Matt Sheppard Scores in Return to Williams Grove
Scores first full-points Super DIRTcar Series victory of the season
By Mandee Pauch
MECHANICSBURG, Pa. - June 22, 2016 -Tim Fuller led early at Williams Grove Speedway on Wednesday night, but it was Matt Sheppard who battled to the lead and was dominant through much of the 100-lap Modified Mayhem at the Grove Super DIRTcar Series Big-Block Modifieds feature.
In the series' first return to the track in a decade, Sheppard became the sixth different winner in six Super DIRTcar features run at the track since 1989. The defending series champion was able to lead the last 47 circuits to score the Modified Mayhem $5,000 top prize.
"The track started locking down a little bit there early. I just tried to ride it out and drive it nice and straight," explained Sheppard in victory lane. "The guys in front started to get slower in the long runs and we maintained. I think that's what won us the race tonight. Once we got up front I just wanted to hit my marks and take it easy."
Wednesday night marked the first full-points series win in the books for Sheppard and his new team. "It's definitely big for us. It's a special win. To put a place like Williams Grove on our resume, it really means a lot."
Once the green flag dropped for the feature, Fuller rocketed out to an early lead as third place starter, Matt Sheppard, put early pressure on second place runner, Ryan Watt.
As Fuller pulled away, it was Danny Johnson who was making moves through the back of the pack. Johnson advanced from his 17th starting spot and was up to seventh place by lap 26. Bad luck plagued Johnson on lap 37 though as he pulled to the pits due to brake line problems.
Sheppard was able to advance to second place by lap 33 and was able to show speed as he was closing the gap fast on Fuller.
At the halfway mark the top grid showed Fuller, Sheppard, Watt, Dave Blaney, and Billy Decker as the top five. Sheppard battled to the lead after diving underneath Fuller coming out of turn four.
By lap 76, Blaney, who started eighth, moved into the second position. Blaney was slowly closing in on Sheppard but Sheppard was able to pull away as the track was getting faster.
"These guys have a great team. The whole team is strong and gave me a good car to run tonight," said Blaney about his podium finish. "My car was good and I got fortunate to finish second."
Sheppard once again drove off; taking his first full-points series win of the season. Second went to Blaney, followed by Fuller, Wight, and Decker. Finishing sixth through 10th, respectively, were Stewart Friesen, Frank Cozze, Mike Mahaney, Brett Hearn, and Keith Flach.
Friesen was able to come from the rear of the field after an early pit stop on lap seven to finish in fourth with Mike Mahaney advancing late as well to finish eighth from 18th.
Thirty-three Big-Block Modifieds attempted to qualify for the Modified Mayhem race. Thirty cars started the field. Nine cautions were brought out during the feature. Watt, outside pole-sitter, slowed down with a left front flat while running in the top five. Sheppard scored his 36th-career win and first ever win at Williams Grove.
The Big-Block Modifieds return to action this Sunday, June 26, at Cornwall Motor Speedway, the 1/4 mile high-banked oval.
Follow the series on Twitter @SuperDIRTcar, or click www.SuperDIRTcarSeries.com.
Super DIRTcar Series Statistical Report; June 22, 2016; Williams Grove Speedway; Mechanicsburg, Pa.
A-Main (100 Laps) - 1. 9s-Matt Sheppard; 2. 18b-Dave Blaney; 3. 19-Tim Fuller; 4. 99L-Larry Wight; 5. 91-Billy Decker; 6. 44-Stewart Friesen; 7. 35-Frank Cozze; 8. 88m-Mike Mahaney; 9. 20-Brett Hearn; 10. 43-Keith Flach; 11. Xp-Chad Phelps; 12. 32c-Vic Coffey; 13. 18H-Peter Britten; 14. 6H-Max McLaughlin; 15. 33-Ryan Arbithnot; 16. 66-Duane Howard; 17. 42p-Pat Ward; 18. 14w-Ryan Watt; 19. 21-Yan Bussiere; 20. 25R-Erick Rudolph; 21. 98H-Jimmy Phelps; 22. 13-Rick Regalski Jr.; 23. 27J-Danny Johnson; 24. 1-Tyler Dippel; 25. 8-Rich Scagliotta; 26. 28p-Eldon Payne; 27. T3-Tom Sheetz; 28. 51m-Dominick Buffalino; 29. 43H-Jimmy Horton; 30. 27R-Mat Williamson
Last Chance Showdown 1 (10-laps - Top 6 Finishers Transfer) - 1. 66-Duane Howard; 2. 32c-Vic Coffey; 3. 43H-Jimmy Horton; 4. Xp-Chad Phelps; 5. 6H-Max McLaughlin; 6. 8-Rich Scagliotta; 7. 51m-Dominick Buffalino; 8. 13-Rick Regalski Jr.; 9. 28p-Eldon Payne; 10. 48T-Dave Rauscher; 11. 66m-J.R. McGinley
Heat 1 (8 Laps) - 1. 20-Brett Hearn; 2. 99L-Larry Wight; 3. 91-Billy Decker; 4. 42p-Pat Ward; 5. 27J-Danny Johnson; 6. 66-Duane Howard; 7. 32c-Vic Coffey; 8. 51m-Dominick Buffalino; 9. 6m-Mat Williamson
Heat 2 (8 Laps) - 1. 44-Stewart Friesen; 2. 19-Tim Fuller; 3. 18b-Dave Blaney; 4. 21-Yan Bussiere; 5. 88m-Mike Mahaney; 6. 43H-Jimmy Horton; 7. 6H-Max McLaughlin
Heat 3 (8 Laps) - 1. 35-Frank Cozze; 2. 43-Keith Flach; 3. 98H-Jimmy Phelps; 4. 1-Tyler Dippel; 5. 33-Ryan Arbithnot; 6. Xp-Chad Phelps; 7. 66m-J.R. McGinley; 8. 8-Rich Scagliotta
Heat 4 (8 Laps) - 1. 9s-Matt Sheppard; 2. 18H-Peter Britten; 3. 14w-Ryan Watt; 4. T3-Tom Sheetz; 5. 25R-Erick Rudolph; 6. 48T-Dave Rauscher; 7. 28p-Eldon Payne; 8. 13-Rick Regalski Jr.
Qualifying Group 1 - 1. 20-Brett Hearn, 20.893; 2. 99L-Larry Wight, 20.894; 3. 91-Billy Decker, 20.985; 4. 6m-Mat Williamson, 21.124; 5. 42p-Pat Ward, 21.232; 6. 27J-Danny Johnson, 21.387; 7. 51m-Dominick Buffalino, 21.482; 8. 32c-Vic Coffey, 21.635; 9. 66-Duane Howard, 21.644
Qualifying Group 2 - 1. 44-Stewart Friesen, 20.998; 2. 19-Tim Fuller, 21.226; 3. 18b-Dave Blaney, 21.254; 4. 21-Yan Bussiere, 21.362; 5. 43H-Jimmy Horton, 21.605; 6. 88m-Mike Mahaney, 21.638; 7. 6H-Max McLaughlin, 21.768; 8. 7-Mark Flick, 22.422
Qualifying Group 3 - 1. 98H-Jimmy Phelps, 21.282; 2. 43-Keith Flach, 21.454; 3. 35-Frank Cozze, 21.507; 4. 1-Tyler Dippel, 21.557; 5. Xp-Chad Phelps, 21.687; 6. 8-Rich Scagliotta, 21.931; 7. 33-Ryan Arbithnot, 22.099; 8. 66m-J.R. McGinley, 22.482
Qualifying Group 4 - 1. 18H-Peter Britten, 21.508; 2. 9s-Matt Sheppard, 21.522; 3. 14w-Ryan Watt, 21.752; 4. 25R-Erick Rudolph, 21.845; 5. 13-Rick Regalski Jr., 22.397; 6. 48T-Dave Rauscher, 22.536; 7. 28p-Eldon Payne, 22.789; 8. T3-Tommy Sheetz, NT; 9. X-Ed Kitchell, NT

MATT SHEPPARD SCORES ANOTHER UTICA-ROME SPEEDWAY WIN

VERNON, NY- SUNY Canton and Wilbur Duck Chevrolet sponsored an intense night of racing action at Utica-Rome Speedway on Sunday, June 12th. The day was full of events that were rescheduled from earlier dates that had been postponed due to Mother Nature, including the Lucas Oil Empire Super Sprints and King of Dirt series for both 602 Sportsman and Pro Stocks. Matt Sheppard found his way to victory lane again in the Gates-Cole Insurance Modified feature, making it three on the year. Joining him in victory lane was Rocky Warner for the King of Dirt 602 Sportsman, Luke Horning for the King of Dirt Pro Stocks, and Steve Way for the Broedel Energy Open Sportsman. For the Empire Super Sprints, Jason Barney won the A-Main after a wild finish. For more details, see the Empire Super Sprints official release.
Tim Mayne and Mike Mahaney were the pair on the front row that took the green to begin the Gates-Cole Insurance Modified feature event. Using the top side, Mahaney was able to dig his right rear into the racing surface and take the lead. Behind him, Vic Coffey was starting to climb through the top five. The fifth circuit saw him catch Mahaney and use the bottom to slip on by and take the top spot. He didn’t have a chance to pull away, however, as defending track champion Matt Sheppard had already navigated the field and worked his way into the top five after starting 13th. On lap 10, Sheppard found some space underneath the leading Coffey and drove by for the lead.
From there, Sheppard had an open track available to build on his lead. As he pulled away, the rest of the top five began to battle for position as the race passed the halfway mark. Coffey started to feel some heat from Marc Johnson, who was looking to improve on his previous second place finish. Fourth became a battle between Mahaney and Danny Varin as the two dueled on opposite lanes on the racing surface with Varin on the bottom and Mahaney on the top. Varin won the battle, and caught up to the fight for 2nd. just in time for the caution to come out on lap 25 for a pair of cars spinning in turn 1, which included top five runner Marc Johnson.
The restart gave the field a chance to reel in the leading Sheppard, who had built a straightaway cushion between him and the rest on the cars on the lead lap. When the green came out once more, Sheppard pulled away again, taking the win five laps later. The victory marked Sheppard’s 250th career win and 28th at the speedway, taking sole possession of 9th on the all-time win list over Jack Johnson. Varin took second, with Mahaney, Coffey, and Larry Wight filling out the top five. Rob Bellinger, Pat Ward, Marc Johnson, Alan Johnson, and Tim Fuller trailed.
Quality Manufacturing and Parks Paving & Sealing will present the action next Sunday, June 19, at the Utica-Rome Speedway as the CRSA 305 Sprints will join the Gates-Cole Insurance Modifieds, SUNY Canton 602 Sportsman, Broedel Energy Open Sportsman, and G&I Homes of Vernon Pro Stocks for another night of high speed entertainment. The rain delayed G&I Homes of Vernon Pro Stocks feature from May 15 will begin the night’s events. Gates will open at 3:30 p.m. with racing at 6 p.m. For more information, please log on to www.uticaromespeedway.com or call the speedway office at (315)829-4557.
SUNY CANTON & WILBER-DUCK CHEVROLET RACE SUMMARY
GATES-COLE INSURANCE MODIFIED FEATURE FINISH (30 LAPS)- MATT SHEPPARD, Danny Varin, Mike Mahaney, Vic Coffey, Larry Wight, Rob Bellinger, Pat Ward, Marc Johnson, Alan Johnson, Tim Fuller, Vinnie Vitale, Alan Barker, Tim Mayne, Pete Taylor, Cory Pike, Jessey Mueller, Rusty Smite, Billy Dunn, and Scott Batzing. DNS- Matt Hulsizer.

SHEPPARD MAINTAINS HIS STRANGLEHOLD ON CANANDAIGUA

CANANDAIGUA, NY….Waterloo’s Matt Sheppard continues his dominance of the DIRTcar Modified division at Canandaigua Motorsports Park, winning his fifth feature in seven outings this year. For Sheppard, who now sits fifth on the All-Time Canandaigua feature win list, it was his 56th career win at the track.

“I don’t know why I get along so good at this place,” stated Sheppard. “We started off a little tight and ended up a little lose. For sure we were running warm. But that may because the evening is so warm tonight.”
The 35-lap DIRTcar Modified feature saw Greg Birosh grab the lead at the drop of the green. The yellow flag quickly followed on lap two, when Tim Fuller pulled off the back stretch with drive line issues.
The restart saw Birosh start to motor away from the field, but Matt Sheppard, who started fourteenth, found himself in third by lap five. It didn’t take long as Sheppard ducked to the low side exiting the second turn on lap 11 to take the lead.
Justin Haers was now the car to watch as he battled his way towards the front. He was in a terrific battle for fourth with Mat Williamson and Kyle Coffey when the yellow flew for Eldon Payne’s disabled car, stopped next to the outside wall in the second turn on lap 17.
The restart Birosh drift high in the third turn, over the birm, losing a number of positions. Sheppard maintained his led followed by Williamson, Hares, Billy Decker and Ryan Arbuthnot. Gary Tomkins suddenly exited the race, as did Birosh on laps 25 and 27.
Decker worked his way up to second, passing Williamson with just five laps remaining in lapped traffic. At the wire it was Sheppard followed by Decker, Haers, Williamson and Arbuthnot to round out the top five.
This Saturday, June 18, will see another regular night of racing at Canandaigua Motorsports Park. More information can be found at www.canandaiguamotorsportspark.com. That race card will include the DIRTcar Big Block Modifieds, Sportsman, Crate Late Models, New Legends, 305 Sprint Cars and the combined Open Street Stocks/Pure Stocks. Race time begins at 7 p.m.
MODIFIED
HEAT 1: T. Fuller, K. Coffey, D. Wiesner, T. Keyes, P. Britten.
HEAT 2: R. Scagliotta, M. Williamson, S. Paine, D. Podsiadlo, G. Birosh.
HEAT 3: D. Rauscher, M. Sheppard, B. Sage, R. Arbuthnot, B. Decker.
FEATURE (35-laps): MATT SHEPPARD, Billy Decker, Justin Haers, Mat Williamson, Ryan Arbuthnot, Brian Sage, Peter Britten, Dan Wiesner, Billy Dunn, Mike Mahaney, Rich Scagliotta, Steve Paine, Alan Johnson, Derrick Podsiadlo, Gil Tegg Jr., Dave Rauscher, Tommy Keyes, Kyle Coffey, Greg Birosh, Gary Tomkins, Eldon Payne Jr., Tim Fuller, Mike O’Brien.

Matt Sheppard Is “Super” With $5,240 ‘Ultimate Outlaw 50’ Victory Wednesday Night At Outlaw Speedway Driving Norm Hansell’s No. 357
DUNDEE, NY – “Super Matt” Sheppard had luck on his side during the redraw of Wednesday night’s Bob Hilbert Sportswear Short Track Super Series Fueled By VP event, drawing the pole for the ‘Ultimate Outlaw 50’ at Outlaw Speedway.
And he also had plenty of speed.Sheppard, driving the Norm Hansell-owned No. 357 led from wire-to-wire, collecting a $5,240 payday for his efforts in the 50-lap event, Round No. 4 of the STSS Halmar International North Region.
While Sheppard resides in Waterloo, N.Y., a short jaunt to Outlaw Speedway, the winning car is housed more than four hours to the south and east of the speedway in Collegeville, Pa.
“I’ve got to thank Norm and the guys for bringing the car all the way up here from Pennsylvania,” Sheppard noted following his second career STSS victory and first since May 20, 2014 at Thunder Mountain Speedway in Center Lisle, N.Y. “I’m glad it was worth their drive.”
The first-ever STSS event at the Dundee, N.Y., oval was originally slated for Tuesday night. However, a threatening Tuesday forecast forced the postponement of the event by 24 hours. The event was run under cold and cloudy conditions.
Sheppard and fellow front-row starter Stewart Friesen, in the Halmar International No. 44, controlled the event. The pair ran one-two through lap 43 when the left-rear tire went down on Friesen’s mount and he ducked to the pits.Sheppard cruised out front over the remaining seven laps to earn the victory. “When you get into the summer grind with weekly racing and handicapping, you end up starting 15th, 18th, all the time in the back,” Sheppard said. “If you get lucky and pick up front like we did tonight, you have to capitalize on it.”
In a stout performance from eighth on the grid, current STSS Halmar International North Region point leader Erick Rudolph of Ransomville, N.Y., chased Sheppard across the line. The ultra-consistent Rudolph has finished no worse than seventh in STSS North events this season; Wednesday’s runner-up result, however, was his best of 2016.
“I don’t think I had anything for Matt,” Rudolph said. “We were a second-place car, but it was a great night for the point battle. We’ll take it and go on to the next one at Accord (N.Y., July 5).”
In his Outlaw Speedway debut, Andy Bachetti of Sheffield, Mass., drove to a solid third-place run. Bachetti raced inside the top-five for the race’s entire distance, garnering his second top-five effort of the ’16 STSS North Region schedule.
Danny Creeden of Wurtsboro, N.Y., like Bachetti a first-time Outlaw Speedway visitor, garnered a fourth-place result after dropping back early.
Billy Van Pelt of Westfield, Pa., earned the distinction as the event’s Hard Charger, driving the Grant Hilfiger-owned No. 78 from 21st to finish fifth. Van Pelt was making his first STSS start of the season.
Completing the top-10 were Billy Van Inwegen of Sparrowbush, N.Y., in the Escape RV-sponsored No. 4 small-block; Matt DeLorenzo of Cropseyville, N.Y., a traveler with the STSS in ’16 like Van Inwegen; Brian Malcolm of Lake Ariel, Pa., who recovered from a flat tire on the 13th lap to finish eighth; 17th-starter Vic Coffey of Leicester, N.Y.; and Brady Fultz of Rochester, N.Y., up from 16th.
Heat winners for the 35 STSS Modifieds on hand were Malcolm, Joe Dgien, Tyler Siri and Creeden. Coffey and Justin Wright were the consolation victors.
The win for car owner Norm Hansell came in his first visit to Outlaw. Hansell had debuted the winning car with Sheppard aboard in mid-May at the combo Big Diamond Speedway (Minersville, Pa.) event….
The 2016 Short Track Super Series is presented by American Racer/Lias Tire, VP Racing Fuel, Bob Hilbert Sportswear, Halmar International, Allstar Performance, ATL Racing Fuel Cells, Behrent’s Performance Warehouse, Bicknell Racing Products, COMP Performance Group, Dirt Track Digest, Fast Axle, Fox Racing Shocks, Hig Fab, Henry’s Exhaust, Hurlock Auto & Speed Supply, HyperCo, Kirkey Racing Fabrication, K&N, Race Pro Weekly, Racing Optics, Teo-Pro Car, Vahlco Wheels & Velocita
‘ULTIMATE OUTLAW 50’ RACE SUMMARY – JUNE 8, 2016
Bob Hilbert Sportswear Short Track Super Series Fueled By VP Halmar International North Region Event No. 4 Modified Feature Finish (50 laps): MATT SHEPPARD ($5,240), Erick Rudolph, Andy Bachetti, Danny Creeden, Billy Van Pelt, Billy Van Inwegen, Matt DeLorenzo, Brian Malcolm, Vic Coffey, Brady Fultz, Steve Paine, Stewart Friesen, Justin Wright, Joe Dgien, Donnie Lawson, Mike Mahaney, Tommy Meier, Nick Nye, Colton Wilson, Tyler Siri, Ron Cartwright Jr., Craig Hanson, Derrick Podsiadlo, Anthony Perrego, Danny Johnson, Alan Johnson, Ryan Jordan.
‘Lucky 7’ Lap Money Breakdown ($1,123 Total): Matt Sheppard ($240); Andy Bachetti ($145); Danny Creeden ($140); Erick Rudolph ($120); Stewart Friesen ($120); Matt DeLorenzo ($100); Billy Van Inwegen ($85); Joe Dgien ($40); Danny Johnson ($20); Steve Paine ($20); Vic Coffey ($20); Brian Malcolm ($20)
Allstar Performance Bonuses ($50 Certificates): Andy Bachetti (third) & Brian Malcolm (eighth)
American Racer/Lias Tire Bonuses (FREE Tire): Billy Van Inwegen (sixth) & Donnie Lawson (15th)
ATL Fuel Cell Bonus ($200 Certificate): Billy Van Pelt (fifth)
Behrent’s Performance Warehouse Bonuses ($50 Gift Card): Danny Creeden (fourth) & Vic Coffey (ninth)
Bob Hilbert Sportswear Bonuses ($100 Credits): Billy Van Inwegen (sixth) & Mike Mahaney (16th)
Dutch Hoag Memorial Hard Charger ($200): Billy Van Pelt (21st to 5th)
Fast Axle Bonus ($50 Certificate): Matt DeLorenzo (seventh)
K&N Performance Product Drawing (Air Filter): Erick Rudolph, Mike Mahaney & Matt DeLorenzo (pre-race draw)
QA1 Hard Charger Bonus ($50 Credit): Billy Van Pelt (21st to fifth)
Racing Optics Bonus (Sleeve of Tearoffs): Erick Rudolph (second)
Vahlco Racing Wheels Bonus (FREE Wheel): Billy Van Pelt (fifth)
VP Racing Fuels Bonuses ($50 Certificates): Erick Rudolph (second), Stewart Friesen (12th) & Craig Hanson (22nd)

SHEPPARD BACK IN CANANDAIGUA VICTORY LANE

CANANDAIGUA, NY….Matt Sheppard continued his winning ways last Saturday at Canandaigua Motorsports Park. For Sheppard it was his fourth feature win in six races run. Dave Marcuccilli took the sportsman feature win, his second of the year at the track.
In other classes Dave Caswell won the Crate Late Model feature, while Lee Sanders took top honors in the 305 Sprints. As for Caswell, he said he had a lot of fun, but that it took a few laps for his hard tires to catch on. As for Sanders he said he was grateful for promoter Jeremie Corcoran for sticking with the class. Mike Welch won the Legends feature.
The 35-lap DIRTcar modified feature saw pole sitter Tom Keyes slow on the track and drop out before the green flag flew. Finally the green flag flew, but not for long as on the second lap the yellow came out for a spin by both Gill Tegg Jr. and Alan Johnson. Both cars were able to return at the back of the pack.
The restart saw the worst accident of the night as James Maier rolled down to the front chute three or four times. He was uninjured but shaken by his wild ride. Also involved in this accident were Johnson and Justin Wright.
Up front Mat Williamson and Billy Decker battled it out. Mike Mahaney suffered a flat tire to bring out the yellow on the tenth lap. Sheppard was again on the hunt and began closing on the leaders.
Up front Tim Fuller had joined the battle for the lead with Decker. With the white flag in the air Sheppard made his move taking the lead and the victory. Billy Decker came home in second followed by Tim Fuller, Justin Haers and last week’s winner Peter Britten in fifth.
“Those lapped cars help me catch Billy (Decker),” stated Sheppard. “The track grove had moved way up and I just went for broke on the final lap.”

MODIFIED
HEAT 1: E. Payne Jr, T. Keyes, J. Haers, R. Scagilotta, R. Arbuthnot, B. Sage.
HEAT 2: P. Britten, J. Wright, G. Birosh, M. Mahaney, G. Tomkins, S. Paine
HEAT 3: M. Williamson, M. Sheppard, B. Decker, D. Rauscher, M. O’Brien, A. Johnson.
FEATURE (35-laps): MATT SHEPPARD, Billy Decker, Tim Fuller, Justin Haers, Peter Britten, Mat Williamson, Alan Johnson, Ryan Arbuthnot, Dan Wiesner, Steve Paine, Eldon Payne Jr., Mike O’Brien, Rich Scagliotta, Dave Rauscher, Mike Mahaney, Justin Wright, Derrick Podisadlo, Gil Tegg Jr., Kyle Coffey, Greg Birosh, Gary Tomkins, Brian Sage, James Maier, DNS: Tom Keyes, Kaithlyn Pashina, Doug Gavette.

Matt Sheppard Makes Late Race Charge For Brewerton Speedway Modified Win
By Dave Medler
BREWERTON, NY – June 3, 2016 – In a hotly contested Tracey Road Equipment DIRTcar Big Block Modified feature Friday night at the Brewerton Speedway it was defending track champion Matt Sheppard that used a late race pass for the lead to end up in victory lane at the end of 35 laps.
Sheppard started the feature in 12th and steadily worked his way to the front, moving into the second position on lap 28 then setting his sights on race leader Chuck Bower. With just two laps remaining Sheppard was able to make the winning pass in turns three and four, getting by Bower. Once out front, Sheppard out-distanced Bower by 00.955 at the checkers.
Andrew Ferguson out-ran Joe August Jr. and the rest of the 24-car starting field to lead the opening lap of the 35 lap Tracey Road Equipment DIRTcar Big Block Modified feature. August would take the top spot on lap 3 before Ferguson would drive back into the lead one lap later.
With 10 laps complete Ferguson would open a quarter of a straight away lead. Behind Ferguson, August, Matt Hulsizer, Chuck Bower, Rich Scagliotta waged their own battle in the top five.
Ferguson in just his second year in modifieds was running the race of his career in the division as he opened a straightaway lead with 15 laps showing on the scoring tower. Bower, August, Scagliotta, Rob Bellinger and Mike Bowman were having a battle royal for second through sixth.
A quick yellow would wave on lap 16 erasing the lead Ferguson built up. On the restart Bower took advantage as he blasted into the lead on lap 17. On lap 19 Ferguson wrestled the lead back with Bower taking the top spot back on lap 21.
With great racing going on throughout the field, Sheppard would work his way into second on lap 28 and set his sights on Bower. With Bower running the top and Sheppard the bottom, the pair would run in tight quarters until two laps to go. Going into three and four Sheppard found the speed he needed to get by Bower and go on to the narrow 00.955 of a second win over Bower. Robbie Bellinger, Andrew Ferguson, career best fourth and Jimmy Phelps rounded out the top five. Larry Wight, Rich Scagliotta, Pat Ward, Tim Sears Jr. and Mike Bowman finished sixth through tenth.
On the race card will be the Tracey Road Equipment DIRTcar Big Block Modifeds, SUNY Canton Sportsman, Firehouse Subs Mod Lites and JB Logging & Firewood Four-Cylinders. Any questions you might have and for marketing opportunities please contact Cory Reed (315) 668-6906 cory@brewertonspeedway.com for the latest news go to www.brewertonspeedway.com and like the track Facebook page www.facebook.com/BrewertonSpeedway .
Ingles Performance Night June 3 Quick Results
(Tracey Road Equipment DIRTcar Modifieds 35 Laps) - MATT SHEPPARD, Chuck Bower, Robbie Bellinger, Andrew Ferguson, Jimmy Phelps, Larry Wight, Rich Scagliotta, Pat Ward, Tim Sears Jr., Mike Bowman, Tom Sears Jr., Chad Phelps, Chris Hile, Ryan Phelps, Vic Coffey, Joe August Jr., Roy Bresnahan, Max McLaughlin, Jim Witko Jr., Vinnie Vitale, Jeff Blackburn, Tim Kerr, Tim Murphy, Matt Hulsizer.
(Heat Winners) - Matt Sheppard, Rich Scagliotta, Tim Sears Jr.

Wight and Sheppard Kick-Off 2016 Season with Impressive Wins at Utica-Rome

VERNON, NY- The Utica-Rome Speedway kicked off it’s 2016 season this past Sunday, April 17th, with a pair of 20-lap feature events for the Gates-Cole Insurance Modifieds. The two events were won by familiar faces as Larry Wight picked up the win in the first and Matt Sheppard made an exciting pass at the end of the race for the win in the second. The night also saw Rocky Warner return to Victory Lane for the SUNY Canton 602 Sportsman, Jeremy Vunk for the Broedel Energy Open Sportsman and Luke Horning for the Pro Stocks.
The first Gates-Cole Insurance 20-lap Modified feature of the season Wight got the win but it didn’t come easy. Marc Johnson and Matt Hulsizer opened the race swapping the lead multiple in the first five circuits before Hulsizer finally settled in as the leader. Hulsizer then began feeling the pressure from Wight. Wight pressured him before finally getting by on lap eight. Wight blasted by Hulsizer in traffic on the cushion in turns and four.
The only caution came on lap 12 when Vinnie Vitale had problems and slowed in turns three and four. Once the race got back underway Wight felt some pressure from Tim Fuller. Fuller worked every lane he could but it didn’t matter as Wight refused to give up the lead. Wight picked up the $1,500 victory with Fuller and Hulsizer finishing out the podium. Sheppard finished fourth while Pat Ward finished fifth.
The second 20-lap feature Chris Hile bolted from his outside front row starting position to the lead around Mike Mahaney. Hile had constant pressure from Mahaney as they both worked the high-groove on the race track. They remained in the top two spots while Sheppard was advancing from fifth to third. Sheppard several efforts on the inside to get into the top two but couldn’t get it done early.
Just like the first feature, a caution bunched the field on lap 12. The restart allowed action to pick up once again. Hile held off Mahaney as much as he could but Mahaney pulled a classic slide job on lap 16 to secure the top position in turns three and four. The action wasn’t done at this point. Sheppard closed in on Mahaney and used a slide job of his own on lap 19 to take over the lead. Sheppard led the final circuit for the 26th win of his career at Utica-Rome. Danny Varin charged from 10th to finish in second. Mahaney crossed the line third but was later disqualified after running out of fuel and coming up light on the scales. This moved Hile back into third with Ward and Fuller rounding out the top five.
Coming up next week at the Utica-Rome Speedway is another exciting event for the Gates-Cole Insurance Modifieds, SUNY Canton 602 Sportsman, the Broedel Energy Open Sportsman and the Pro Stocks. They’ll be joined by the Go Nuclear Late Models in the Prelude to the Gnome Cup. Action starts for the program presented by Wilber-Duck Chevrolet at 6 p.m.
For more information about the speedway please visit our website at www.uticaromespeedway.com.
BUSCH BEER 55TH SEASON OPENER RACE SUMMARY
GATES-COLE INSURANCE MODIFIED FEATURE #1 FINISH (20 LAPS)- LARRY WIGHT, Tim Fuller, Matt Hulsizer, Matt Sheppard, Pat Ward, Ronnie Johnson, Chris Hile, Mike Mahaney, Marc Johnson, Danny Varin, Ryan Phelps, Danny Johnson, Rob Bellinger, Vic Coffey, Mat Williamson, Josh Hohenforst, Billy Whittaker, Ryan Bartlett, Max McLaughlin, Tim Mayne, Justin Haers, Mark Kislowski, Vinnie Vitale, and Shaun Pangman.

GATES-COLE INSURANCE MODIFIED FEATURE #2 FINISH (20 LAPS)- MATT SHEPPARD, Danny Varin, Chris Hile, Pat Ward, Tim Fuller, Larry Wight, Ronnie Johnson, Matt Hulsizer, Danny Johnson, Vic Coffey, Marc Johnson, Ryan Phelps, Mat Williamson, Josh Hohenforst, Billy Whittaker, Vinnie Vitale, Max McLaughlin, Ryan Bartlett, Katelyn Hile, Shaun Pangman, Mark Kislowski, Rob Bellinger, Justin Haers, and Mike Mahaney.

SHEPPARD TAKES BIG GATOR IN DIRTCAR NATIONALS

Hearn won the battle but it was Sheppard who won the war as he captured his second career DIRTcar Nationals title. Throughout the four days of Big Block action, Sheppard never finished outside the top five. He finished fifth on opening night and then took home a win before a second and a third to conclude the week.Sheppard’s third place finish was enough for him to claim the championship. He battled Friesen for the final five laps and nearly pulled off the last lap pass for second. Although he was denied the position he enjoyed his second career DIRTcar Nationals title. His last came back in 2010.
“We had an awesome race car all week,” said Sheppard. “We had another good car tonight. Brett snookered us on tires a little bit. We were really coming on Stewie there at the end. I couldn’t be prouder of all those guys standing over there that stepped up to help out. To come down here out of the box to have a first, second, third and a fifth is pretty good, pretty consistent. Hopefully we can keep it going all season.”


Sheppard Wins DIRTcar Nationals Barn Burner on Thursday Night
By MIKE MALLETT
BARBERVILLE, FL – Thursday night’s 30-lap Modified DIRTcar Nationals main-event at Volusia Speedway Park came down to a battle between two of the best Super DIRTcar Series drivers in the Northeast. Matt Sheppard and Larry Wight duked it out for the final 10 laps of the feature race with Sheppard coming out on top at the checkered flag. Sheppard’s win came behind the wheel of his self-owned No. 9s Bicknell. The Waterloo, N.Y., driver split with Heinke-Baldwin Racing over the winter after a successful 2015 that saw him win the series title. This forced Sheppard to go in a different direction this year. Sheppard chose to start his own team and it quickly paid dividends as he marched to his seventh career DIRTcar Nationals triumph.“This is unreal,” said Sheppard. “It was such a crazy off-season for us; building this team in such a short period of time. We can say I’m going out on my own but not really. I got a ton of great people that have stepped up to help out. Everything really came together. The crew has been busting their butt all night on this car. We had trouble in qualifying, we had trouble in the heat race and they never gave up. Man two races in and we are sitting in Victory Lane already that is awesome.”Wight redrew the pole and was flanked for the start by opening night winner Tim Fuller. Wight surged to the lead at the start before caution slowed the pace after only one lap. Billy VanInwegen caught the inner guardrail and shot up the bank collecting several cars in turns three and four. Everyone was able to continue except VanInwegen as his night came to an end with front end damage.The field restarted with Wight at the point but he quickly lost two positions as both Labauch and Fuller shot by in turns one and two. Laubach raced to the lead with Fuller looking to his outside as they battled down the backstretch. Laubach would come out on top as the race leader. Laubach set a torrid pace from this point as Fuller did everything in his power to remain in the thick of things at the front of the field. Laubach continued to distance himself with Fuller searching around as the high-line that propelled him to victory wasn’t as strong as it was on Wednesday night. Action began picking up as the race reached the halfway point. Laubach caught the tail of the field which impeded his progress as he had to work through traffic. The rest of the field took advantage and closed the gap. Laubach led with Fuller second while Wight and Sheppard swapped the third position lap after lap. With just eight circuits left, Sheppard and Wight pounced on Laubach and Fuller. Fuller faded while Laubach got boxed in by a slower car on the bottom allowing Sheppard to roll the middle and Wight to use the extreme outside. The three drivers waged a fierce battle for the lead until Sheppard finally edged in front on lap 24. “He (Laubach) got jammed up and I was able to roll around the outside of him there,” he said. “The key thing was I was able to go around the lapped car into one and then I got it turned fast enough to get down to the bottom to get that good run off of one and down the backstretch. That’s what sealed the deal for us.” Even though Sheppard was able to wrestle the lead from Laubach he still had to hold off Wight. Wight began slamming the cushion in his LJL Racing Teo Pro Car. This allowed him to stay within striking distance of Sheppard. Sheppard altered his line just slightly to find the bite off of turn two. This alteration provided him the opportunity to gain some breathing room as he worked through traffic quickly. “It got pretty hectic out there,” Sheppard said. “I was pretty good on the bottom. I ran out of tear offs with about five or six to go. That was a little nerve wracking. I’m just so thankful to be able to hang on to win this for everybody.” Sheppard scored the win over Wight by 1.2 seconds. Wight wheeled his No. 99L around the cushion but it wasn’t enough to pull off the upset victory in the closing laps. “We’ve been doing a lot of testing down here,” Wight said. “We are trying to use it for all we can. I think tonight we had a really good car. It took me a little too long to find the top of one and two. We were in the middle of three and four. Right there at the end traffic got the best of me. Matt (Sheppard) was able to get down to the bottom and run away from me.” Wight was hoping to add a Small Gator trophy to the Big Gator trophy he won at the conclusion of 2015. A second DIRTcar Nationals title is a possibility now that he has two top five finishes on the week. He’ll continue to search for a win in the final two nights of competition. “This Gypsum Wholesalers car has been phenomenal,” Wight said. “To come down here and try and pick it up twice would be great. I can’t thank the crew enough.” Laubach, a Modified standout in his own right from Hellertown, Pa., was able to hang on to the final spot on the podium. He was disappointed with how the race played out. He said he felt like the slower car may have cost him an opportunity for a DIRTcar Nationals win for the second year in a row. “You want to win one,” said Labuach. “I didn’t think I was going to get the lead from those guys. Then I started pulling away from them and I was comfortable before I got caught up in the lapped traffic. That guy wouldn’t get out of my way. If I could have just got by him I think I could have held them off. That is part of it, I just wasn’t good enough to get by him so it is what it is.” Stewart Friesen rallied late from his 10th starting spot to finish in fourth while Erick Rudolph came from seventh to complete the top five. Laubach was the fastest car on the night in group qualifying with a lap of 17.817. Heat wins were secured by Laubach, Billy Pauch, Billy Dunn and Dave Rauscher. Peter Britten and Steve Bernard won their respective consolation events.
Racing returns Thursday night at Volusia Speedway Park for the 10th day of the DIRTcar Nationals. Gates open at 5 p.m. and racing begins at 7:30 p.m. Follow the series on Twitter @SuperDIRTcar, or click www.SuperDIRTcarSeries.com.

DIRTcar Nationals Note Tyler Dippel was fined $500 and placed on probation until the end of the 2016 Super DIRTcar Series season following an incident the previous night.

DIRTcar Nationals Statistical Report; Feb. 18, 2016; Volusia Speedway Park; Barberville, Fla.
A-Main (30 Laps) – 1. 9s-Matt Sheppard, 2. 99L-Larry Wight, 3. 7-Rick Laubach, 4. 44-Stewart Freisen, 5. 25R-Erick Rudolph, 6. 49-Billy Dunn, 7. 19-Tim Fuller, 8. 1-Billy Pauch, 9. 20-Brett Hearn, 10. 1T-Tyler Dippel, 11. 07-Tim Kerr, 12. 32c-Vic Coffey, 13. 21a-Pete Britten, 14. 54-Steve Bernard, 15. 14J-Alan Johnson, 16. 74-J.R Heffner, 17. 27J-Danny Johnson, 18. 5*-Tyler Siri, 19. 83-Brian Swartzlander, 20. 1G-Darwin Green, 21. 6m-Mat Williamson, 22. 323-Neal Williams, 23. 85-H.J. Bunting, 24. 48T-Dave Rauscher, 25. 28p-Eldon Payne, 26. 5-Billy VanInwegen
Last Chance Showdown 1 (10-laps – Top 3 Finishers Transer) – 1. 21a-Pete Britten, 2. 83-Brian Swartzlander, 3. 19m-Jessey Mueller, 4. 21k-Randy Chrysler, 5. 8-Rich Scagliotta, 6. 64-Daniel Nadeau, 7. 30-Jamie Mills
Last Chance Showdown 2 (10-laps – Top 3 Finishers Transer) – 1. 54-Steve Bernard, 2. 1G-Darwin Green, 3. 6m-Mat Williamson, 4. 14-C.G. Morey, 5. OBs-Jeremy Markle, 6. 29J-Chris Ostrowsky, 7. 29e-Erik Martin
Heat 1 (8 Laps – Top 5 finishers transfer to the A-feature) – 1. 7 Rick Laubach, 2. 99L Larry Wight, 3. 5* Tyler Siri, 4. 85 H.J. Bunting, 5. 5 Billy VanInwegen, 6. 19m Jessey Mueller, 7. 83 Brian Swartzlander, 8. 21k Randy Chrysler, 9. 64 Daniel Nadeau
Heat 2 (8 Laps – Top 5 finishers transfer to the A-feature) – 1. 1-Billy Pauch, 2. 19-Tim Fuller, 3. 44-Stewart Freisen, 4. 1T-Tyler Dippel, 5. 32c-Vic Coffey, 6. 21a-Pete Britten, 7. 30-Jamie Mills, 8. 8-Rich Scagliotta
Heat 3 (8 Laps – Top 5 finishers transfer to the A-feature) – 1. 49-Billy Dunn, 2. 20-Brett Hearn, 3. 27J-Danny Johnson, 4. 07-Tim Kerr, 5. 74-J.R Heffner, 6. 54-Steve Bernard, 7. 6m-Mat Williamson, 8. 29e-Erik Martin, 9. 28p-Eldon Payne
Heat 4 (8 Laps – Top 5 finishers transfer to the A-feature) – 1. 25R-Erick Rudolph, 2. 9s-Matt Sheppard, 3. 48T-Dave Rauscher, 4. 14J-Alan Johnson, 5. 323-Neal Williams, 6. 1G-Darwin Green, 7. OBs-Jeremy Markle, 8. 29J-Chris Ostrowsky, 9. 14-C.G. Morey
Qualifying Group 1 – 1. 7-Rick Laubach, 17.817; 2. 5*-Tyler Siri, 18.395; 3. 5-Billy VanInwegen, 18.404; 4. 99L-Larry Wight, 18.517; 5. 85-H.J. Bunting, 18.592; 6. 21k-Randy Chrysler, 18.803; 7. 83-Brian Swartzlander, 19.314; 8. 64-Daniel Nadeau, 20.156; 9. 19m-Jessey Mueller, 20.573
Qualifying Group 2 – 1. 1-Billy Pauch, 17.961; 2. 19-Tim Fuller, 18.075; 3. 1T-Tyler Dippel, 18.172; 4. 44-Stewart Freisen, 18.253; 5. 32c-Vic Coffey, 18.657; 6. 30-Jamie Mills, 18.694; 7. 21a-Pete Britten, 18.724; 8. 8-Rich Scagliotta, 18.993
Qualifying Group 3 – 1. 49-Billy Dunn, 18.080; 2. 20-Brett Hearn, 18.336; 3. 27J-Danny Johnson, 18.387; 4. 07-Tim Kerr, 18.527; 5. 74-J.R Heffner, 18.543; 6. 54-Steve Bernard, 18.553; 7. 28p-Eldon Payne, 18.583; 8. 6m-Mat Williamson, 18.663; 9. 29e-Erik Martin, 19.413
Qualifying Group 4 – 1. 25R-Erick Rudolph, 18.476; 2. 48T-Dave Rauscher, 18.539; 3. OBs-Jeremy Markle, 18.597; 4. 9s-Matt Sheppard, 18.606; 5. 1G-Darwin Green, 18.688; 6. 14J-Alan Johnson, 18.716; 7. 323-Neal Williams, 18.934; 8. 14-C.G. Morey, 19.094; 9. 29J-Chris Ostrowsky, 20.122; 10. X-Ed Kitchell, 24.126

Sheppard Ready for Challenge of Running His Own Team in ’16 By MIKE MALLETT
Matt Sheppard has been fortunate over the course of his career to drive for some very good car owners including his most recent stint with Heinke-Baldwin Racing. As has been well documented that team split nearly three weeks ago leaving Sheppard looking for something for the upcoming 2016 season. After mulling over his options and looking at things, Sheppard has decided it’s time to start his own team.
“I’m putting my own deal together,” said Sheppard. “Obviously starting from scratch so it’s going to take a lot of help from a lot of different people, but so far things are going well. A lot of people have stepped up and we are getting closer to getting a program together. We aren’t quite there but we are getting close. We need some other people to step up. It’s been a busy couple weeks with a lot of phone calls. There is a lot of stuff to put together. I’m just trying to take it one step at time while at the same time trying to put ten things together at once.”
The decision means Sheppard is starting from the ground up. He has to acquire everything from the tools needed weekly at the track to a truck and trailer to get his equipment to the speedway while also putting together his cars to race. His work on that process has already begun.
“The biggest deal right now, I’ve told a lot of people, is that it’s like a big puzzle and I need to put a lot of pieces together to make sure I got a good program,” stated Sheppard. “Basically right now I’m trying to tackle one piece of the puzzle at a time. That is the most nerve racking point. I think once we get the program together and I get what I need, and that isn’t so much cars and motors, as it is trucks, trailers and tools, stuff like that. Once I can piece all that together when it gets down to racing the stuff I’m sure we’ll be comfortable. It’s the building the stuff from scratch that is going to be the tough part.”
Sheppard has been fortunate that his previous car owners have let him, for the most part, do is own thing. He’s been able to make most of the decisions. Now he’ll be making all of the decisions. Unlike in the past, those decisions will also include dealing with the financial end of running his own operation.
“I’m definitely excited,” commented Sheppard about being the decision maker. “I’ve always had the luxury of having a lot of say in how my program is run. Through the years I had a lot of owners that have trusted me to make decisions. I pretty much know the ins-and-outs. It’s going to be the first time that I’m financially responsible at the end of the day. At that the same time I’m kind of excited to be able to get everything together and do a program the way I want to do it.”
Sheppard has indicated he’ll return to Bicknell cars for the upcoming season. He’s always had a close relationship with the company and even though he’s had major success the last two years in Troyers, including a Super DIRTcar Series championship, he feels more comfortable with Bicknell.
“I’m going to be back in the Bicknell cars,” stated Sheppard. “I’ve always had a close relationship with them. It’s not that I don’t like the Troyer cars and we’ve had a lot of success in them. I didn’t feel as connected with them. Randy (Williamson), (Bob) Slack, Pete (Bicknell) and all the guys at Bicknell; I’ve had a great relationship with them throughout the years and they are willing to step up and help me out a little bit to get me back into this deal. I look forward to working with them again.”
A similar schedule is in the works for the Brewerton Speedway, Canandaigua Motorsports Park and Utica-Rome Speedway champion. He’ll also return to defend his Super DIRTcar Serie title.
“I’m going to run a similar schedule,” he said. “If I can get everything together I’d like to run the same deal I did last year with my stuff. The only difference being I’m going to run some races at other places for other people. Other than that it is going to depend on how strong of a program I can put together. I’m definitely looking at Canandaigua, Utica and the series again. Obviously I’d love to get back to Brewerton Friday night’s too.”
Sheppard now has the opportunity to go on the road for other car owners once again. He has been in contact with Pennsylvania car owner Norm Hansell but a deal hasn’t been struck to this point. The duo had success together in the past after nearly collecting a Race of Champions Series title. He’s also been in contact with other car owners and possible supporters as he continues to finalize the deals necessary to get his program off the ground.

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