Matt Sheppard’s competitors threw everything they could at him throughout Friday night’s 40-lap feature at the World Finals, but on this night “Super Matt” had no kryptonite as he set the Super DIRTcar Series single-season win record.
After the first 32 laps at The Dirt Track at Charlotte went green, a rash of cautions hit the final eight laps. Sheppard dealt with restart after restart, but was able to fend off every challenge that was thrown at him by Justin Haers.
“I felt like I was in a good rhythm and was rolling along pretty good,” Sheppard said. “I really did not want to see that yellow on lap 39.”
Sheppard took the inside line for the restart with Haers to his outside. Sheppard jumped on the throttle as soon as he hit the restart line and was clear to the lead before they even reached the start/finish line.
That was all Sheppard needed as he powered away from Haers and Billy Decker over the final two laps.
“This car was awesome,” said Sheppard in victory lane. “It’s been awesome since we got here. We haven’t touched a thing on it. When you’ve got a car that good it makes my life easy.”
Sheppard entered the World Finals weekend with 10 wins in Super DIRTcar Series competiton. That had him tied with Brett Hearn and Billy Decker for the single-season win record. Now Sheppard stands alone in the record books as the single-season win leader with 11 and a chance to extend the record on Saturday night.
“That’s unbelievable,” Sheppard said as the Superman theme song played over The Dirt Track’s speakers. “We started our own team in the winter and to come out and have a record-breaking season like this, I never would have dreamed it.”
The win was the 46th Super DIRTcar Series win of Sheppard’s career and it clinched him his fifth Super DIRTcar Series championship.
But while Sheppard has seemingly won everything and everywhere over the last few seasons, the win on Friday night is Sheppard’s first at The Dirt Track at Charlotte.
“I’m just really excited to finally get a win down here at Charlotte,” Sheppard said. “I’m excited for the whole crew. What a dream season.”
Justin Haers finished second after winning both of his heat races on Thursday night. Billy Decker, Pat Ward and Danny Johnson completed the top five.
Speed51.com will have more from Friday night’s Super DIRTcar Series action from the World Finals including interviews and highlights still to come on the Speed51 Network. If you are not a Speed51 Network subscriber, click here to join.
For an on-demand replay of Friday night’s Trackside Now coverage presented by JRi Shocks of the Super DIRTcar Series at the World Finals, click here.
-By Rob Blount, Speed51.com Southeast Editor – Twitter: @RobBlount
-Photo Credit: Speed51.com
Super DIRTcar Series Friday A-Main
The Dirt Track at Charlotte, Concord, North Carolina