Matt Sheppard Makes Spectacular Run from Last to Victory Lane at Brewerton Speedway in Big Block Modifieds

By Dave Medler

BREWERTON, NY – Winning from last once in a season is tough, but to do it twice against one of the toughest Big Block Modifieds fields in the Northeast is unheard of. Matt Sheppard out of Waterloo, NY did just that Friday night at the Brewerton Speedway.

Sheppard didn’t even run his heat race and had his crew scrambling to change a complete transmission before the feature. After starting 25th Sheppard put on a show coming through the field and taking the lead on lap 26 from Rich Scagliotta and then went on to victory in the 35 lap Tracey Road Equipment Big Block Modified feature. It was Sheppard’s second win in a row at the “D-Shaped Dirt Demon”.

Other winners on NAPA, Shriners and Masons welcome night were, Sean Beardsley NAPA Late Models – Go Nuclear Series- (Non Points), Ryan Scott Nationwide Insurance IMCA Modifieds, Joe Isabell Beaver River Distribution ESDCA Mod Lites and Stephen Denton Metalico Four Cylinder Super Stocks.

Jim Witko led the first 2 laps of the 35 lap Tracey Road Equipment Big Block Modified feature before Rich Scagliotta took over on lap 3 running the extreme bottom of the speedway.

On lap 10, Scagliotta held a narrow lead over Mike Mahaney, as Larry Wight, Witko and Jimmy Phelps were in a tight battle for third through fifth.

With 15 laps showing on the scoring tower Scagliotta opened a few car length advantage over Phelps by still running inches from the implement tires that lined the inside of the turns. Mahaney, Wight and Chad Phelps showed in the top-five.

When the lap counter showed lap 20 Scagliotta, Phelps and Wight showed in the top-three, but the car making his presence known was Matt Sheppard who seemed to be the only car that could make progress using the top of the speedway from his 25th starting spot.

After moving into the runner-up spot on lap 24 it only took Sheppard two more circuits before he was able to drive around Scagliotta and into the lead.

Over the remaining laps Sheppard was just too strong as he parked his Jeff Brownell owned, Xtreme Lubricants, No.9s, Bicknell in victory lane for the second straight week. Jimmy Phelps, Rich Scagliotta, Ryan Phelps and Chad Phelps rounded out the top-five.

“I’ll tell you what, I just might start last every week here,” Matt Sheppard said after his second improbable win from last in the 2011 season. “This car was just awesome; we didn’t get to turn a single lap on the speedway tonight. So I told the guys let’s just do exactly what we did to the car last week, it was so good last week and it was really awesome again here tonight.”

Sheppard couldn’t thank his crew enough on a steamy hot Friday night. Early in the night he couldn’t get his car out of low gear that forced his crew into a transmission change plus putting a winning setup in the car for the feature.

Thanks to NAPA Auto Parts the Late Models were able to run for $1,000 to win the 20 lap “Go Nuclear series” race that also carried a starting spot for the “Great Crate Race” at Brighton Speedway in Ontario on September 17th.

Go Nuclear promoter Shayne Tenace wanted it related that this was not a points race for the series.

In the 20 lap feature Gus Schmidt led the first 13 laps before Sean Beardsley took over the top-spot. Over the remaining 5 laps Beardsley and Larry Wight staged a classic nose to tail and side by side battle that went right down to the finish that saw Beardsley win the drag race out of turn four to win by a nose at the checkers. AMB scoring showed the difference at the line only 0.103 of a second. Dale Caswell, Aaron Jacobs and AJ Kingsley finished third through fifth.

Rob Keller took the lead on lap 2 of the 20 lap Nationwide Insurance IMCA Modified feature and held the top spot till late in the going running the top of the speedway. After seeing Ryan Scott’s nose under him a couple times, Keller switched his lane to the bottom in an effort to slow Scott’s momentum. Scott went to the top and found the speed he needed to take the lead on lap 17 and then go onto his first ever Brewerton Speedway win. Keller, Chris Fleming, JJ Courcy and John West rounded out the top-five.

In the 20 lap Beaver River Distribution ESDCA Mod Lite feature Clayton Brewer III showed the way in the opening 5 laps before Joe Isabell grabbed the lead on lap 6. Over the remaining 12 laps Isabell was able to hold off challenges from his father Jeff Isabell for his 2nd win of the year. Doug Williams, Mike Mullen and Clayton Brewer III finished third through fifth.

Stephen Denton took the lead on lap 4 of the 15 lap Metalico Four Cylinder Super Stock feature and never looked back for his 9th win of the year. Chuck Powelczyk, Keith Shay, Wendall Washington and Jim Money rounded out the top-five.

Next Friday night July 29th The Waterfront/Calypso Cay Restaurants present a full night of racing action featuring the Tracey Road Equipment Big Block Modifieds, Nationwide Insurance IMCA Modifieds, Beaver River Distribution ESDCA Mod Lites, Metalico Four Cylinder Super Stocks and One-On-One Spectator Races.

Kids will have a full night of fun as the Home Depot will have their kids Workshop throughout the evening on the midway.

Gates will open at 5:30 with racing starting at 7:30. Adult grandstand admission will be $12 with everyone 18 years old and younger admitted free to the grandstand.

Don’t forget to follow Fulton Speedway on Facebook and on Twitter at Brewerton Speedway is also active on both Facebook and Twitter at Please call Cory Reed at 315-668-6906 or [email protected] with any questions.

(TRACEY ROAD EQUIPMENT BIG BLOCK MODIFIEDS 35 LAPS) – MATT SHEPPARD, Jimmy Phelps, Rich Scagliotta, Ryan Phelps, Chad Phelps, Jim Davis, Willy Decker, Stweart Friesen, Roy Bresnahan, Pat Ward, Chuck Bower, Steve Hulsizer, Alan Johnson, Tony Steiner, Ted Lamb, Brian Murphy, Gary Tomkins, Mike Mahaney, Pat O’Brien, Chris Hile, Larry Wight, Jim Witko Jr., Mike Bowman, Billy Decker, Matt Fink.

(NAPA LATE MODELS GO NUCLEAR SERIES 20 LAPS) – SEAN BEARDSLEY, Larry Wight, Dale Caswell, Aaron Jacobs, AJ Kingsley, Alan Fink, Gus Schmidt, Scott Fowler, Shayne Tenace, Stan Clark, Dave Talbot, Steven Coit, Harry Halliday, Gordy Button.

(NATIONWIDE INSURANCE IMCA MODIFIEDS 20 LAPS) – RYAN SCOTT, Rob Keller, Chris Fleming, JJ Courcy, John West, Brandon Carvey, Josh Van Tassell, Glen Erwin, Jason Amidon, Jim Walsh, Kevan Cook, Andy Kieffer, Mike Jones, Jeff Amidon, Joe Miles, Rich Keller.

(BEAVER RIVER DISTRIBUTION ESDCA MOD LITES 20 LAPS) – JOE ISABELL, Jeff Isabell Sr., Doug Williams, Mike Mullen, Clayton Brewer III, Joe Garafolo, Russ Brown, Sterling Miller, Rick Demo, Lowell Zehr, Justin Crisafulli, Nick Graziano, Sam Usborne, Rob Grezelka, Roger Angers, Josh Prentice, Kelly Skinner, Jeff Isabell Jr., Gary Jeffries, Cody Fleming, Ricky Yelle, Jim Bogett, Tim Devendorf, DNS Josh DeSantis Jr.

(METALICO FOUR CYLINDER SUPER STOCKS 15 LAPS) – STEPHEN DENTON, Chuck Powelczyk, Keith Shay, Wendall Washington, Jim Money, Lorraine Powelczyk, Colby Herzog, Sam Curcie, Richard Leahey, Jake Gagnon, Sam Carista, Art Dupra, Bill Carista, Jerry Curcie Jr., Eric Gates Jr., Dan Dupra, Corie Locke, DNS Mike Ryan.