After an exciting 2023 Super DIRTcar Series season, checks, trophies, and special awards were handed out during the year-end awards banquet on Saturday evening.
Along with Matt Sheppard being crowned the Series champion for the 10th time, the 16 full-time drivers were honored for competing with the Series in 2023.
Here’s how the drivers finished in the standings:
2023 Champion: Matt Sheppard put himself in his own category in 2023, earning his 10th Super DIRTcar Series championship, more than any other driver.
For his efforts, “Super” Matt took home $60,000 for winning the championship. He also won the Social Ambassador of the Year award for consistently promoting Super DIRTcar Series races and DIRTVision throughout the season. By earning this accolade, he’ll receive a commercial on DIRTVision for his merchandise.
The Waterloo, NY driver earned five wins throughout the year, and his consistency was unmatched, scoring 12 top-two finishes. He also moved to second on the all-time wins list, passing Danny Johnson and ending the season with 94 victories.
“We’ve had such a good run going,” Sheppard said. “Ten is a big number. It really is. It’s hard to sink in. I’m just so proud of this group of people in front of me. I couldn’t do it without any of them. Me, I have 10 championships, but so do (my crew and sponsors). I just kind of sit, steer, and have fun. These guys take care of all the rest.”
Randy Kisacky: While Sheppard celebrated the 2023 championship, his crew chief, Randy Kisacky, a 10-time Series champion along with Sheppard, won the HYTORC of New York Crew Chief of the Year Award.
Kisacky’s peers voted on the award, which came with $500 and a 3/8-torque wrench from HYTORC of New York’s Anthony Knighten.
“We definitely work hard at it,” Kisacky said. “But the crew chief and crew can’t shine without a great driver. It takes the whole team. Everything’s got to gel and go your way.”
Mat Williamson (2nd place): Mat Williamson finished second for the third-consecutive season, earning more wins than any other driver in 2023 with seven.
The St. Catharines, ON driver, started the year with two wins at Volusia Speedway Park and opened the points-paying season with two wins at Bridgeport Motorsports Park and Weedsport Speedway. Then, he finished the year with three more victories, another win at Weedsport, a last-lap pass to win at Brewerton, and his third Billy Whitaker Cars 200 win at Oswego Speedway during Super DIRT Week.
“It was a really good year,” Williamson said. “We’d like to thank the whole Buzz Chew crew; we couldn’t do any of this without them. It was a good year on the tour, and we’re looking forward to next year.”
Williamson also earned the DIRTcar 358 Modified Series championship in 2023.
Jimmy Phelps (3rd place): Super DIRTcar Series veteran Jimmy Phelps finished the year third in points after a strong finish after a runner-up finish at the World of Outlaws World Finals to cap off the season.
The Baldwinsville, NY driver finished the year with five top fives and 11 top 10s, earning back-to-back third-place finishes with the Series.
“We definitely underachieved toward the midseason, but this is tough,” Phelps said. “It’s tough company. Hopefully, we got things on track, and we can build from it this winter and see what spring brings.”
Mike Mahaney (4th place): Mike Mahaney rejoined the Super DIRTcar Series in 2023 and earned a career-best fourth-place finish at the season’s end. The Elizabethtown, NY driver won the King of the North finale at Autodrome Drummond in August, along with six top fives and 10 top 10s.
Tim Sears Jr. (5th place): Like Mahaney, Tim Sears Jr. also earned his career best Super DIRTcar Series finish, ending the year in fifth after never finishing in the top 10 in points. The Hastings, NY driver ended the year with three top fives and 13 top 10s—his best finish was third at Brewerton Speedway.
Max McLaughlin (6th place): In what’s expected to be his final full-time Super DIRTcar Series season for the near future, Max McLaughlin finished sixth in the final standings. He opened the year with a win at Volusia but struggled through most of the season.
The Mooresville, NC driver bounced back at the end, earning three top fives in the season’s final four races, including a second-place finish in the Billy Whittaker Cars 200 at Super DIRT Week 51.
McLaughlin will move on to a full-time season with the World of Outlaws CASE Construction Equipment Late Models in 2023 but will run a part-time Super DIRTcar Series schedule with Heinke-Baldwin Racing.
Jack Lehner (7th place): Jack Lehner returned to the Super DIRTcar Series in the 2023 season, earning his career-best finish of seventh. The Saratoga Springs, NY driver earned two top fives and eight top 10s—his best finish was third at Land of Legends Raceway during SummerFAST in August.
Chris Hile (8th place): Chris Hile returned to the Series in 2023, and it didn’t take him long to grab his first milestone. The “Hile Driver” earned his first career win in June at Albany-Saratoga Speedway, besting Matt Delorenzo. Hile finished the season in eighth with two top fives and seven top 10s.
Peter Britten (9th place): Despite an injury keeping him out of four Super DIRTcar Series features throughout the summer, Peter Britten earned a ninth-place finish at the end of the season. “Batman” earned seven top fives and eight top 10s in 16 starts, with his best finish coming at Land of Legends Raceway in July.
Larry Wight (10th place): Larry Wight rejoined the Super DIRTcar Series in 2023, ending the year with a 10th-place finish in the standings. The Phoenix, NY driver had two top fives and six top 10s in 2023—his best finishes at Orange County Fair Speedway (third) and Albany-Saratoga (fourth).
Darren Smith (11th place): In his sophomore season on the Super DIRTcar Series, Darren Smith bettered his finish by one, finishing 11th. The Binghamton, NY driver had a top five and three top 10s. His best finish came at Bridgeport in April when he finished fifth after leading 56 laps.
Adam Pierson (12th place): Adam Pierson returned for his second full year of Super DIRTcar Series competition, earning three top fives and three top 10s. His best finish came at his home track, Albany-Saratoga Speedway, when he finished third in June.
Felix Roy (13th place): Felix Roy ran with the Super DIRTcar Series for the first time in 2023, winning Rookie of the Year honors by 92 points over Steven Bernard. The Napierville, QC driver’s season was highlighted by a second-place finish at Albany-Saratoga Speedway in September.
“It’s huge,” Roy said. “It’s our first year in a Big Block. I really wanted to win this Rookie of the Year title, and we accomplished it. I wanted to thank everyone.”
Roy also earned the Super DIRTcar Series Fan Favorite award for 2023, voted on by the fans.
Steve Bernard (14th place): Like Roy, Quebec driver Steve Bernard joined the Super DIRTcar Series for the first time in 2023. The Granby, QC driver’s best run came in his home country at Autodrome Drummond when he finished fourth in the King of the North finale in August.
C.G. Morey (15th place): Veteran Big Block Modified driver C.G. Morey returned to Super DIRTcar Series competition in 2023, earning a 15th-place finish at the end of the season. His best finish came at Weedsport in July when he crossed the line in 15th.
Marcus Dinkins (16th place): Marcus Dinkins entered his fourth season of Super DIRTcar Series action in 2023, finishing in 16th. The Watkins Glen, NY driver earned his best finish at Ransomville when he grabbed the 21st spot.
Here’s a look at the top 15 in the final standings for the Super DIRTcar Series, and their end of year points-fund payouts:
- Matt Sheppard ($60,000)
- Mat Williamson ($35,000)
- Jimmy Phelps ($20,000)
- Mike Mahaney ($15,000)
- Tim Sears Jr. ($12,000)
- Max McLaughlin ($10,000)
- Jack Lehner ($9,000)
- Chris Hile ($8,000)
- Peter Britten ($7,000)
- Larry Wight ($6,000)
- Darren Smith ($5,000)
- Adam Pierson ($4,000)
- Felix Roy ($3,500)
- Steve Bernard ($3,000)
- C.G. Morey ($2,500)
UP NEXT: The Super DIRTcar Series will commence its 2024 season at Volusia Speedway Park during the Federated Auto Parts DIRTcar Nationals, Feb. 14-17. For tickets, visit DIRTcarNationals.com.