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Conservation: Matt Sheppard Takes Speed Showcase Honors at Port Royal


Short Track Super Series

Conservation: Matt Sheppard Takes Speed Showcase Honors at Port Royal

Written by Chris Moore

PORT ROYAL, PA – Conservation.

That was the name of the game in the ‘Speed Showcase’ at Port Royal Speedway, as Matt Sheppard did just enough to save his right-rear tire for the duration of the 75-lap affair to claim the $50,000 top prize.

The win was Sheppard’s fourth of the early season with the Bob Hilbert Sportswear Short Track Super Series (STSS) Fueled By Sunoco and with the win, was also officially crowned the 2023 Ollie’s ‘Elite’ Series Champion following the win.

The ‘Elite’ Series title was worth $15,000, making Sheppard’s total take home money a staggering $65,250.

“As soon as I got to the lead, the first thing that went through my mind was the tires,” Sheppard explained. “I started doing everything I know how to do to conserve them and take care of them.”

Sheppard came from the ninth starting position following the Beyea Custom Headers Redraw but went from fourth to first on a lap-20 restart to take the lead and pace the remaining 55 laps.

“Getting to the lead early I think was the key,” he proclaimed. “I was able to pace myself out front and the clean air helped with the handling and could control the tires well.”

Despite leading the final 55 laps of the race, Sheppard did not go without a competition late in the race.

Unadilla, N.Y.’s Billy Decker charged from the 24th starting position into the runner-up spot with still 25 laps remaining in the race.

Decker, who had a harder tire compound on his right rear, was unable to get by Sheppard over the last 25 laps with several cautions coming late in the race.

“The only thing I think that would’ve helped was a longer green-flag run,” Decker said. "I wasn’t good enough on the short runs to make him run harder.

“I don’t know what I would’ve done with him if I could get to him other than make him run harder and hope his tire went.”

Sheppard on the other hand, wasn’t as sure Decker couldn’t have made a move under different circumstances.

“I’m going to have to go back and watch the race,” Sheppard said. “My crew guys signaled Decker was running the bottom. I tried to go down there and didn’t feel very good… we were gonna live and die by the outside.”

With the win, Sheppard vaulted to the top of the Ollie’s Overall Championship standings and the NJ Quality Drywall South Region standings two races into the season.

With Decker coming home second, Oley, Pa.’s Louden Reimert turned heads in the Modified racing world with a podium finish.

“We were definitely a third-place car,” Reimert stated. “Matt and Billy are two of the best in the business and it’s honestly just an honor to be up here with them.”

Reimert raced to third on the final restarted after firing from the 16th starting position.

Watertown, N.Y.’s Tim Fuller rose 24 positions to come home fourth in his St. Lawrence Radiology No. 19 and St. Catherines, Ontario, Canada’s Mat Williamson – who ran as high as second – rounded out the top five in the Behrent’s Performance Warehouse No. 3.

Finishing sixth through 10th, respectively, were Saratoga Springs, N.Y.’s Jack Lehner in his family-owned No. 2; Guilderland, N.Y.’s Marc Johnson – who was the BDR Speed Hard Charger advancing 26 positions – in the S&S Asphalt Paving No. 9; Covington Township, Pa.’s Alex Yankowski brought his Tim Millman-backed No. 84y home eighth; Mooresville, N.C.’s Max McLaughlin rebounded for ninth in the Norm Hansell owned No. 357 after pitting early; and Walden, N.Y.’s Anthony Perrego rounded out the top-10 after getting a flat tire late in the race with his Vinnie Salerno owned No. 4*.

Sixty-five STSS big-block/small-block Modifieds signed for competition in the ‘Speed Showcase.’

In the STSS Crate 602 Sportsman race, Logan Watt used a late-race restart to slide by fellow Pennsylvania native Joe Toth to take the $4,000 victory in Round No. 2 of the Belmont’s Garage South Region.

The track became locked down on the bottom groove with the daytime conditions and tire wear was a factor for the Sportsman competitors just as it was for their Modified counterparts.

Logan Watt, who pitted for new tires earlier in the race when a big pile up occurred on the back straight away. The fresher tires allowed Watt to race back forward and ultimately sneak by Toth for the victory.

Toth settled for second and Kyle Smith scored his second consecutive podium in the event. Steve Davis and Sean Imbeault rounded out the top five out of the 83 competitors with the STSS Crate 602 Sportsman.

Canaan, Conn.’s Rich Crane was the survivor of a wreck that involved four of the top five in the 25-lap Pro Stock feature event.

Crane, who started eighth, was up to third when the wreck involving his closest competitors occurred, handing Crane the lead and ultimately the $1,200 victory.

Bruno Cyr, Jay Fitzgerald, Kenny Gates, and Devon Camenga rounded out the top five.

The STSS now lays dormant until the calendar flips to the month of May when Delaware International Speedway hosts the ‘Diamond State 50.’ The STSS Modifieds go for 50-laps and $5,000 top prize in Round No. 3 of the Ollie’s Overall Championship and the NJ Quality Drywall South Region. The STSS Crate 602 Sportsman will also be on hand for Round No. 3 of the Belmont’s Garage South Region for a 25-lap, $1,500 top prize.

To learn more about the Short Track Super Series Fueled By Sunoco, visit, e-mail, check out ‘Short Track Super Series’ on Facebook, @ShortTrack_SS on Twitter or @ShortTrackSS on Instagram.

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.


‘Speed Showcase 75’ Bob Hilbert Sportswear Short Track Super Series Fueled By Sunoco Ollie’s ‘Elite’ Series Round No. 4 Feature Finish (75 laps): 1. 9S-MATT SHEPPARD[9]; 2. 91-Billy Decker[24]; 3. 58-Louden Reimert[18]; 4. 19-Tim Fuller[26]; 5. 3W-Mat Williamson[7]; 6. 2L-Jack Lehner[22]; 7. 9J-Marc Johnson[33]; 8. 84Y-Alex Yankowski[23]; 9. 357-Max McLaughlin[14]; 10. 4P-Anthony Perrego[31]; 11. 29K-Ryan Krachun[35]; 12. 3RS-Dalton Slack[16]; 13. 35M-Mike Mahaney[2]; 14. 2X-Jeff Strunk[5]; 15. 98H-Jimmy Phelps[13]; 16. 70A-Alex Payne[11]; 17. 28T-Michael Trautschold[34]; 18. 6B-Danny Bouc[17]; 19. 27J-Danny Johnson[32]; 20. 6D-Dillon Steuer[29]; 21. 97-Bobby Hackel IV[30]; 22. 1Z-Jessica Friesen[6]; 23. 7MM-Michael Maresca[20]; 24. 14W-Ryan Watt[4]; 25. 16X-Danny Creeden[8]; 26. 25R-Erick Rudolph[19]; 27. 32-Brandon Grosso[36]; 28. 6S-Matt Stangle[15]; 29. 65-Austin Hubbard[21]; 30. 1X-Willy Decker[28]; 31. 2RJ-Ronnie Johnson[1]; 32. 24M-Sammy Martz Jr[27]; 33. 26-Ryan Godown[3]; 34. 2A-Mike Gular[10]; 35. 1-Billy Pauch Jr[12]; 36. JS98-Rocky Warner[25]

Did Not Qualify: 35C-Chris Curtis; 21M-Bob McGannon; 20C-Cole Stangle; 17Z-Seth Zacharias; 28-Brian Swartzlander; 24-Jake Dgien; 71-Jimmy Zacharias; 11-Matt Caprara; 7Z-Zach Payne; 99L-Larry Wight; 29-Garrett Krummert; 117-Kevin Hirthler; 77-Alan Barker; 221-Gary Edwards III; 1G-Darwin Greene; 87-Neil Stratton; X1-Ken Eckert; 11H-Danny Hieber; 165-Rex King Jr; 15M-Daniel Morgiewicz Jr; 58M-Marshall Hurd; 10C-Tanner Van Doren; 74W-John Willman; 22-Brandon Walters; 01-Danny Varin; J24-Justin Grosso

STSS Ollie’s ‘Elite’ Series Modified Champion ($15,000): Matt Sheppard
American Racer/Lias Tire Bonuses (FREE Tire Certificate): Ryan Krachun (11th) & Mike Mahaney (13th)
BDR Speed Hard Charger Award ($500): Marc Johnson (33rd to seventh)
Behrent’s Performance Warehouse Bonuses ($50 Gift Cards): Tim Fuller (fourth) & Max McLaughlin (ninth)
Beyea Custom Headers Redraw Bonus ($50): Mike Gular (Redrew 10th)
Design for Vision/Sunglass Central Bonus (Oakley Sunglasses): Matt Sheppard (Winner)
Eibach Springs Bonus ($100 Certificate): Jack Lehner (sixth)
Elite Welder Training & Testing Halfway Leader Bonus ($250): Matt Sheppard Henry’s Exhaust Power Position ($50 Certificate): Ryan Krachun (11th)
Penske Racing Shocks Bonuses: Matt Sheppard (first - $150 certificate); Billy Decker (second - $75 certificate); Louden Reimert (third - $50 certificate); Tim Fuller (fourth - $25 certificate)
Schultz Racing Fuel Cells Bonus ($100 Certificate): Anthony Perrego (10th)
Wilwood Brakes ‘Lucky 7’ Bonus ($100 Certificate): Marc Johnson (seventh)

‘Speed Showcase 50’ Bob Hilbert Sportswear Short Track Super Series Fueled By Sunoco Crate 602 Sportsman Belmont’s Garage South Region Round No. 2 Feature Finish (50 laps): 1. 4M-LOGAN WATT[4]; 2. 9J-Joe Toth[17]; 3. 77-Kyle Smith[20]; 4. 4D-Steve Davis[25]; 5. 38S-Sean Imbeault[21]; 6. 57-Brandon Edgar[18]; 7. 17K-Brian Krummel[8]; 8. 38-Zach Sobotka[29]; 9. 14B-Ethan Bill[11]; 10. 43-Michael White[26]; 11. 14T-Payton Talbot[33]; 12. 22C-Cedric Gauvreau[13]; 13. 21C-Brian Calabrese[3]; 14. 29-Matt Ellery[16]; 15. 20-Ryan Simmons[31]; 16. 73H-Paulie Hartwig III[1]; 17. 04-Mike Butler[30]; 18. 32C-David Miloszar[9]; 19. 4H-Travis Hill[2]; 20. 7J-Jarod Millman[35]; 21. 44R-David Rogers[5]; 22. 49-Chris Jakubiak[12]; 23. 59K-Dakota Kohler[34]; 24. 38L-Jared LaBagh[32]; 25. 27-Michael Ballestero[14]; 26. 74-Jax Yohn[7]; 27. 89-Dylan Madsen[23]; 28. 22A-Adrianna Delliponti[15]; 29. 4F-Howie Finch[10]; 30. 15-Adam White[27]; 31. 27Z-Dave DiPietro II[24]; 32. 97-Matt Smith[19]; 33. 76-Jean Francois Tessier[6]; 34. 711-Chris Crane Jr[28]; 35. 7G-Brett Gilmore[22]

Did Not Qualify: 25-Stephen Gray; 5B-Bryce Bashore; 11-Nick Zielinski; 711X-Connor Crane; 63-Chip Constantino; 89T-Mike Toth; 17D-Mike Loney; 197-Michael Schane; 08-Andrew Bohn; 9K-Blaine Klinger; 12-George Schweigart; 18-Blayden Arquette; 69G-Dakota Green; 41-Nick Van Wickle; 22-Billy Fiske; 44-Gordon Smith; 69B-Drew Boniface; 24B-Joey Bruning; 3J-Joe Judge; 117-Jesse Hirthler; 23-David Dickey; 26B-Maddy Broedel; 67W-Zack Welch; 8-Ryan Higgs; M-KYLE SMITH; 19B-Brad Brightbill; 29A-Aryane Imbeault; 00-Cody Manmiller; 9L-Jimmy Leiby; 77L-Ed Lukas; B24-Brendan Gibbons; 2S-Mikey Schneck Jr; 03-Joshua Jock; 35T-Cameron Tuttle; 52-Jessica Power; 61L-Donovan Lussier; 10K-Kolyn Schane; 5C-Ayden Cipriano; 32-Carter Crooker; 5K-Kenny Peoples Jr; 04S-Logan Starr; 13G-Adam Taft; 21-Monte Pool; 782-Mark Shupp; 59-Colin Cox; 44H-James O'Hara

American Racer/Lias Tire Bonus (FREE Tire Certificate): Michael White (10th)
Belmont’s Garage Hard Charger Award ($100): Payton Talbot (33rd to 11th)
Beyea Custom Headers Redraw Bonus ($25): Chris Jakubiak (Redrew 12th)
Fastline Performance Bonuses ($100 Certificates): Joe Toth (second) & Cedric Gauvreau (12th)
Henry’s Exhaust Power Position ($50 Certificate): Payton Talbot (11th)

‘Speed Showcase 25’ Pro Stock Feature Finish (25 laps): 1. 711-RICH CRANE[8]; 2. 33-Bruno Cyr[6]; 3. 56-Jay Fitzgerald[10]; 4. 35-Ken Gates[7]; 5. 110-Devon Camenga[15]; 6. 324-Jason Casey[13]; 7. 322-Jay Casey[12]; 8. 6-Shane Playford[2]; 9. 28H-Johnny Holmes[14]; 10. 25-Steve Cosselman[5]; 11. 72-Denis Gauvreau[3]; 12. 2H-Luke Horning[1]; 13. 28-Philip DeFiglio[9]; 14. 81-Bret Belden[4]; 15. 9J-Eric Jean Louis[16]; 16. 49-Ivan Joslin[11]

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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
Vahlco Wheels