Matt Sheppard sets his sights on a 10th Series title, Mat Williamson looks to continue with momentum found at DIRTcar Nationals, and Canadian Mathieu Desjardins makes his Series debut as a full-time driver
The Super DIRTcar Series will make its first trip of the championship season to Bridgeport Motorsports Park for the King of the Big Blocks showcase on Sunday, April 23.
The 75-lap, $7,500-to-win, spectacular will be the lone stop for the Series this season at the Swedesboro, NJ oval and fourth visit at the track overall.
If you can’t make it to the track, you can watch all the action live on DIRTVision – either online or by downloading the DIRTVision App.
Here are the top storylines to follow:
TEN TIMES: Nine-time and defending Super DIRTcar Series champion Matt Sheppard will start his hunt for an unprecedented 10th Series title at Bridgeport Motorsports Park.
The Waterloo, NY driver suffered an uncharacteristic DNF at last year’s matchup, causing a slow start to his season. But he quickly rebounded the following race, taking the checkers at Can-Am Speedway, the first of seven season wins.
Last season’s overall performance was one of the most triumphant for the veteran driver. On top of seven Feature wins, he notched a third Billy Whittaker Cars 200 title, beating out defending champion Mat Williamson. With that success, he comes into this season currently tied with Danny Johnson for second on the all-time Series wins list at 89, looking to make history with a 90th victory.
KEEP IT GOING: After capping off last year on top of his game with two wins in three nights at the World Finals season finale, 2022 Series runner-up Mat Williamson returned to Florida this February for the Federated Auto Parts DIRTcar Nationals to do it all again.
Notching two wins in three nights during the Florida event, the St. Catharines, ON native brought home his first career Big Gator championship trophy. He’ll look to translate that momentum into the northeast region, starting by improving on last year’s fourth place finish at Bridgeport Motorsports Park.
NEWCOMER: Canadian Mathieu Desjardins became the center of attention on night two of last year’s World Finals when he beat out eventual Series champion Matt Sheppard to take the checkers in only his second Series start on American soil.
The veteran Sportsman Modified driver raced alongside his teammate, full-time Series driver Paul St. Sauvuer, who retired at the conclusion of last season. Desjardins will now take over St. Sauvuer’s #37 machine, looking to quickly make his presence known and bring home more wins.
SOPHMORE SEASON: 2022 Series Rookie of the Year Anthony Perrego will look to build on the success he found in his first full season with the Series. His sixth-place finish in the points battle, the most successful finish of any Series rookie, garnered him the accolade.
His run was anchored by five top-five finishes, including a runner-up finish at his home track Orange County Fair Speedway. The Walden, NY native will have his first chance to compete for a win this year at Bridgeport Motorsports Park.
DOUBLE TROUBLE: Heinke-Baldwin Racing teammates Jimmy Phelps and Max McLaughlin have proven time and again to be a force to be reckoned with when they enter the track. Finishing 10th and fifth last season, respectively, both will be contenders to keep an eye on at Bridgeport Motorsports Park.
Last season, Phelps consistently delivered finishes near the top of the leaderboard. He notched a Feature win at Weedsport Speedway on the opening night of SummerFAST before going on to place fourth in the Billy Whittaker Cars 200 at Super DIRT Week. Though he did not perform up to expectations at the 2023 Federated Auto Parts DIRTcar Nationals, he plans to put that behind him and start with a clean slate with the start of racing in the Northeast.
McLaughlin proved why he is one of the rising starts of the Series after locking in a fourth-place finish in point at 22 years old last season. The Mooresville, NC landed his first points paying Series win along with a podium finish at the Billy Whittaker Cars 200. He carried that momentum into this season, posting a strong showing at the Federated Auto Parts DIRTcar Nationals, capturing the victory on night one. He’ll look to continue the strong showings this season starting at Bridgeport Motorsports Park, improving on last year’s fifth place finish.
Bridgeport Motorsports Park
Configuration: 3/8 mile
AROUND THE TURN: The Super DIRTcar Series will next travel to Middletown, NY on Sunday, May 7, to compete at Orange County Fair Speedway in a $7,500-to-win spectacular.
2023 FEATURE WINS:
2023 HEAT WINS:
2023 BILLY WHITTAKER CARS FAST TIME AWARD
2023 LAPS LED
2023 Super DIRTcar Series Schedule & Winners
#/Day, Date/Track/Location/Winner (Total Wins)
1. Wednesday, Feb. 15 / Volusia Speedway Park / Barberville, FL / Max McLaughlin (1)
2. Thursday, Feb. 16 / Volusia Speedway Park / Barberville, FL / Mat Williamson (1)
3. Saturday, Feb. 18 / Volusia Speedway Park / Barberville, FL / Mat Williamson (2)