Short Track Super Series

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Sunshine Duel: Sheppard Over Wight in ‘Sunshine Swing’ Event for the Ages


Short Track Super Series

Sunshine Duel: Sheppard Over Wight in ‘Sunshine Swing’ Event for the Ages

Written by Chris Moore

LAKE CITY, FL – A Sunshine duel.

In a fantastic 35-lap affair between two of the best, Matt Sheppard outlasted Larry Wight for his second consecutive ‘Sunshine Swing’ victory at All-Tech Raceway.

Sheppard is now two-for-two to open the week of racing – presented by Capitol Custom Coaches & Trailers – and now has 40 wins to his credit with the Bob Hilbert Sportswear Short Track Super Series (STSS) Fueled By Sunoco.

The battle between Sheppard and Wight was one for the ages, changing the lead back-and-forth on several occasions, before Sheppard took the lead for good on lap 29.

“We’re only two races into the season and probably just had the race of the year,” Sheppard proclaimed. “Hats off to the track crew, it was awesome and what a race for me and Larry.”

While Sheppard rolled off from the pole starting position following the Beyea Custom Headers Redraw, the Savannah, N.Y. native earned every bit of the $6,000 paycheck for the win.

Clayton, N.Y.’s Matt Caprara fired alongside Sheppard and Wight missed the redraw, firing from the 13th position.

Sheppard quickly raced out to the lead but after a yellow on the second lap, the field was reset with Larry Wight up to the eighth spot.

Wight used a key restart, stepping out of line and up against the wall when the green flag dropped. Wight found moisture on the top side of the speedway and used the grip to drive all the way to second before the field went into turn one.

From that point on, the battle began between two rivals in Modified racing. Sheppard led Larry until a lap-six yellow fell and restacked the field.

When racing resumed, Wight continued to chase Sheppard until the 16th circuit, when the Phoenix, N.Y., native made a move in lap traffic around Sheppard for the lead.

Wight paced Sheppard for the next several laps until Wight caught two lapped cars side-by-side. Francois Bellemare and Peter Britten were battling for position in front of the leaders, forcing Wight to press the issue.

With 14 laps to go, Wight entered turn three trying to split the slower traffic but made contact with Britten sending him up the track and allowing Sheppard to move back by.

Two laps later another yellow flag came out for Bubba McPhee getting turned into the outside wall in turn three.

The green flag flew once again, and the battle was on again between the lead duo. Wight resumed his prowess on the outside groove, racing back around Sheppard and stealing the lead away with just 12 laps left.

Wight began to struggle as the track changed, and Sheppard closed quickly on the leader. With seven laps remaining, Sheppard got alongside, breaking his momentum and stealing the preferred bottom groove going into the third turn.

Sheppard used the move to his advantage, taking the lead away from Wight for good. A late race yellow gave Wight another chance, but Sheppard was too much.

“My tires finally fired, and I was able to slip back by him,” Sheppard explained. “From there I was able to hold on to the end.”

Wight settled for the runner-up spot for the second consecutive night.

“We’re able to pass Matt now, so we’re getting better,” Wight laughed. “That restart I got from eighth to second made our night.”

East Greenbush, N.Y.’s Bobby Hackel IV rounded out the podium, his second career STSS podium finish.

“We’re going to enjoy it for sure,” Hackel smiled. “We’ll come back tomorrow and try to do a little better.”

Thirty-two STSS Modifieds signed in for Night No. 2 of the ‘Sunshine Swing’ presented by Capitol Custom Trailers & Coaches.

Austin Hubbard, Matt Stangle, Sheppard, and Stewart Friesen were the heat race winners. Tanner Van Doren won the consolation race.

In STSS Crate 602 Sportsman competition, St. Catherines, Ontario, Canada’s James Friesen claimed his first career win on the series, topping the 25-lap event.

Friesen got by Payton Talbot in the early going and held off the young gun for the remainder of the race – despite multiple challenges – to take the win.

Talbot came home second with Dylan Madsen, Kenny Peoples Jr., and Brian Calabrese rounding out the top five.

Racing continues Friday night with a 40-lap, $8,000-to-win STSS Modified main and the $2,500-to-win, 30-lap ‘Shirley Shootout’ 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. 2 Bob Hilbert Sportswear Short Track Super Series Fueled By Sunoco Modified Feature Finish (35 laps): 1. 9S-MATT SHEPPARD[1]; 2. 99L-Larry Wight[13]; 3. 97H-Bobby Hackel IV[4]; 4. 25R-Erick Rudolph[5]; 5. 12S-Darren Smith[10]; 6. 44-Stewart Friesen[12]; 7. 9-Marc Johnson[25]; 8. 70A-Alex Payne[6]; 9. 7-Rick Laubach[17]; 10. 35C-Chris Curtis[20]; 11. 16X-Dan Creeden[3]; 12. 6B-Danny Bouc[8]; 13. 01VD-Tanner Van Doren[21]; 14. 34-Rusty Smith[24]; 15. 7Z-Zach Payne[19]; 16. 35-Francois Bellemare[11]; 17. 3-Seth Zacharias[26]; 18. 65-Austin Hubbard[9]; 19. 28T-Michael Trautschold[23]; 20. 21A-Peter Britten[16]; 21. 22J-Bubba McPhee[15]; 22. 6S-Matt Stangle[7]; 23. 6-Mat Williamson[18]; 24. 11-Matt Caprara[2]; 25. 01-Danny Varin[22]; 26. 5*-Tyler Siri[14]

Did Not Qualify: 11H-Danny Hieber; 27J-Danny Johnson; 38-Jean Mathieu Raymond; 27-Jason Reome; 15M-Daniel Morgiewicz Jr; 29J-Julien Raymond

American Racer/Lias Tire Bonuses (FREE Tire Certificate): Rick Laubach (ninth) & Danny Creeden (11th)
ATL Fuel Cell ‘Hot Lap Hero ($100): Stewart Friesen (18.821)
Behrent’s Performance Warehouse Bonuses ($50 Gift Cards): Erick Rudolph (fourth) & Rick Laubach (ninth)
Beyea Custom Headers Redraw Bonus ($50): Stewart Friesen (Redrew 12th) Eibach Springs Bonus ($100 Certificate): Stewart Friesen (sixth)
Henry’s Exhaust Power Position ($50 Certificate): Dan Creeden (11th)
NPS First Car One Lap Down ($100): Seth Zacharias (17th)
Penske Racing Shocks Bonuses: Matt Sheppard (first - $150 certificate); Larry Wight (second - $75 certificate); Bobby Hackel IV (third - $50 certificate); Erick Rudolph (fourth - $25 certificate)
Schultz Racing Fuel Cells Bonus ($100 Certificate): Chris Curtis (10th)
TV 12 Race Products Bonus (Two Wheel Covers): Danny Bouc (12th)
Wilwood Brakes ‘Lucky 7’ Bonus ($100 Certificate): Marc Johnson (seventh)

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

Did Not Qualify: 44-James O’Hara; 142-Justin Zook; 23-David Dickey; 86-Trey Hicks; 30T-Robert Tete

American Racer/Lias Tire Bonus (FREE Tire Certificate): Donovan Lussier (eighth)
Belmont’s Garage Hard Charger Award ($100): Tom Moore, Jr. (22nd to ninth)
Beyea Custom Headers Redraw Bonus ($25): Nick Zielinski (Redrew 12th)
Brookfield Speedway Last-Place Bonus ($100): E.J. Gallup (26th)
Fastline Performance Bonuses ($100 Certificates): Payton Talbot (second) & Chris Jakubiak (12th)
Fastline Performance ‘Hot Lap Hero ($50): Payton Talbot (20.926)
Henry’s Exhaust Power Position ($50 Certificate): Kevin Stevens (11th)
TV 12 Race Products Bonus (Two Wheel Covers): Chris Jakubiak (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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