Column By: ROBERT SYMONDS / RPW – BARBERSVILLE, FL – The first night held a close finish between Billy Decker and Larry Wight with Decker coming out on top. Tonight, night 2, was surely gonna hold some excitement as the Super DirtCar Big Block Modified Series is slated to run first instead of second on the schedule.
When the track got packed in, the fastest in Timed Hot Laps was Matt Sheppard with a 17.540. Winning their qualifying heats was Matt Sheppard, Will Thomas, Stewart Friesen, and Danny Johnson. After the redraw was complete, Last Chance Showdowns took to the speedway, they were won by Kyle Coffey and Demetrios Drellos to set the 26 car field.
Off the green flag, Peter Britten and Jessey Mueller led the field to green. Matt Sheppard quickly made his way to 3rd but that advancement would be erased as Danny Johnson goes up and over 3 times before coming to a stop on the wall in turn 3. Danny would be okay but would not be able to come back out to finish.
Back to the green off the restart, Britten would lead the field as Friesen and Mueller would run side by side for 2nd. Mueller then ran the top and took the top spot around Britten on lap 4 keeping with a 4 car battle for the lead. As Mueller took over the lead, Friesen followed in his foot steps and took over 2nd. Mueller and Friesen raged a battle for the lead now, side by side.
Mueller while in the lead misinterpreted the top side of turn 3 and Friesen then took control as Mueller fell back to 4th. It wouldn’t take long for one driver to enter the podium spot and that is Matt Sheppard. Sheppard would then in the next lap get by Peter Britten for 2nd.
As Friesen led, Sheppard closed it and made the pass. Friesen maintained 2nd and tried to move in as the leaders caught lap traffic, even peaked to the inside of Sheppard but it was to no avail. Sheppard would win his first feature in 2019 over Friesen and Britten
“Man I don’t really like to run a race car that hard but I knew Stewie was there,” Matt Sheppard said in victory lane Thursday Night. “I went to the bottom at the beginning but then went to the top after getting to the lead.”
Friesen rebounded to finish 2nd after a less than stellar performance last night.
“I kind of thought we had one but Matt went by on the top,” said Friesen after finishing 2nd. “Found a little something on the bottom but it was a little too late.”
DIRTcar Nationals – Super DIRTcar Series – Thursday, February 14, 2019
Group 1- Matt Sheppard 17.540, Rick Laubach 17.584, Jeremy Smith 17.874, Brett Hearn 17.944, Billy Pauch 18.114, Darwin Greene 18.381, Jack Lehner 18.405, Tyler Siri 18.492, Jim Britt 18.530, Chris Ostrowsky 19.517
Group 2- Will Thomas 17.749, Peter Britten 17.911, Billy Decker 17.930, Mat Williamson 18.042, Tim Fuller 18.136, Kyle Coffey 18.403, Rich Scagliotta 18.592, Mario Clair 18.691, Russell Morseman 18.993, Cass Bennett 19.749
Group 3- Stewart Friesen 17.744, Justin Haers 18.145, Jessey Mueller 18.209, Pat Ward 18.224, Marc Johnson 18.461, Kyle Sheldon 18.540, Demetrios Drellos 18.572, Dave Rauscher 18.639, Tyler Thompson 18.743, Jo Jo Watson 19.237
Group 4- Danny Johnson 18.258, Larry Wight 18.300, Scott Hitchen 18.305, Anthony Perrego 18.308, Ryan Godown 18.558, Yan Bussiere 18.620, Erick Rudolph 18.672, Dave Allen 18.800, Francois Bellemare 18.977
Qualifying Heats – 8 laps – Top 5 Transfer To AMain
Heat 1- Matt Sheppard, Rick Laubach, Brett Hearn, Billy Pauch, Jack Lehner, Jeremy Smith, Darwin Greene, Jim Britt, Chris Ostrowsky, Tyler Siri
Heat 2- Will Thomas, Peter Britten, Billy Decker, Tim Fuller, Mat Williamson, Kyle Coffey, Mario Clair, Rich Scagliotta, Russell Morseman, Cass Bennett
Heat 3- Stewart Friesen, Jessey Mueller, Justin Haers, Pat Ward, Marc Johnson, Demetrios Drellos, Tyler Thompson, Kyle Sheldon, Dave Rauscher, Jo Jo Watson
Heat 4- Danny Johnson, Anthony Perrego, Larry Wight, Erick Rudolph, Ryan Godown, Dave Allen, Yan Bussiere, Francois Bellemare, Scott Hitchen
Last Chance Showdowns – 10 laps – Top 2 Transfer to AMain
LCS 1 – Kyle Coffey, Darwin Greene, Jeremy Smith, Jim Britt, Mario Clair, Rich Scagliotta, Russell Morseman, Chris Ostrowsky
LCS 2- Demetrios Drellos, Tyler Thompson, Dave Allen, Yan Bussiere, Jo Jo Watson, Dave Rauscher, Scott Hitchen, Kyle Sheldon, Francois Bellemare
AMain (30 Laps) – Matt Sheppard, Stewart Friesen, Peter Britten, Anthony Perrego, Billy Decker, Jessey Mueller, Erick Rudolph, Billy Pauch, Larry Wight, Brett Hearn, Justin Haers, Pat Ward, Tim Fuller, Mat Williamson, Demetrios Drellos, Jim Britt, Ryan Godown, Will Thomas, Jack Lehner, Marc Johnson, Tyler Thompson, Kyle Coffey, Jeremy Smith, Darwin Greene, Rick Laubach, Danny Johnson