CANANDAIGUA, N.Y. — Story and Audio By Race Chaser Online New York Dirt Correspondent Steven Ovens — Curtis Berleue photo —
‘Super Matt’ Sheppard has enjoyed a good amount of dominance to start this season at just about every track they have traveled to. The Heinke-Baldwin Racing team has enjoyed multiple victories at each of their weekly tracks including Canandaigua Motorsports Park, Brewerton Speedway and Utica-Rome Speedway. After Wednesday night- he can now add a win on the Super DIRTcar Series at Canandaigua.
‘The Hurricane’ Steve Paine and Sprakers, NY driver Stewart Friesen led the field to Dave Farney’s green flag with Paine leading early at a track where he owns 11 Modified track championships. Friesen redrew second and was looking to get back on track with his Superior Crushing, Best Line Superior Lubricants 51*.
Sheppard started from the 5th position and quickly worked his way into a podium position by lap 5. The Waterloo, NY pilot won his qualifying heat race in convincing fashion as the FX Caprara Chevy 9H was fast right off the truck. Sheppard utilized the top side of the speedway early and would take over second place from Friesen on lap 6.
Paine was fast on the bottom side of the speedway but as the leaders came down to click off lap 9, Sheppard took the long way around turns 3 and 4 to take the lead. Sheppard would never relinquish the lead and Paine would continue on for an impressive podium finish for his smaller budget team against the best of the Super DIRTcar Series.
The first of four yellow flags would slow the field on lap 15 for Syracuse 200 champion Billy Dunn who suffered a flat Left Rear tire. Dunn would take the Number One Speed #49 to the attention of his crew who got him back on track before going down a lap under green.
On the restart Sheppard pulled away in the lead but the battle for second was just heating up. Paine, Friesen and ‘Lightning’ Larry Wight made it three-wide on lap 16 with Wight eventually taking over that position on lap 18. Paine, Friesen and Rob Bellinger who also picked up a heat race win on the night filled out the top five on lap 20.
Matt Billings and Brett ‘The Jet’ Hearn had made their way through traffic to start battling for a top five position as well. Hearn started 11th on the starting grid and sliced his way through the field by halfway in his Teo Pro Car chassis.
Yellow flew on lap 39 for debris which bunched the field back up again and erased nearly a two-and-a-half second lead for Sheppard. Hearn got up on the wheel on the restart and was able to move up from seventh to fourth place, leaving Friesen to battle with Billings, Pat Ward and a hard charging Billy Decker. The yellow would be displayed again on lap 42 as Vic Coffey folded up the front end on his Sweetener’s Plus 32c, ending Coffey’s night on the hook.
Sheppard was very strong on the restarts and proved to be too much for the rest of the competition. Wight could maintain for a handful of laps on the restarts but eventually Sheppard pulled away to a half straightaway lead. The caution would fly once more for Stewart Friesen on lap 47 who slowed in Turn 4. Friesen would head to the pits and rejoined the field with an unknown problem.
By lap 47 Billy Decker had moved up to position number six, Billy Dunn had come from the back to the front into the eighth position and Mat Williamson had charged up to ninth from his thirteenth starting spot.
Sheppard pulled away quickly on the restart and had built up a 1.8 second lead over Wight with 10 to go. Wight continued to run consistent laps but didn’t have anything for Sheppard. Dunn worked his way into the top five but would stall out there.
Sheppard went on to score his first series win in 2015 and also took over the lead in Super DIRTcar Series points. He went on to discuss the importance of winning the Jan Corcoran Memorial 64.
“This was a great race for a great lady,” said Sheppard.
“I don’t know how I could have done any better. Between me and this car and this track, it’s quite a combination right now. I feel confident racing here.”
Wight had to settle for second, Paine ended up with a great podium finish, Hearn in for fourth and Billy Dunn recovered for a top five. Sixth through tenth in the running order was Decker, Williamson, Billings, Danny Johnson and Erick Rudolph.
The Super DIRTcar Series now looks ahead to a week off before heading to the Brockville Ontario Speedway for a Wednesday May 27th 100-lap event.
Brad Rouse made a move on the last lap to pass rising star James Sweeting to take home the 25-lap Crate Sportsman feature event. Sweeting led laps 1 through 24 after winning his heat race and looked to score his first Sportsman victory at the “Land of Legends”.
Rouse and Sweeting both commented on how each gave each other respect and enough room to race that put on a thrilling finish for the fans. Dave Conant Jr, AJ Lloyd and Dave Marcuccilli rounded out the top five.
Darryl Ruggles continued his 305 Sprint Car dominance picking up the victory in the 20-lap A-Main. Ruggles and daughter Alysha started on the front row after both winning their heat races but it would be Darryl that cruised away to victory using the top side of the speedway to perfection.
Jonathan Preston was impressive in second in his Speedway Performance 22, last Saturday night’s winner David Ferguson came home third, Chuck Hebing in his brand new Panther Frameworx #45 took home fourth while young driver Steve Doell picked up a top five in his #36.
Canandaigua competitors will all be back in action this coming Saturday night for a regular show with the action kicking off at 7PM.
Canandaigua Motorsports Park Results (taken from MyLaps.com and SDS Release) 5/20/2015:
‘Jan Corcoran Memorial 64’
Canandaigua, NY Wednesday, May 20, 2015
A-Main (64 laps): start in (*)
1. 9h Matt Sheppard – Waterloo, N.Y. (5)
2. 99L Larry Wight – Phoenix, NY (8)
3. 7x Steve Paine – Waterloo, NY (1)
4. 20 Brett Hearn – Sussex, N.J. (11)
5. 49D Billy Dunn – Watertown, N.Y. (25)
6. 91 Billy Decker – Unadilla, N.Y. (10)
7. 6m Mat Williamson – St. Catherines, Ont (13)
8. 74m Matt Billings – Brockville, Ontario (6)
9. 27J Danny Johnson – Rochester, N.Y. (9)
10. 7z Erick Rudolph – Ransomville, N.Y. (19)
11. 42p Pat Ward – Genoa, N.Y. (7)
12. 98h Jimmy Phelps – Baldwinsville, N.Y. (18)
13. 99 Ryan Phelps – Fulton, N.Y. (15)
14. 3h Justin Haers – Phelps, N.Y. (14)
15. 8 Rob Bellinger -Cicero, NY (3)
16. 38 Ryan Suscie – Ransomville, NY (17)
17. 14j Alan Johnson – Middlesex, NY (20)
18. 21a Pete Britten – Brisbane, Queensland, Australia (27)
19. 07 Tim Kerr – Picton, Ont. (30)
20. 43 Keith Flach – Ravena, N.Y. (24)
21. 55H Anthony Perriego – Montgomery, NY (16)
22. 77 Dan Wiesner – Waterloo, NY (26)
23. 51 Stewart Friesen – Sprakers, NY (2)
24. 32c Vic Coffey – Leicester, NY (22)
25. 4* Tim McCreadie – Watertown, NY (4)
26. 5H Chris Hile – Syracuse, N.Y. (23)
27. 19 Tim Fuller – Edwards, NY (12)
28. 21 Gary Tomkins – Clifton Springs, NY (28)
Did Not Start:
56 Vince Vitale – Phoenix, N.Y.
48 Dave Rauscher – Waterloo, N.Y.
21k Randy Chrysler – Lewiston, N.Y.
13 Rick Regalski – Slippery Rock, PA
63 Adam Roberts – Watertown, N.Y.
1jr Mike O’Brien – Avon, N.Y.
28 Eldon Payne Jr. – Hopewell, N.Y.
5* Tyler Siri – Horseheads, N.Y.
21p Derrick Podsiallo – Penn Yan, N.Y.
VP Race Fuels – Matt Billings ($50 cash)
ASI Racewear – Mat Williamson ($50 cash)
Pole Position Raceway Fast Qualifier Award – Brett Hearn ($100 cash)
Bilstein Shocks – Alan Johnson ($50 cash)
Bicknell Racing Products – Billy Dunn ($100 product certificate)
Cometic Gasket – Rob Bellinger ($50 cash)
Comp Cams – Pat Ward ($50 cash), Matt Sheppard ($50 product certificate)
Edelbrock – Danny Johnson ($50 cash)
Fox Shox – Brett Hearn ($50 cash)
JE Pistons – Mat Williamson ($50 cash), Alan Johnson (product certificate) and Dan Wiesner (product valued at appr. $285)
KSE – Tim Kerr ($50 product certificate)
MSD – Matt Sheppard ($50 cash), Chris Hile ($25 cash)
Mobil 1 – Matt Billings ($50 cash), Keith Flach (20% product discount)
SuperFlow – Rob Bellinger ($50 cash)
Wrisco Aluminum – Matt Sheppard (product valued at appr. $200)
CRATE SPORTSMAN: BRAD ROUSE, James Sweeting, Dave Conant Jr, AJ Lloyd, Dave Marcuccilli, Tyler Meeks, Eric Giguere, Rocky Warner, Frank Guererri Jr, Adam Hilton, Paul Guererri, James Henry, Rob Bussey, Darryl Nutting, Kane Bristol, Nick Guererri, Todd Root, Jeff Davoli, Matt Guererri, Austyn Fugle, Tim Baker, Earl Rudy, Matt Smith, Kevin Ridley
305 SPRINT CARS: DARRYL RUGGLES, Jonathan Preston, David Ferguson, Chuck Hebing, Steve Doell, Alysha Ruggles, Lee Sanders, Paul Habeck, Bob Dreste, Nick Cooper, Kelly Hebing, Don Kuhn, Ed Kelly, Charlie Donk, DNS: Steve Glover, Chris Mangarelli
Canandaigua Motorsports Park Jan Corcoran Memorial 64 AUDIO:
Jan Corcoran Memorial 64 winner Matt Sheppard
2nd Place Finisher Larry Wight
3rd Place Finisher Steve Paine
4th Place Finisher Brett Hearn
5th Place Finisher Billy Dunn
Heat Race Winner Rob Bellinger
Driver of the 74 Troyer Matt Billings
Driver of the NAPA Auto Parts 99 Ryan Phelps
Crate Sportsman Audio:
25-lap Feature Winner Brad Rouse
2nd Place Finisher James Sweeting
Heat Race Winner James Sweeting
Heat Race Winner AJ Lloyd
Sportsman Consi Winner Todd Root
Pre Race Interview with Jeff Davoli
Pre Race Interview with Eric Giguere
Pre Race Interview with Kane Bristol
Pre Race Interview with Rocky Warner
305 Sprint Car Audio:
305 Sprints Feature Winner Darryl Ruggles
305 Sprints 2nd Place Finisher Jonathan Preston
305 Sprints 3rd Place Finisher David Ferguson
305 Sprints 4th Place Finisher Chuck Hebing
305 Sprints 5th Place Finisher Steve Doell
305 Sprints Heat 1 Winner Alysha Ruggles
305 Sprints Heat 2 Winner Darryl Ruggles
305 Sprints Pre Race Interview with Lee Sanders
305 Sprints Pre Race Interview with David Ferguson
305 Sprints Pre Race Interview with Kelly Hebing
305 Sprints Pre Race Interview with Charlie Donk
Credit: Super DIRTcar Series Release for Modified Victory Lane quotes