the lead in turn three. Sheppard raced off
to take home his second victory of the season while Decker
came home in second, with Friesen, Wight, and Mahaney taking
top five finishes. Ryan Phelps, Ward, Matt Janczuk, Jason
Rood, and Steve Cummings filled out the top 10.
LANES/NAPA AUTO PARTS RACE SUMMARY
WHELEN ALL-AMERICAN SERIES MODIFIED FINISH (30 LAPS)-MATT
SHEPPARD, Willy Decker, Stewart Friesen, Larry Wight, Mike
Mahaney, Ryan Phelps, Pat Ward, Matt Janczuk, Jason Rood,
Steve Cummings, Tye-Scott Rood, Tim Mayne, Adam Roberts, Ken
McGuire, Joel Thomas, C.J. Castelletti, Jim Walsh, Aaron Jacobs,
and Dave Moyer.
Matt Sheppard Bounces Back With Big Brewerton Speedway Win
By David Medler
BREWERTON, NY July 18, 2014 (By Dave Medler)
Great race teams find a way to fight back from adversity.
Thats exactly what happened for Matt Sheppard and his
team after a DNF on July 11th. On Friday night Sheppard went
back to victory lane after coming into the night with a slim
seven point lead over Billy Decker.Sheppard
who started 13th went to the bottom of the speedway when he
noticed the top getting higher and higher as he drove into
the top-five when a caution came out with ten-laps to go in
the 35-lap feature. On the restart Sheppard used the low groove
to grab the lead from race-long leader Vinnie Vitale on lap-26.
Once in the top spot nobody seriously challenged him the rest
of the way as he earned his fourth Tracey Road Equipment DIRTcar
Modified win of the season at the Brewerton Speedway.
Vitale outgunned Jim Witko and the rest of the field to lead
the early going of the 35-Lap Tracey Road Equipment Big Block
10-Laps complete Vitale and Matt Billings showed the way out
front. A few car lengths behind the top-two Tim Sears Jr.
and Chuck Bower were in a tight fight for third and fourth
with Mike Bowman running fifth.
lap-fifteen Vitale, Billings and Bower caught the back of
the field as it tightened the race up in the top-three. Sears
and Bowman ran fourth and fifth as they kept the leaders within
in heavy traffic on lap-twenty Vitale still showed the way
as Billings started looking at other grooves on the speedway
to find a way into the lead. Bower, Sears and Bowman still
showed on the scoring tower. Behind the top-five, the heavy
hitters Matt Sheppard, Jimmy Phelps and Billy Decker were
coming to the front in the caution-free race to that point.
ten-laps to go the whole complexion of race changed. With
Billings challenging for the lead he made contact with a lapped
car that got out of shape on the front straight. The contact
gave Billings a flat right front tire to end his bid for the
the restart, with the cars ahead of him running the top of
the speedway, Sheppard found the bite he needed to shoot into
the lead on lap twenty-six. Once out front nobody had anything
for Sheppard as he drove away for the win. Vinnie Vitale,
Tim Sears Jr., Billy Decker from 17th and Jimmy Phelps from
11th finished second through fifth. Ryan Bartlett, Chuck Bower,
Larry Wight from 20th, Ryan Phelps and Chad Phelps completed
parking his FX Caprara Chevrolet/HBR/Camara Slate/No.9H/Troyer
in victory lane, Matt Sheppard talked about his hard fought
me tell you, we had a little rough string of it there. It
really feels good. We got back to victory lane last week at
Canandaigua. We have had just an outstanding race car as a
whole. We started stringing wins together but unfortunately
we got caught up in a couple wrecks the last couple weeks.
We kept our nose clean tonight to end back in victory lane
I got up to the top-five the top started getting up there
a ways. I found a pretty good groove on the bottom and I could
see I was definitely running those guys down. It would have
been interesting to see if I had enough time to run those
guys down without the yellows. Then we got a string of them
but you take them any way you can get them.
ROAD EQUIPMENT DIRTcar Modifieds 35 laps) MATT SHEPPARD,
Vinnie Vitale, Tim Sears Jr., Billy Decker, Jimmy Phelps,
Ryan Bartlett, Chuck Bower, Larry Wight, Ryan Phelps, Chad
Phelps, Tom Sears Jr., Chris Hile, Pat Ward, Matt Billings,
Mike Bowman, Matt Hulsizer, Chris Mackey, Jim Witko Jr., Rob
Bellinger, Roy Bresnahan, Matt Fink, Pat OBrien, DNS
Joe August Jr..
SERVICES HEAT WINNERS) Vinnie Vitale, Matt Billings,
Tim Sears Jr..
MATT SHEPPARD CELEBRATES HIS BIRTHDAY WITH HIS 200TH CAREER
WIN; MEEKS, RUGGLES, STEFANSKI, MINUTOLO, AND MORTON ALSO
COLLECT WINS AT CANANDAIGUA MOTORSPORTS PARK
July 12, 2014 Canandaigua, NY Matt Sheppard
celebrated his birthday in a way most racers would like to
with a win. Collection his 200thcareer victory, Sheppard
of Waterloo, NY took the lead away from Chad Homan on lap
eleven of the thirty-five lap Big Block Modified main event
and quickly pulled away from the field. Enjoying a half a
track lead at the checkered, the defending champion piloted
his HBR Troyer chassis to his third win of the season. I
cant thank my crew enough, commented Sheppard.
We tore this car up pretty bad last week. They worked
hard all week to get us back here.
Rudolph finished in the runner up position aboard his new
ride in the 7z Mike Payne owned / Page Trucking sponsored
entry. Rudolph advanced from position twelve. Gary Tomkins
came from deep in the field to post third followed by Chad
Homan and Justin Haers. A red flag on lap eight slowed the
pace as Dave Allen flipped in turn two. Allen was unharmed.
A total of twenty-two took the initial green. Steve Paine
continues to lead the points battle by eight markers over
Meeks took top honors in the Safety Awareness Solutions Sportsman
twenty-five lap main event. The Evans Mills, NY driver took
the lead from his outside front row starting position and
quickly distanced himself from the remainder of the field.
Meeks would maintain the point position through the entire
distance and claim his first win of the season aboard his
Flachs Concrete Restoration sponsored #28. Ricky Newton
finished in the runner up position followed by Kevin Ridley
in third. Paul Guererri advanced from the eleventh position
to post fourth followed by Eric Giguere who rounded out the
top five. Paul Guererri has a solid points lead over Dave
21 AND STEVE DAVOLI REAL ESTATE SUMMARY;
BLOCK MODIFIED FEATURE FINISH MATT SHEPPARD, Erick
Rudolph, Gary Tomkins, Chad Homan, Justin Haers, Billy Dunn,
Matt Billings, Peter Britten, Steve Paine, Alan Johnson, Jeff
Brownell Jr., Mike Obrien, Mike Bowman, Derrick Podsiadlo,
Dave Rauscher, Brian Sage, Gil Tegg Jr., Henry Maier, Tommy
Keyes, Eldon Payne, VinnyVitale, and David Allen. Heat Winners
Erick Rudolph, Billy Dunn, and Chad Homan
captures 2nd of season at Land of Legends
Canandaigua, NY Saturday, June 28, 2014 Matt
Sheppard of Waterloo, NY took top honors last Saturday night
in the thirty-five lap Big Block Modified feature main event.
Sheppard went from third to first with a three wide move to
the inside of Mike Bowman and Alan Johnson to take the point
position on lap seventeen. Piloting his FX Caprara Car Company
/ HBR Racing Sponsored #9h Troyer, the defending champion
would go on to win his second of the season. Gary Tomkins
advanced from sixteenth to finish second followed by Alan
Johnson and Billy Dunn. Mike Bowman rounded out the top five
after leading much of the early laps.
COUNTY FAIRGROUNDS SUMMARY;
BLOCK MODIFIED FEATURE FINISH MATT SHEPPARD, Gary Tomkins,
Alan Johnson, Billy Dunn, Mike Bowman, Steve Paine, Matt Billings,
Erick Rudolph, Vinny Vitale, Peter Britten, Justin Haers,
Dave Rauscher, Gil Tegg Jr., Dave Allen, Rich Scagliotta,
Justin Wright, Derrick Podsiadlo, Brian Sage, Jimmy Maier,
Henry Maier, Tommy Keyes, Mike Obrien, Chad Homan, Eldon Payne,
and Jeff Brownell Jr.. Heat Winners Mike Bowman, Dave
Rauscher, and Peter Britten.
Sheppard Wins Second Consecutive Super DIRTcar Series Event
30th career series win is his first-ever Big-Block win at
Story By: JULIA FOY / SUPER DIRTcar SERIES MEDIA
CORNWALL, ONTARIO- June 30, 2014- He's unstoppable; with two
Super DIRTcar Series wins to his credit already this season,
"Super Matt" Sheppard, of Waterloo, N.Y, is on a
roll. He outdueled veteran racer Billy Decker, of Sidney,
N.Y., Sunday, June 29 to claim a stunning victory at Ontario's
Cornwall Motor Speedway and solidify his point lead over Decker,
eight-time series champion Brett Hearn and the many other
drivers vying for the title. "I can't say enough about
this whole team here. Man, is this thing rolling!" Sheppard
said of the Heinke-Baldwin Racing FX Caprara Car Co. No. 9h.
"It doesn't seem to matter whether we're on a quarter-mile
high-banked bullring like Cornwall, or a bigger track like
Canandaigua; we've been good everywhere we've been. "
Starting tenth on the grid, Sheppard worked his way forward
as Australian driver Pete Britten took the initial lead. Decker
ran in second, but was quick to challenge Britten. The pair
powered off a lap-14 restart, but Britten Troyer No. 21a stumbled,
wandering too low on the track and falling to 11th place.
Decker led over Boisvert, and, by lap 19, Sheppard had already
charged to third place. In lab 25, the Phelps Cement Products
No. 3 of Justin Haers slowed to a stop on the backstretch
to bring yellow flag conditions. Larry Wight brought another
caution in lap 37, and on the restart Sheppard powered to
second place. Decker motored forward, but Sheppard was gaining
on him. Sheppard went for the pass in lap 50, and the leaders
raced side-by-side until Decker jumped too high on the cushion
in turns 3 and 4 of lap 51, causing the Gypsum Wholesalers
LJL Racing No. 91 to spin a the yellow flag to wave. "He
was pretty well gone for a long time, then it seemed like
when we got to second we were slowly able to start catching
him," Sheppard recalled of his mid-race battle with Decker.
"We were able to get a run, battled side-by-side, and
we were finally able to get around him. The three-time Super
DIRTcar Series Champion sped ahead, leading over Matt Billings
and Alain Boisvert. Shepherd seemed to effortlessly cruise
forward, putting more and more distance between the No. 9h
and the rest of the field. He struggled with lapped traffic
late in the race, but the struggle didn't slow him down. "The
lapped traffic was tough," Sheppard said. "Everyone
was running two-by-two. There wasn't a lot of room to really
go anywhere. You had to wait for them to string out and go
single-line, either high or low, so you could get by them
"That takes some patience sometimes," he continued.
"You want to get around them as fast as you can, but
sometimes that just slows you down." Despite the challenge,
Sheppard maintained his lead position through the checkered
flag to claim his 30th career Super DIRTcar Series win, as
well as his first-ever Big-Block Modified win at Cornwall
Motor Speedway. "It feels good to finally get this Big-Block
win here," Sheppard said. "It seems like we've been
in the hunt a bunch of times." Billings, of Brockville,
Ontario, finished second after wresting a position from Boisvert
off a lap-42 restart. "I didn't really think the car
was very good, but I think we just kept digging and kept on
working," said Billings, who has been making the haul
to Central New York tracks Brewerton Speedway and Canandaigua
Motorsports Park to compete against the likes of Sheppard
on a weekly basis. "Running in Brewerton and Canandaigua
weekly really puts you down a few pegs. But you've got to
keep climbing high and keep trying to reach the top."
Quebec driver Boisvert maintained his spot to claim third.
Kyle Dingwall, of Morrisburg, Ontario, finished fourth after
starting seventh and Billy Dunn, of Watertown, N.Y., finished
fifth. Rounding out the top ten are Jimmy Phelps in sixth,
Mat Williamson in seventh, defending series champion Hearn
in eighth, early race leader Britten in ninth and Gary Tomkins
in tenth. The Super DIRTcar Series continues Thursday, July
3, at Rolling Wheels Raceway Park in Elbridge, N.Y. , for
the classic Stars & Stripes Summer Super Show presented
by Dig Safely 811. Race fans can catch the action even earlier,
with the DIRTcar 358-Modified Series invading Humberstone
Speedway in Port Colborne, Ontario, for a Canada Day special
Tuesday, July 1. Both the DIRTcar 358-Modified Series and
the DIRTcar Sportsman Modified Series will be running Wednesday,
July 2, at Ransomville Speedway in Ransomville, N.Y. For more
information about the Super DIRTcar Series, visit www.sugerdirtcarseries.com.
Super DIRTcar Series Statistical Report Cornwall Motor Speedway
Sunday, June 29, 2014
1. 9h Matt Sheppard - Waterloo, N.Y. ($6,000)
2. 74 Matt Billings - Brockville, Ontario, Canada
3. 73 Alain Boisvert - Dorval, Quebec, Canada
4. 66 Kyle Dingwall - Morrisburg, Ontario, Canada
5. 49 Billy Dunn - Watertown, N.Y.
6. 98h Jimmy Phelps - Baldwinsville, N.Y.
7. 6m Mat Williamson - St. Catharines, Ontario, Canada
8. 20 Brett Hearn - Sussex, N.J.
9. 21a Pete Britten - Brisbane, Queensland, Australia
10. 84 Gary Tomkins - Clifton Springs, N.Y.
11. 40 Joel Doiron - Alexandria, Ontario, Canada
12. 21 Yan Bussiere - Drummondville, Quebec, Canada
13. 42p Pat Ward - Genoa, N.Y.
14. 99L Larry Wight - Altmar, N.Y.
15. 91 Billy Decker - Sidney, N.Y.
16. 10v Billy VanInwegen - Sparrowbush, N.Y.
17. 3 Justin Haers - Phelps, N.Y.
18. 10R Gabriel Richer - Les Coteaux, Quebec, Canada
19. 54 Steve Bernard - Granby, Quebec, Canada
20. 115 Stephane LaFrance - Casselman, Ontario, Canada
21. 22c Mario Clair - Drummondville, Quebec, Canada
22. 66x Carey Terrance - Hogansburg, N.Y.
23. 01 Chris Raabe - Napanee, Ontario, Canada
24. 151kb Brian McDonald - Cornwall, Ontario, Canada
25. 25 Erick Rudolph - Ransomville, N.Y.
26. 35 Mike Perrotte - Plattsburgh, N.Y.
27. 27J Danny Johnson - Rochester, N.Y.
28. 43 Keith Flach - Ravena, N.Y.
29. 23 Laurent Ladouceur - Alexandria, Ontario, Canada
30. 98S Rich Scagliotta - Hillsborough, N.J.
B-Main 1: Terrance, Bussiere, Ladouceur, Morin, Chicoine,
Ward, Wilson, D. Stacey
B-Main 2: Bernard, Wight, VanInwegen, Richer, Kerr, Perrotte,
Rice, W. Stacey, Scagliotta
Qualifying Heats (8 laps, top 5 transfer, top 3 redraw)
Heat 1: Raabe, Dingwall, Boisvert, McDonald, Hearn, Bussiere,
Ward, Ladouceur, Chicoine, Herbison
Heat 2: Sheppard, Williamson, Dunn, Haers, Tomkins, D. Stacey,
Morin, Wilson, Rice
Heat 3: Decker, Britten, Rudolph, Clair, Flach, VanInwegen,
W. Stacey, Wight, Bernard
Heat 4: Johnson, Billings, Doiron, LaFrance, Phelps, Scagliotta,
Richer, Kerr, Perrotte
Trials: 1. Decker 13.123; 2. Sheppard 13.157; 3. Johnson 13.194;
4. Britten 13.215; 5. Doiron 13.231; 6. Billings 13.232; 7.
LaFrance 13.266; 8. Raabe 13.296; 9. Boisvert 13.297; 10.
Bernard 13.307; 11. Flach 13.360; 12. Dunn 13.361; 13. Wight
13.362; 14. Williamson 13.364; 15. Herbison 13.380; 16. Phelps
13.382; 17. Haers 13.388; 18. Clair 13.456; 19. Ward 13.479;
20. Terrance 13.525; 21. Dingwall 13.536; 22. Rudolph 13.584;
23. VanInwegen 13.587; 24. Tomkins 13.607; 25. Scagliotta
13.625; 26. Ladouceur 13.666; 27. Richer 13.755; 28. Perrotte
13.783; 29 . McDonald 13.787; 30. Chicoine 13.869; 31. Bussiere
13.884; 32. Morin 13.988; 33. Kerr 13.988; 34. D. Stacey 14.124;
35. Wilson 14.627; 36. Rice 14.693. No Time: Hearn
Matt Sheppard Beats Tim Sears Jr. By Three-Thousandths Of
A second In Thrilling Brewerton Speedway Modified Feature
BREWERTON, NY June 20, 2014 (By Dave Medler)
In one of the most exciting finishes in recent Brewerton Speedway
memory, Matt Sheppard and Tim Sears Jr. were so close at the
finish line neither one knew who won the 35-Lap Tracey Road
Equipment DIRTcar Modified feature Friday Night. Coming into
turns three and four on the final lap, Sears who was leading
running the bottom since taking the top-spot on lap-fifteen
came up quickly on a slower car forcing him to move to the
middle of the track in four that saw his car slide up the
speedway. While Sears was gathering up his car, Matt Sheppard
was on the hammer on the top of the speedway when he caught
Sears. Sheppard was able to quickly change lanes setting up
a drag race to the finish. With everyone in the stands on
their feet, the finish was so close all the fans had their
opinion who won the race. Electronic scoring showed Sheppard
by a narrow 00.003 at the checkers. After being told his FX
Caprara Chevrolet/HBR/Camara Slate/Mohawk Northeast/No.9H/Troyer
won, Sheppard talked about the frantic last corner and finish.
Wow. I thought I had him on the outside (Turns 3-4 Final
Lap) he picked up a push and drove across the track and kind
of took my line away. I was able to get it turned quick and
cross back over and got just enough of a run. I was running
out of room with that lapped car, I just tried to stick it
up there as far as I could. I had no idea who won truthfully
it was that close. Other winners on Syracuse Haulers
Night were, Jeff Isabell Jr. and Joe Isabell, Pro Race Cars
Mod Lites Chris Fleming Nationwide Insurance IMCA Modifieds
Tim Sears Jr. NAPA Late Models Stephen Denton
Hiltons Automotive Four Cylinders. Ryan Bartlett would
lead the first five-laps of the Tracey Road Equipment DIRTcar
Modified feature before Roy Bresnahan would bolt around Bartlett
to be scored the new leader on lap-six. With Bresnahan out
front the battles behind him were two and three wide as the
heavy hitters were making their way forward till a yellow
on lap-fourteen would slow the action. On the restart Tim
Sears Jr. would drive by Bresnahan to be scored the new leader
on lap-fifteen. At the halfway point lap-eighteen all heck
would break loose in turns one and two when Ryan Bartlett
and Matt Billings made contact. Also involved was Jim Witko,
Joe August Jr., Mike Bowman. Pat Ward with nowhere to go made
heavy contact with the turn-two wall ending his night. The
yellow would fly again on lap-twenty for a slowing Ryan Phelps.
The restart would show Sears, Sheppard, Bresnahan, Matt Billings
and Larry Wight in the top-five and in contention for the
win. On lap-twenty three Sheppard would slide up the race
track falling back to fourth allowing Sears to get away as
the top cars scrambled for position when Sheppard fell back.
With ten-laps to go Sears opened a half-a-straightaway lead
as Billings, Sheppard, Bresnahan, Wight and Jimmy Phelps were
in a tight fight for positions. Sheppard moved back to second
on lap-twenty-five and was a straightaway behind Sears as
the laps clicked off to the finish. With five-laps to go Sheppard
was the fastest car on the track as he cut Sears lead
in half using different grooves to close the gap. On the final
lap Sheppard was closing quickly as Sears ran the bottom when
the pair went into three and four. Sears caught a slower car
and when he tried to go around, his car slid up allowing Sheppard
at the last moment to cross over to the bottom as the pair
were even, heading down the front straight that showed Sheppard
the winner by a blink of an eye. Matt Billings, Roy Bresnahan
and Larry Wight rounded out the top-five. Jimmy Phelps, Chuck
Bower, Chad Phelps, Chris Hile and Rob Bellinger completed
the top-ten. For Sheppard it was his third win of the season
and twenty-ninth career Brewerton Speedway win.
ROAD EQUIPMENT DIRTcar MODIFIEDS 35 LAPS) (9H) MATT
SHEPPARD, (83x) Tim Sears Jr., (74) Matt Billings, (02) Roy
Bresnahan, (99L) Larry Wight, (99J) Jimmy Phelps, (99B) Chuck
Bower, (X) Chad Phelps, (5H) Chris Hile, (8R) Rob Bellinger,
(91) Billy Decker, (3M) Chris Mackey, (62s) Tom Sears Jr.,
(16) Mike Bowman, (6) Pat OBrien, (24) Jim Witko Jr.,
(88) Joe August Jr., (16) Aaron Jacobs, (55) Matt Hulsizer,
(99) Ryan Phelps, 93) Ryan Bartlett, (42p) Pat Ward, (15)
Matt Fink, (85) Dan Vauter, (56V) Vinnie Vitale.
SERVICES HEAT WINNERS) (74) Matt Billings, (99L) Larry
Wight, (3M) Chris Mackey.
'Super Matt' Sheppard speeds to victory at New Egypt Speedway
Sheppard's win over Laubach, Pauch launches him to
Super DIRTcar Series point lead
EGYPT, N.J. - June 18, 2014 - Fending off challenges until
the very last lap, "Super Matt" Sheppard raced to
victory Tuesday, June 17, at New Egypt Speedway's Super DIRTcar
Big-Block Modified Series Pioneer Pole Buildings, Inc. 'Dirty
"It was an unbelievable race," the three-time Super
DIRTcar Series Champion said after the action-packed 60-lapper.
"Great race track, wide race track, start to finish.
There are a few guys that I think could have won that race.
Lucky enough, we were able to get to the front and hold on
till the end."
Sheppard, who made the haul from Waterloo, N.Y., started in
fifth while Heinke-Baldwin Racing teammate Jimmy Phelps, of
Baldwinsville, N.Y., took the initial lead over Tim McCreadie
and eight-time series champion Brett Hearn.
However, Sheppard's FX Caprara Car Co. / Troyer Race Cars
No. 9h was quickly gaining momentum from the green. By lap
4, Sheppard was challenging for second against Phelps, who
lost a position when McCreadie grabbed the lead in lap 2.
Sheppard claimed second as the No. 4* of leader McCreadie
was pulling away from the rest of the field. As McCreadie
started lapping cars in lap 8, Sheppard gained ground and
tenaciously chased McCreadie through lapped traffic.
In lap 21, the No. 27J of Danny Johnson spun in front of the
flagstand, coming to a stop in turn 1, to bring out the race's
first caution. Sheppard was strong on the restart, racing
side-by-side with McCreadie before falling behind after a
lap. Johnson returned tot he pits in lap 24.
Hometown hero Billy Pauch, of Frenchtown, N.J., was also strong
on the restart, charging past Phelps from fourth to third
place. He passed sheheppard on the outside in lap 26 and claimed
the lead from McCreadie in lap 29.
Behind Pauch, the battle for second place was fierce, with
Rick Laubach joining the fray in lap 34 for a three-wide challenge.
Sheppard came out ahead, taking second from McCreadie and
setting his sights on Pauch in first.
However, Pauch's racecar was fast, seeming poised to stay
in the lead through the checkered flag. Every fan in the crowded
New Egypt Speedway grandstands simultaneously gasped with
shock as Pauch's No. 1 broke town in the frontstretch in lap
46. A drive shaft issue took the No. 1 to the pits and left
Sheppard's No. 9h in the lead.
Laubach was fast on this restart, wheeling around McCreadie
and charging toward the leader. Another yellow flag in lap
56 slowed the momentum with just four laps to go. Laubach
lept into action in the final laps, nosing under the No. 9h
in turn 2 of the last lap, but unable to make the pass before
the checkered flag.
"I was leaving that bottom wide open and he was good
enough to get there, but I could get a good run off th top
of (turn) 2," said Sheppard. "I could get a good
run off the backstretch and clear him into (turn) 3, and that's
what we needed."
Laubach, who took home the trophy from last year's inaugural
'Dirty Jersey 60,' was pleased with a strong second-place
finish after an exciting race.
"That was a good race. I would have liked to have been
watching that one," Laubach said after the race. "Everyone
was running on all they had. It was just good track position,
we could move around low, high. When Matt started to see me
run the top and I realized he was going to block that from
me, then I had to change and do something. I just figured
out another groove and it was working, it just needed time.
The yellow with four to go took away probably two laps. If
I would have had that four in a row continuous, I think I
would have had it then."
After starting fourth and leading early in the race, McCreadie
finished in third. Hearn started second and finished fourth.
Billy Decker, of Sidney, N.Y., charged from his tenth place
starting position to finish fifth. Rounding out the top ten
are Larry Wight in sixth, Phelps in seventh, Billy Dunn in
eighth, Anthony Perriego in ninth and event co-promotor Stewart
Friesen in tenth.
Sheppard's victory in Tuesday's 'Dirty Jersey 60' marks his
first points win of the 2014 season, launching him past defending
champion Hearn in the point standings to the lead with 190.
The Super DIRTcar Series heads to Central New York for the
fourth points race of the season Wednesday, June 25, at Utica-Rome
Speedway in Vernon, N.Y. For more information about the Super
DIRTcar Series, including a schedule of upcoming races, visit
Super DIRTcar Big-Block Modified Series Statistical Report
Pioneer Pole Buildings, Inc. 'Dirty Jersey 2' New Egypt Speedway,
Tuesday, June 17, 2014
A Main (60 laps):
1. Matt Sheppard - Waterloo, N.Y.
2. 7 Rick Laubach - Quakertown, Penn.
3. 4* Tim McCreadie - Watertown, N.Y.
4. 20 Brett Hearn - Sussex, N.J.
5. 91 Billy Decker - Sidney, N.Y.
6. 99L Larry Wight - Altmar, N.Y.
7. 98H Jimmy Phelps - Baldwinsville, N.Y.
8. 49d Billly Dunn - Watertown, N.Y.
9. 55H Anthony Perriego - Montgomery, N.Y.
10. 1wcg Stewart Friesen - Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario
11. 14w Ryan Watt - Boyertown, Penn.
12. 76 Jimmy Blewett - Howell, N.J.
13. 323 Neal Williams - Pittsgrove, N.J.
14. 673 Gary Tomkins - Clifton Springs, N.Y.
15. 6m Matt Williamson - St. Catharines, Ontario
16. 29 Sammy Piazza - Lawrencetown, N.J.
17. 21a Pete Britten - Brisbane, Queensland, Australia
18. 126 Duane Howard - Oley, Penn.
19. 3 Justin Haers - Phelps, N.Y.
20. 10 Billy VanInwegen - Sparrowbush, N.Y.
21. 62 Matt Jester - Milford, Del.
22. 5 Jimmy Horton - Neshanic Station, N.J.
23. 7z Dale Planck - Homer, N.Y.
24. 42P Pat Ward - Genoa, N.Y.
25. 25 Erick Rudolph - Ransomville, N.Y.
26. 71 David VanHorn, Jr. - Harmony, Penn.
27. 43 Keith Flach - Ravena, N.Y.
28. 8 Rich Scagliotta - Hillsborough, N.J.
29. 18 Rich Rutski - Somerville, N.J.
30. 1 Billy Pauch - Frenchtown, N.J.
31. JR1 Rocco Infante - Robinsville, N.J.
32. 27J Danny Johnson - Rochester, N.Y.
3a Kevin Albert - Lebanon, Penn.
3d Matt Delorenzo - Cropseyville, N.Y.
3v Kevin Vaclavicek
5* Tyler Siri - Watkins Glen, N.Y.
7s Michael Sabia
10 Billy VanInwegen - Sparrowbush, N.Y.
13x P.J. Oliver
14g Brian Gleason
14h Jeff Heotzler
14k Shawn Ward
19b Brian Kressley
27 Andrew Krause - Holmdel, N.J.
27H David Hunt - Bridgewater, N.J.
33 Mike Mahaney - King Ferry, N.Y.
35 Mike Perrotte - Plattsburgh, N.Y.
M40 Matt Forte
R40 Ryan Forte
44 John McClelland
51m Dominick Buffalino
88c Frank Cozze - Wind Gap, Penn.
901 Eric Kormann - Vineland, N.J.
B-Main 1 (10 laps, top 2 transfer): Williamson, VanHorn, Infante,
Mahaney, Cozze, Scagliotta, DeLorenzo, Krause, Perrotte. DNS:
B-Main 2 (10 laps, top 2 transfer): Haers, Horton, Kressley,
Flach, VanInwegen, Kormann, Hunt, S. Ward, Albert, Sabia.
B-Main 3: Freisen, Rudolph, P. Ward, McClelland, M. Forte,
Vaclavicek, Heotzler, Buffalino, R. Forte. DNS: Siri.
Qualifying Heats (8 laps; top 4 transfer, top 2 redraw)
Heat 1: Decker, Perriego, Piazza, Dunn, Williamson, Rudolph,
Flach, Cozze, M. Forte Jr., Sabia, Planck
2: Blewett, Hearn, Jester, Johnson, Haers, VanHorn, P. Ward,
VanInwegen, DeLorenzo, Vaclavicek, Hunt
3: Laubach, Pauch, Wight, Britten, Friesen, Horton, Krause,
Heotlzer, S. Ward. DNS: Gleason.
4: Sheppard, McCreadie, Tomkins, Watt, Mahaney, McClelland,
Kressley, Scagliotta, Buffalino, Oliver
5: Williams, Phelps, Rutski, Howard, Kormann, Infante, R.
Forte, Albert, Perrotte, Siri
Trials: 1. McCreadie 16.714; 2. Blewett 16.905; 3. Pauch 16.997;
4. Decker 17.042; 5. Piazza 17.135; 6. Sheppard 17.141; 7.
Hearn 17.160; 8. Laubach 17.199; 9. Wight 17.205; 10. Perriego
17.247; 11. Phelps 17.267; 12. Britten 17.292; 13. Williamson
17.293; 14. Dunn 17.332; 15. Watt 17.334; 16. Jester 17.345;
17. Williams 17.351; 18. Johnson 17.355; 19. Friesen 17.369;
20. Tomkins 17.377; 21. Haers 17.398; 22. VanHorn 17.434;
23. Rutski 17.459; 24. Siri 17.495; 25. Kormann 17.519; 26.
Flach 17.567; 27. Mahaney 17.605; 28. Kressley 17.609; 29.
VanInwegen 17.610; 30. R. Forte 17.635; 31. Howard 17.645;
32. Horton 17.945; 33. Buffalino 17.653; 34. McClelland 17.691;
35. Albert 17.716l; 36. Rudolph 17.730; 37. Planck 17.753;
38. DeLorenzo 17.787; 39. P. Ward 17.829; 40. Cozze 17.849;
41. Krause 17.888; 42. Heotzler 17.909; 43. Vaclavicek 17.933;
44. M. Forte 17.995; 45. Hunt 18.031; 46. Perrotte 18.042;
47. Sabia 18.199; 48. S. Ward 18.566; 49. Infante 18.658;
50. Scagliotta 19.522
Brewerton Speedway Modified Gold Go To Vinnie Vitale And Matt
BREWERTON, NY June 6, 2014 (By Dave Medler)
Vinnie Vitale made the decision to call the Brewerton Speedway
his Friday night home in 2014 pay off. Vitale led every lap
in the May 9th 35-Lap Tracey Road Equipment DIRTcar Modified
holdover feature. The win was anything but easy as some of
the tracks heavy hitters took their shots at Vitale
through the entire distance as he fought off all comers for
the big win.
the nightcap 35-Lap Modified feature, Larry Wight and Matt
Sheppard put on a classic battle at the end of the race that
fans wont soon forget. It involved two and three wide
racing and traffic at the back of the field saw Sheppard lead
only the last lap and-a-half in the narrow win.
winners on Tracey Road Equipment night were Chris Fleming
Nationwide Insurance IMCA Modifieds, Joe Isabell (Open)
and Clayton Brewer III Pro Race Cars Mod Lites, Chuck
Powelczyk Hiltons Automotive Four Cylinders and Steve
Arbuthnot Midstate Vintage Stock Car Club.
the May 9th holdover 35-Lap Tracey Road Equipment DIRTcar
Modified feature, Vinnie Vitale would open a few car length
lead over Tim Sears Jr., Billy Decker, Pat Ward and Jimmy
Phelps before a yellow that involved Roy Bresnahan and Joe
August Jr. in turn three on lap six. On the restart, Decker
and Phelps moved into second and third as they set their sights
lap ten, Vitale and Phelps showed at the front of the field
with Ward, Decker and Pat OBrien right there just a
couple cars behind the top-two.
the halfway point, Vitale, Phelps and Ward were in a three
car race for the lead as they started to catch the back of
the field. The caution would come out on lap twenty and twenty-three
to erase lapped traffic being part of the race at the front.
the remainder of the race Pat Ward and Billy Decker would
have their shots at Vitale but to no avail. Vitale never changed
his lane most of the race and was first under the checkers.
Billy Decker, Jimmy Phelps, Pat Ward and Matt Sheppard finished
second through fifth. Larry Wight, Rob Bellinger, Matt Billings,
Ryan Phelps and Chris Hile completed the top-ten.
it rained out (May 9) thats all Ive been thinking
about and whats going to happen playing it in my head
figuring out what Billy (Decker) was going to do and all that,
said Vinnie Vitale after parking his Rochester Optical/No.56V
in victory lane.
been having problems with the car the last couple weeks. We
kind of found a problem so hopefully that definitely worked.
related that the key to his win was knowing the topside wasnt
all that great and he wasnt leaving the bottom. The
only way they were going to get by him was to his outside.
Bower jumped out to the early lead in the second 35-Lap Modified
feature and opened a 10-car advantage over the first ten laps.
On lap eleven Rob Bellinger and Larry Wight moved into second
and third and took off after Bower.
lap twelve, Bellinger running the top, took the lead from
Bower then suddenly in turns three and four to be scored in
the top-spot on lap thirteen, Bellinger suddenly slowed and
stopped on the top of turn four with mechanical problems ending
the restart Wight blasted into the lead using the top of the
speedway as he drove by Bower.
the halfway point Wight opened a quarter of a straightaway
lead while Bower and Chad Phelps fought for second. Jim Witko
and Matt Sheppard showed in the top-five on the scoring tower.
ten laps to go Wight was still running in the top-spot using
the top groove. Bower, Phelps and Sheppard ran nose to tail
and side by side for second through fourth with Chris Hile
lap twenty-eight Sheppard grabbed the second spot and set
his sights on Wight as the laps clicked off towards the checkers.
With Wight running the top and Sheppard on the bottom the
pair ran side by side while getting through traffic. With
a lap and-a-half left, a back-marker slowed Wights momentum
down just enough to let Sheppard shoot by and go onto the
win over Wight. Chuck Bower, Chad Phelps and Chris Hile rounded
out the top-five. Billy Decker, Ryan Phelps, Tim Sears Jr.,
Jimmy Phelps and Jim Witko completed the top-ten.
tell you what that was wild, Matt Sheppard said after
parking his FX Caprara Chvy/HBR/Mohawk Northeast/ No.9H/Troyer
in victory lane. I knew we were running em down, I knew
we were better. We got in them lapped cars and I knew the
laps were running out. I saw the five-laps to go and thought
man, were running out of time.
talked about the lapped cars that made the difference. I
caught one and it kind of hurt me. He (Larry Wight) caught
one that was in his lane. I knew we would be alright if we
could get by him. Those laps were winding down in a hurry.
ROAD EQUIPMENT DIRTcar MODIFIED 5/9 Holdover (35 LAPS)
(56V) VINNIE VITALE, (91) Billy Decker, (99J) Jimmy
Phelps, (42p) Pat Ward, (9H) Matt Sheppard, (99L) Larry Wight,
(8R) Rob Bellinger, (74) Matt Billings, (99) Ryan Phelps,
(5H) Chris Hile, (85) Dan Vauter, (6) Pat OBrien, (15)
Matt Fink, (02) Roy Bresnahan, (3M) Chris Mackey, (X) Chad
Phelps, (83x) Tim Sears Jr., (99b) Chuck Bower, (24) Jim Witko
Jr. (55) Matt Hulsizer, (07) Tim Kerr, (93) Ryan Bartlett,
(88) Joe August Jr., DNS (62s) Tom Sears Jr., (1x) Willy Decker,
(7z) Dale Planck.
POWER SEAL HARD CHARGER) Matt Sheppard.
(TRACEY ROAD EQUIPMENT DIRTcar MODIFIEDS 35 LAPS) (9H)
Matt Sheppard, (99L) Larry Wight, (99b) Chuck Bower, (X) Chad
Phelps, (5H) Chris Hile, (91) Billy Decker, (99) Ryan Phelps,
(83x) Tim Sears Jr., (99J) Jimmy Phelps, (24) Jim Witko Jr.,
(3M) Chris Mackey, (42p) Pat Ward, (74) Matt Billings, (85)
Dan Vauter, (15) Matt Fink, (6) Pat OBrien, (R70) Ryan
Arbuthnot, (55) Matt Hulsizer, (56v) Vinnie Vitale, (02) Roy
Bresnahan, (16) Mike Bowman, (8R) Rob Bellinger, (93) Ryan
Bartlett, (07) Tim Kerr, (88) Joe August Jr..
SERVICES HEAT WINNERS) Chuck Bower, Chris Mackey, Billy
MATT SHEPPARD DOMINATES TO SCORE WIN AT UTICA-ROME SPEEDWAY
VERNON, NY- Despite leading the points in the NASCAR
Modified division, Matt Sheppards season hadnt
started off at the Utica-Rome Speedway the way he had hoped
as he was unable to find victory at this point of the season.
That all ended this past Sunday, June 8, as he put on a near
dominant performance on Williams Tire & Auto night to
grab the win and extend his slim point lead in the division.
In the other divisions, Heath Carney came away with the win
in the Sportsman while Tom Denton took home another Pro Stock
victory. Chuck Cushman was the winner in the Pure Stocks.
the field came to the green flag for the NASCAR Whelen All-American
Series Modified feature, Tim Mayne and Jason Rood were on
the front row with Mayne powering to the lead. Rood surrendered
the runner up spot to Mike Mahaney, who used the outside to
jump up from his ninth starting spot. Mahaney put pressure
on the leading Mayne and took the top position one lap later.
Matt Sheppard had also made his moves early, taking second
on lap six after starting 11th.
A caution slowed the field at the beginning of lap seven,
which brought Mahaney back to the rest of the pack. On the
restart, Sheppard used it to his advantage. He used the top
to make the pass for first before dropping to his preferred
line on the bottom of the racing surface. Meanwhile, defending
track champion Stewart Friesen was mounting a charge from
his 14th starting spot, finding himself in second and trying
to chase down the runaway Sheppard. The leader had almost
a full straightaway lead on the field, and had begun to catch
the rear of the field.
Another yellow flag would be thrown for the on the final lap
for a spun car, which would set up some late race drama. The
caution put Friesen on Sheppards rear bumper when they
came to the final green flag; Sheppard put an end to any late
race heroics by Friesen as he drove off from the previous
weeks winner on the start. He built a sizable lead down
the backstretch, and took home his first win of the season.
Friesens three race winning streak came to an end as
he settled for second. Larry Wight, Mahaney, and Danny Varin
rounded out the top five. Pat Ward, Ryan Phelps, Vic Coffey,
Mayne, and Jason Rood completed the top ten.
On June 15, the Race of Champions Sportsman Series makes a
visit to the Action Track of the East on Quality
Manufacturing night which will include a full program of NASCAR
Modifieds, Pro Stocks, and Pure Stocks. Race time will be
at 6 p.m. with gates opening at 3:30 p.m. For more information,
log on to www.uticaromespeedway.com or call the speedway office
NASCAR WHELEN ALL-AMERICAN SERIES MODIFIED FINISH (30 LAPS)-MATT
SHEPPARD, Stewart Friesen, Larry Wight, Mike Mahaney,
Danny Varin, Pat Ward, Ryan Phelps, Vic Coffey, Tim Mayne,
Jason Rood, Tye-Scott Rood, Dave Moyer, Aaron Jacobs, C.J.
Castelletti, Adam Roberts, and Ken McGuire. DNS- Willy Decker.
Matt Sheppard wins the Battle / Stewart Friesen wins thw War.
Matt Sheppard drove the Norm Hansell owned number 357 to his
first ever Five Mile Point Speedway victory in the RoC 100
on Sunday. It was also the first ever win for the Hansell
team at FMP. Stewart Friesen was declared the RoC Dirt Modified
Tour Champion by virtue of his third place finish in the 100
RACE OF CHAMPIONS DIRT MODIFIED TOUR CHAMPION: STEWART FRIESEN
OF CHAMPIONS DIRT MODIFIED TOUR OFFICIAL FEATURE FINISH (100):
MATT SHEPPARD, Jimmy Phelps, Stewart Friesen, Anthony Perrego,
Brian Malcolm, Randy Chrysler, Rick Laubach, Jeff Hoetzler,
Pat Ward, Dan Creeden, Mike Mahaney, Mike Bowman, Danny Tyler,
Joey Colsten, Larry Wight, Billy Decker, Danny Johnson, Tyler
Dippel, Donnie Lawson, Jackie Brown Jr., Nick Petrilak, Richard
Smith, Vic Coffey, Sean Merkel, Bobby Varin, Erick Rudolph,
Ryan Godown, Mike Colsten. Gamblers Bonus Split Matt
Sheppard Victorious in Fonda Speedway Opener
By: Ron Szczerba
the new management of DeLorenzo Motorsports taking over the
reins at Fonda, Saturday evening started a new chapter at
the Track of Champions Fonda Speedway and it was
Matt Sheppard who made a fantastic move on a green/white flag
restart with one lap to go to take an exciting win over Fonda
Speedway regular Danny Varin.
was a lot of fun, Sheppard told Toby LaGrange after
the victory. What a last lap that was.
winners on opening night at Fonda were Cody Clark (sportsman),
Pete Broderson (pro stock), John Bradt (street stock), and
Ken Hollenback (4-cylinder). Clarks win in the sportsman
event is unofficial until his motor is checked over and deemed
legal after it was claimed following the feature event.
the modified feature fan favorite Ronnie Johnson took a nasty
tumble in turn one, flipping over several times before coming
to rest on his wheels. Ronnie came full bore into turn one
and hit the soft spot in the track just right that the wheels
dug into it and sent him on a series of flips. Ronnie walked
away from the crash and an update on Sunday morning from Fonda
Speedway promoter Matt DeLorenzo who said that he had been
in contact with Ronnie who said that he was okay but sore.
started the 30-lap modified feature event on the pole and
took off and hid at the drop of the green flag as he led by
a straightaway by the time lap four was completed. Danny Varin
started the event in the fifth position and by the time Johnson
was in lap traffic on lap seven Varin had already moved up
to the third position and was challenging his father Bobby
for the second spot.
lap 11 the red flag was out for Johnson who flipped in turn
one as described above and on the restart Bobby Varin inherited
the lead with the caution coming out again on the next lap
for Darwin Greene who came to a stop at the pit road entrance
in turn three. On this restart Danny Varin got by his father
for the lead while Matt Sheppard who started the event in
the 12th position moved from fifth to third at the drop of
the green flag. One lap later Sheppard survived a three wide
challenge from both Billy Decker and Jeremy Wilder to keep
the third position.
flags slowed the field again on laps 16 and 19 for Jimmy Phelps
and defending track champion Stewart Friesen respectively,
Phelps with a right rear flat and Friesen with a collapsed
from end. On the restart at lap 19, Pat Ward who started the
event in the 18th position moved past both Decker and Sheppard
for the third position going into turn one only to have Sheppard
fight back and retake the third spot going into turn two with
Ward now fourth.
four laps to go Sheppard made his way past Bobby Varin for
the second position while Danny Varin was driving a very impressive
race to hold on to the lead through all of the restarts as
he pulled away from the second place car on each of the restarts
which now come out of turn four and not on the backstretch
as they had in the past.
event stayed under the green flag for a few laps allowing
Sheppard to close in on the leader with Matt running the outside
of the track while Danny was running down low. Just after
lap 29 was completed Danny Varin and Sheppard were side by
side for the lead when the caution came out for four cars
who slowed on the front stretch setting up a green/white one
lap dash to the checkered flag.
Varin held the advantage on the restart but going into turn
three Sheppard got a good run on the outside, got alongside
Varin, and took the lead coming out of turn four with the
checkered flag waving in starter Denny Tilisons hand.
Danny and Bobby Varin followed Sheppard across the finish
line with Ward, and Jeremy Wilder completing the top five.
Sheppard it was his second career win at Fonda and it came
in his new ride for 2014 the FX Caprara sponsored/HBR Motorsports
actually thought that I had Danny one other time during the
event but the caution came out so I just stayed on the outside
and tried not to burn the tires off.
week April 19 at Fonda a regular show in all divisions plus
the 4-cylinders is on the racing card with a starting time
of 7:00 p.m. For more information about the Fonda Speedway
you can go to their website www.fondaspeedway.com
HBR Team Shines while Friesen Gets His Gator DTD Exclusive
by Mike Mallett
It was an impressive night for the Heinke-Baldwin Racing team
as Matt Sheppard took home his first win for the new team
in Saturday nights 50-lap finale for the big-block modifieds
at Volusia Speedway Park. His teammate Jimmy Phelps finally
got things rolling as he completed the top three. Stewart
Friesen crossed the line in second giving him the DIRTcar
Nationals Gator Championship.
of Waterloo, N.Y., made the surprising switch to the HBR team
after several successful seasons and multiple Super DIRTcar
series titles wtih car owner Jeff Brownell. In Florida Sheppard
earned a fourth place finish on opening night, a fifth place
run Thursday before capping it all off with the $5,000 win
on Saturday night.
definitely got better all week long and thats good,
said Sheppard. We had an awesome year last year and
never won a race down here, so this is definitely a good start.
We worked on the cars real hard this week and obviously we
got both of them going pretty good. I was at my best tonight
and Jimmy (Phelps) was at his best tonight. Im looking
forward to a real good season.
took the lead from Billy Pauch on lap 12 and he held that
spot until surrendering the lead to Sheppard on lap 28. Sheppard
and Phelps remained together as they battled in traffic with
Phelps continuing to apply pressure right up to the end of
the race. Sheppard got the lead in the middle of the track
before moving to the bottom of the surface in the closing
had to wait for the track to get cleaned off to find a spot
I felt comfortable, stated Sheppard. I was able
to get rolling there for a bit and I was able to sneak around
him (Phelps). Then I think I used up my left rear tire because
I started dying a little bit. The track started taking rubber
in a few spots and I had to change my line up. The biggest
problem at end was that I didnt know where I should
be running. It is tough when get lead and then the track changes
that much. If it had stayed the same I could have kept rolling
the middle, but I definitely seemed to take a little of a
change there as it took some rubber off of turn four.
lost second with just three laps to go to Friesen relegating
him to a third place finish in the finale. A finish he was
more than happy to have after struggling the first two days
with his No. 98h. Phelps finally got the tightness out of
the car that had been hindering him earlier in the week.
the way week has gone Im happy just to race up front,
explained Phelps, of Baldwinsville, N.Y. I thought towards
the end there when he got by me, I felt we were as good as
him after I moved my line a little bit. I thought we were
going to have one of hell of a race in traffic and we did
there for a while. Friesen was obviously better than both
of us. I dont know what he did there at the end but
he was rolling. This is good for the whole team. We worked
really hard all winter on short notice to build cars and get
things rolling the last few months and Im proud to be
part of it. This is real positive stuff. We struggled early
in the week, made some changes and the car responded positive
to it. We were good enough to win tonight thats all
I can ask for.
Got a Gator: Friesen finally got his Gator on Saturday night
by charging back up through the field. The Sprakers, N.Y.,
piloted secured the DIRTcar Nationals championship on the
back of a win, a second and a sixth on opening night. According
to Friesens recollection it was his second Florida title
but his first big gator trophy.
is pretty cool because the big gator is reason we all come
down here, said Friesen who drove a Tom and Roxanne
Cullen owned Teo all week. We were able to test some
stuff in beginning of the week and then the boys got me fixed
up there under that pit stop and were able to find something
where everyone else wasnt. We were able to drive back
to the front. Matt (Sheppard) is going to be pretty tough
in this car this year. We got something we can race with him
now. We were close but well take second and go from
the pit stop Friesens crew went to work on his car fixing
an issue with the front end as well as changing his right
rear tire. The change allowed him to charge up through the
field after pitting on lap 22. With a few more laps he may
have had shot at getting by Sheppard for the win.
spring cup came out of the right front and it kind of dipped,
said Friesen of the mechanical issue. I felt something
weird with the car. When I came in they changed a tire then
he went back to the right front and got it fixed at the last
minute. It was an interesting race. I feel bad for all those
guys that got tore up because you never want to wreck that
much stuff that early. It was cool that we passed a lot of
good cars and had fun doing.
he returned to the speedway after the repairs, Friesen drove
like a man possessed. He ran the bottom in turns three and
four, but made up most of his ground around the middle to
top groove of turns one and two.
we got it fixed up the car was a lot better to drive,
said Friesen. The track rubbered up a bit on the bottom
of four so you had to be on the bottom, but I could beat the
balls off of it in turns one and two.
Rolling: Mat Williamson had a career best Florida effort Saturday
in the DIRTcar Nationals finale finishing a solid sixth. The
Lernerville Speedway champion and St. Catherines, Ont., native
ran just on the verge of the top five for the complete 50-lap
is my best run in Florida so far, commented Williamson.
Im happy with it. The guys at Fox (Shocks) and
my dad (Randy) got this hot rod turned around and I was final
able to race with them guys. We took a gamble on tires and
went with a harder compound and it paid off. I struggled on
the restarts when the tires got cold. Thats when those
guys got by me. This is certainly a good night though and
Im happy with it. I cant wait to see what happens
team changed the entire car for him on Saturday afternoon
including the shock package. It was a combination of all the
changes that finally got him dialed in.
the shock combination was part of it, but there was more to
it than that, said Williamson. The race car was
not as great as it should have been so if we had changed shocks
and not done what we did to race car we probably wouldnt
have been in the top ten. To turn it around and come away
with a top ten is excellent.
Ending: Justin Haers led the DIRTcar Nationals big-block modifieds
points right up to the final event of the weekend. The Phelps,
N.Y., driver was involved in a lap one crash that severely
hurt his chances at the title. He raced back up through to
finish tenth, but it wasnt enough as he fell to third
in the standings.
left front hit his (Williamson) right rear bumper and I spun,
said Haers. It was my fault. The contact jammed the
nose into the left front shock and I felt like it was a solid
spring on there the whole race. It is really disappointing
because I wanted to win the championship.
Big One: After Haers brought out a second caution on lap one
as his car wouldnt fire, the ensuring restart saw a
multi-car pile up happen right on the frontstretch underneath
Dave Farneys flag stand. Jeremy Wilder and Billy VanInwegen
came together causing VanInwegens car to get into the
outside wall collecting several drivers including Yan Bussiere,
Kyle Sheldon, Darwin Greene, Peter Britten and Rich Scagliotta.
Fortunately all drivers were uninjured in the crash. The same
could not be said for their equipment as several drivers went
off on the end of a wrecker.
Sheppard and Phelps Create Super Team at HBR DTD Exclusive
on December 3rd, 2013 in Recent Columns, Story 1 - homepage
Matt Sheppard made it official on Thanksgiving that he was
joining forces with Heinke-Baldwin Racing for the 2014 season
joining longtime driver Jimmy Phelps. The duo now gives HBR
one of the most potent one-two punches in the dirt modified
racing world. Both drivers were reached by phone by Dirt Track
Digest on Monday evening to discuss the move and their new
relationship as teammates for 2014.
Most people were shocked by the announcement that Sheppard
was leaving his highly successful Jeff Brownell operation
for a new ride at HBR. He had this to say,
It is hard to explain because the deal happened so fast.
The biggest deciding factor is when I talked to Jeff (Brownell)
about it he basically said I would be an idiot not to. To
a certain extent, Jeff is like family to me and we had a great
run. With an offer like this it is almost like he is relieved.
He got to the point where he likes doing it, loves doing it,
but on the other hand he is doing it for me as well. He really
didnt know how much longer he wanted to do it. He didnt
want to get out right now but wasnt sure how much longer
he was going to do it on a full-time basis. Its kind
of like everything happened to work out in the best case scenario
for me. Im going to an amazing team and there are no
hard feelings with Jeff. It pretty much seems like everyones
happy with this new deal.
Phelps is also excited to add Sheppard to the impressive team
that they have already built. Hell now have a three-time
Super DIRTcar series champion as his teammate.
Honestly any kind of change of that magnitude is big
news obviously and I think in the big picture it is a good
thing, commented Phelps. We are bringing in somebody
with the ability and knowledge to help us both. Im sure
that we will able to get along well because weve raced
against each other a long time and weve had a lot of
years being competitors. I think over the years weve
gained a mutual respect for one another. I think we will be
able to share info and it shouldnt be difficult.
He added, I think the biggest thing is to just have
someone running the same equipment. We wont go the same
direction all the time because drivers are different from
time to time with feel etc. Hopefully with us working together
we can narrow up the gaps between running well and struggling.
Now weve got someone on our team to help figure things
out. We can feed off each others notes and see what
is working and try to bring both cars to another level.
For Sheppard it will be a drastic change from the Bicknell
cars that hes become so accustomed to over his career
to Troyer Race cars. He is excited and nervous at the same
time about the next step in his career.
It is going to be different, stated Sheppard.
Obviously Ive been close with Randy Williamson,
Bobby Slack and all the folks at Bicknell and Im certainly
going to miss working with them. We won a lot of races and
worked close together. That is the tough part about the deal.
On the other hand, Im really looking forward to working
with Billy (Colton) and Troyer and a whole new deal. There
are a lot of mixed emotions there. I think its going
to be a good deal and I think it will be good for us.
Right now it looks like Sheppard is going to be running a
schedule to what he ran in 2013 including events at Brewerton
Speedway, Canandaigua Motorsports Park and Utica-Rome Speedway
along with the Super DIRTcar series and other select shows.
Im going to run similar schedule as last year,
said Sheppard. Maybe not as many races, but Im
still going to do some traveling. Ill still be running
three nights a week, the series and some specials. Im
not going to say we are going to hit every track in the country
every night of the week, but we are still going to be racing
at full-time. Right now it is looking like the same schedule
as last year, but you know how dirt racing is and a lot can
change between now and April.
Likewise, Phelps will be running the same schedule with the
HBR team although his weekend tracks are still to be determined.
My schedule shouldnt change a whole lot,
said Phelps. Im not sure where we are going to
run weekly with the Andy Phelps team but with HBR well
be running all of Super DIRTcar series, a lot of RoC and whatever
specials just like have last few years. Well cover the
weekend stuff with the Andy Phelps team. I dont see
One major change for the HBR team will be the location of
the team shop which will move to its primary shop to Weedsport,
N.Y., allowing for both Sheppard and Phelps to help maintain
They are moving shop to Weedsport, said Sheppard.
Kurt (Wiegel) is going to be there and Im going
to be there full-time with all the cars in the same shop.
Weve already had a meeting as a whole team to talk about
the cars and I was able to give my input and so was Jimmy
(Phelps), Billy (Colton) Kurt and Randy Kisaski. We sat down
and talked about where we wanted to go and how we wanted to
start next season.
Phelps is excited about the move of the team headquarters
to Weedsport as hell now be able to make more frequent
visits to the shop and get more hands on with the cars with
it being in a close proximity to his Baldwinsville, N.Y.,
Im excited about it, said Phelps. This
is the first time in a while where geographically Im
in proximity to be more hands on. That could be good and bad.
Im up for the challenge and looking forward to having
little more involvement in the day to day things. I dont
think it is a bad thing. Billy Colton has always done a great
job with the cars, but as a driver you are more confident
when you know 100 percent what you got because you work on
it. I think it is really going to be a positive. It is definitely
going to help being a part of the day to day.
Sheppard expects to have the same crew members together that
helped with the Brownell team for the 2014 season.
Sheppard and Phelps will make their 2014 debut as teammates
at the Volusia Speedway Park as part the annual DIRTcar Winternationals
while Jeff Brownell Racing announced on Monday evening that
Jeff Brownell Jr., will return to the driver seat next season
competing weekly on Sunday afternoons at the Glen Ridge Motorsports
Park in Fultonville, N.Y.