CONCORD, N.C. – Matt Sheppard, the 2015 Super DIRTcar Series champion, will have a different set of challenges than previous years when the series kicks-off at the 45th Annual DIRTcar Nationals at Volusia Speedway Park in Barberville, Fla. Sheppard will pursue the 2016 series title piloting a car owned and operated by his own team after parting ways with Heinke-Baldwin Racing (HBR).
Sheppard drove for HBR for two seasons, capturing the 2015 series title over Billy Decker, who bested Sheppard in 2014. Sheppard scored four wins, 15 top fives and 23 top 10s, capturing his first series title since winning three in a row in 2010, ’11 and ’12.
“It was a great season for us,” the Waterloo, N.Y-native said. “We won a bunch of races, then capped it off with the series championship, not much more you can ask for.”
Sheppard starts the 2016 season in an unfamiliar hole after HBR decided to scale back to a one car operation led by Jimmy Phelps. After examining his options, Sheppard decided to pursue his own racing venture.
“We’re having to build a team right now,” Sheppard said. “We have to gather equipment and find sponsorship. We had a lot of great people step up and we are just piecing it together one piece at a time. We should be in great shape to start 2016.
“I’m excited just to get going, Florida can’t get here soon enough. Our goals are going to be the same as last year. Hopefully we can win as many races as possible and capture our fifth series title.”
With less than two weeks remaining before the 2016 season begins, all eyes will be on Matt Sheppard and whether he will be able to hold form and compete for his fifth career championship.
Joining Sheppard and kicking off the 2016 season in Florida will be a host of familiar names, including Stewart Friesen, Jimmy Horton, Willy Auchmoody, Danny Johnson, Larry Wight, Tim Fuller, Dave Rauscher, Rich Laubach, Rich Scagliotta, Jamie Mills, Randy Chrysler, Eric Rudolph, Jesse Mueller, Tyler Dippel, Billy Pauch Sr., Chris Ostrowsky, Mat Williamson, Ryan Krutchen, Tim Kerr, Peter Britten and Eldon Payne.
The Super DIRTcar Series will return in 2016 with new sponsor Mike’s Racing Heads. The Concord, N.C.-based company is one of the leading custom cylinder head shops in the country with 30 years of cylinder head, manifold, and valve train development.
Tickets for DIRTcar Nationals start at just $20 and are on sale now by calling 844-DIRT-TIX (347-8849), or by visiting http://www.DIRTcarNationals.com.
Infield parking will be available on a first come, first served basis to all fans with a pit pass. The cost of the pit pass is $10 and will be available at the pit gate off of turn four.
Visit http://www.DIRTcarNationals.com for the latest news and information from the event. Follow DIRTcar Nationals on Twitter at http://www.Twitter.com/DIRTcarNats and on Facebook at http://www.Facebook.com/DIRTcarNationals.
-DIRTcar Press Release. Photo credit: Bruce Nuttleman/Speed51.com