By Dave Medler Ã¢â‚¬â€œ Matt Sheppard of Waterloo invaded Fulton Speedway last Saturday on Gypsum Express / Big Red Towing / Gypsum Wholesalers / TK99 / Camping World Night and garnered a hard fought 35-lap DIRTcar Modified feature win. Sheppard started sixteenth on the grid and took the lead after an incredible 4-wide battle for the top spot on lap 18. The victory was nothing short of a miracle for Sheppard, as his No. 9 Extreme Lubricants Bicknell was severely overheating in victory lane and the rear end was glowing cherry red during the later stages of the event. Sheppard, a former track champion, last won at Fulton Speedway during the 2005 race season.
Other winners on the night before the rains fell were Tim Sears Jr. in the 20 lap DIRTcar Sportsman main, Ron Hawker in the 20 lap DIRTcar Street Stocks, and Jon Shumway 15 lap E&V Energy Novice Sportsman. The Gladiators feature will be run August 1 and the Mod Lites main will be run August 8.
Defending track champion Tom Sears Jr led the early going in the Modified main before Eric Fisher joined the battle up front swapping the lead back and forth with Sears . While this was going on, Matt Sheppard was making his way to the front from deep in the pack. An intense battle for the lead then began with drivers going three and even four wide on lap 18 with Sears, Fisher, Jimmy Phelps, and Sheppard, when Sheppard powered from fourth to the lead coming out of turn four. Sheppard opened a bit of a lead as he went in and out of lapped traffic the next few laps.
Track point leader Billy Decker tried to make a late run at Sheppard but came up just short at the finish. Jimmy Phelps, Pat Ward and Ryan Phelps rounded out the top-five. The 35-lap competitive race featured three different leaders and six different lead changes. Eric Fisher, in his best run ever at Fulton Speedway, finished a in strong sixth place, after losing fifth on the final lap to Ryan Phelps.
Rich Townsend led the opening 3 laps of the 20-lap Sportsman feature. On lap 4, Jason Parkhurst took over the top spot and would lead till 4 laps to go. Tim Sears Jr took over the lead on lap 16 to be the first under the checkers. For Sears the point leader it would be his second win of the year. Shane Donath, Jeremy Pitcher, Bill Clark Jr. and Parkhurst would complete the top-five.
Ron Hawker picked up his second win of the season in the 20 lap DIRTcar Street Stock main. Chris Fisher, Mike Rasbeck, Dan Hofmann Sr and Dan Hofmann Jr chased Hawker across the line. With just two laps to go, leader Steve Crouse was passed by Rusty Marsden in turn one for the lead. MarsdenÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s lead was short lived as Crouse drove straight into Marsden taking him out in turn three, handing the lead and win to Hawker.
Jon Shumway grabbed the lead on lap 2 of the 15-lap E&V Energy Novice Sportsman feature and never looked back. Shumway now holds a 32 point lead in the standings. Shumway was followed by last weekÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s winner Mark Johnston, Joe Kline, Scott Kline, and Dan Hill.
During victory lane for the E&V Energy Novice Sportsman feature event, the skies began to open with light rain falling. The intensity of the precipitation gradually increased, postponing the remaining two feature events. The Gladiators will have double features next Saturday, August 1 while the ESDCA Mod Lites will have their double features on August 8.
Next Saturday night August 1, Canale Insurance presents Truckers Appreciation night. On the race card it will be the Big Block Modifieds, Sportsman, Street Stocks, E&V Energy Novice Sportsman, and the Gladiators with double features. Gates open at 5:00 p.m with the first green flag to wave at 7:00 p.m.
For more information please go on line to www.fultonspeedway.com. The track office number is 315-593-6531 with the race line reached at 668-RACE. The track is located on Route 57 just south of the city limits. Free parking and overnight camping is offered.
FULTON SPEEDWAY RACE SUMMARY
GYPSUM EXPRESS / BIG RED TOWING / GYPSUM WHOLESALERS / TK99 / CAMPING WORLD NIGHT
RACE DATE: JULY 25, 2009
DIRTcar Modifieds 35 laps Ã¢â‚¬â€œ MATT SHEPPARD, Billy Decker, Jimmy Phelps, Pat Ward, Ryan Phelps, Eric Fisher, Alan Johnson, Dale Planck, Tom Sears Jr., Billy Dunn, Michael Storms, Tim Sears, Mike Bowman, Matt Fink, Chuck Bower, Jim Witko Jr., Vinnie Vitale, Larry Wight, Rob Bellinger, Roy Bresnahan, Mike Mahaney, Tony Steiner, Pat OÃ¢â‚¬â„¢Brien, Pete Taylor, Willy Decker, Dave Rauscher. DNS Ã¢â‚¬â€œ Dave Reilley, Roy Shields, Chris Hile, Tim Harris, Johnny Hill, Rich Scagliotta, Sean Beardsley, Chad Phelps.
DIRTcar Sportsman 20 laps Ã¢â‚¬â€œ TIM SEARS JR., Shane Donath, Jeremy Pitcher, Bill Clark Jr., Jason Parkhurst, Jordan Bennett, Sammy Reakes IV, Rich Townsend, Gregg Carner, John Pietrowicz, Ben Wheeler, Mark Olmstead Jr., Matt Hulsizer, Jon Tesoriero, Claude Hutchings Jr., A.J. Kingsley, Alan Fink, Greg Kimball, Mike Fowler, Daniel Sellen, Stewart Garrison, Katelyn Kane, Sean McCarthy, DNF Justin Wright, DQ- Beth Schneider. DNS Ã¢â‚¬â€œ Rick Rogala, Andrew Ferguson, Mike McCarthy, Brandon Hagen.
DIRTcar Street Stocks 20 laps Ã¢â‚¬â€œ RON HAWKER, Chris Fisher, Mike Rasbeck, Dan Hofmann Sr., Dan Hofmann Jr., Nick Rizzo, Daryl Krebs, Matt Henderson., Joe Buske Jr., Clayton Parkhurst , Rusty Marsden, Steve Crouse, Steve Woodworth, Pete Kowaleski, Ron Gilbert, Frank Burnell Jr., Darren Kelso, Scott Springer.
E&V Energy Novice Sportsman 15 laps Ã¢â‚¬â€œ JON SHUMWAY, Mark Johnston, Joe Kline, Scott Kline, Dan Hill, Colton Donath, Matthew Parkhurst, Chris Mangiatelli.
Gladiators – Delayed To Next Saturday, August 1st.
ESDCA Mod Lites – Delayed To Saturday, August 8th.