Rising to the challenge is what separates a top-notch driver from the rest of the pack.  Whether it’s dominating a race, going on a winning streak or sealing a win with a late-race pass, drivers slowly rise to the top of the field and make a name for themselves.


That’s why FK Rod Ends, who has nearly 10,000 combinations of rod ends and spherical bearings available and carefully crafts their products, is proud to honor the 2017 “Team FK Driver of the Year” from the short track ranks of America on Speed51.com.


Throughout the 2017 racing season, an esteemed panel of short track industry insiders voted on which driver had the most success on the track.  The driver with the most votes was awarded “Team FK Driver of the Month” and received a $25 product certificate to use at FK Rod Ends.


Now, with the 2017 season concluded, we have calculated the votes from throughout the season to determine the “Team FK Driver of the Year.”


S FK 2018


Coming off a 41-win season, Matt Sheppard has been named the Team FK Driver of the Year for the second straight season.


Sheppard recorded an impressive 50-percent winning percentage in 2017, visiting victory lane in half of his 82 starts. In addition to his 41 victories, the driver from Waterloo, NY recorded 67 top-five finishes and finished in the top 10 in all but 10 of his starts.


Sheppard celebrates his 358 Modified victory at Super DIRT Week in October. (Speed51.com / MoJo Photos)

Sheppard celebrates his 358 Modified victory at Super DIRT Week in October. (Speed51.com / MoJo Photos)

“FK Rod Ends is proud to present Matt Sheppard with the 2017 FK Rod Ends Driver of the Year award,” said Brian McAllister of FK Rod Ends.  “His 2017 season was simply amazing with 41 wins out of 82 races, a touring series championship, as well as three track championships. We are certainly honored that Matt brought FK Rod Ends to victory lane with him time and time again throughout the season. Further proof that when a talented driver and crew insist on using only quality American-made, dependable products, the possibilities are endless.” 


Sheppard’s most impressive feat of the 2017 season may have been winning his third straight Super DIRTcar Series championship despite missing two races due to a suspension.  “Super Matt” climbed back into title contention during the summer months and clinched his sixth career series title during the World Finals in Charlotte.


Competing at local tracks throughout the state of New York, Sheppard captured track championships at Outlaw Speedway, Canandaigua Motorsports Park and Utica-Rome Speedway.  Sheppard scored 11 victories at Outlaw, finishing no worse than fourth during the season. He added seven wins at Canandaigua and seven victories at Utica-Rome.


As a result of another dominating season within the Dirt Modified ranks, Matt Sheppard is the 2017 FK Rod Ends Driver of the Year on Speed51.com.


Sheppard will receive $500 from FK Rod Ends and free product for the 2018 racing season.


To learn more about FK Rod Ends and their growing inventory visit fkrodends.com.


2017 FK Rod Ends Driver of the Month Winners: 

January – Christopher Bell

February – Nick Hoffman

March – Todd Gilliland

April – Reid Lanpher

May – Harrison Burton

June – Kyle Larson

July – Matt Hirschman

August – Curtis Gerry

September – Austin Theriault

October – Dave Marcuccilli

November – Jimmy Blewett

December – Kyle Busch


-Photo credit: Speed51.com / MoJo Photos

Team FK Rod Ends 2017 Driver of the Year Announced