CORNWALL, ONT. – He’s unstoppable; with two Super DIRTcar Series wins to his credit already this season, “Super Matt” Sheppard, of Waterloo, N.Y, is on a roll. He outdueled veteran racer Billy Decker, of Sidney, N.Y., Sunday, June 29 to claim a stunning victory at Ontario’s Cornwall Motor Speedway and solidify his point lead over Decker, eight-time series champion Brett Hearn and the many other drivers vying for the title.
“I can’t say enough about this whole team here. Man, is this thing rolling!” Sheppard said of the Heinke-Baldwin Racing FX Caprara Car Co. No. 9h. “It doesn’t seem to matter whether we’re on a quarter-mile high-banked bullring like Cornwall, or a bigger track like Canandaigua; we’ve been good everywhere we’ve been. ”
Starting tenth on the grid, Sheppard worked his way forward as Australian driver Pete Britten took the initial lead. Decker ran in second, but was quick to challenge Britten. The pair powered off a lap-14 restart, but Britten Troyer No. 21a stumbled, wandering too low on the track and falling to 11th place.
Decker led over Boisvert, and, by lap 19, Sheppard had already charged to third place. In lab 25, the Phelps Cement Products No. 3 of Justin Haers slowed to a stop on the backstretch to bring yellow flag conditions. Larry Wight brought another caution in lap 37, and on the restart Sheppard powered to second place.
Decker motored forward, but Sheppard was gaining on him. Sheppard went for the pass in lap 50, and the leaders raced side-by-side until Decker jumped too high on the cushion in turns 3 and 4 of lap 51, causing the Gypsum Wholesalers LJL Racing No. 91 to spin a the yellow flag to wave.
“He was pretty well gone for a long time, then it seemed like when we got to second we were slowly able to start catching him,” Sheppard recalled of his mid-race battle with Decker. “We were able to get a run, battled side-by-side, and we were finally able to get around him.
The three-time Super DIRTcar Series Champion sped ahead, leading over Matt Billings and Alain Boisvert. Shepherd seemed to effortlessly cruise forward, putting more and more distance between the No. 9h and the rest of the field. He struggled with lapped traffic late in the race, but the struggle didn’t slow him down.
“The lapped traffic was tough,” Sheppard said. “Everyone was running two-by-two. There wasn’t a lot of room to really go anywhere. You had to wait for them to string out and go single-line, either high or low, so you could get by them
“That takes some patience sometimes,” he continued. “You want to get around them as fast as you can, but sometimes that just slows you down.”
Despite the challenge, Sheppard maintained his lead position through the checkered flag to claim his 30th career Super DIRTcar Series win, as well as his first-ever Big-Block Modified win at Cornwall Motor Speedway.
“It feels good to finally get this Big-Block win here,” Sheppard said. “It seems like we’ve been in the hunt a bunch of times.”
Billings, of Brockville, Ontario, finished second after wresting a position from Boisvert off a lap-42 restart.
“I didn’t really think the car was very good, but I think we just kept digging and kept on working,” said Billings, who has been making the haul to Central New York tracks Brewerton Speedway and Canandaigua Motorsports Park to compete against the likes of Sheppard on a weekly basis. “Running in Brewerton and Canandaigua weekly really puts you down a few pegs. But you’ve got to keep climbing high and keep trying to reach the top.”
Quebec driver Boisvert maintained his spot to claim third. Kyle Dingwall, of Morrisburg, Ontario, finished fourth after starting seventh and Billy Dunn, of Watertown, N.Y., finished fifth. Rounding out the top ten are Jimmy Phelps in sixth, Mat Williamson in seventh, defending series champion Hearn in eighth, early race leader Britten in ninth and Gary Tomkins in tenth.
The Super DIRTcar Series continues Thursday, July 3, at Rolling Wheels Raceway Park in Elbridge, N.Y. , for the classic Stars & Stripes Summer Super Show presented by Dig Safely 811. Race fans can catch the action even earlier, with the DIRTcar 358-Modified Series invading Humberstone Speedway in Port Colborne, Ontario, for a Canada Day special Tuesday, July 1. Both the DIRTcar 358-Modified Series and the DIRTcar Sportsman Modified Series will be running Wednesday, July 2, at Ransomville Speedway in Ransomville, N.Y. For more information about the Super DIRTcar Series, visit www.sugerdirtcarseries.com.
Super DIRTcar Series Statistical Report
Cornwall Motor Speedway
Sunday, June 29, 2014
1. 9h Matt Sheppard – Waterloo, N.Y. ($6,000)
2. 74 Matt Billings – Brockville, Ontario, Canada
3. 73 Alain Boisvert – Dorval, Quebec, Canada
4. 66 Kyle Dingwall – Morrisburg, Ontario, Canada
5. 49 Billy Dunn – Watertown, N.Y.
6. 98h Jimmy Phelps – Baldwinsville, N.Y.
7. 6m Mat Williamson – St. Catharines, Ontario, Canada
8. 20 Brett Hearn – Sussex, N.J.
9. 21a Pete Britten – Brisbane, Queensland, Australia
10. 84 Gary Tomkins – Clifton Springs, N.Y.
11. 40 Joel Doiron – Alexandria, Ontario, Canada
12. 21 Yan Bussiere – Drummondville, Quebec, Canada
13. 42p Pat Ward – Genoa, N.Y.
14. 99L Larry Wight – Altmar, N.Y.
15. 91 Billy Decker – Sidney, N.Y.
16. 10v Billy VanInwegen – Sparrowbush, N.Y.
17. 3 Justin Haers – Phelps, N.Y.
18. 10R Gabriel Richer – Les Coteaux, Quebec, Canada
19. 54 Steve Bernard – Granby, Quebec, Canada
20. 115 Stephane LaFrance – Casselman, Ontario, Canada
21. 22c Mario Clair – Drummondville, Quebec, Canada
22. 66x Carey Terrance – Hogansburg, N.Y.
23. 01 Chris Raabe – Napanee, Ontario, Canada
24. 151kb Brian McDonald – Cornwall, Ontario, Canada
25. 25 Erick Rudolph – Ransomville, N.Y.
26. 35 Mike Perrotte – Plattsburgh, N.Y.
27. 27J Danny Johnson – Rochester, N.Y.
28. 43 Keith Flach – Ravena, N.Y.
29. 23 Laurent Ladouceur – Alexandria, Ontario, Canada
30. 98S Rich Scagliotta – Hillsborough, N.J.
B-Main 1: Terrance, Bussiere, Ladouceur, Morin, Chicoine, Ward, Wilson, D. Stacey
B-Main 2: Bernard, Wight, VanInwegen, Richer, Kerr, Perrotte, Rice, W. Stacey, Scagliotta
Qualifying Heats (8 laps, top 5 transfer, top 3 redraw)
Heat 1: Raabe, Dingwall, Boisvert, McDonald, Hearn, Bussiere, Ward, Ladouceur, Chicoine, Herbison
Heat 2: Sheppard, Williamson, Dunn, Haers, Tomkins, D. Stacey, Morin, Wilson, Rice
Heat 3: Decker, Britten, Rudolph, Clair, Flach, VanInwegen, W. Stacey, Wight, Bernard
Heat 4: Johnson, Billings, Doiron, LaFrance, Phelps, Scagliotta, Richer, Kerr, Perrotte
Time Trials: 1. Decker 13.123; 2. Sheppard 13.157; 3. Johnson 13.194; 4. Britten 13.215; 5. Doiron 13.231; 6. Billings 13.232; 7. LaFrance 13.266; 8. Raabe 13.296; 9. Boisvert 13.297; 10. Bernard 13.307; 11. Flach 13.360; 12. Dunn 13.361; 13. Wight 13.362; 14. Williamson 13.364; 15. Herbison 13.380; 16. Phelps 13.382; 17. Haers 13.388; 18. Clair 13.456; 19. Ward 13.479; 20. Terrance 13.525; 21. Dingwall 13.536; 22. Rudolph 13.584; 23. VanInwegen 13.587; 24. Tomkins 13.607; 25. Scagliotta 13.625; 26. Ladouceur 13.666; 27. Richer 13.755; 28. Perrotte 13.783; 29 . McDonald 13.787; 30. Chicoine 13.869; 31. Bussiere 13.884; 32. Morin 13.988; 33. Kerr 13.988; 34. D. Stacey 14.124; 35. Wilson 14.627; 36. Rice 14.693. No Time: Hearn
DIRTcar PR – Troyer Racecars Photo