“Super” Matt Sheppard Wins $5,285 at Penn Can Speedway ‘King of the Can’
SUSQUEHANNA, PA – The illustrious career of Matt Sheppard has included high-profile victories and championships.

On Friday night at Penn Can Speedway, Sheppard sat on the “throne” as racing royalty. Sheppard, 32, of Waterloo, N.Y., annexed his first-ever ‘King of the Can’ conquest, topping the 50-lap big-block/small-block Modified event in dominant fashion driving the Norm Hansell-owned No. 357.
‘Super Matt’ collected $5,285 including lap money and a $100 winner’s bonus posted by Simplicity Design, plus the unique “toilet trophy” that has become signature at Penn Can’s year-end event. The win was his first-ever on Penn Can’s tricky one-third-mile track.
The Friday program marked the final Modified race under the outgoing promotional team of Al Wilcox and Reed Miller, completing a 17-year run at the facility. The ‘King of the Can’ was a non-points-paying, affiliate event of the Short Track Super Series Fueled By VP.
Don’s Automotive Mall and VP Racing Fuels provided sponsor support for the ‘King of the Can’ special.
Sheppard, who celebrated openly with his toilet, crown and “plunger scepter” during Victory Lane ceremonies, has proved a formidable competitor in Southern Tier starts with Hansell’s Morrison-powered Troyer this season. He won a Short Track Super Series Fueled By VP event at Thunder Mountain (N.Y.) Speedway in May and nearly took the checkered at Penn Can in the September ‘Hot Summer Night’ special, driving from deep in the pack to the lead before suffering a flat tire.
“I thought we had the win here in September and we got the flat,” Sheppard said. “We came back tonight and the car was just as good. It is a pleasure to drive for Norm (Hansell), Jay (Thomas) and this team.”
Outside-pole starter Darwin Greene led the race’s opening 19 laps as Sheppard moved forward from his fifth starting position. Sheppard arrived in second spot at lap 18, breaking free from a battle with Penn Can champion Kevin Hartnett and invader Mike Mahaney.
Following a lap-19 restart, Sheppard utilized the inside lane to clear Greene for the lead.
Mahaney, driving the Charlie Davis-owned No. 21, worked past Greene for second on lap 32 following an extended battle. Hartnett followed into third two circuits later.
The race’s final two cautions flew on laps 38 and 39.
Mahaney provided a challenge following each of the restarts, but Sheppard opened up distance on the field following the longer green-flag runs.
Mahaney’s car showed signs of smoke and began to slow with engine problems during the final five circuits, allowing Hartnett, of Barto, Pa., to steal the runner-up spot at the checkered. Mahaney settled for third, followed by ninth-starter Anthony Perrego of Montgomery, N.Y., in Gary Mann’s No. 55 and Boyertown, Pa.’s Ryan Watt, driving the Ron Roberts-owned No. 14W. Watt was second on lap 15 when he was forced to pit with a flat right-rear tire.
Placing sixth through 10th, respectively, were Greene of Susquehanna, Pa., after leading laps 1-18; Dan Pompey of Glenwood, Pa., who started 14th; Adam MacGeorge of Great Bend, Pa., driving the Chris Gennarelli-owned No. 86; 26th-starter Alex Stanton, a native of Jackson, Pa., who now resides in Michigan; and Short Track Super Series Fueled By VP champion Andy Bachetti of Sheffield, Mass., who recovered from a spin on the race’s opening lap for 10th.
Heat winners, 10 laps each, were Sheppard, Alan Rudalavage of Newton Lake, Pa., Perrego and Hartnett. Steve Babicek (West Windsor, N.Y.) and Nick Rochinski (Dickson City, Pa.) split the consolations.

Modified Feature Finish (50 Laps): MATT SHEPPARD ($5,285), Kevin Hartnett, Mike Mahaney, Anthony Perrego, Ryan Watt, Darwin Greene, Dan Pompey, Adam MacGeorge, Alex Stanton, Andy Bachetti, Steve Babicek, Mike Colsten, Bobby Trapper, Bobby Varin, Joey Colsten, Nick Rochinski, Kyle Merkel, Joe Dgien, Joey Grammes, Bob Trapper, Bob Henry Jr., Gary Tomkins, Tyler Siri, Alan Rudalavage, Mike Schane, Billy Van Pelt.
Did Not Qualify: Chris Piasecki, Mike Clapperton, Sam Allen, Brian Malcolm, Chris Wood, Joel Batzel, Nick Nye, Rusty Smith, Joe Eisenhauer, Brad Shaffer.
Lap Money Breakdown ($952): Mike Mahaney ($210), Darwin Greene ($193), Matt Sheppard ($170); Kevin Hartnett ($159); Ryan Watt ($90); Anthony Perrego ($80); Alex Stanton ($50).

Friesen Drives by Sheppard for Syracuse NAPA 200 Win !
SYRACUSE, N.Y. (Oct. 12, 2014) – Stewart Friesen used a feathery throttle foot to win his first two Syracuse 200 Big-Block Modified classics during NAPA Auto Parts Super DIRT Week at the New York State Fairgrounds.
But to secure his third career victory in the division’s most prestigious race on Sunday, Friesen just put his foot to the floor and tossed his car around the historic one-mile oval like he was blasting around a quarter-mile bullring.
Rallying from multiple mid-race pit stops to repair a broken shock mount, Friesen authored a dramatic charge over the final 50 circuits that will go down in Moody Mile lore. He completed his comeback by sailing around the outside of Matt Sheppard in through turns three and four to grab the lead in breathtaking fashion.
A 31-year-old native of Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ont., who now resides in Sprakers, N.Y., Friesen pulled away from Sheppard following a lap-194 restart to secure his third $50,000 Syracuse 200 victory in the last five years by 2.154 seconds over his 32-year-old rival from Waterloo, N.Y.
J.R. Heffner, 42, of Averill Park, N.Y., finished third, logging a career-best Syracuse 200 finish in his 10th start. He ended the race nearly five seconds behind Friesen.
Fifty-one-year-old Duane Howard of Oley, Pa., quietly contended throughout the 200-mile distance to place fourth – his second consecutive top-five finish in the event – and two-time Syracuse 200 champion Vic Coffey of Caledonia, N.Y., survived bodywork damage sustained in a restart tangle on lap 74 to complete the top five.
The star of the day was unquestionably Friesen, who went from thinking his chances at another checkered flag were done when problems with his left-rear shock and fuel vent developed during the event’s first half to putting together one of the most memorable drives in the 43-year history of NAPA Super DIRT Week.
“I was in the dumps for about a hundred laps of that deal,” said Friesen, who hustled Jeff Daley’s Teo-Pro car from the 21st starting spot to second place before discovering the left-rear suspension problem during his lap-72 pit stop. “The shock was something that we could kind of deal with, but then when we came in for our (planned) last stop (on lap 101) we had a problem with the fuel vent. (Crew chief) Matty (Hearn) said (on the radio), ‘You gotta come back in because we didn’t get any fuel in the car whatsoever,’ and I got real bummed out.”
But Friesen’s crew didn’t give up. After a final stop on lap 119, not only was his No. 44 machine’s suspension patched up and his fuel situation handled enough to get some gas in the car, it also became faster.
“When we came in and swapped (the shock mount) we made some turns and adjustments to keep up with the changing track and we went with the 400-compound (softer Hoosier) tires on that last stop just trying something,” said Friesen. “I think that’s what ultimately allowed us to win this race. Everything just came together and clicked perfectly (after that).”
When Friesen found himself back in the top 15 after a flurry of three caution flags between laps 147 and 158, he decided to let it all hang out. Aware that the leader at the lap-158 restart, Tim McCreadie of Watertown, N.Y., and second-place driver, Australian Peter Britten, were in fuel-conservation mode after pitting on lap 74, he forced the issue in hopes of getting up to them.
Casting aside the normal conservative Syracuse approach, Friesen put on a high-side assault through turns one and two that carried him to fifth place by lap 168. But his charge awakened Sheppard, who moved to the top through the corners as well and vaulted past Heffner and Britten to reach second on lap 172.
When McCreadie’s bid for a first-ever Syracuse victory ended on lap 179 due to a broken left-rear wheel, Sheppard inherited the lead for a restart that came on that same circuit because under event rules only green-flag laps counted from the 175th lap to the finish. Friesen proceeded to dispose of Britten when the green flag returned and the battle between DIRTcar Big-Block Modified racings two young superstars was on.
Friesen’s moment of truth came while working the 189th circuit. He drove around the outside of Sheppard’s HBR Troyer car so fast through turns three and four to surge ahead as lap 190 was scored that he couldn’t help but be amazed.
“(Kevin) Bates (a Pennsylvania Modified driver) was in turn three spotting for me and I was asking him, ‘Is anybody making it on the top?'” said Friesen. “He was like, ‘No, no, no.’ You don’t get too much out of Bates, so when he says no, it’s a definite no.
“Well, we got a run on Matt just before that, and I knew I had like 10 cars (lengths) behind me, so I was like, ‘Well, if we try (the outside in three and four) and slip out (of the groove), I can get back to him in one and two.’
“It ended up that (Sheppard) just backed it down to really protect bottom that lap and we were able to sweep around him, get on the brakes and get it back down before we really lost it. I kind of surprised myself with how fast we went by him.”
Sheppard admitted that he was effectively a sitting duck for the freight train that Friesen had become.
“We pretty much did everything right today but just didn’t turn it into a win,” said Sheppard, who captured the race in 2009. “It wasn’t as much of a track position game as normal. The track really widened out, but we just had a little bit older tires and we kind of detuned the motor a little bit for fuel mileage and that just wasn’t quite the right strategy for us to hold (Friesen) off.”
Friesen simply was unbeatable once he got his Cici-powered car honking around the sun-banked mile. He enjoyed every minute of his ride.
“It’ so much fun (to race like that),” said Friesen, who has now won the Syracuse 200 three times in just eight career starts. “The fuel mileage game was so stressful … you’re just trying to roll out (of the throttle) early and save and conserve and not beat up the tires and the car. It’s so much fun to take a car with almost 900 horsepower and a lot of grip and just go on a mile track and run the balls off it.
“It’s awesome. It’s what the cars are made to do – and the track crew gives us a track now where you can do it, where you don’t have to just rely on strategy and fuel mileage. You can get out there and race, and I think that’s awesome that this event is going that way.
“I’ve said this before, but this place drives almost like four short tracks,” he continued. “There’s turn one and turn two, and there’s turn three and turn four, and if you kind of treat it like that and go as fast as you can in those sections, you start making up ground.”
After pulling off an almost unthinkable victory, Friesen, who has been attending NAPA Super DIRT Week activities since he was kid, put himself in the rarified air of Big-Block Modified racing’s alltime greats. He equaled Alan Johnson’s three career Syracuse 200 wins and trails only Brett Hearn of Sussex, N.J. (six wins), Billy Decker of Unadilla, N.Y. (four) and Floridian Gary Balough (four) on the alltime victory list.
“To be amongst that group is something very special and something I’m very, very proud of,” said Friesen, who late grandfather, Stan, and late uncle, Alex, were also past Syracuse 200 starters. “It’s something I don’t take for granted whatsoever.”
Finishing in positions 6-10 were Ryan Godown of Ringoes, N.J., who lost a lap when he slowed to bring out a caution flag on lap 99 and pitted but soon regained it thanks to the ‘Lucky Dog’ rule; Kenny Tremont of West Sand Lake, N.Y., who briefly led laps 117-118 before making a necessary pit stop; Billy Decker of Unadilla, N.Y., who was knocked from serious contention by unscheduled pit stops; Justin Haers of Phelps, N.Y.; and Eddie Marshall of Ridgefield, Conn., who recovered from an early tire problem that briefly pit him down a lap.
Seven different drivers led the race. Hearn led laps 1-59; McCreadie paced laps 60-74 and 149-178; race rookie Erick Rudolph of Ransomville, N.Y., was ahead for laps 75-81 until running out of fuel; Sheppard led laps 82-100 and 179-189; Tim Fuller of Watertown, N.Y., spent laps 101-116 in front; Tremont went on top for laps 117-118; and Billy VanInwegen of Sparrowburg, N.Y., led laps 119-148 before pitting.
Hearn, who won Saturday’s ‘Salute to the Troops’ 358-Modified 150, had an up-and-down day. After controlling the race’s first quarter he had to make a series of five pit stop to repair a broken right-rear shock mount – and then, just as he broke back into the top five following a lap-194 restart, his car’s fuel tank ran dry three laps from the finish.
Another contender who fell by the wayside was Jimmy Phelps of Baldwinsville, N.Y., who appeared to be in position to win the 200 after being the first car out of the pits on lap 101. He was cruising in third place on lap 155 when a broken left-rear hub forced him to retire.
The race was slowed by 14 caution flags for 44 laps as well as three red flags, stretching its duration to over three hours.
The first red flag incident occurred on lap 39 when Ryan Susice of Ransomville, N.Y., slammed the turn-one wall. He climbed out of his car and walked to a waiting ambulance for a ride back to the pit area.
Shortly thereafter, on a lap-44 restart, two-time Syracuse 200 winner Jimmy Horton of Neshanic Station, N.J., hit the turn-one wall hard, forcing officials to stop the race one circuit later. He walked to the ambulance with assistance and later visited a local hospital for tests on a possible concussion.
The final red flag came on a lap-74 restart when a turn-two scramble sent Vinnie Vitale of Cato, N.Y., onto his roof. He wasn’t injured.
Sunday’s Syracuse 200 was taped for broadcast on the CBS Sports Network. An expected December broadcast date will be announced in the near future.
For the latest news and updates about NAPA Auto Parts Super DIRT Week and DIRTcar Racing, visit www.SuperDirtWeekOnline.com and www.DirtCar.com.
Finish of 43rd annual Syracuse 200
Pos Start Driver Laps Earnings
1 21 Stewart Friesen 200 $50,000
2 1 Matt Sheppard 200 $25,000
3 13 J.R Heffner 200 $15,000
4 6 Duane Howard 200 $10,000
5 8 Vic Coffey 200 $6,000
6 14 Ryan Godown 200 $4,000
7 19 Kenny Tremont Jr. 200 $3,600
8 4 Billy Decker 200 $3,400
9 22 Justin Haers 200 $3,200
10 20 Eddie Marshall 200 $3,000
11 43 Carey Terrance 200 $2,800
12 17 Dominick Buffalino 200 $2,600
13 36 Jeff Heotzler 200 $2,400
14 32 Keith Flach 200 $2,200
15 16 Tim Hindley 200 $2,000
16 15 Larry Wight 200 $1,900
17 18 Pat Ward 200 $1,800
18 37 Billy VanInwegen 200 $1,700
19 39 Tim Fuller 200 $1,700
20 23 Jim Davis 200 $1,700
21 26 Brian Swarthout 200 $1,600
22 9 Donnie Corellis 199 $1,600
23 2 Brett Hearn 199 $1,600
24 11 Peter Britten 198 $1,600
25 40 Rex King Jr. 197 $1,600
26 28 Matt Billings 196 $1,600
27 7 Rick Laubach 179 $1,600
28 10 Tim McCreadie 178 $1,600
29 34 Bob McGannon 178 $1,600
30 24 Dave Rauscher 178 $1,600
31 3 Jimmy Phelps 155 $1,500
32 12 Erick Rudolph 142 $1,500
33 38 Rich Scagliotta 136 $1,500
34 41 Mike Perrotte 116 $1,500
35 29 Rob Bellinger 115 $1,500
36 25 Ronnie Johnson 96 $1,500
37 30 Vince Vitale 74 $1,500
38 27 Danny Johnson 66 $1,500
39 42 Jimmy Horton 44 $1,500
40 5 Billy Dunn 39 $1,500
41 44 Ryan Susice 37 $1,500
42 35 Dave Allen 17 $1,500
43 33 Ryan Phelps 12 $1,500
44 31 Gary Tomkins 2 $1,500

Margin of Victory: 2.154 seconds
Time of Race: 3 hours, 8 minutes, 43.567 seconds
Lap Leaders: Hearn (1-59); McCreadie (60-74); Rudolph (75-81); Sheppard (82-100); Fuller (101-116);
Tremont (117-118); VanInwegen (119-148); McCreadie (149-178); Sheppard (179-189); Friesen (190-200)
Caution Flags: 14 for 44 laps
Red Flags: 3 (laps 39, 45, 74)
Provisional Starters: Terrance, Susice
Pole Award: Matt Sheppard ($1,000 – Pole Position Raceway)
Outside Pole Award: Brett Hearn ($750 – BACC-OFF)
Non-Qualifiers’ Race Winners: Billy VanInwegen/Rich Scagliotta ($1,000 – Dig Safely NY)
Rookie of the Race: Jim Davis ($295 certificate for rings – JE Pistons)
Syracuse 200 Hard Luck Award: Jimmy Horton ($1,000 – Sharon’s Toy)
Driver Leading at Last Caution: Stewart Friesen ($500 – Sharon’s Toy)
Leader at Lap 51: Brett Hearn ($510 – Sharon’s Toy)
Third Place at Halfway: J.R. Heffner ($500 – Sharon’s Toy)
Final Sharon’s Toy Compound Driver Running at Finish: Brett Hearn ($500 – Sharon’s Toy)
Hard Charger Bonus: Carey Terrance ($1,000 – Sharon’s Toy)
Hard Charger: Carey Terrance ($150 certificate – DRACO Springs)
Best Appearing Car & Crew: Jim Davis (prize package – NYSSCA)
Lap 100 Leader: Matt Sheppard (Chassis & Body – Teo-Pro)

SYRACUSE, N.Y. (Oct. 10, 2014) – Matt Sheppard , Brett Hearn , and Jimmy Phelps rolled to victories in the Big-Block Modified Triple 20s
Hearn joined Heinke-Baldwin Racing teammates Sheppard and Phelps in scoring wire-to-wire $4,000 wins from the pole position. The trio will occupy the top three starting spots in Sunday’s Syracuse 200 with Hearn sandwiched by the polesitting Sheppard and Phelps in the grand finale of NAPA Auto Parts Super DIRT Week XLIII.
Sheppard, 32, soundly backed up his fast-time run in Thursday afternoon’s qualifying session with his second career Big-Block heat-race victory at the historic Syracuse Mile. His only issue was an original-start joust with outside-polesitter Billy Decker of Unadilla, N.Y., that was called back by officials.
“He just took off in the middle of (turns) three and four,” Sheppard said of Decker. “I thought I was leading, so I didn’t go.
“Then it was fine,” he continued. “The car was unbelievable, it really was. It’s been awesome since I got here. I haven’t touched a thing on it and I probably won’t.
“I really was just cruising. The car was unbelievable. The thing pretty much drives itself around here.”
Sheppard ran alone out front in a race that was slowed only by a lap-six caution flag for a flat right-front tire on the car driven by Tim Fuller of Watertown, N.Y., a former Syracuse 200 winner who was relegated to a last-chance race on Saturday. The 2009 Syracuse 200 champion beat Rick Laubach of Hellertown, Pa., who overtook Decker for second at the start, to the finish line by roughly a half-straightaway margin.
“I’m confident,” said Sheppard, who will make his 13th career Syracuse 200 start. “We have a really fast race car. We just need a good pit strategy and a little bit of luck.”
Decker, who locked into the fourth starting spot for the Syracuse 200 in Thursday’s time trials, settled for a third-place finish. Tim McCreadie of Watertown, N.Y., finished a steady fourth and J.R. Heffner of Valatie, N.Y., was fifth.
Bob McGannon of Garnerville, N.Y., finished 12th to earn the final transfer spot to the Syracuse 200.
Hearn, 56, was typically flawless in NAPA Super DIRT Week heat action, dominating the second 20-lapper. He defeated Vic Coffey of Caledonia, N.Y., by a half-straightaway to register his record 16th career Big-Block heat win.
“That’s crazy,” Hearn said when asked about his heat prowess. “That’s just because we’ve been able to time-trial good here. That’s the whole key to winning these heat races.”
A strong-running car is also necessary, of course, and Hearn’s Madsen Motorsports Teo-Pro machine was impeccable.
“The car is really good, especially in clean air,” said Hearn, who owns a record six Syracuse 200 victories, the most recent coming in 2012. “That’s all I ran in the whole race. I think when I was coming up on the lapped cars the first time the yellow (flag) came out (on lap nine, and then I was just catching the tail end of the field again at the finish.”
Defending Syracuse 200 champion Billy Dunn of Watertown, N.Y., placed third in the second 20-lapper, followed by Australian Peter Britton and Ryan Godown of Ringoes, N.J., who finished third in last year’s Syracuse 200.
Dave Allen of Palmyra, N.Y., who finished 12th, was the final transfer to the feature.
Phelps, 39, gave HBR a two-for-two night with his second career heat win the nightcap. He was victorious by about 10 car lengths over Duane Howard of Oley, Pa., who looked strong in his Mike Petruska-owned machine.
Howard was able close up to Phelps’s rear bumper on the fifth lap, but Phelps turned back the threat by pulling off a daring move around the outside of three lapped cars entering turn one after lap six was scored.
“We had to go by a pack of them there, but luckily we caught ‘em just right to where I could clear ‘em into one,” Phelps said of his surge past the lapped machines. “They left me enough room or it could have gotten real interesting. I had clear sailing after that.”
Phelps raced unchallenged after a caution flag flew on lap nine for Aaron Jacobs, who stopped in turn four.
“It’s been a good week so far,” said Phelps, whose best finish in 11 previous Syracuse starts is second, in 2010. “We had a good qualifying day and both of us won a heat. It’s really a testament to all the hard work by the HBR team up there at Weedsport.
“We got two brand-new race cars (both Sheppard and Phelps), and honestly, this is probably the most comfortable I’ve ever been up here.
“I think we got a lot of good things going right now in regards to attacking some of our past weaknesses,” he added. “We’ve had cars that are really fast up here. We’ve led races. We’ve put ourselves in position to win. But the one thing that we’ve really struggled with over the last couple years is fuel mileage, and we got a little bit different engine combination this year that I think is gonna let us do some things differently with the fuel game. I’ve also got a real comfortable car that I haven’t had to make one adjustment to all week, so I’m really optimistic.”
Donnie Corellis of Averill Park, N.Y., finished third, putting him in the Syracuse 200 for the 17th time in his career. Erick Rudolph, 22, of Ransomville, N.Y., was fourth to crack the 200’s starting lineup in his first attempt and Larry Wight of Phoenix, N.Y. – last year’s 200 runner-up – placed fifth.
Two-time Syracuse 200 winner Stewart Friesen of Sprakers, N.Y., finished seventh after his involvement in an opening-lap tangle forced him to restart at the rear of the field.
Jeff Heotzler of Wallkill, N.Y., finished 12th to grab the last transfer spot to the 200. The Syracuse 200 runner-up in ’97 will make his 17 th career start in the event but first since 2006.
The Syracuse 200 starting field will be filled out by two last-chance races scheduled to begin at 12:45 p.m. on Saturday.
For more information visit www.SuperDirtWeekOnline.com.
First Big-Block Modified Triple 20 Finish (top 10 non-qualified drivers transfer to Syracuse 200): 1. Matt Sheppard, 2. Rick Laubach, 3. Billy Decker, 4. Tim McCreadie, 5. J.R. Heffner, 6. Tim Hindley, 7. Kenny Tremont, 8. Justin Haers, 9. Ronnie Johnson, 10. Matt Billings, 11. Gary Tomkins, 12. Bob McGannon, 13. Mario Clair, 14. Dan Vauter, 15. Billy VanInwegen, 16. Tim Fuller, 17. Jeff Rockefeller, 18. Greg Atkins, 19. Mike Turner, 20. Kevin Albert.

Second Big-Block Modified Triple 20 Finish (top 10 non-qualified drivers transfer to Syracuse 200): 1. Brett Hearn, 2. Vic Coffey, 3. Billy Dunn, 4. Peter Britton, 5. Ryan Godown, 6. Dominick Buffalino, 7. Eddie Marshall, 8. Jim Davis, 9. Brian Swarthout, 10. Rob Bellinger, 11. Keith Flach, 12. Dave Allen, 13. Jimmy Horton, 14. Bob Sarkisian, 15. Jamie Maier, 16. Mark Forte Jr., 17. Roy Bresnahan, 18. Marcus Dinkins, 19. John McClelland, 20. Brian Murphy, 21. Al Blanchard.

Third Big-Block Modified Triple 20 Finish (top 10 non-qualified drivers transfer to Syracuse 200): 1. Jimmy Phelps, 2. Duane Howard, 3. Donnie Corellis, 4. Erick Rudolph, 5. Larry Wight, 6. Pat Ward, 7. Stewart Friesen, 8. Dave Rauscher, 9. Danny Johnson, 10. Vince Vitale, 11. Ryan Phelps, 12. Jeff Heotzler, 13. Tom Sears Jr., 14. Rich Scagliotta, 15. Mike Perrotte, 16. Dan Wiesner, 17. Willy Decker, 18. Rex King Jr., 19. Ryan Susice, 20. Bobby Hamm Jr., 21. Carey Terrance, 22. Aaron Jacobs, 23. Brian Kressley, 24. Pierre Hebert.

Sheppard Keeps Rolling with Weedsport Win By MIKE MALLETT
The good times just keep on rolling for Matt Sheppard and his Heinke-Baldwin Racing team.
Sheppard – coming off his first win in the Outlaw 200 this past Saturday night – kept the momentum rolling on Wednesday evening as Super DIRT Week XLIII officially got underway at the newly revamped Weedsport Speedway. Sheppard took the lead from Chad Brachmann late in the affair and never looked back en route to claiming the winner’s check and his second consecutive victory in the Weedsport opener.
“This team is peaking at the right time,” smiled Sheppard. “We’ve been pretty strong all fall here. Hopefully we can keep it going through this week and right on through to the end of the season.”
After starting third Sheppard watched as Brachmann drove on by him early. He patiently sat in the second spot waiting for an opportunity which came in the final third of the race. Brachmann got hung up in traffic with Sheppard taking advantage on lap 54.
“I felt like he was really good early, but then later in the race I think we evened out a little bit,” said Sheppard of Brachmann. “He would get away from me a little bit but I felt like my car would get a little better on a longer run. I tried the top on the last restart and he immediately got away from me. I could tell my car got better because I started running him down before he got into lapped traffic. Then I really started running him down when he got to lapped traffic. I don’t know if he couldn’t maneuver or what, but he just didn’t try. Sometimes riding in second you got nothing to lose so you go for it.”
Sheppard usually pilots a big-block on the Central New York circuit, but due to Wednesday night’s show being a 358-Modified Super DIRTcar Series race he had to put the proper engine in his Troyer mount. He admitted afterwards that the car wasn’t perfect and they still have some adjustments to make.
“Tonight was only the first or second time I’ve run this motor and I just don’t know what it likes and doesn’t like,” said the Waterloo, N.Y., pilot. “I wasn’t really hitting the chip but I still had too much gear in it tonight. We definitely missed on the gear and that was hurting us. At the same time, once the track really slowed down and we got in traffic it didn’t really hurt as much. We still had a great race car.”
Sheppard now turns his attention to the Mile for qualifying before heading to his Friday night home the Brewerton Speedway. He hopes to carry on with the 358 success in Thursday night’s Hurricane 100.
“I’m looking forward to carry this momentum on,” stated Sheppard. “We have high expectations going into tomorrow night. Although it isn’t the same car or motor combination we run there weekly. It is going to be a little bit of a learning curve for us but hopefully we’ll have the same results.”
Brachmann Happy to Have a Second
No one likes to lose, especially Chad Brachmann. The Wheatfield, N.Y., pilot has shown throughout his career that he’s always a contender when his family owned No. 3 enters an event. That was the case on Wednesday night as he drove his Bicknell mount from the eighth starting spot to the lead. At the end of the day though he came up one spot short.
“We had a great car and we just got beat out on experience and track time,” said Brachmann. “We were good though so I can’t complain how we ran. We started eighth, got up to the front and led a bunch of laps. We just got caught up in lapped traffic and made the wrong decisions.”
Brachmann admitted to being overly patient as he battled with the slower traffic, especially Danny Creeden. Creeden didn’t make any mistakes and instead of attempting to go to the outside, Brachmann followed him on the bottom and that is what cost him the race.
“I was waiting for everyone slide up so I could drive underneath them like was doing for most of the race,” he said. “Once I got to the slower guys they seemed to slow the pace down a lot. Other than that we were good. I probably should have ran the outside more when I got to lapped traffic, but like I said, I tried to roll the bottom and make it work and unfortunately I got beat in lapped traffic.”
Brachmann next focus is on Thursday night’s race at the Brewerton Speedway. He currently has no plans after that race but he is open to the idea of hopping in someone’s big-block to compete at Rolling Wheels Raceway on Saturday night.
“I don’t’ have a good big-block anymore, but if someone was looking to run I would probably do it,” stated Brachmann. “As of right now, I’m not planning on it.”

Victory for Sheppard expands his series point lead
AKWESASNE, N.Y. – Sunday, September 14, 2015 – Matt Sheppard, of Waterloo, N.Y., lead flag-to-flag to claim his third Super DIRTcar Big Block Modified Series point race of 2014, his fourth overall series win for the year. The 150-point feature race, scheduled for Saturday, Sept. 13, at Mohawk International Raceway, hit the track just after midnight Sunday morning, delayed by inclement weather earlier in the evening.
“I just want to thank the whole team, it was a great team tonight,” the three-time Super DIRTcar Series champion said after Sunday morning’s victory. “It was good, started on the pole and lead all 100 laps.”
Sheppard started the 100-lapper on the pole after a inclement weather cut short qualifying rounds and caused officials to set the field according to Super DIRTcar Series point standings. He claimed the initial lead over Billy Decker, of Sidney, N.Y., who started on the outside front row.
A lap-1 caution for David Papineau, who slowed to a stop in turn 3, slowed the pace early on. Sheppard had the advantage at the restart as Decker and Larry Wight batted for second place.
The yellow flag wove a second time in lap 9 as smoke billowed from the S & W Service Centre No. 6m of Mat Williamson. Off the restart, a three-car collision in turn 3 brought another caution before the field could gain any momentum.
The field restarted in lap 18, Sheppard keeping his lead and Jimmy Phelps charging ahead of both Wight and Decker to pull into second place. Dexter Stacey’s No. 66w flipped in lap 26 bringing the field to a stop under red flag conditions.
Sheppard made a switch on the next restart, choosing the outside front row rather than the inside, and the changed worked out well for him. He kept his lead over Phelps before the race slowed under in lap 42.
Strong on restarts all night, Sheppard powered ahead and reached lapped traffic in lap 53. Behind him, Phelps maintained second, and Wight and Decker were third and fourth respectively. Erick Rudolph, who started in a backup car from the rear of the field cracked the top-five in lap 55.
As the leaders maneuvered through lapped traffic, Phelps was able to gain some ground on Sheppard.
“That was probably the only thing that really shook it up,” Phelps said. “A couple times there in traffic he’d get slowed up. The leaders had so many more miles per hour than the guys in the back that it really made it interesting coming into traffic how the guys were lined up in front of you.”
Despite Phelps’s gain in lapped traffic, he was unable to challenge Sheppard for the lead before the next caution brought the field back together.
“The lapped cars were a little tough. They were running side-by-side,” Sheppard admitted. “The track went away enough that it was tough to tell which groove you were in, but when we were in lapped traffic it gave us a little bit better of an idea.”
The yellow flag waved again in laps 59 and 72, giving Brett Hearn, who had fallen from his third starting position to tenth early in the race, the opportunity to gain positions off restarts. By lap 75, the eight-time Super DIRTcar Series champion was challenging Wight for fourth place.
In lap 82, leaders were again battling slower cars at the back of the pack. Hearn was able to leverage lapped traffic to get around Decker for third in lap 82.
Another collision in lap 95 brought the field to red, with the No. 74 of Matt Billings flipped in the backstretch.
With only five laps remaining, the top three runners clung to their respective positions, Sheppard finishing first, Phelps second and Hearn third.
“I think we were as good as he was for the better part of the end of the race. We were too even to really make anything happen,” Phelps said. “Coming out of here with a second place is the start of what is hopefully going to be a good second half of the season.”
Rounding out the top four are Rudolph in fourth and Mohawk’s DIRTcar 358-Modified three-time track champion Billy Dunn, of Watertown, N.Y.
The Super DIRTcar Series continues Sunday, Sept. 21, at Fonda Speedway in Fonda, N.Y. For more information about the Super DIRTcar Series, visit www.superdirtcarseries.com.
Super DIRTcar Big Block Modified Series Statistical Report Mohawk International Raceway
September 13, 2014
A-Main (100 laps):
1. 9H Matt Sheppard - Waterloo, N.Y.
2. 98H Jimmy Phelps - Baldwinsville, N.Y.
3. 20 Brett Hearn - Sussex, N.J.
4. 7z Erick Rudolph - Ransomville, N.Y.
5. 49 Billy Dunn - Watertown, N.Y.
6. 99L Larry Wight - Altmar, N.Y.
7. 84 Gary Tomkins - Clifton Springs, N.Y.
8. 91 Billy Decker - Sidney, N.Y.
9. 3 Justin Haers - Phelps, N.Y.
10. 21a Peter Britten - Brisbane, Queensland, Australia
11. 10v Billy VanInwegen - Sparrowbush, N.Y.
12. 63 Adam Roberts - Watertown, N.Y.
13. 8 Rich Scagliotta - Hillsborough, N.J.
14. 29 Tom Conklin - Gouverneur, N.Y.
15. 43 Keith Flach - Ravena, N.Y.
16. 777 Tyler McPherson - St. Catharines, Ontario
17. 5* Tyler Siri - Watkins Glen, N.Y.
18. 44 Kyle Jacobs - Hogansburg, N.Y.
19. 188 David Papineau - Akwesasne, N.Y.
20. 74 Matt Billings - Brockville, Ontario
21. 42p Pat Ward - Genoa, N.Y.
22. 22c Mario Clair - St. Edmond, Quebec
23. 55 Matt Woodruff - Bloomingdale, N.Y.
24. 66x Carey Terrance - Hogansburg, N.Y.
25. 07 Tim Kerr - Picton, Ontario
26. 93 Ryan Bartlett - Watertown, N.Y.
27. 35 Mike Perrotte - Plattsburgh, N.Y.
28. 55J Danny Johnson - Rochester, N.Y.
29. X Chad Phelps - Mexico, N.Y.
30. 16w Lance Willix - Theresa, N.Y.
31. m96 Danny O'Brien - Kingston, Ontario
32. 66w Dexter Stacey - Kahnawake, Quebec
33. R70 Ryan Arbuthnot - Renfrew, Ontario
34. 6m Mat Willliamson - St. Catharines, Ontario
35. 3m Bill Mullin - Iroquois, Ontario
Dash (6 laps): Sheppard, Britten, Terrance, J. Phelps, Wight, Haers, Dunn, Rudolph

MINERSVILLE, PA - September 3rd, 2014
There's an old saying that "the third time's the charm". The owners and promoters of Big Diamond Speedway hope that old adage holds true, as this Friday, September 5th they will try for the third time in less than a week to present the annual running of the Jack Rich Memorial Coal Cracker 72 race.
The Coal Cracker 72 is by far the biggest race of the season at Big Diamond, paying $10,000 to win and $700 just to take the green flag. A great field of cars is expected for this race. American Racer or Hoosier tires will be permitted. Drivers will draw for their heat starting spot and redraw for the feature if they finish in a redraw position in their heat race. Twenty-six cars are slated to start the feature event. Also on the card will be the Savage 61 Roadrunner in their Coal Cracker 25 event paying $300 to win, along with a huge fireworks display. Gates will open at 5 PM on Friday, with warm-ups at 7:45 PM, and the first heat hitting the track at 8:15 PM. Grandstand general admission will be $25.00, with active military (with ID) and kids 12 and under admitted free of charge. Pit participation fees will be $40.00 with no license required. Car entry fee for the Coal Cracker 72 event is $40.00 for early entry and $60.00 the day of the race. All 72 laps will be run under green flag conditions!
For those fans who still have a wristband from the August 22nd event, those wristbands can be used for Friday's show and pay the difference. If you cannot attend the respective show listed, please send the wristband to P.O. Box 671, Minersville, PA 17954 for a full refund. Be sure to include a return address.
We look forward to seeing everyone this coming Friday when the "Crown Jewel Of Speed" presents its' crown jewel event of the season and brings the 2014 race season to a close.

Hoosier Tire Mid-Atlantic 358 Modified Coal Cracker 72
1) Matt Sheppard 2) Duane Howard 3) Ryan Godown 4) Rick Laubach 5) Doug Manmiller 6) Craig Von Dohren 7) Jeff Strunk 8) Jared Umbenhauer 9) Ryan Watt 10) Craig Whitmoyer 11) Dale Hartz 12) Tim Fitzpatrick 13) Kevin Smith 14) Kevin Albert Jr. 15) Kyle Borror 16) Billy Pauch Jr. 17) Keith Hoffman 18) Tim Buckwalter 19) Billy Pauch Sr. 20) Scott Albert 21) Ryan Anderson 22) Shawn Fitzpatrick 23) John Willman 24) Meme Desantis 25) Danny Johnson 26) John Stangle 27) Ray Swinehart

VERNON, NY-Matt Sheppard made it two in row this past Sunday night, July 27, as he again made a late race pass to score the $2,000 victory. A miscue by the leader Larry Wight on lap 28 gave Sheppard the opportunity he needed and he capitalized on it. Other winners on PERFEX Corp. night was Jeremy Vunk in the Sportsman, Chris Carr, in the Pro Stocks, and Bill Mason in the Pure Stocks.
Tye-Scott Rood and C.J. Castelletti brought the NASCAR Modified feature to the green flag, with Rood taking the advantage. Behind them, the Gypsum cars mounted charges, with Pat Ward coming from fifth and Larry Wight from eighth. By the second lap, the two were battling for the lead. Ward took his car to the middle of the speedway and Wight putting his right rear on the cushion. As they came around to the finish line, Wight took control. Ward fell in line behind him, followed by Jason Rood.
Back in the pack, the top two in points began to weave through traffic toward the front. Matt Sheppard, who started in 11th, hugged the bottom while Stewart Friesen tried the top groove as he worked his way from 12th. The duo made their way into the top five by lap 10. Sheppard was able to drive his machine past Ward, taking second and pulling away. Ward proved to be a tougher opponent for Friesen, as they battled side by side until lap 20, when Friesen was finally able to complete the pass.
Wight had a sizable lead, but Sheppard started to make up ground as the leader was running in lap traffic. With five circuits remaining, Sheppard seemed to be the faster car as he was closed in on Wight. With slower traffic running the middle, Wight decided to take the long way around the speedway to get around them while Sheppard stuck to the lane that got him to the front. With two laps left, Wight went into turns three and four a bit too hard and slipped up over the banking, allowing Sheppard to drive by on the bottom and take the lead, and ended up with the victory. With the victory, Sheppard takes an eight point lead in the point standings over defending champion Friesen. Wight took home second, with Ward in third and Friesen in fourth after he made the same mistake as Wight late in the race to allow Ward to get back by him. Ryan Phelps finished in fifth. Matt Janczuk, Mike Mahaney, Willy Decker, Adam Roberts, and Jason Rood filled out the top 10.
The final full month of racing begins next Sunday, August 3, at the “Action of the East” with Twin 20 lap features for the Modifieds with each event paying full purse and points. Also in action on Gates-Cole.com and NYCM night will be the Sportsman, Pro Stocks, and Pure Stocks. Action will start at 6 p.m. with gates opening at 3:30 p.m. Next week’s event will start the “Month of Money” for the Modifieds as $34,000 in first place money will be up for grabs until September 1. For more information, please log on to www.uticaromespeedway.com or call the speedway office at (315)829-4557.
NASCAR WHELEN ALL-AMERICAN SERIES MODIFIED FINISH (30 LAPS)-MATT SHEPPARD, Larry Wight, Pat Ward, Stewart Friesen, Ryan Phelps, Matt Janczuk, Mike Mahaney, Willy Decker, Adam Roberts, Jason Rood, Tye-Scott Rood, Jim Mahaney, Ken McGuire, Jim Walsh, C.J. Castelletti, Steve Cummings, Dan Humes, Aaron Jacobs, Nike Nye, Joel Thomas, and Dave Moyer. DNS-

VERNON, 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.
Tye-Scott 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.
Wight 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.
Back 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.

NASCAR 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. That’s 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.
Vinnie Vitale outgunned Jim Witko and the rest of the field to lead the early going of the 35-Lap Tracey Road Equipment Big Block Modified field.
With 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.
On 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 sight.
Still 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.
With 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 win.
On 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 the top-ten.
After parking his FX Caprara Chevrolet/HBR/Camara Slate/No.9H/Troyer in victory lane, Matt Sheppard talked about his hard fought win.
“Let 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 here.”
“Once 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.”
(TRACEY 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 O’Brien, DNS – Joe August Jr..
(OMNI SERVICES HEAT WINNERS) – Vinnie Vitale, Matt Billings, Tim Sears Jr..

Saturday, 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 can’t 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.”
Erick 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 Sheppard.
Tyler 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 Flach’s 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 Marcucelli.
BIG 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

Sheppard 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.
BIG 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
Gets 30th career series win is his first-ever Big-Block win at Cornwall Speedway
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

Time 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
By David Medler
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 Hilton’s 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.
(TRACEY 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 O’Brien, (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.
(OMNI 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
NEW 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 Jersey 60.'
"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 www.superdirtcarseries.com.
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: Planck, Gleason.
B-Main 2 (10 laps, top 2 transfer): Haers, Horton, Kressley, Flach, VanInwegen, Kormann, Hunt, S. Ward, Albert, Sabia. DNS: Oliver.
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
Heat 2: Blewett, Hearn, Jester, Johnson, Haers, VanHorn, P. Ward, VanInwegen, DeLorenzo, Vaclavicek, Hunt
Heat 3: Laubach, Pauch, Wight, Britten, Friesen, Horton, Krause, Heotlzer, S. Ward. DNS: Gleason.
Heat 4: Sheppard, McCreadie, Tomkins, Watt, Mahaney, McClelland, Kressley, Scagliotta, Buffalino, Oliver
Heat 5: Williams, Phelps, Rutski, Howard, Kormann, Infante, R. Forte, Albert, Perrotte, Siri
Time 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 Sheppard

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 track’s heavy hitters took their shots at Vitale through the entire distance as he fought off all comers for the big win.
In the nightcap 35-Lap Modified feature, Larry Wight and Matt Sheppard put on a classic battle at the end of the race that fans won’t 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.
Other 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.
In 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 on Vitale
On lap ten, Vitale and Phelps showed at the front of the field with Ward, Decker and Pat O’Brien right there just a couple cars behind the top-two.
At 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.
Over 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.
“Since it rained out (May 9) that’s all I’ve been thinking about and what’s 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.
“We’ve been having problems with the car the last couple weeks. We kind of found a problem so hopefully that definitely worked.”
Vitale related that the key to his win was knowing the topside wasn’t all that great and he wasn’t leaving the bottom. The only way they were going to get by him was to his outside.
Chuck 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.
On 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 his run.
On the restart Wight blasted into the lead using the top of the speedway as he drove by Bower.
At 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.
With 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 in fifth.
On 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 Wight’s 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.
“I’ll 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.”
Sheppard 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.”
(TRACEY 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 O’Brien, (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.
($100 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 O’Brien, (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..
(OMNI SERVICES HEAT WINNERS) – Chuck Bower, Chris Mackey, Billy Decker.

VERNON, NY- Despite leading the points in the NASCAR Modified division, Matt Sheppard’s season hadn’t 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.
As 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 Sheppard’s 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 week’s winner on the start. He built a sizable lead down the backstretch, and took home his first win of the season. Friesen’s 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 at (315)829-4557.
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 lapper.
RACE 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/Nick Petrilak

Matt Sheppard Victorious in Fonda Speedway Opener
By: Ron Szczerba
With 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.
“That was a lot of fun,” Sheppard told Toby LaGrange after the victory. “What a last lap that was.”
Other winners on opening night at Fonda were Cody Clark (sportsman), Pete Broderson (pro stock), John Bradt (street stock), and Ken Hollenback (4-cylinder). Clark’s win in the sportsman event is unofficial until his motor is checked over and deemed legal after it was claimed following the feature event.
In 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.
Johnson 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.
On 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.
Caution 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.
With 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.
The 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.
Danny 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 Tilison’s hand. Danny and Bobby Varin followed Sheppard across the finish line with Ward, and Jeremy Wilder completing the top five.
For Sheppard it was his second career win at Fonda and it came in his new ride for 2014 the FX Caprara sponsored/HBR Motorsports owned #9S.
“I 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.”
Next 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 night’s 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.
Sheppard, 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.
“We definitely got better all week long and that’s 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. I’m looking forward to a real good season.”
Phelps 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 stages.
“I 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 didn’t 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.”
Phelps 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.
“After the way week has gone I’m 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 don’t 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 I’m 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 that’s all I can ask for.”
He 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 Friesen’s recollection it was his second Florida title but his first big gator trophy.
“This 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 wasn’t. 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 we’ll take second and go from here.”
Under the pit stop Friesen’s 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.
“The 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.”
Once 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.
“Once 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.”
Finally 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 distance.
“This is my best run in Florida so far,” commented Williamson. “I’m 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. That’s when those guys got by me. This is certainly a good night though and I’m happy with it. I can’t wait to see what happens next year.”
Williamson 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.
“Certainly 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 wouldn’t have been in the top ten. To turn it around and come away with a top ten is excellent.”
Disappointing 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 wasn’t enough as he fell to third in the standings.
“My 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.”
The Big One: After Haers brought out a second caution on lap one as his car wouldn’t fire, the ensuring restart saw a multi-car pile up happen right on the frontstretch underneath Dave Farney’s flag stand. Jeremy Wilder and Billy VanInwegen came together causing VanInwegen’s 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

Published 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 didn’t know how much longer he wanted to do it. He didn’t want to get out right now but wasn’t sure how much longer he was going to do it on a full-time basis. It’s kind of like everything happened to work out in the best case scenario for me. I’m going to an amazing team and there are no hard feelings with Jeff. It pretty much seems like everyone’s happy with this new deal.”
Phelps is also excited to add Sheppard to the impressive team that they have already built. He’ll 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. I’m sure that we will able to get along well because we’ve raced against each other a long time and we’ve had a lot of years being competitors. I think over the years we’ve gained a mutual respect for one another. I think we will be able to share info and it shouldn’t be difficult.”
He added, “I think the biggest thing is to just have someone running the same equipment. We won’t 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 we’ve got someone on our team to help figure things out. We can feed off each other’s 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 he’s 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 I’ve been close with Randy Williamson, Bobby Slack and all the folks at Bicknell and I’m 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, I’m 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 it’s 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.
“I’m going to run similar schedule as last year,” said Sheppard. “Maybe not as many races, but I’m still going to do some traveling. I’ll still be running three nights a week, the series and some specials. I’m 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 shouldn’t change a whole lot,” said Phelps. “I’m not sure where we are going to run weekly with the Andy Phelps team but with HBR we’ll be running all of Super DIRTcar series, a lot of RoC and whatever specials just like have last few years. We’ll cover the weekend stuff with the Andy Phelps team. I don’t see anything changing.”
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 the cars.
“They are moving shop to Weedsport,” said Sheppard. “Kurt (Wiegel) is going to be there and I’m going to be there full-time with all the cars in the same shop. We’ve 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 he’ll 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., home.
“I’m excited about it,” said Phelps. “This is the first time in a while where geographically I’m in proximity to be more hands on. That could be good and bad. I’m up for the challenge and looking forward to having little more involvement in the day to day things. I don’t 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.

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