Super Sonic: Sheppard Blazes to ‘Sunshine Swing’ Victory No. 3 at All-Tech
1224
2/10/2024

2/10/2024

Short Track Super Series


Super Sonic: Sheppard Blazes to ‘Sunshine Swing’ Victory No. 3 at All-Tech

Written by Chris Moore

LAKE CITY, FL – Super Sonic.

On an extremely fast track on Friday night, Matt Sheppard won his third consecutive ‘Sunshine Swing’ feature event to kick off the 2024 season.

Sheppard rolled around the outer edge of the half-mile oval for the majority of the 40-lap event to claim the $8,000 top prize on the third night of the four-day affair presented by Capitol Custom Trailers & Coaches.

The win for Sheppard was also the 41st of his Bob Hilbert Sportswear Short Track Super Series (STSS) Fueled By Sunoco career, which ties him with Stewart Friesen for the most of all-time on the series.

“The track conditions really surprised me tonight,” Sheppard proclaimed. “We had a big old top tonight, and I was surprised but our car was outstanding.”

Following the Beyea Custom Headers Redraw, Sheppard fired from the sixth starting position with Sprakers, N.Y.’s Stewart Friesen and Horseheads, N.Y.’s Tyler Siri on the front row.

Friesen worked out to the early lead while Sheppard quickly worked to the outside groove, cracking the top five and challenging for more.

The early race was plagued with yellow fever, giving Sheppard multiple opportunities to slowly pick off spots on his way to the front.

Just three laps into the feature, Sheppard had already worked his way to the runner-up spot and alongside Friesen for the top spot.

Friesen chose the bottom on the restart, giving the top side to Sheppard, which was all he needed to take the lead away.

While Sheppard and Friesen began to scoot away, Phoenix, N.Y.’s Larry Wight was making hay after firing from the 11th starting position.

Wight had worked to fifth by lap 10 before another yellow flag flew on lap eight. When racing resumed, Wight worked by Hubbard and Erick Rudolph to move into a podium position.

The top three were Sheppard, Friesen, and Wight for the next several laps until Friesen’s night was cut short due to a left-rear suspension issue on the 22nd circuit.

On the ensuing restart, Sheppard trekked back to the lead and Ransomville, N.Y.’s Erick Rudolph raced in the runner-up spot by Wight for second.

Two laps later, another yellow flag flew, and Wight stole the second spot back away from Rudolph on the following restart. Wight, however, was unable to offer any serious challenge to Sheppard for the win.

Sheppard checked out for the final 16 laps on his way to his third consecutive win and an $8,000 victory.

“We came down looking for our 500th win,” Sheppard smiled. “I didn’t think we’d have a shot down here in Florida but we’re at 499 now.”

Wight once again settled for second but was still not deterred.

“We made some changes tonight and the car wasn’t as good as it was,” he explained. “We’ll put our heads together and try to get over the hump tomorrow.”

Erick Rudolph rounded out the podium for his best finish of the week.

“We’ve gotten a little better every day,” Rudolph said. "It’s been a few years since we won that $10,000 down here but tomorrow’s a new day and we’ll give it our best.”

Bobby Hackel came home fourth in the Godgart Motorsports No. 97 and Austin Hubbard brought the Blades HVAC Services No. 65 home with a top five.

Finishing sixth through 10th, respectively, were Fonda, N.Y.’s Danny Varin in the BDR Speed No. 01 from 12th; Guilderland, N.Y.’s Marc Johnson in his S&S Asphalt Paving No. 9; Binghamton, N.Y.’s Darren Smith advancing 14 positions in the Jeremy Smith Racing No. 12; Brisbane, Queensland, Australia’s in his first top-10 of the week; and Quakertown, Pa.’s Rick Laubach from 20th in the Hermann family-owned No. 7.

Thirty-two STSS big-block/small-block Modifieds signed in for competition on Friday night.

Heat winners were Hubbard, Rudolph, Marc Johnson, and Danny Hieber. Chris Curtis won the consolation.

South New Berlin, N.Y.’s Payton Talbot won his second STSS Crate 602 Sportsman of the week, this one worth $2,500.

The 30-lap ‘Shirley Shootout’ was a back-and-forth battle between Talbot and Dylan Madsen, before Talbot skated away late with the win.

Paulie Hartwig III, Madsen, Ayden Cipriano, and James Friesen rounded out the top five.

Racing continues Saturday night with a 50-lap, $10,000-to-win STSS Modified main and a $2,500-to-win, 30-lap Crate 602 Sportsman event to conclude the week.

The final night of racing, and every STSS race all season will be broadcast live on FloRacing (www.floracing.tv) via the annual subscription.

All-Tech Raceway is located off Interstate 75 at 1024 SW Howell Rd. Lake City, FL 32024. Learn more at www.alltechraceway.com, call 386.754.RACE (7223) or like All-Tech Raceway on Facebook.

The Short Track Super Series is presented by Bob Hilbert Sportswear, FloRacing, American Racer, Lias Tire, Sunoco Race Fuels, BDR Speed, NJ Quality Drywall, River Valley Builders, Ollie’s, Penske Racing Shocks, Saint Lawrence Radiology, Capitol Custom Trailers & Coaches, Bicknell Racing Products, Behrent’s Performance Warehouse, Madsen Overhead Doors, Belmont’s Garage, Wegner Automotive, DIG Race Products, ATL, Dirt Draft, Swagger Factory Apparel, F.X. Caprara Car Companies, Algonkin Motel LLC, Beyea Custom Headers, Design for Vision, Sunglass Central, Dirt Track Digest TV, DKM Fabrication, EIBACH, Fastline Performance, Flach Performance Products, Henry’s Headers & Exhaust Systems, JK Signworks, JLR Technologies, Dave Prime Jr. MAC Tools, Schultz Racing Fuel Cells, Superior Remodeling, TV 12 Racing Products, VAHLCO Wheels & Wilwood Disc Brakes.

CAPITOL CUSTOM TRAILERS & COACHES ‘SUNSHINE SWING’ NIGHT NO. 3 RESULTS SUMMARY – ALL-TECH RACEWAY FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 9, 2024

Capitol Custom Trailers & Coaches ‘Sunshine Swing’ Night No. 3 Bob Hilbert Sportswear Short Track Super Series Fueled By Sunoco Modified Feature Finish (40 laps): 1. 9S-MATT SHEPPARD[6]; 2. 99L-Larry Wight[11]; 3. 25R-Erick Rudolph[4]; 4. 97H-Bobby Hackel IV[3]; 5. 65-Austin Hubbard[5]; 6. 01-Danny Varin[12]; 7. 9-Marc Johnson[8]; 8. 12S-Darren Smith[22]; 9. 21A-Peter Britten[9]; 10. 7-Rick Laubach[20]; 11. 01VD-Tanner Van Doren[18]; 12. 34-Rusty Smith[16]; 13. 5*-Tyler Siri[2]; 14. 6B-Danny Bouc[23]; 15. 16X-Dan Creeden[10]; 16. 35C-Chris Curtis[21]; 17. 27J-Danny Johnson[14]; 18. 3-Seth Zacharias[19]; 19. 7Z-Zach Payne[24]; 20. 44-Stewart Friesen[1]; 21. 70A-Alex Payne[25]; 22. 38-Jean Mathieu Raymond[26]; 23. 11H-Danny Hieber[7]; 24. 22J-Bubba McPhee[13]; 25. 6-Mat Williamson[15]; 26. 28T-Michael Trautschold[17]

Did Not Qualify: 6S-Matt Stangle; 15M-Daniel Morgiewicz Jr; 35-Francois Bellemare; 29J-Julien Raymond; 11-Matt Caprara; 27-Jason Reome

American Racer/Lias Tire Bonuses (FREE Tire Certificate): Peter Britten (seventh) & Rusty Smith (12th)
ATL Fuel Cell ‘Hot Lap Hero ($100): Matt Sheppard (19.715)
Behrent’s Performance Warehouse Bonuses ($50 Gift Cards): Bobby Hackel IV (fourth) & Peter Britten (ninth)
Beyea Custom Headers Redraw Bonus ($50): Danny Varin (Redrew 12th)

Eibach Springs Bonus ($100 Certificate): Danny Varin (sixth)
Henry’s Exhaust Power Position ($50 Certificate): Tanner Van Doren (11th)
NPS First Car One Lap Down ($100): Dan Creeden (15th)
Penske Racing Shocks Bonuses: Matt Sheppard (first - $150 certificate); Larry Wight (second - $75 certificate); Erick Rudolph (third - $50 certificate); Bobby Hackel IV (fourth - $25 certificate)
Schultz Racing Fuel Cells Bonus ($100 Certificate): Rick Laubach (10th)
TV 12 Race Products Bonus (Two Wheel Covers): Rusty Smith (12th)
Wilwood Brakes ‘Lucky 7’ Bonus ($100 Certificate): Marc Johnson (seventh)

Capitol Custom Trailers & Coaches ‘Sunshine Swing’ Night No. 3 Bob Hilbert Sportswear Short Track Super Series Fueled By Sunoco Crate 602 Sportsman Feature Finish (30 laps): 1. 14T-PAYTON TALBOT[10]; 2. 73-Paulie Hartwig III[6]; 3. 89-Dylan Madsen[3]; 4. 5C-Ayden Cipriano[8]; 5. 72-James Friesen[22]; 6. 61L-Donovan Lussier[19]; 7. 22C-Cedric Gauvreau[26]; 8. 38-Kevin Stevens[21]; 9. 5EJ-Tanner Warner[12]; 10. 49-Chris Jakubiak[5]; 11. 23-David Dickey[4]; 12. 29-Matt Ellery[23]; 13. 11Z-Nicholas Zielinski[18]; 14. 42-Darryl Nutting[7]; 15. 28L-Eric Lauziere[24]; 16. 6S-John Santolin[25]; 17. 85-David Langlois[20]; 18. 26B-Maddy Broedel[15]; 19. 14J-Joe Toth[11]; 20. 16S-Tom Moore Jr[1]; 21. 813-Jason Quenneville[17]; 22. 5K-Kenny Peoples Jr[2]; 23. 21B-Yan Bussiere[13]; 24. 21C-Brian Calabrese[9]; 25. 27-Michael Ballestero[14]; 26. 17T-Kris Thompson[16]

Did Not Qualify: 43-Michael White; 44-James O'Hara; 86-Trey Hicks; 142-Justin Zook; 30T-Robert Tete

American Racer/Lias Tire Bonus (FREE Tire Certificate): Tanner Warner (ninth)
Belmont’s Garage Hard Charger Award ($100): Cedric Gauvreau (26th to seventh)
Beyea Custom Headers Redraw Bonus ($25): Tanner Warner (Redrew 12th)
Brookfield Speedway Last-Place Bonus ($100): Kris Thompson (26th)
Fastline Performance Bonuses ($100 Certificates): Paulie Hartwig III (second) & Matt Ellery (12th)
Fastline Performance ‘Hot Lap Hero ($50): Paulie Hartwig, III (22.651)
Henry’s Exhaust Power Position ($50 Certificate): David Dickey (11th)
TV 12 Race Products Bonus (Two Wheel Covers): Matt Ellery (12th)
Zacharias Family ‘Shirley Shootout’ Bonuses: Payton Talbot (first - $500); Paulie Hartwig III (second - $300); Dylan Madsen (third - $200)
Zacharias Family ‘Shirley Shootout’ Heat Race Winner Bonuses ($100): Joe Toth, Chris Jakubiak, Brian Calabrese & Ayden Cipriano

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