SHEPPARD STAYS IN THE SPOTLIGHT – CLAIMS SECOND CONSECUTIVE SUPER DIRTCAR SERIES TRAFFIC JAM VICTORY EARNS $7,000admin
BECHTELSVILLE, PA (July 14, 2016) – For the second consecutive year Waterloo, NY’s Matt Sheppard claimed the win and the $7,000 top prize, during Thursday night’s Big-Block Modified Super DIRTCar Series Traffic Jam presented by Pioneer Pole as NAPA Auto Parts Thunder on the Hill Racing Series brought an exciting night of racing action to Grandview Speedway.
After drawing the pole, Sheppard launched from his first row starting spot with Unadilla, NY’s Billy Decker following closely behind in the Page Trucking No. 91 machine. Sheppard set a rapid pace from the onset hitting lapped traffic by the fourth circuit before the first caution for Wind Gap, PA’s Frank Cozze.
On the restart, Sheppard blasted back to the top spot, with Decker, Peter Britten and Ryan Godown in a three-wide battle for the second spot. As the field bunched up, the caution flag flew for Larry Wight, when his No. 99L machine stopped in turn 3 with a broken front end.
Sheppard bolted out of sight on the restart, while a five-car battle for the second spot ensued. Decker shot inside Britten, while Godown made it three-wide heading down the front stretch — followed quickly by Grandview Speedway all-time leading race winner, Craig VonDohren and Stewart Friesen.
A lap 9 caution for Jeff Strunk’s No. 126 machine slowed the field for the third time.
VonDohren shot into second on the restart while Friesen battled with Britten for the third position side-by-side for nearly 10 laps swapping the spot – and race grooves – almost half a dozen times.
The action slowed again on the 19th circuit for a tangle between 16-year-old Modified racer Max McLaughlin and Tommy Sheetz.
The top-5 remained unchanged on the restart, with Oley, PA’s Duane Howard making his intentions known moving into the sixth position from a tenth place starting spot.
The final caution flag flew on lap 22 for Vernon, NJ’s Brett Hearn – who stopped in turn four with a left front flat tire.
Sheppard stayed dominant at the drop of the green, as multiple two-car battles followed behind, shuffling the field.
The Traffic Jam lived up to its name as Sheppard approached heavy lapped traffic on the 34th circuit. Tiptoeing around lapped cars Britten and Friesen closed on the leader with Britten challenging for the top spot as Sheppard struggled getting around lapped cars.
Sheppard held tight and picked up his second consecutive Traffic Jam victory, and the $7,000 winner’s share.
Peter Britten, of Queensland, Aus. finished in second; Sprakers, NY’s Stewart Friesen in third; Oley, PA’s Duane Howard in fourth; and Billy Decker of Unadilla, NY finishing in fifth
Big-Block Modified Qualifying Heat races were won by Billy Decker, Stewart Friesen and Larry Wight.
Muhlenburg Park, PA’s Paul Kline – who holds two Saturday Night victories at Grandview Speedway – picked up the $1,200 win in the 25-lap Sportsman race. Kline powered from the first place starting position with fellow front-row starter Brandon Grosso battling alongside.
The event slowed twice once on the initial restart and once just prior to the halfway point, but Kline remained dominant. It certainly wasn’t easy for the racer as Brandon Grosso – aboard the NitroFish No.32 machine – swapped groove multiple times trying to gain the top spot. Grosso would settle for second, Brian Hirthler finished in the third spot, Brad Arnold in fourth and Brian Papiez rounding out the top five finishers.
Sportsman Heat races were won by Brandon Grosso, Brian Hirthler, Chad Kohler and Brad Arnold.
The next NAPA Auto Parts Thunder on the Hill Racing Series event will be Tuesday, July 26 for the 2nd Annual Thunder Cup featuring the 410 Sprint Cars and the 358 Modifieds. Also, that evening the remaining 20-laps of the rain-postponed 410 Sprint Car event and a second 358 Modified feature. Adult Admission is $25, Children 6-11: $10, Under 6: FREE! Racing will kick off 30 minutes earlier than originally scheduled at 7:00 PM.
- Legendary Modified racers Kenny Brightbill and Gerald Chamberlain signed autographs and met with race fans prior to the evening’s events. Brightbill and Chamberlain were joined by ‘The Doctor’ Danny Johnson and Keith Flach.
- 30 Modifieds and 38 Sportsman competitors signed in for action.
- Billy Decker set the fast time with a lap of 14.309, barely missing the single-lap track record of 14.298 set by Craig VonDohren.
Heat 1 (8 Laps) – 1. Billy Decker 2. Mike Mahaney 3. Duane Howard 4. Danny Johnson 5. Brett Hearn
Heat 2 (8 Laps) – 1. Stewart Friesen 2. Matt Sheppard 3. Pete Britten 4. Tim Fuller 5. Billy Pauch Jr.
Heat 3 (8 Laps) – 1. Larry Wight 2. Jimmy Phelps 3. Craig VonDohren 4. Ryan Godown 5. Keith Flach
19th Annual Traffic Jam (60 Laps) – 1. Matt Sheppard ($7,000) 2. Peter Britten 3. Stewart Friesen 4. Duane Howard 5. Billy Decker 6. Jimmy Phelps 7. Craig VonDohren 8. Mike Mahaney 9. Jimmy Horton 10. Ryan Watt 11. Tim Fuller 12. Anthony Perrego 13. Jeff Strunk 14. Danny Johnson 15. Ryan Godown 16. Brett Hearn 17. Mat Williamson 18. Keith Flach 19. Pat Ward 20. Rich Scagliotta 21. Max McLaughlin 22. Eldon Payne 23. Billy Pauch, Jr. 24. Tom Sheetz 25. John McClelland 26. Brett Kressley 27. Dominick Buffalino 28. Marcus Dinkins 29. Larry Wight 30. Frank Cozze
Heat 1 (8 Laps) – 1. Brandon Grosso 2. Paul Kline 3. Chris Jenkins 4. Craig Whitmoyer 5. Mike Lisowski
Heat 2 (8 Laps) – 1. Brian Hirthler 2. Dylan Swinehart 3. Brian Papiez 4. Mike Koffel 5. Scott Davis
Heat 3 (8 Laps) – 1. Chad Kohler 2. Derrick Smith 3. Ken Eckert, Jr. 4. Mark Kemmerer 5. Steve Searock
Heat 4 (8 Laps) – 1. Brad Arnold 2. Ryan Beltz 3. Joe Funk 4. Jordan Henn 5. Rich Jones
Consolation 1 (8 Laps) – 1. Jesse Landis 2. JR Fulper
Consolation 2 (8 Laps) – 1. Ryan Lilick 2. Jim Houseworth
Sportsman Feature (25 Laps) 1. Paul Kline 2. Brandon Grosso 3. Brian Hirthler 4. Brad Arnold 5. Brian Papiez 6. Craig Whitmoyer 7. Joe Funk 8. Jordan Henn 9. Derrick Smith 10. Chad Kohler 11. Mark Kemmerer 12. Jim Housworth 13. Mike Lisowski 14. Ken Eckert 15. Ryan Lilick 16. Chris Jenkins 17. Steve Searock 18. JR Fulper 19. Mike Koffel 20. Jesse Landis 21. Steve Davis 22. Dylan Swinehart 23. Rich Jones 24. Ryan Beltz
Tuesday, July 26 7:30 PM
410 Sprints Thunder Cup & 358 Modifieds*
Plus 410 Make-up Feature and 30 lap 358 Modified Make-up feature
Thursday, August 18 7:30 PM PPB Night
All Star Circuit of Champions & TSRS Sprints
See Steve Kinser & Sammy Swindell in action