Matt Sheppard dominates at Autodrome Granby
By Martin Bélanger
GRANBY, Quebec—July 19, 2011—After an early pass of David Hébert for the race lead, Matt Sheppard dominated the rest of the Super DIRTcar Big-Block Series race from Autodrome Granby to pick up the win.
The Super DIRTcar Big-Block Series participated in their second race in two-days in Quebec, this time competiting at Autodrome Granby, the second race of the popular “Great Canadian Tour.” Another scorching hot day greeted the modified stars that ran in the ‘Ste-Marie Centre du Camion 100’’ race #7 of the Super DIRTcar Series.
Justin Haers and Granby points leader Francois Bernier led a field of 36-modifieds to the green flag with Haers jumping out into the early lead. As Haers led early, Matt Sheppard and David Hébert were already picking up positions on the race track.
A lap-3 caution for Jean Boissonneault bunched up the field, and the ensuing restart forced the first red flag of the 2011 Super DIRTcar Series to be displayed, as a massive pile-up blocked the entire front straightaway. Luckily, most cars were able to drive away from the carnage.
David Hébert continued his march forward on the next restart, as he made quick work of Gary Tomkins to move into third, with Dale Planck and Matt Sheppard following suit around Tomkins to complete the early top-5.
Lap-15 saw Dale Planck’s solid night come to an end as mechanical problems on the RezX Racing 77x car brought out the caution flag. David Hébert took advantage of yet another restart as he was able to pass Francois Bernier and set his sites on race leader Justin Haers. Matt Sheppard followed Hébert around Bernier to take over third.
Both Hébert and Sheppard were able to quickly cut into the lead built up by Haers and pressure the Phelps, NY driver. The pressure eventually got to Haers, as he slid high in turn 2 on lap-22, opening the door for David Hébert to move into the race lead with Sheppard taking over second.
Matt Sheppard then used the outside groove to take over the lead from Hébert on lap-25 and quickly began stretching his lead on the large field.
Two hard-chargers began making their presence known, as Danny Johnson and Brett Hearn were able to fight around Justin Haers to take over third and fourth, respectively. Johnson and Hearn were soon able to catch Hébert and a fantastic battle thrilled the crowd as the three drivers dueled for second. Johnson and Hébert swapped the lead multiple times, with Hébert holding the spot as the caution flag flew on lap-44 for debris. As the field took the crossed-flags indication the half-way point of the race, the top-5 were Sheppard, Hébert, Johnson, Hearn, and Martin Roy, who was having a fantastic race.
Once again, Sheppard opened up to a comfortable margin over the rest of the leaders on the following restart, but it was Danny Johnson who won the battle for second and now had his sites set on Sheppard.
A pair of caution flags late in the race as Sheppard was about to catch lapped traffic allowed the defending Super DIRTcar Big-Block Series champion to run with clean racetrack in front of him. Solid restarts allowed him to prevent Johnson from making any serious moves at Sheppard.
Lap-84 saw Hébert’s fine night come to an end as the St-Damase, Quebec driver lost control of his modified and spun the car, giving Brett Hearn third place.
Sheppard set another strong pace as Roy took third over Hearn on lap 86. Hearn got back to Roy and passed him on lap 90 as Billy Decker began making his presence known, moving into the top-5 around Bernier. Sheppard led the final laps to win his second Super DIRTcar Series feature of 2011 over Danny Johnson, Brett Hearn, Martin Roy and Billy Decker completes the top 5.
‘’I had a dominant car tonight and last night,’’ claimed an elated Sheppard in victory lane. ‘’The track was superb again and this is good for our points after losing a few last night to Billy Decker.” Brett Hearn was also had smiling face in third, ‘’we always have success in Quebec and we will try to build on these two events after struggling earlier in the series’’. Danny Johnson was found light on the scale and was disqualified, penalties will be announced in the near future.
The series will remain in Canada as it will head to the Merrittville Speedway on Monday August 1st to complete the Great Canadian Tour. It will be race #8 and nearing the halfway point in the Super DIRTcar Big-Block Series.
Super DIRTcar Big Block Series Race #7—Autodrome Granby, July 19, 2011 ‘Ste-Marie Centre du Camion 100’ Event Summary
Feature Results: 1. Sheppard (9S), 2. Johnson (27j)**, 3. Hearn (20), 4. Roy (90), 5. Decker (91), 6. Scagliotta (8), 7. Bernier (49), 8. M.Clair (1x), 9. Robidoux (46), 10. Wight (99l), 11. Haers (3), 12. Britten (21A), 13. Ledoux (12), 14. Bellinger (8R), 15. Phelps (98H), 16. Hébert (1H), 17. Chicoine (97), 18. Tomkins (4K), 19. Dufault (63), 20. Humes (0), 21. Sundborg (16), 22. Currier (10), 23. Gamache (74), 24. Lepage (99), 25. Bernard (54), 26. Terrance (66x), 27. Bussière (21), 28. Gougeon (44), 29. Boisvert (73), 30. D.Stacey (66W), 31. Planck (77X), 32. Bourgogne (20B), 33. Lalancette (98H), 34. Brouillard (3), 35. Sears (62), 36. Boissonneault (61),
**Johnson found light on the scales, penalties to be announced
BILSTEIN FAST TIME AWARD: 91 Billy Decker 18.261 sec/98.571MPH
Heat Races (8 laps, top 3 went to redraw)
#1: Haers, Johnson, Bussiere, Roy, Dufault, Wight, Bourgogne, Lalancette, D.Stacey
#2: Decker, M.Clair, Tomkins, Gougeon, Ledoux, Currier, Lepage, Sundborg
#3: Sheppard, Planck, Hebert, Britten, Boisvert, Robidoux, Scagliotta, Bernard, Brouillard
#4: Hearn, Phelps, Bernier, Terrance, Gamache, Bellinger, Boissonneault, Chicoine, Humes, Sears
Autodrome Granby Super DIRTcar Big Block Series Race #7 Roster (37)
0 Dan Humes/Canaan,CT
1 David Hebert/St. Damase,QUE
1x Mario Clair/St-Edmond,QUE
3 Claude Brouillard/Tracy,QUE
3h Justin Haers/Phelps, NY
4K Gary Tomkins/Clifton Springs, NY
8 Rich Scagliotta/Bound Brook,NJ
8r Rob Bellinger/Dexter,NY
9s Matt Sheppard/Waterloo,NY
9ss Luke Whitteker/Iroquois, Ont
10 Tim Currier/Auburn,NY
12 Yannick Ledoux/Granby,QUE
16 Eric Sundborg/Granby,QUE
20 Brett Hearn/Sussex,NJ
20B Kevin Bourgogne/Granby,QUE
21 Yan Bussiere/Drummondville,QUE
21a Peter Britten/Brisbane,QLD
27j Danny Johnson/Rochester,NY
44 Sebastien Gougeon/Drummondville,QUE
46 Kayle Robidoux/St-Constant,QUE
49 Francois Bernier/St-Hyacinthe,QUE
54 Steve Bernard/St Paul Abbotsford,QUE
61 Jean Boissonneault/Granby,QUE
62 Tom Sears/Clay, NY
63 Dominic Dufault/Ste-Victoire,QUE
66w Dexter Stacey/Kahnawake,QUE
66X Carey Terrance/Hogansburg, NY
73 Alain Boisvert/Pointe-Claire,QUE
74 Frederic Gamache/Granby,QUE
77x Dale Planck/Cortland,NY
90 Martin Roy/Napierville,QUE
91 Billy Decker/Unadilla,NY
97 Michel Chicoine/Ste-Cecile de Milton,QUE
98h Jimmy Phelps/Baldwinsville,NY
98H Justin Lalancette/Cornwall, Ont
99L Larry Wight/Phoenix,NY
99 Bruno LePage/Maple Grove,QUE
2011 Super DIRTcar Big Block Series Schedule
Sun-May 30 Rolling Wheels Raceway Tim Fuller
Tues-Jun 14 Canandaigua Motorsports Park Billy Decker
Tues-Jun 21 Orange County Fair Speedway Billy Decker
Sun-Jul 3 Cornwall Motor Speedway Danny Johnson
Mon-Jul 4 Rolling Wheels Raceway Matt Sheppard
Mon-Jul 18 Autodrome Drummond Brett Hearn
Tues-Jul 19 Autodrome Granby Matt Sheppard
Mon-Aug 1 Merrittville Speedway
Thurs-Aug 25 Lebanon Valley Speedway
Sun-Sept 4 Cayuga County Fair Speedway
Sat-Sept 10 Autodrome Drummond
Sat-Sept 17 Mohawk International Speedway
***Super DIRT Week XL***
Sun-Oct 9 New York State Fairgrounds
Sun-Oct 16 Brockville Ontario Speedway
***Eastern States Weekend***
Sun-Oct 23 Orange County Fair Speedway
Fri-Nov 4 Dirt Track at Charlotte
Sat-Nov 5 Dirt Track at Charlotte
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