By Dave Medler
BREWERTON, NY – You know the competition at your speedway is tough when it takes someone like defending track champion Matt Sheppard until the month of June to win a Tracey Road Equipment Big Block Modified feature. Friday night Matt Sheppard took the lead on lap 18 of the 35 lap feature, and then held off the rest of the stout field to become the sixth different feature winner in six events at the Brewerton Speedway.
With his win, Sheppard joins Billy Decker, Willy Decker, Jimmy Phelps, Alan Johnson and Ryan Phelps so far in the NAPA “Winners Classic” on the final point’s night of the season August 31. The Winners Classic is a lucrative event for Tracey Road Equipment Big Block Modified feature winners.
Other winners on Stadium International Trucks/Home Depot Kids Work Shop Night were, Rob Keller Nationwide Insurance IMCA Modifieds, Tim Devendorf Beaver River Distribution Mod Lites and Chuck Powelczyk Anchor Bar & Grill Four Cylinder Super Stocks.
Tony Steiner grabbed the narrow, early advantage over Ryan Bartlett and the rest of the field in the 35 lap Tracey Road Equipment Big Block Modified feature.
On a lap 6 restart after a quick yellow, Bartlett, digging on the bottom of the speedway was able to drive by Steiner to be scored the new leader of the race.
One lap later the yellow would fly again as Peter Britten, who was running in the top-ten spun. When the green came back out, part of the field would stack up in turn one involving, Roy Bresnahan, Jim Witko Jr., Mike Bowman, Pat Ward and Jimmy Phelps. All cars were able to drive away.
By lap 10, Bartlett opened a narrow three-car advantage, as he was being chased by Chris Hile. Just behind the top-two, Matt Fink, Steiner, Matt Sheppard and Larry Wight were in tight pack fighting for top running spots.
On lap 15 Bartlett and Hile were still setting the pace out front running the bottom to the middle of the speedway. The car on the move was Sheppard, he went to the top-of the speedway where nobody else was running and he was closing quickly on the top-two. Two laps later, lap 17, Sheppard was able to blow by Bartlett to be shown in the top-spot on the scoring tower.
By lap 20, Sheppard was on cruise control still running the top and pulling away. Behind Sheppard, Bartlett, Hile, Wight and Fink were putting on a show fighting for second through fifth.
A quick yellow on lap 23 would come out erasing the lead Sheppard had built-up setting up a dash to the checkers.
When the green came back out, Bartlett was able to hang with Sheppard for a couple laps, but as the final laps clicked off nobody had anything for Sheppard as he was able to pull away for his first Brewerton win of the season. Willy Decker came from 17th starting spot to finish second, followed by Larry Wight, Ryan Phelps, who came from the tail after a trip to the pits and Ryan Bartlett rounded out the top-five.
“It feels good to be back here (victory lane) I’ll tell you what, this track has thrown everyone a curve ball this year. It’s just been tough to get from the back to the front,” Matt Sheppard said after parking his FX Caprara Chevy/No.9s in SUNY Canton victory lane. “Lucky for us we had a good car tonight and a good starting spot, the best we have had all year, we were able to take advantage of it.”
“My car felt good on top,” Sheppard said about going where no one else was going to take the lead.”I almost wanted to move there (the bottom) towards the end. We got to the front on the top, and were going to stick with it till the end.”
Rob Keller took the lead on a lap 6 restart from Dan Searles for his first win of the year in the 20 lap Nationwide Insurance IMCA Modifieds. The win was anything but easy, as Keller had to hold off defending track champion Kevan Cook for the victory. Chris Fleming, Jason Amidon and Ryan Scott finished third through fifth. With his second place finish, Cook is now the point leader.
When Tim Devendorf shows up for the Beaver River Distribution Mod Lites he seems to find victory lane. Friday night, Devendorf took the lead on lap 5 of the 20 lap feature and then held off Lowell Zehr for his fourth win in four starts this season. Joe Isabell, Jeffrey Isabell and Joe Garafolo rounded out the top-five.
Chuck Powelczyk who doesn’t like to point race, but race for wins got a late start this season. Powelczyk took the lead on lap 8 and never looked back taking the win in the 15 lap Anchor Bar & Grill Four Cylinder Super Stock feature. Wendall Washington, Jim Money Jessica Redhead and Zak Petrie chased the winner across the line.
This coming Friday, June 15 the Brewerton Speedway will be rockin as K-Rock 100.9/106.5 presents a full night of rock and racing, featuring the Tracey Road Equipment Big Block Modifieds, Nationwide Insurance IMCA Modifieds, Beaver River Distribution Mod Lites and the Anchor Bar & Grill Four Cylinder Super Stocks. The Midstate Vintage Stock Car Club will be making their yearly appearance.
Gates will open Friday at 5:30 with the first green flag to wave at 7:30. Adult grandstand admission will be $12 with everyone 18 years old and younger admitted FREE to the grandstands. Pit admission will be $27 competitors/$30 for non-competitors.
As the calendar moves towards summer don’t forget to mark on your calendar, Wednesday, July 18 as the 410 Sprint cars will be making their first ever historic visit to the “D-Shaped Dirt Demon”. The UNOH All-Star Sprints will invade the Brewerton Speedway.
Any questions about the season please contact Cory Reed at (315) 638-4056 or by e-mail at [email protected] with all your questions.
Keep up with the tracks throughout the season by visiting www.brewertonspeedway.com and www.fultonspeedway.com, on each speedway’s Facebook accounts and on Twitter at twitter.com/Fultonspeedway and twitter.com/BrewertonSpdway