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Matt Sheppard Edges Friesen in Big-Block Modified Thriller at Volusia

Matt Sheppard celebrates his first Gator Trophy of the 2019 DIRTcar Nationals

Brandon Sheppard doubles up on World of Outlaws Morton Buildings Late Model Series wins

BARBERVILLE, FL — Feb. 14, 2019 — After 29 laps of hold-your-breath racing on Thursday night at Volusia Speedway Park, five-time Super DIRTcar Series Big-Block Modifieds champion Matt Sheppard needed a swift move off the final corner splitting two lapped cars to edge NASCAR Truck Series standout Stewart Friesen at the checkered flag for his first DIRTcar Nationals victory of 2019.

Right from the green flag the intensity was high. Peter Britten, Jessey Mueller and Sheppard went three-wide for the lead down the backstretch before the legendary Danny Johnson slid sideways behind them and barrel-rolled into turn three. The second start was just as wild as the first. First it was Britten on point, then Mueller, then Friesen, then Sheppard.

In heavy traffic Sheppard went high, Friesen went to the bottom. With 10 to go it was Sheppard by half-a-car-length over Friesen, who kept peeking out behind Sheppard off the corners. Finally, coming to the checkers, Sheppard dove to the middle, split the lapped cars and kept Friesen behind him to win.

“I really don’t like to have to run a race car that hard, but I knew Stewie was right there,” said Sheppard, the 2016 DIRTcar Nationals champion. “I got rolling pretty good on the bottom and got up through, but I just didn’t know where to be, so I put it up on the top and just drove the heck out of it and prayed I could hold him off to the end.

“When all the lapped cars were on the bottom, I was rolling the top. I didn’t mind it so much because I kind of thought it would make it tough on Stewie to get a run on me. Then we kind of got in open track and he poked his nose under me and we caught those last two lapped cars. They were on the top right where I was, and I was thinking disaster coming off of four there, but luckily I was able to cut across and get a good enough run to bring it home to victory lane. … I think the fans have been getting their money’s worth.”

The Australian Britten held off Anthony Perrego for third with Wednesday night winner Billy Decker rounding out the top five.

HIGHLIGHTS

 


World of Outlaws Morton Buildings Late Model Series: After seeing Matt Sheppard win a thriller just ahead of him, Brandon Sheppard (no relation) became the first World of Outlaws Morton Buildings Late Model Series’ repeat winner this season. Sheppard swept to the lead on Lap 12 and then held off Scott Bloomquist after a late-race caution set up a six-lap shootout to the checkered flag. Don O’Neal was on the podium for the second consecutive night after finishing third, with hot shot rookie Ricky Weiss charging from 10th to fourth and Tim McCreadie rounding out the top-five.

HIGHLIGHTS

 

DIRTcar Nationals Race Report; Volusia Speedway Park; Feb. 14, 2019

World of Outlaws Morton Buildings Late Model Series (50 laps): 1. Brandon Sheppard ($10,000); 2. Scott Bloomquist; 3. Don O’Neal; 4. Ricky Weiss; 5. Tim McCreadie; 6. Chris Madden; 7. Chase Junghans; 8. Darrell Lanigan; 9. Shane Clanton; 10. Dale McDowell; 11. Josh Richards; 12. Jimmy Owens; 13. Jonathan Davenport; 14. Brian Shirley; 15. Devin Moran; 16. Chris Ferguson; 17. Ivedent Lloyd Jr.; 18. Dennis Erb Jr.; 19. Brent Larson; 20. Tyler Erb; 21. Kyle Hardy; 22. Scott James; 23. Brandon Overton; 24. Tyler Bruening; 25. Hudson O’Neal; 26. Kent Robinson; 27. Blake Spencer; 28. Colton Flinner.

Super DIRTcar Series Big-Block Modifieds (30 laps): 1. Matt Sheppard ($2,000); 2. Stewart Friesen; 3. Peter Britten; 4. Anthony Perrego; 5. Billy Decker; 6. Jessey Mueller; 7. Erick Rudolph; 8. Billy Pauch; 9. Larry Wight; 10. Brett Hearn; 11. Justin Haers; 12. Pat Ward; 13. Tim Fuller; 14. Mat Williamson; 15. Demetrio Drellos; 16. Jim Britt; 17. Ryan Godown; 18. Will Thomas; 19. Jack Lehner; 20. Marc Johnson; 21. Tyler Thompson; 22. Kyle Coffey; 23. Jeremy Smith; 24. Darwin Greene; 25. Rick Laubach; 26. Danny Johnson.

SUPER DIRTCAR SERIES GATOR CHAMPIONSHIP POINTS

 

POINTS

CAR#

DRIVER / HOMETOWN

1

116

91

Billy Decker/Unadilla, NY

2

114

9s

Matt Sheppard/Waterloo,NY 

3

108

18

Anthony Perrego/Middletown, NY

4

104

99L

Larry Wight/Phoenix, NY

5

100

1

Billy Pauch/Frenchtown,NJ

6

96

25

Erick Rudolph/Ransomville, NY

7

93

44

Stewart Friesen/Sprakers, NY

8

93

21a

Peter Britten, Queensland, AUS

9

86

42p

Pat Ward/Genoa, NY

10

83

20

Brett Hearn/Sussex,NJ

11

79

19m

Jessy Mueller/Olmstedville, NY

12

72

88

Mat Williamson/St. Catharines, ONT

13

69

7

Rick Laubach/Quakertwon, PA

14

63

5

Ryan Godown/Ringoes, NJ

15

61

111

Demitrios Drellos/Queensbury, NY

16

59

3

Justin Haers/Phelps, NY

17

58

118

Jim Britt/Broomall, PA

18

57

9

Will Thomas/Sharpsville, PA

19

56

19

Tim Fuller/Edwards, NY

20

53

27J

Danny Johnson/Rochester, NY

21

48

2L

Jack Lehner/Saratoga Springs, NY

22

46

23c

Kyle Coffey/Caladonia, NY

23

43

46

Jeremy Smith/Binghamton, NY

24

34

33

Marc Johnson, Albany, NY

25

32

98T

Tyler Thompson/Fulton, NY

26

32

35c

Mario Clair/St-Edmond,QUE

27

31

21

Yan Bussiere/Drummondville, QUE

28

30

1g

Darwin Greene/Susquehanna,PA

29

22

5*

Tyler Siri/Corning, NY

30

20

8

Rick Scagliotta/Bound Brook, NJ

31

20

30

Joesph Watson/Milford, DE

32

20

35

Francois Bellemare/Trois Riveres, QUE

33

20

42

Kyle Sheldon/Nassau, NY

34

20

65

Scott Hitchens/Frankfort, DE

35

20

29J

Chris Ostronsky/Conklin, NY

36

20

44r

Russell Morseman/Addison, NY

37

20

48too

Dave Rauscher/Waterloo,NY

38

20

88a

Dave Allen/Palymra, NY

39

20

72

Cass Bennett/Buskirk, NY


DIRTcar Nationals Remaining Schedule

Friday, Feb. 15: World of Outlaws Morton Buildings Late Models and Super DIRTcar Series Big-Block Modifieds. Reserved tickets are $45, General Admission $39.

Saturday, Feb. 16: World of Outlaws Morton Buildings Late Models and Super DIRTcar Series Big-Block Modifieds. Reserved tickets are $45, General Admission $39.