As the Superman theme song played over The Dirt Track at Charlotte’s public address system, Matt Sheppard climbed onto the roof of his No. 9s Big Block Modified for the 12th time in 2016.  The man known as “Super Matt” already had the championship locked up, already claimed the record for most wins in a Super DIRTcar Series season, but he made sure he punctuated 2016 with an exclamation point on Saturday night.

 

On Friday night, Sheppard started on the pole and led all 40 laps to score his 11th win of the season.  It was nowhere near as easy for Sheppard on Saturday night.

Dirt Mods 300x300 (1)

Sheppard started Saturday’s 40-lap A-Main from the eighth position.  He was three and four-wide with fellow Super DIRTcar Series stalwarts like Brett Hearn, Billy Decker and Pat Ward.

 

But Sheppard was unflappable and worked his way through the field like a true five-time Super DIRTcar Series champion.  He knew he already had the big trophy and the check for the championship, so it was just time to have fun and go for another win.

 

“This place was so racy tonight,” Sheppard said in victory lane.  “These Big Blocks put on one heck of a show tonight.  We were racing two, three and four-wide there.  Last night we started on the pole and led the whole race.  I was happy to get that win, but tonight was even more satisfying.”

 

dirt-mods-sds-charlotte-sheppard-finish-10-29-16With five laps to go, Sheppard moved under Pat Ward to take second off of turn four.  He trailed Justin Haers by five car lengths, but ate that gap away immediately.

 

Haers jumped the cushion one lap after Sheppard moved into second and Sheppard pounced.  Sheppard got under Haers and drove by him into turn one.  Sheppard cleared Haers off turn two and quickly jumped out to a five car-length lead.

 

“We’re disappointed that we didn’t win after having the dominant car and leading that many laps,” Haers said after finishing third.  “I knew it was going to take a pretty good car to get by me.  I jumped the cushion there off of turn four and there goes the night.”

 

For Sheppard, the 12th win of the season was the 13th piece of evidence he needed (counting the championship, of course) to justify the move to start his own race team in the offseason.

Sheppard (9) makes the pass for the win on Justin Haers. (Speed51.com/Daryl Canfield photo)

Sheppard (9) makes the pass for the win on Justin Haers. (Speed51.com/Daryl Canfield photo)

“I just can’t say enough about this race car.  It was just fantastic,” Sheppard said.  “It was like it flipped a light switch about halfway and the thing just took off like a missile.  When I could see Justin and Pat there I wanted to win this race again.  I didn’t want to settle for third and thankfully this car was good enough that we could do it.”

 

Pat Ward, Justin Haers, Brett Hearn and Larry Wight completed the top five for the final race of the 2016 season.

 

Speed51.com will have more from the season finale for the 2016 Super DIRTcar Series season including race highlights and interviews still to come on the Speed51 Network.  To subscribe to the Speed51 Network, click here.

 

For an on-demand replay of Saturday’s Trackside Now coverage presented by Penske Racing Shocks and PFC Brakes of the final night of the Bad Boy Off Road World Finals, click here.

 

-By Rob Blount, Speed51.com Southeast Editor – Twitter: @RobBlount

-Photo Credit: Speed51.com/Daryl Canfield

 

Super DIRTcar Series World Finals Saturday A-Main

The Dirt Track at Charlotte, Concord, North Carolina

Unofficial Results

1 9S Matt   Sheppard
2 42P Pat Ward
3 3 Justin   Haers
4 20 Brett Hearn
5 99L Larry   Wight
6 27J Danny Johnson
7 19 Tim   Fuller
8 91 Billy Decker
9 84 Gary   Tomkins
10 18H Peter Britten
11 43H Jimmy   Horton
12 8 Rich Scagliotta
13 98H Jimmy   Phelps
14 O1 Chris Raabe
15 44 Stewart   Friesen
16 15 Billy Pauch Jr
17 6M Mat   Williamson
18 1 Tyler Dippel
19 10H Dave Blaney
20 35 Frank Cozze
21 66 Rick Laubach
22 19B Brett Kresley
23 7M Mike Maresca
24 43H Jimmy Horton
25 25R Erick Rudolph
26 14W Ryan Watt
27 6H Max McLaughlin
28 115 Kenny Tremont Jr
29 88M Mike Mahaney

 

DIRT: “Super Matt” is Super Again at Charlotte’s World Finals