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Matt Sheppard Grabs Big $10k New Yorker Win September 7, 2015

Matt Sheppard Grabs Big $10k New Yorker Win

by John Tiff
VERNON, NY- Matt Sheppard completed his sweep of the $10,000 to win Modified shows at Utica-Rome Speedway last Monday, September 7th, as he held off Billy Decker to win the New Yorker 100, presented by Stampede Steakhouse. Sheppard also won the Victoria event back on Memorial Day weekend in May. Victory lane was shared by James Michael Friesen, who won an exciting race in the Upstate Sportsman Alliance/Grit Series after a late race pass of Rocky Warner. The win by Sheppard was his 10th win of the season while it was Friesen’s first career win at the Vernon oval.

The New Yorker 100 rolled onto the racing surface with the previous night’s feature winner sitting on the pole, as Vic Coffey drew the top spot in the redraw. He was accompanied on the front row by Alan Johnson. When the green came out for the first time, Coffey slipped into the line he used to win the night before, just above the very bottom of the racing surface. Johnson stuck with him for the first handful of laps, but his spot became under siege as Matt Sheppard was looking to continue his climb up the podium after starting in fourth. Further behind them, Larry Wight was sniffing out the front, using the moisture on the top side to break into the top five and then the top three and on the hunt for Sheppard. He was starting to close in when the first caution of the race on lap 15 stalled the action.

The restart allowed Wight to use the top side again to take second away from Sheppard before starting his search for Coffey. He was closing in on lap 20, and was on the rear bumper a lap later, sliding to cushion and powering off the top. They went side by side into the turns, but Coffey continued to get strong runs off of the bottom and held off Wight down the backstretch. In the west end of the speedway, Wight pounded the tire off the top and was able to slip a tire in front to take the lead. Going back into the first two turns, Coffey stuck to his line and battled back to the top spot. As the two reached lap traffic, Coffey used the slower cars to his advantage and made some breathing room as he tried to run away from Wight.

Wight started to fade back as Coffey navigated his way through slower traffic. Meanwhile, Sheppard was starting to turn faster and faster laps from third; slowly tracking down Wight as they battled with lapped cars. Behind them, just outside of the top five, Billy Decker started to pick up the pace and was inching closer to Johnson, who was running in fifth. With the race reaching the halfway mark, Sheppard had caught Wight and Decker had moved into the top five. Sheppard, who had primarily used the bottom for most of the race, had shifted lines and was now going to the top, while Wight started diving to the lowest groove. The battled lasted for a handful of laps, but Sheppard completed the pass off of the fourth corner and took sole possession of second.

As Sheppard was closing in on Coffey with 40 laps remaining, the leader was getting caught up in traffic, with slower cars running his lane on the bottom, forcing Coffey to search for a groove higher up. Sheppard took advantage, closing in and pulling even with Wight in tow. Coffey tried to hold onto his lead, but Sheppard stole his line and took the lead. Wight followed suit and took second. Sheppard began to pull away as he moved back to the top, even as Wight searched around for a line to catch him. The final podium spot belonged to Decker, driving through the middle and reeling in the top two. With 20 circuits left, Decker caught his teammate.

Wight continued his use of the bottom while Decker wheeled his machine in the middle groove. Decker pulled alongside Wight in the turns, but Wight pulled away on the straightaway. Changing his line just a little bit, Decker got a stronger run off of the turns and pulled alongside Wight, finally taking second with 12 to go. Two laps later, the second and final yellow flag came out for Wight, who lost his left front tire on the backstretch. The caution eliminated the sizable lead Sheppard had gained, putting Decker on his rear bumper.

The restart saw the top two stick together going into the first two turns, Sheppard clinging to the bottom this time and Decker sticking to his guns with the middle groove. It seemed that Decker was faster at first, closing in on the bumper of Sheppard, but the leader found some momentum and started to pull away, pulling out to three car lengths in front with one to go and holding on for the win. For Sheppard, it was his tenth feature win on the season at the speedway, one shy of the record of most wins in a season. With Decker in second, Coffey, Rob Bellinger, and Johnson filled out the top five. Ryan Phelps, Stewart Friesen, Pat Ward, Jimmy Phelps, and Danny Varin trailed.
For more news visit www.dirttrackdigest.com
Photo courtesy of www.dirttrackdigest.com
Lanigan Wins at Selinsgrove September 6, 2015

Lanigan Wins at Selinsgrove

Selinsgrove, Pa. (Sept. 6) — Darrell Lanigan of Union, Ky., looked like his old dominating self Sunday at Selinsgrove Speedway.

Regaining his winning touch on the World of Outlaws Late Model Series, Lanigan passed Morgan Bagley of Tyler, Texas, for the lead on lap 12 and drove away from Shane Clanton of Zebulon, Ga., late in the distance to capture the 40-lap Jeff’s Auto Body National Open.

Lanigan, 44, earned $8,200 for winning the half-mile oval’s National Open event for an unprecedented third consecutive year. It was his second WoO triumph of a frustrating 2015 season but his first driving his own Club 29 Race Car.

Clanton settled for runner-up honors, 0.772 of a second behind Lanigan after a lap-48 caution flag set up a green-white-checkered finish. Clanton’s Capital Race Cars teammate, Chase Junghans of Manhattan, Kan., steadily marched forward from the seventh starting spot to finish third, while Bagley settled for fourth place after leading laps 1-11 and Josh Richards of Shinnston, W.Va., placed fifth after starting on the pole position.

“It’s hard to believe it took this long to win a race with our own stuff,” said Lanigan, whose previous WoO victory this season, on July 18 at Deer Creek Speedway in Spring Valley, Minn., came in Bagley’s backup Club 29 machine. “After winning so many the last few years (he set a WoO single-season win record of 17 in 2014), you kind of get used to it last year. Then you come out this year and it takes so long to win and you don’t know what’s going on.”

Lanigan, who decided to drop off the WoO circuit as a regular in mid-July and has entered only selected races since then, was certainly glad he opted to make the overnight haul to Selinsgrove after finishing a disappointing 25th in Saturday night’s Firecracker 100 presented by GottaRace.com at Lernerville Speedway in Sarver, Pa. His convincing performance seemed to shake off the doldrums that have been plaguing him throughout the 2015 campaign.

“We’ve had a good car all year but just had some problems and stupid things happen that are out of our control,” said Lanigan, who recorded his 72nd career WoO win. “Last night (at Lernerville) I think we had the best car there too — we were actually just riding there (behind early leader Jared Miley of South Park, Pa.), but (on a lap-30 restart) we broke the input shaft on the tranny and that was it.

“Tonight everything finally worked out right and our results show it.”

Lanigan, who started fifth, hustled up to second place by lap four and proceeded to stalk Bagley’s lead machine. Finally, on lap 12, Lanigan ducked underneath Bagley off turn four and surged into the top spot for good.

“I was really just riding,” Lanigan said of the race’s early stages. “I didn’t want to abuse my tires and I wanted to just see where (Bagley) was running. He had a good car there, too, and really, we changed our line up a little to pass him.

“I told him afterward: ‘Sometimes it kind of sucks to be leading that early because the guy running behind you can change his line up and put a move on you.’ That’s kind of what I did.”

Bagley, 28, simply wasn’t fast enough to repel his chassis builder, leaving him short once again of his first-ever WoO checkered flag. He managed to dive-bomb to the inside of Lanigan on laps 16 and 17 but then proceeded to lose ground with each passing lap and finished in fifth place.

“ It just seems like he was a little more maneuverable than me,” Bagley said of Lanigan. “He could kind of turn across the center and hit a little bit better lines on the racetrack. It got tougher for me as the race went on because I kind of needed the whole racetrack to turn the car.”

Clanton, 39, appeared to have the best shot at unseating Lanigan after breaking into second place with a lap-24 pass of Bagley. But the runaway WoO points leader never drew close enough to seriously threaten Lanigan.

According to Clanton, the caution flags on lap 23 (Brandon Overton of Evans, Ga., slowed with a flat tire) and lap 48 (Jim Yoder of Selinsgrove, Pa., fell off the pace on the homestretch) only hurt him.

“I needed no cautions,” said Clanton, who registered his 32nd top-five finish in 38 WoO A-Main starts this season. “We was running good there until that lap-23 caution kind of sealed my left-rear tire up some. I didn’t stick as good after that.”

The 22-year-old Junghans also wasn’t at his best as the race wound down. He managed to sneak by Richards and Bagley to reach third place shortly after the lap-23 restart, but the rising WoO sophomore wasn’t able to threaten Lanigan nor Clanton.

“We were really good,” Junghans said. “I started getting tight towards the end and I spun the tires on the restart and those guys took off, but we’re happy with third.”

A 39-car field signed in for the event, which brought the WoO LMS to Selinsgrove for the third consecutive year.

Lanigan was the overall fastest in time trials with a lap of 19.196 seconds.

Heat winners were Lanigan, Clanton, Richards and Junghans. Jeff Rine of Danville, Pa., and Gary Stuhler of Greencastle, Pa., captured the B-Mains.

For additional news visit www.woolms.com

Krohn Cashes In At Deer Creek September 5, 2015

Krohn Cashes In At Deer Creek

SPRING VALLEY, Minn.—A caution with seven laps to go Saturday night at the Deer Creek Speedway proved to be the downfall of Jason Hughes and a blessing for Jason Krohn as Krohn zipped into the lead one lap after the restart and drove away to score his second USMTS win in three nights.

From the pole, Hughes took control at the start of the race and continued to set the pace through changing track conditions and lapped traffic until 33 laps into the race when the yellow flag waved and slowed the pace.

By now, Krohn was running third after starting tenth while Zack VanderBeek was solidly in second. VanderBeek selected the outside lane for the double-file restart, and Krohn immediately disposed of him before flying by Hughes on the low side to lead lap 34.

From there, Krohn cruised to victory.

“A lot of times not starting up front is an advantage, and tonight proved to be one of them,” Krohn said while standing in victory lane for the second time this week after also winning on Thursday at the Fairmont Raceway. “Kind of had to move around through lapped traffic and the other cars that we were racing, and the bottom was taking just a little more traction in spots so we were able to find that. On the restart when Zack gave me the bottom, we were able to use that to our advantage.

Following a hiatus from modified racing since February, the 2007 USMTS National Champion has been white hot in his black No. 7 MB Customs machine. He sat out Friday’s show, winning his last two starts over this Labor Day Weekend.

Krohn also addressed his good fortune the last 72 hours with that of his teammate, Rodney Sanders, who has recorded his three worst finishes of the Hunt for the USMTS Casey’s Cup during the last three days.

“We work hard and Rodney has helped me a lot chassis-wise and with set up. It’s unfortunate what took place with him, but it is what it is. The one thing I can assure you is that we will keep racing, we will keep working and we will keep our heads up.”

VanderBeek also found his way past Hughes to nail down the runner-up spot, but his third-place finish was enough to propel Hughes into the points lead by 10 markers over Sanders with just two points races remaining.

Dereck Ramirez was fourth in Saturday’s main event while Joe Duvall was fast all night long and banked his first top-five finish of the ‘Hunt.’

Sanders came from 17th to finish sixth while Stormy Scott roared from 23 on the grid to seventh at the end of the 40-lap nightcap. Brent Larson, Jesse Glenz and Brad Waits rounded out the top 10.

For more news visit www.usmts.com

Photo courtesy of www.usmts.com

Weekly Winners 8/25/15 - 8/31/15 August 31, 2015

Weekly Winners 8/25/15 - 8/31/15

Congratulations to:

Chris Ferguson – Dublin Motor Speedway

Jimmy Mars – Oshkosh Speedzone Raceway

Rich Neiser – Manistee County Fairground

Jordan Grabouski – I-80 Speedway

Ryan Gustin – I-55 Raceway

Jared Miley – Thunder Mountain Speedway

Billy Decker – Brewerton Speedway & Fulton Speedway

Scott Lewis – Colorado Motorsports Park

Roy Deese Jr. – Hagerstown Speedway

Jason Covert – Potomac Speedway

Zack Olger – Tri-City Motor Speedway

Chase McCormick – Friendship Motor Speedway

Steve Casebolt – Muskingum County Speedway

Corey Madden – Shelby County Speedway (pictured above)

Ralph Morgan Jr. – Lincoln Speedway

Mike Norris – Lernerville Speedway

Brandon Walters – I-88 Speedway

Danny Johnson – Ransomville Speedway

Matt Sheppard – Canandaigua Motorsports Park & Utica-Rome Speedway

Jack Miller – Utica-Rome Speedway

Tyler Siri – Five Mile Point Speedway

Matt Sponaugle – Dog Hollow Speedway

Brad Tyler – West Liberty Raceway

Jason Grimes – Jamestown Speedway

Tanner Mullens – I-49 Nevada Speedway

Tim Karrick – Central Missouri Speedway

Jeff Cutshaw – Lucas Oil Speedway

Neil Balduc – Amsoil Speedway

Donovan Smith – Boone Speedway

Eric Stanton – Boone Speedway

Shannon Anderson – I-80 Speedway

Clint Hatlestad – Arlington Raceway

Brandon Beckendorf – Jackson Speedway

Cory Probst – Nobles County Speedway

Jett Big Eagle – Estevan Motor Speedway


Jimmy Mars Captures 6th Annual Scheffler Memorial August 30, 2015

Jimmy Mars Captures 6th Annual Scheffler Memorial

The rain that hampered the early weekend gave way for a beautiful day of racing on Sunday afternoon. The cars and stars of Wisconsin came out in force to support the 6thAnnual George Scheffler Memorial at Oshkosh Speedzone Raceway.
37 CBC Late Models filled the pits and the Wisconsin stars shinned. CBC Champion Chad Simpson was the early leader on the slick smooth clay until Jimmy Mars showed his muscle on lap 25 and passed the defending race winner. From that point on Mars worked the traffic perfectly to keep the lead and win. 
It was not easy for Mars as AJ Diemel pressed him hard and even briefly passed Mars for the lead for a partial lap. Chad Simpson held on for third but behind him it was hard racing. Mitch McGrath is a super star in the making and grabbed 4th with Mike Mullen taking 5th. Illinois Hot Shoes Frank Heckenast Jr. and Jason Feger, took 6th and 7th. Other drivers on the lead lap were Nick Anvelink in 8th and Paul Parker at 9th. All other drivers finished a lap down or more.
37 Totoal Cars Entered
Heat Race Winners: Jimmy Mars, Chad Simpson, Paul Parker, AJ Diemel and Mitch McGrath
For additional news visit www.cornbeltclash.com
Billy Decker Takes Fulton Speedway Checkers August 29, 2015

Billy Decker Takes Fulton Speedway Checkers

By Dave Medler - FULTON, NY - August 29, 2015 - Friday night at the Brewerton Speedway Billy Decker won a classic battle with Pat Ward with a last lap pass to win the Tracey Road Equipment Modified feature. Saturday night at the Fulton Speedway Billy Decker did it once again. Decker took the lead on lap-22 from Chris Hile in the 35-lap Tracey Road Equipment Modified feature and never looked back, winning by over three seconds at the checkers.
With his victory Billy Decker wrapped up the 2015 Track Championship.

Other winners on Burke’s Home Centers night were:  Billy Clark Jr. (Sportsman) Chris Fleming (Late Model) Rich Riggs (Novice Sportsman) Jacobe Palmiter (4 CYL).

Jim Witko Jr. would jump out to the early lead and establish a five-car advantage to lead the opening lap of the 35-lap Tracey Road Equipment Modified feature.

With 5-laps complete Witko, running the extreme top of the speedway, opened a half a straightaway lead. Behind Witko, Chris Hile, Tom Sears Jr., Pat Ward and Joe August Jr. ran in a pack fighting for top-five positions.

On lap-10 Adam Roberts spun in turns one and two leaving Andrew Ferguson no place to go making contact with Roberts and turning his car over. Ferguson was okay.

When the race went back to green Hile took advantage of the outside groove as he blasted into the lead on lap-11 to be scored the new leader.

With 15-laps complete Hile held a narrow three-car advantage as right behind him, Sears, Ward, Billy Decker and Larry Wight were right there with the leader fighting for top-five spots.

On lap-20 Hile was still setting a quick pace out front but still had Sears, Ward, Decker and Wight right with him in the second half of the feature.

On lap-21 Decker, using the bottom of the speedway, would move into second place and set his sights on Hile. Just one lap later Decker, still using the low groove, would drive by Hile and into the lead.

With no yellows the rest of the distance Decker would drive away from the field winning by over three seconds at the finish. Tom Sears Jr., Pat Ward, Larry Wight and Chris Hile would finish second through fifth.

For more news visit www.fultonspeedway.com