Sheppard Tops Rolling Wheels
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Sheppard Breaks Through for First Super DIRTcar Victory of ’11

Defending champion holds off Danny Johnson in ‘Stars and Stripes’ thriller at Rolling Wheels

ELBRIDGE, N.Y. – July 4, 2011 – For the second consecutive night the Big-Block Modified Super DIRTcar Series race wasn’t decided until the final lap. Matt Sheppard held off a late-race charge Monday night by Danny Johnson to collect the victory at Rolling Wheels Raceway Park in the “Stars and Stripes 100.” (Mike Petrucci Photo)

 

A huge crowd gathered at the Elbridge, N.Y., speedway for the fifth race of the 2011 Super DIRTcar Series Big-Block tour, and were treated to a fantastic fireworks display in the sky in addition to some fantastic fireworks on the track.

 

Billy Decker and Bobby Varin led the field of 30 Big-Block Modifieds to the green flag. Decker jumped into the early lead over Varin and quickly opened up a comfortable lead.

As Decker began to increase his lead, Sheppard began an impressive charge towards the front of the field. Sheppard, after starting eighth, had moved up to fourth place by lap 4. On lap 7 Sheppard used the outside to pass All-Star Weekend winner Tim Fuller for third place, and just two laps later used the inside to pass Varin for second.

Decker’s torrid pace at the front of the field had him in lapped traffic by lap-13. Using the outside to negotiate traffic, Decker was able to keep a consistent distance between himself and Sheppard.

By lap 20, Decker and Sheppard had distanced themselves from the rest of the field, but a fantastic battle was taking place for second between Fuller, defending Super DIRT Week champion Stewart Friesen and Jimmy Phelps. Friesen used lapped traffic to help him pass Phelps and Fuller and take command of third place.

The caution flag flew for the first time on lap 48 as Tim McCreadie came to a stop on the backstretch with tire problems. McCreadie would rejoin the field without losing a lap.

Billy Decker chose to restart from the inside which allowed Sheppard to use the outside to take the lead as the cars ran down the backstretch on the lap-55 restart, giving Sheppard his first lead of the night.

Sheppard continued to rim-ride around ‘The Fast Track” and began opening up a large lead on the rest of the field. It appeared that Sheppard would be able to cruise to an easy victory, but veteran Danny Johnson had other ideas.

The veteran drive out of Rochester started running around the inside of the 5/8th-mile track and immediately started his march towards the front. Johnson made quick work of Jimmy Phelps and Fuller to grab the fourth spot on lap 70 when third-place running Stewart Friesen suffered mechanical problems and came to a stop.

Now in third, Johnson passed Billy Decker on the ensuing restart and a lap-88 caution for Dale Planck allowed Johnson to restart on the back bumper of the Xtreme Lubricants sponsored Matt Sheppard car.

Sheppard and Johnson thrilled the large crowd with a classic battle that saw both drivers getting everything plausible out of their racecars. Lap-after-lap Sheppard held off the advances of Johnson, and as the leaders took the white-flag Johnson was right on Sheppard’s back bumper.

As the leaders negotiated turns 3 and 4, Johnson swept down to the inside of Sheppard, pulling up alongside of the leader, but Sheppard took the checkered flag first, winning by just .074 seconds, or a half a car length.

“I didn’t realize how close Danny (Johnson) was to me until coming off of (turn) four on the last lap,” explained Sheppard. “I saw he was up alongside of me, but I knew that since we were on the cushion we’d be able to beat him to the checkered.”

Decker held on to finish third, Alan Johnson and McCreadie rounded out the top 5.

The win was Sheppard’s first victory on the 2011 Super DIRTcar Series trail. Sheppard now trails Billy Decker by just 30-points on the season standings.

In the Mr. DIRTcar Sportsman Series event, it was David Marcuccilli taking advantage of a late-race restart to pass Josh VanBrocklin to take home his first career Rolling Wheels Raceway victory.

The DIRTcar Stock Car Challenge was also in competition, with Pete Stefanski holding off late-race challenges by Rocky Warner and P.J. Peters to pick up the win.    

Super DIRTcar Big Block Series Race #5-Rolling Wheels Raceway July 4, 2011 ‘Stars & Stripes 100’ Event Summary

Feature Results: 1. (9s) Matt Sheppard; 2. (27J) Danny Johnson; 3. (91) Billy Decker; 4. (14J) Alan Johnson; 5. (4*) Tim McCreadie; 6. (74) Tim Fuller; 7. (98H) Jimmy Phelps; 8. (673) Gary Tomkins; 9. (20) Brett Hearn; 10. (99) Ryan Phelps; 11. (49) Billy Dunn; 12. (8R) Rob Bellinger; 13. (3) Justin Haers; 14. (21A) Peter Britten; 15. (10v) Bobby Varin; 16. (62s) Tommy Sears; 17. (10) Tim Currier; 18. (44) Steve Hulsizer; 19. (8) Rich Scagliotta; 20. (21K) Randy Chrysler; 21. (48too) Dave Rauscher; 22. (77x) Dale Planck; 23. (1) Stewart Friesen; 24. (7x) Steve Paine; 25. (42p) Pat Ward; 26. (19) Brian Murphy; 27. (99B) Chuck Bower; 28. (99L) Larry Wight; 29. (33) Mike Mahaney; 30. (21) Derrick Podsiadlo. BILSTEIN FAST TIME AWARD: Billy Decker

Heat Races (8 laps, top 5 finishers transferred to the feature, top 3 went to redraw)

#1: Friesen, Varin, Fuller, Currier, Rauscher, R. Johnson, Harrell, Payne, Scagliotta

#2: Decker, D. Johnson, Bellinger, Wight, Britten, Planck, Chrysler, Humes, Willix

#3: Sheppard, Haers, R. Phelps, Ward, Hearn, Tomkins, Podsiadlo, Mahaney, Hulsizer

#4: McCreadie, A. Johnson, J. Phelps, Paine, Dunn, Bower, Sears, Murphy, Johnson Jr (DNS)

Consolation Races (10 laps, top 5 finishers transferred to the feature)

#1: Tomkins, Podsiadlo, Mahaney, Scagliotta, Hulsizer, Harrell, Payne, R. Johnson (DNS)

#2: Planck, Sears, Bower, Chrysler, Murphy, Humes, Willix, Johnson Jr

Super DIRTcar Big-Block Series Points Standings after July 4 “Stars & Stripes 100” at Rolling Wheels Raceway

Rk.

No.

Driver

Total

Series

Bonus

Diff

Money

1

91

Billy Decker

450

450

0

0

$19,800

2

9s

Matt Sheppard

420

420

0

-30

$13,300

3

66

Danny Johnson

399

399

0

-51

$13,525

4

20

Brett Hearn

340

340

0

-110

$6,000

5

98h

Jimmy Phelps

322

322

0

-128

$4,800

6

673

Gary Tomkins

317

317

0

-133

$4,950

7

21a

Pete Britten

310

310

0

-140

$5,250

8

3

Justin Haers

292

292

0

-158

$2,750

9

8R

Rob Bellinger

276

276

0

-174

$2,650

10

74F

Tim Fuller

265

265

0

-185

$9,000

11

62s

Tom Sears Jr.

243

243

0

-207

$1,975

12

4*

Tim McCreadie

239

239

0

-211

$3,425

13

8

Rich Scagliotta

214

214

0

-236

$1,475

14

99L

Larry Wight

211

211

0

-239

$2,550

15

49

Billy Dunn

187

187

0

-263

$1,850

16

10

Tim Currier

171

171

0

-279

$1,175

17

77x

Dale Planck

170

170

0

-280

$2,200

18

1F

Stewart Friesen

158

158

0

-292

$1,900

19

10v

Bobby Varin

146

146

0

-304

$950

20

99

Ryan Phelps

138

138

0

-312

$1,500

2011 Super DIRTcar Series Schedule

DAY-DATE

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

Tues-Jul 19         Autodrome Granby

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    

***World Finals***

Fri-Nov 4            Dirt Track at Charlotte

Sat-Nov 5            Dirt Track at Charlotte

Mr. DIRTcar Sportsman Series (25 laps) Finish: 1. (m1) Dave Marcuccilli; 2. (66) Dan Wiesner; 3. (10) Josh Van Brocklin; 4. (83x) Tim Sears Jr; 5. (JVS1) Jim Spano; 6. (19w) Justin Wright; 7. (1) Sammy Reakes IV; 8. (18R) Brad Rouse; 9. (99P) Greg Paunute; 10. (77jr) B.J. Willard; 11. (3A) Adam Hilton; 12. (22) Greg Cool; 13. (15s) Shane Pecore; 14. (15) Adam Leslie; 15. (69K) Ken Boniface Jr; 16. (2P) John Juhl; 17. (3E) Tim Schneider; 18. (5) Tyler Siri; 19. (30) Brent Kelsey; 20. (52) Jessica Power; 21. (55c) Jesse Cotriss; 22. (69) Tyler Boniface; 23. (81) Christine Martin; 24. (m70) Billy Cook; 25. (7c) Cody McPherson; 26. (7x) Tom Benedict; 27. (20x) Kevin Ridley; 28. (0) Jipp Ortiz; 29. (2) Jenna David; 30. (85H) Robert Humphreys; 31. (67G) Eric Giguere.

DIRTcar Stock Car Challenge (20 laps) Finish: 1. (2) Pete Stefanski; 2. (79) Rocky Warner; 3. (73) P.J. Peters; 4. (715) Mike Cooper; 5. (272) Kevin Smith; 6. (14) Ron Hawker; 6. (00) Mike Welch; 7. (90) Nate Peckham; 8. (1R) Ricky Thompson; 9. (75) Scott Smith; 10. (5) Ricky Breed; 11. (48) Dion Oakes; 12. (55B) Blane Smith; 13. (98T) Pat Hobbs.

DIRTcar Racing in the Northeast Region is brought to fans by several sponsors and partners; including Hoosier Racing Tire; VP Racing Fuels; GM Performance Parts and Safety-Kleen. Promotional partners include the University of Northwestern Ohio and Chizmark & Larson Insurance. Contingency sponsors are ASI; Bert Transmissions; Bicknell Racing Products; Bilstein Shocks; Brodix; ButlerBuilt; Comp Cams; Intercomp; JE Pistons; KSE Racing Products; Motorsports Safety Systems; MSD Ignition; Penske Shocks; Racing Electronics; R2C; Super Flow; Vicci Racing Apparel; WIX Filters; Wrisco Industries; Xtreme Lubricants and Extreme Mufflers.