Short Track Super Series

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Super Start: Matt Sheppard Kicks Off All-Tech Sunshine Swing in Victory Lane


Short Track Super Series

Super Start: Matt Sheppard Kicks Off All-Tech Sunshine Swing in Victory Lane

Written by Chris Moore

LAKE CITY, FL – “Super start.”

The Northeast Modified kingpin kicked off the 2024 racing season with a $5,000 win with the Bob Hilbert Sportswear Short Track Super Series (STSS) Fueled By Sunoco.

Matt Sheppard kicked off the ‘Sunshine Swing’ presented by Capitol Custom Trailers & Coaches with an Opening Night win, leading from lap five on to take home the win.

‘Super Matt’ carved his way through several bouts of lap traffic nearly flawlessly to claim the 39th win of his STSS career and his second at All-Tech Raceway.

“It feels really good, you never know with a new year, but we haven’t really changed our program,” Sheppard explained. “Everything went our way tonight; we had a good car and we drew a good number.”

With Sheppard rolling off third, Vestal, N.Y.’s Seth Zacharias and Wurtsboro, N.Y.’s Danny Creeden occupied the front row for the 30-lap affair after the Beyea Custom Headers Redraw.

Creeden quickly raced out to the lead on the opening lap with Sheppard following him by Zacharias and into the runner-up spot.

Creeden was rolling the outside groove trying to maintain the top side with Sheppard plugging on the bottom side of the speedway chasing Creeden.

Sheppard worked by Creeden on the inside groove at the completion of the fifth circuit and began to drive away.

Meanwhile, Phoenix, N.Y.’s Larry Wight was quickly marching from the seventh starting position and working on Marc Johnson for fourth.

Wight surpassed Johnson on lap seven and set his sights on what was becoming a battle for the runner-up spot.

Binghamton, N.Y.’s Darren Smith parlayed his strong practice night into a fast racecar and worked by Creeden for the runner-up spot on the same lap.

Two laps later, Mike Trautschold slowed exiting turn two to head off the racetrack, directly in front of Matt Sheppard. Sheppard hooked Trautschold in the left rear and sent him around bringing out the race's first yellow.

Racing resumed with Sheppard leading Smith, Creeden, Wight and Johnson.

Wight made quick work of Creeden when racing resumed, while Darren Smith showed the potential to challenge Sheppard for the top spot.

Smith bounced off the turn two concrete however on lap 11, and Sheppard skated away.

Shortly after, Wight took advantage of Smith continuing to rebound and drove him for the runner-up spot and set his sights on Sheppard for the top spot.

Wight, however, made a similar mistake, bouncing off the third-turn concrete and losing crucial ground on Sheppard.

From there, Wight never got close enough to offer Sheppard a challenge as the driver of the No. 9S navigated through lap traffic without a hiccup.

“I ran the bottom most of the race, so I didn’t really know what I had up top,” Sheppard proclaimed. “But I know these guys are too good for me ride around behind the lapped cars.”

Wight settled for the runner-up spot.

“Our car was good, and I lost the right-front once and smacked the wall,” Wight explained with a laugh. “After that I think it knocked a hub loose because the brakes were shaking really bad.”

Darren Smith rounded out the podium finishers; the best finish of his STSS career in his Jeremy Smith Racing No. 12.

“We were really good tonight and we had really good balance in our car,” Smith said. “I’d just lose the nose every now and then and it hurt us when I hit the wall.”

Sprakers, N.Y.’s Stewart Friesen charged from the 11th starting spot to finish fourth and Guilderland, N.Y.’s Marc Johnson rounded out the top five.

Finishing sixth through 10th, respectively, were Ransomville, N.Y.’s Erick Rudolph aboard his family-owned No. 25; Federalsburg, Md.’s Austin Hubbard in the Blades HVAC Services No. 65; Danny Creeden piloting his own No. 16x; Schnecksville, Pa.’s Tanner VanDoren driving in the Charlie Lord No. 01C; East Greenbush, N.Y.’s Bobby Hackel from 23rd in the Godgart Motorsports No. 97; and East Canaan, Conn.’s Chris Curtis.

Thirty-one STSS Modifieds signed in for the opening night of the ‘Sunshine Swing.’

Heat winners were Rudolph, Sheppard, Danny Bouc and Trautschold, respectively.

South New Berlin, N.Y.’s Payton Talbot claimed his fourth career STSS victory and his first in the state of Florida.

Talbot raced from the eighth starting position to third in the opening lap before taking lap on the fourth circuit and leading the final 21 laps of the feature.

Brian Calabrese, James Friesen, Cedric Gauvreau, and Joe Toth rounded out the top five.

Racing continues Thursday night with a 35-lap, $6,000-to-win STSS Modified main and a $1,500-to-win, 25-lap Crate 602 Sportsman event.

The entire week of racing will be broadcast live on FloRacing ( via the annual subscription.

All-Tech Raceway is located off Interstate 75 at 1024 SW Howell Rd. Lake City, FL 32024. Learn more at, 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. 1 Bob Hilbert Sportswear Short Track Super Series Fueled By Sunoco Modified Feature Finish (30 laps): 1. 9S-MATT SHEPPARD[3]; 2. 99L-Larry Wight[7]; 3. 12S-Darren Smith[5]; 4. 44-Stewart Friesen[11]; 5. 9-Marc Johnson[4]; 6. 25R-Erick Rudolph[10]; 7. 65-Austin Hubbard[9]; 8. 01VD-Tanner VanDoren[14]; 9. 97H-Bobby Hackel IV[23]; 10. 35C-Chris Curtis[21]; 11. 6-Mat Williamson[17]; 12. 16X-Dan Creeden[2]; 13. 6B-Danny Bouc[6]; 14. 11H-Danny Hieber[15]; 15. 21A-Peter Britten[18]; 16. 7-Rick Laubach[16]; 17. 70A-Alex Payne[22]; 18. 17Z-Seth Zacharias[1]; 19. 35-Francois Bellemare[20]; 20. 11-Matt Caprara[24]; 21. 34-Rusty Smith[12]; 22. 6S-Matt Stangle[13]; 23. 28T-Michael Trautschold[8]; 24. 27J-Danny Johnson[26]; 25. 27-Jason Reome[19]; 26. 22J-Bubba McPhee[25]

Did Not Qualify: 38-Jean-Mathieu Raymond, 7z-Zach Payne, 29J-Julien Raymond, 01-Danny Varin, 87-Jason Ingalls

American Racer/Lias Tire Bonuses (FREE Tire Certificate): Tanner Van Doren (eighth) & Danny Bouc (13th)
ATL Fuel Cell ‘Hot Lap Hero ($100): Erick Rudolph (19.506 seconds)
Behrent’s Performance Warehouse Bonuses ($50 Gift Cards): Stewart Friesen (fourth) & Bobby Hackel (ninth)
Beyea Custom Headers Redraw Bonus ($50): Rusty Smith (Redrew 12th) Eibach Springs Bonus ($100 Certificate): Erick Rudolph (sixth)
Henry’s Exhaust Power Position ($50 Certificate): Mat Williamson (11th)
NPS First Car One Lap Down ($100): Danny Hieber (14th)
Penske Racing Shocks Bonuses: Matt Sheppard (first - $150 certificate); Larry Wight (second - $75 certificate); Darren Smith (third - $50 certificate); Stewart Friesen (fourth - $25 certificate)
Schultz Racing Fuel Cells Bonus ($100 Certificate): Chris Curtis (10th)
TV 12 Race Products Bonus (Two Wheel Covers): Dan Creeden (12th)
Wilwood Brakes ‘Lucky 7’ Bonus ($100 Certificate): Austin Hubbard (seventh)

Capitol Custom Trailers & Coaches ‘Sunshine Swing’ Night No. 1 Bob Hilbert Sportswear Short Track Super Series Fueled By Sunoco Crate 602 Sportsman Feature Finish (25 laps): 1. 14T-PAYTON TALBOT[8]; 2. 21C-Brian Calabrese[6]; 3. 72-James Friesen[2]; 4. 22C-Cedric Gauvreau[14]; 5. 14J-Joe Toth[5]; 6. 5C-Ayden Cipriano[19]; 7. 89-Dylan Madsen[11]; 8. 73-Paulie Hartwig III[9]; 9. 61L-Donovan Lussier[13]; 10. 813-Jason Quenneville[12]; 11. 23-David Dickey[1]; 12. 16S-Tom Moore Jr[17]; 13. 5K-Kenny Peoples Jr[15]; 14. 38-Kevin Stevens[24]; 15. 49-Chris Jakubiak[22]; 16. 17T-Kris Thompson[26]; 17. 11Z-Nicholas Zielinski[20]; 18. 85-David Langlois[23]; 19. 42-Darryl Nutting[16]; 20. 43-Michael White[18]; 21. 27-Michael Ballestero[10]; 22. 28L-Eric Lauziere[25]; 23. 9A-Craig Pellegrini Jr[4]; 24. 21B-Yan Bussiere[7]; 25. 29-Matt Ellery[21]; 26. 5EJ-EJ Gallup[3]

Did Not Qualify: 6-John Santolin, 142-Justin Zook, 26B-Maddy Broedel, 44-James O’Hara, 30T-Robert Tete, 86-Trey Hicks

American Racer/Lias Tire Bonus (FREE Tire Certificate): Ayden Cipriano (sixth)
Belmont’s Garage Hard Charger Award ($100): Ayden Cipriano (19th to sixth)
Beyea Custom Headers Redraw Bonus ($25): Jason Quenneville (Redrew 12th)
Fastline Performance Bonuses ($100 Certificates): Brian Calabrese (second) & Tom Moore Jr. (12th)
Fastline Performance ‘Hot Lap Hero’ ($50): Kenny Peoples Jr. (21.813)
Henry’s Exhaust Power Position ($50 Certificate): David Dickey (11th)
TV 12 Race Products Bonus (Two Wheel Covers): Tom Moore Jr. (12th)

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Bob Hilbert Sportswear
American Racer
Flo Racing
BDR Speed
NJ Quality Drywall
River Valley Builders
St. Lawrence Radiology
Capital Custom Trailers
Bicknell Racing Products
Madsen Overhead Doors
Belmont Garage
Wegner Automotive
Dirt Draft
Swagger Factory Apparel
FX Caprara
Algonkin Motel
Beyea Headers
Design For Vision
Sunglass Central
Dirt Track Digest
DKM Fabrication
Eibach Springs
Flasch Performance
Henrys Exhaust
JK Signworks
Lias Tire
MAC Tools
Schultz Fuel Cells
Superior Remodeling
TV12 Race Product
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