Sheppard wins Zavitz Financial Services 358 Modified Super
DIRTcar Series 100 at Merrittville
Jim Irvine Merrittville Speedway Public Relations 905-892-8266 … firstname.lastname@example.org or www.twitter.com/merrittville
Matt Sheppard won the Zavitz Financial Strategies 358 Modified Super DIRTcar Series 100 lap main event.
Lucas Oil Weekly Racing Series action also saw Kevin Knapp win the Hoosier Stock Duel on the Dirt Big 6 Series Home Track Opener while Glen Hils took home the 1st Enduro Qualifier accelerated by Niagara College.
“I love coming to this place” Sheppard said in victory lane. “I just had to keep it smooth and the track was real racy and we had to stay on top of it”
Danny Johnson and Jimmy Phelps would lead the stout field of 358 Modifieds to the green flag for their 100 lap feature event with Phelps getting early race advantage over Johnson with Matt Sheppard, Pete Bicknell and Mat Williamson running inside the top five. Yellow lights came on for the first time on lap number two for Erick Rudolph spinning entering turn three. Randy Chrysler spun to avoid Rudolph.
The restart on lap six saw Phelps pull away from Johnson as Mike Bowman, winner of the Bob St. Amand Big Block Series race last August moved up from his eighth place starting spot to get into fourth by lap ten.
Bowman’s run to the front would come to a halt on lap 14 as he came to a stop to bring out the second caution of the night. The lap 18 restart would see Phelps once again using the outside to his advantage to clear Johnson. Lap 24 saw Phelps get passed for the lead by Sheppard after the Waterloo NY driver went to the top shelf to pass Phelps. The third caution came out on lap 25 as Chad Brachmann had a flat tire.
Sheppard would pass Phelps for the lead on lap 29 after the restart with Mat Williamson passing Johnson for third on lap 30. The yellow lights would go on once again on lap 36 as Pete Bicknell and Australian Peter Britten came together in turn one.
The lap 42 restart would see Phelps try everything he had to get underneath Sheppard but Super Matt would keep the lead and Danny Johnson would get underneath Phelps to take over second. The man on the move was Tim McCreadie, driving for Scott Kerwin, started 18th on the grid and was up to fifth by the halfway mark.
When the cross flags were displayed, Sheppard continued to show the way with Johnson, Phelps, Williamson and McCreadie running in the top five with three time defending Victoria Day race winner Brett Hearn running in sixth. Hearn started seventh on the original starting grid.
Hearn would get by McCreadie on lap 55 to take over fifth place as the leaders hit heavy lap traffic. Danny Johnson would go to work and get within five car lengths of Sheppard. Twenty five laps to go and Sheppard would still lead Johnson, Phelps, Williamson and Hearn.
Sheppard would continue to pick off lap cars with ease in the closing laps as no one had anything for the Xtreme Lubricants, FX Caprara Car Companies sponsored 9s.
Sheppard, Johnson and Jimmy Phelps were followed by 2012’s Series runner-up Williamson and McCreadie. After his mid race incident, Pete Bicknell returned to start in 29th and by lap 100 finished out in 7th spot.
“It was pretty wild out there,” remarked Kevin Knapp in Victory Lane after the Hoosier Stock 25 lap Duel on the Dirt Series Opener for Team Merrittville, “the laps cars were just banging on each other around the bottom … so I knew I had to get around them.”
Down the backstretch of lap 15 with lap cars ahead, Knapp was able to take control of top spot from Jason Fontaine through the slower cars. Like his run Saturday Night, Fontaine threw everything he could at the leader but could not overtake Knapp in the final ten laps.
At the start it was James Thompson beat pole sitter Pete Reid to the initial green flag of the first Duel on the Dirt Home Track Event that has Merrittville’s Hoosier Stocks challenging Brighton Speedway’s Pro Stocks in a season long mini-series.
Early movers leading up to lap 5 were Fontaine and Knapp who now holding down second and third spots. 5 laps later both Fontaine and Knapp caught the leader Thompson, Exiting Turn 4 to complete lap 13 Thompson and Fontaine made slight contact with Fontaine now the leader.
At the conclusion of the caution free event the finishing order was Kevin Knapp, Jason Fontaine, James Thompson, Peter Reid, Brad Sheehan. Jim Lampman, Cory Turner, Bryce Richardson, Rob Murray, Ryan Turner, Devin Habiuk, Paul Wichert, Kevin Kocarik, Mark Fawcett, Mike Green, Marcel Michaud and Lee Winger.
The Victoria Day Holiday Special Event concluded with the first Enduro Qualifier accelerated by Niagara College with Bob Whiteman first to lead before Glen Hils took control of top spot.
On lap 7, a number of cars came together along the front-stretch with Rob Hardy sitting just off the racing surface. After a red flag, it was Hils back in control. Through increasing lap traffic Hils would head the field with Brian Hardy, Fred Corneef, Rob Lefler and Ryan Ferri rounding out the top 5.
Bobcat of Hamilton 358 Modified Super DIRTcar Series
(Top 5 Qualify, Top 3 Redraw)
Heat 1 – Chris Steele, Chad Brachmann, Matt Sheppard, Paul Peter Britten, Erick Rudolph, Bill Bleich Jr, Jeremy Wilder, Stephane LaFrance, and Randy Chrysler
Heat 2 – Pete Bicknell, Bill Bleich Sr, Todd Gordon, Mario Clair, Tim McCreadie, Robbie Krull, David Hebert, Daniel Nadeau, Jeff Sykes, Brandon Easey
Heat 3 – Mat Williamson, Danny Johnson, Danny O’Brien, Billy Dunn, Mark D’llario, Fred Carleton, Shayne Pierce, Zach Aubertine, Carey Terrance, Chris Raabe
Heat 4 – Jimmy Phelps, Mike Bowman, Brett Hearn, Tommy Flannigan, Chad Chevalier, Ryan Arbuthnot, Tyler McPherson, Roger Chrysler, Travis Stacey
Consolation Races (Top 4 Advance to feature)
Consi #1 – Wilder, Easey, Hebert, Sykes, Randy Chrysler, Krull, LaFrance, Bleich Jr., Nadeau
Consi #2 - Wood, Arbithnot, Pierce, Aubertine, Carleton, Stacey
Time Trials: Mike Bowman 15.324 sec(Fast Time)
Hoosier Stocks Dual on the Dirt Race #1Qualifying Winners: Pete Reid, Jason Fontaine
BOBCAT OF HAMILTON DIRTcar 358 MODIFIED FEATURE (100 laps) Matt Sheppard, Danny Johnson, Jimmy Phelps, Mat Williamson, Tim McCreadie, Brett Hearn, Pete Bicknell, Chad Chevalier, Billy Dunn, Mario Clair, Chris Steele, Todd Gordon, Brandon Easey, Scott Wood, Danny O’Brien, David Hebert, Chad Brachmann, Jeremy Wilder, Bill Bleich, Randy Chrysler, Robbie Krull, Ryan Arbuthnot, Tommy Flannigan, Shayne Pierce, Carey Terrance, Zach Aubertine, Jeff Sykes, Peter Britten, Mike Bowman, Erick Rudolph, Mark D’Ilario.
HOOSIER STOCK DUEL ON THE DIRT BIG 6 SERIES HOME TRACK EVENT (25 laps) Kevin Knapp, Jason Fontaine, James Thompson, Peter Reid, Brad Sheehan. Jim Lampman, Cory Turner, Bryce Richardson, Rob Murray, Ryan Turner, Devin Habiuk, Paul Wichert, Kevin Kocarik, Mark Fawcett, Mike Green, Marcel Michaud, Lee Winger.
ENDURO QUALIFIER ACCELERATED BY NIAGARA COLLEGE (25 Laps) Glen Hils, Brian Hardy, Fred Korneef, Rob Lefler, Ryan Ferri.
UPCOMING AT MERRITTVILLE SPEEDWAY
CAA Niagara will close out the month of May with a Lucas Oil Weekly Racing Series Event featuring the first of two TUSA Hoosier Mr. Dirt Canadian West Regional Series Events for the J&S Heating and Air Conditioning Modified Lites.
When the Grandstand opens at 5:30, Tuesday Night Racers from the Lucas Oil Weekly Karting Series will have their machines on display leading up to Exhibition Races later in the evening. Show Time is 7:00 PM.
For all the news on Merrittville Speedway’s 62nd Consecutive Season in 2013 – visit www.merrittvillespeedway.com. Race fans and Race teams alike can follow Merrittville on Face Book (Facebook.com/Merrittville Speedway) and Twitter (Twitter.com/Merrittville)
MERRITTVILLE SPEEDWAY SPONSORS