BECHTELSVILLE, P.A. — From green-to-checkered, it was Matt Sheppard who dominated Thursday night’s Traffic Jam at Grandview Speedway and captured his fourth Super DIRTcar Series Big-Block Modifieds victory of the season.
Sheppard, who started the feature on the front row with Pete Britten, jumped out to the lead early. Despite lapped traffic, Sheppard was strong from the start to finish.
Sheppard, driver of the No. 9s FX Caprara Big-Block Modified was all smiles in victory lane.
“This car has been so good,” Sheppard said. “We were a little tight tonight but it’s still a great racecar. It had enough grip to keep it going. Starting position was key tonight and starting on the pole helped.”
Sheppard was running the top lane early on but chose the bottom lane on a lap 22 restart with Craig Von Dohren beside him; it was Sheppard who powered forward.
There was a tough battle forming behind Sheppard as Britten and Von Dohren battled hard for the second spot. After several laps of side-by-side action Britten was able to take back the second spot on lap 24.
At the halfway mark the scoreboard saw Sheppard, Britten, Von Dohren, Stewart Friesen, and Billy Decker.
Sheppard caught the back of the pack on lap 34. As Sheppard caught lapped traffic, Britten closed the gap in a hurry.
Running hard on the top to catch Sheppard, Britten got sideways between turns three and four causing him to lose his momentum and almost spinning. Britten though was able to save his No. 18H machine.
Friesen found the top side and was in third on lap 51 but it didn’t seem like the outside groove was the place to be.
Sheppard was very proud of his crew.
“I don’t know if I’ve ever had a stretch like this,” Sheppard said. “It’s unbelievable with a tour like this with as many guys following the tour this year it’s incredible. I can’t thank my guys enough.”
Second place finisher Britten was satisfied with his podium finish.
“Congratulations to Matt tonight, he’s been running good. I feel real good for finishing second. We want to be able to push a little harder. The car got good midway through. We’re getting there.”
For Friesen, he has several podium finishes this season so far but is still digging.
“I think the cautions killed us there in the beginning. We got to them in lapped traffic but there wasn’t much of an outside groove tonight to challenge him. We’re consistent just not getting the balance.”
The Super DIRTcar Series takes on Eldora Speedway July 19 and 20, and Sharon Speedway July 21. For more information, visit EldoraSpeedway.com and SharonSpeedway.com.
Notebook: The 60-lap Traffic Jam at Grandview Speedway paid seven thousand dollars to win. 30 cars attempted to qualify and 30 cars started the field. Billy Decker set fastest time overall in time trials with a 14.309.
Super DIRTcar Series Statistical Report; July 14, 2016; Grandview Speedway, Bechtelsville, P.A.
A-Main (60 laps) – 1. 9s-Matt Sheppard, 2. 18h-Pete Britten; 3. 44-Stewart Friesen; 4. 66-Duane Howard; 5. 91-Billy Decker; 6. 98h-Jimmy Phelps; 7. 14s-Craig Von Dorhen; 8. 88m-Mike Mahaney; 9. 43h-Jimmy Horton; 10. 14w-Ryan Watt; 11. 19-Tim Fuller; 12. 55-Anthony Perrego; 13. 126-Jeff Strunk; 14. 27j-Danny Johnson; 15. 747-Ryan Godown; 16. 20-Brett Hearn; 17. 6w-Mat Williamson; 18. 43-Keith Flach; 19. 42p-Pat Ward; 20. 8-Rich Scagliotta; 21. 6h-Max Mclaughlin; 22. 28p-Eldon Payne; 23. 15-Billy Pauch Jr; 24. T3-Tom Sheetz; 25. 44j-John McClelland; 26. 19b-Brett Kresley; 27. 51m-Dominic Buffalino; 28. 17-Marcus Dinkins; 29. 99L-Larry Wight; 30. 35-Frank Cozze
Heat 1 (8 Laps) – 1. 91-Billy Decker; 2. 88-Mike Mahaney; 3. 66-Duane Howard; 4. 27j-Danny Johnson; 5. 20-Brett Hearn; 6. 42p- Pat Ward, 7. 14w-Ryan Watt, 8. 19b-Brett Kressley, 9. 6h-Max McLaughlin; 10. 44j-John Mclelland
Heat 2 (8 Laps) – 1. 44-Stewart Friesen; 2.9s-Matt Sheppard; 3. 18h-Pete Britten; 4. 19-Tim Fuller 5. 15-Billy Pauch Jr; 6. T3-Tom Sheets; 7. 43-Jimmy Horton; 8. 6m-Mat Williams; 9. 51m-Doninic Buffalino; 10. 8-Rich Scagliotta
Heat 3 (8 Laps) – 1. 99L-Larry Wight; 2. 98h-Jimmy Phelps; 3. 14s-Craig Vondohren; 4. 747-Ryan Godown, 5. 43-Keith Flach; 6. 126-Jeff Strunk; 7. 35- Frank Cozze; 8. 55-Anthony Perrego; 9. 28p-Eldon Payne; 10. 17-Marcus Dinkins
Qualifying Group 1 – 1. 91-Billy Decker, 14.309; 2. 6h-Max Mclaughlin, 14.519; 3. 88-Mike Mahaney, 14.607; 4. 42p- Pat Ward, 14.666; 5. 66-Duane Howard, 14.695; 6. 27j-Danny Johnson, 14.705; 7. 20-Brett Hearn, 14.762; 8. 14w-Ryan Watt, 14.790
Qualifying Group 2 – 1. 44-Stewart Friesen, 14.481; 2.9s-Matt Sheppard, 14.531; 3. 18h-Pete Britten, 14.609; 4. 19-Tim Fuller, 14.647 5. 8-Rich Scagliotta, 14.821; 6. 43-Jimmy Horton, 14.851; 7. 51m-Doninic Buffalino, 14.929; 8. T3-Tom Sheetz, 15.178; 9. 15-Billy Pauch Jr, 15.413
Qualifying Group 3 – 1. 99L-Larry Wight, 14.560; 2. 43-Keith Flach, 14.570; 3. 98h-Jimmy Phelps, 14.708; 4. 55-Anthony Perrego, 14.738; 5. 14s-Craig Vondohren, 14.740; 6. 35-Frank Cozze, 14.766; 7. 747-Ryan Godown, 14.810; 8. 126-Jeff Strunk, 15.052; 9. 28p-Eldon Payne, 15.244; 10. 17-Marcus Dinkins, 15.406
The Super DIRTcar Series and DIRTcar Racing in the Northeast is brought to fans by many important sponsors and partners, including: Hoosier Racing Tire (Official Tire), VP Racing Fuels (Official Racing Fuel), Chevy Performance Parts and NAPA Auto Parts; in addition to contingency sponsors, including: ASI Race Wear, Bicknell Racing Products, Bilstein Shocks, Cometic Gasket, Comp Cams, Edelbrock, Fox Shocks, Henry’s Exhaust Systems, Intercomp, JE Pistons, JRI Shocks, KSE Racing Products, Mike’s Racing Heads, Motorsports Safety Systems, MSD, Pole Position Raceway, Superflow Dynos and Wrisco Aluminum; along with manufacturer sponsors, including: Beyea Headers, Racing Electronics and TNT Rescue.
-Super DIRTcar Series Press Release. Photo credit: Speed51.com/MoJo Photos