The only thing that can defeat Superman is kryptonite, the rock that makes up his home planet. Apparently Tim Fuller had a little bit of kryptonite riding on his car, because he was able to catch and pass “Super” Matt Sheppard with less than five laps to go to take the win in the season finale for the Super DIRTcar Series at World Finals at The Dirt Track at Charlotte (NC).
Sheppard started the final 40-lap feature of the season from the pole position and immediately drove away from the field. For much of the race it appeared that Sheppard was on cruise control out in front. But then he caught lapped traffic.
Fuller, who started fifth, methodically worked his way through lapped traffic on the bottom until he caught Sheppard. Then he put his No. 19 machine on the outside of Sheppard and drove by with two laps to go. The victory was Fuller’s third of the season.
“To win here in front of a stage like that is really cool,” Fuller said after. “The rule is when you catch lapped traffic that you run the bottom so that’s what I did and it worked out.”
Even though he led nearly the entire feature except for the last two laps, Sheppard was left to finish second, however that didn’t upset him too much as he clinched his seventh overall Super DIRTcar Series championship and fourth in a row.
“We had a good day getting that seventh championship,” Sheppard said. “It was an up and down day with the races. I felt like we had a car that could win both races and we ended up with two podium finishes. Overall it’s a great day for us.”
Sheppard’s seventh championship puts him in second place on the all-time Super DIRTcar Series championship list, just one championship behind Brett Hearn.
“I’ve been very fortunate. I’ve had some great race teams and some good luck. Hopefully we’re not done yet. Hopefully we can get a few more.”
Erick Rudolph entered the weekend 42 points behind Sheppard with an outside chance at winning the title if something were to happen to Sheppard.
Unfortunately for Rudolph, Sheppard was able to overcome a flat tire in the first feature on Saturday to still score a podium finish and finish second in the final race of the weekend.
Rudolph scored a fifth-place finish in the first feature of the day, but only a 20th-place finish in the second feature. However, Rudolph was far from disappointed about his season.
“We didn’t really have any expectations of winning the points championship,” Rudolph said. “As a team, this was our first year running the full season. Coming into the last race and having a chance at it, we’re definitely really proud of that.”
Now that the World Finals are over, the Super DIRTcar Series teams will take a couple of months off and regroup before heading to Florida in February for the DIRTcar Nationals at Volusia Speedway Park.
-By Rob Blount, Speed51.com Associate Editor – Twitter: @RobBlount
-Photo Credit: Speed51.com