Sheppard overtakes Decker for Super DIRTcar Series points lead heading into Saturday night’s finale
By Mike Kerchner
CONCORD, N.C. – Nov. 4, 2011 – Tim McCreadie earned his second consecutive Super DIRTcar Series Big-Block Modified triumph in Friday’s Lowes Foods World Finals presented by Tom’s Snacks, Coca-Cola and Nature’s Own at The Dirt Track at Charlotte, but Matt Sheppard vaulted into the point lead heading into Saturday night’s season finale.
McCreadie of Watertown, N.Y., passed Sheppard on lap 19 and led the final 22 laps to win Friday night’s Modified portion of the tripleheader event at the four-tenths-mile oval, banking $6,000 for his first Super DIRTcar Series triumph of the season.
Having won last year’s season finale at the World Finals driving for Vinnie Salerno, McCreadie returned to the seat of the No. 4 Bicknell and raced to the front from eighth starting spot.
“Anytime you can race in front of this many people it is fun,” said McCreadie. “Most of us here are sports fans and we go to the big time events to be part of the atmosphere and I know what some of those players go through because when we come here it is a big-time atmosphere.”
Tim Fuller took the early lead from the pole, but Sheppard, who was the fast qualifier on Thursday, zoomed to the front on lap four and led until McCreadie made his winning move past Sheppard’s JB Motorsports Bicknell No. 9s on lap 19.
Sheppard said it was his mistake that helped McCreadie to the lead.
“We got right to the lead quick and I think that actually hurt me a little bit because I didn’t know that top lane in three and four had come in and Timmy drove right around me up there,” Sheppard said. “Then I moved up there and I said to myself, ‘You dummy if you had been running up there in the first place you might have won this race.’”
McCreadie said he was simply picking the lane his competitors left open.
“You can’t follow all night,” McCreadie said. “I started eighth and I had to go where they weren’t and the cushion is always fast if you can get up on it and bend through it. It is a matter of getting your car right and we were really too tight to be up there.”
From there Sheppard of Waterloo, N.Y., chased McCreadie through lapped traffic for the remainder of the 40-lap race, finishing .981 seconds behind the second-generation hotshoe.
But at the end of the day Sheppard, who entered the race 39 points behind Billy Decker in the race for a second consecutive Super DIRTcar Series championship, was the big winner.
After Decker of Unadilla, N.Y., blew an engine in hot laps and went to a back-up car, he struggled to a 13th-place finish and Sheppard grabbed a 10-point (2,399 to 2,389) heading into Saturday night’s program, which will include heat races and another 40-lap feature.
“Whatever (lead) we got is a lot better than what we came in here with,” said Sheppard. “We came in here 53 behind and now it is pretty much a one-race shootout.
“It changes it a little bit. We came down here to win and not hold anything back and that is what we have been doing. Now, that we have the point lead, we still have to run hard because Billy (Decker) will be right up there tomorrow night. We need to be either right in front of him or right behind him, one or the other.”
Fuller of Edwards, N.Y., finished third with Neshanic Station, N.J., veteran Jimmy Horton rolling from 16th to finish fourth. Fifth went to Jimmy Phelps of Baldwinsville, N.Y.
The Lowes Foods World Finals Presented by Tom’s Snacks, Coca-Cola and Nature’s Own continues Saturday night with features for the Super DIRTcar Series Big-Block Modifieds, World of Outlaws Late Model Series and World of Outlaws Sprint Car Series.
Remaining tickets can be obtained by clicking www.CharlotteMotorSpeedway.com or calling 1-800-455-FANS.
For more information on the Super DIRTcar Series, click www.SuperDIRTcarSeries.com .
Super DIRTcar Series Statistical Report; Lowes Foods World Finals Presented by Tom’s Snacks, Coca-Cola and Nature’s Own; The Dirt Track at Charlotte; Nov. 4, 2011
Feature (40 laps)
1. Tim McCreadie, Watertown, N.Y.
2. Matt Sheppard, Waterloo, N.Y.
3. Tim Fuller, Edwards, N.Y.
4. Jimmy Horton, Neshanic Station, N.J.
5. Jimmy Phelps, Baldwinsville, N.Y.
6. Justin Haers, Phelps, N.Y.
7. Gary Tomkins, Clifton Springs, N.Y.
8. Kenny Tremont, Jr., West Sand Lake, N.Y.
9. Billy Dunn, Watertown, N.Y.
10. Brett Hearn, Sussex, N.J.
11. Larry Wight, Phoenix, N.Y.
12. Pete Britten, Brisbane, Australia
13. Billy Decker, Unadilla, N.Y.
14. Carey Terrance, Hogansburg, N.Y.
15. Rob Bellinger, Dexter, N.Y.
16. Rick Laubach, Hellertown, Pa.
17. Matt DeLorenzo, Cropseyville, N.Y.
18. Tim Currier, Auburn, N.Y.
19. Tim Kerr, Picton, Ontario
20. Randy Chrysler, Tuscarora, N.Y.
21. Dave Rauscher, Waterloo, N.Y.
22. Rich Scagliotta, Bound Brooks, N.J.
23. Rex King, Jr., Bristolville, Ohio
24. Roger Chrysler, Tuscarora, N.Y.
25. Danny Johnson, Rochester, N.Y.
26. Billy Pauch, Frenchtown, N.J.
27. Mike Adderley, Charlotte, N.C.
28. Rex King, Bristolville, Ohio
29. Jerry Higbie, Goshen, N.Y.
30. Tom Sears, Jr., Clay, N.Y.
Time Trials (Held Nov. 3)
1. Matt Sheppard, 15.553
2. Tim McCreadie, 15.634
3. Brett Hearn, 15.785
4. Jimmy Phelps, 15.798
5. Tim Fuller, 15.849
6. Billy Pauch, 15.855
7. Billy Decker, 15.872
8. Gary Tomkins, 15.983
9. Rob Bellinger, 16.013
10. Pete Britten, 16.015
11. Larry Wight, 16.026
12. Mike Adderley, 16.028
13. Justin Haers, 16.036
14. Billy Dunn, 16.191
15. Matt DeLorenzo, 16.205
16. Jimmy Horton, 16.262
17. Tim Kerr, 16.262
18. Tom Sears, Jr., 16.311
19. Danny Johnson, 16.321
20. Jerry Higbie, 16.355
21. Dave Rauscher, 16.357
22. Randy Chrysler, 16.397
23. Rex King, Jr., 16.402
24. Carey Terrance, 16.407
25. Rex King, 16.424
26. Tim Currier, 16.521
27. Kenny Tremont, Jr., 16.566
28. Rick Laubach, 17.043
30. Roger Chrysler, 18.295
31. Corey Ziegler, no time.
First Heat (8 laps): Phelps, Britten, Scagliotta, Sears, Higbie, Tremont, King.
Second Heat (8 laps): Fuller, Dunn, Decker, Wight, Haers, Johnson, Currier, Roger Chrysler.
Third Heat (8 laps): Hearn, Tomkins, DeLorenzo, Laubach, Randy Chrysler, Terrance, Kerr, Bellinger.
Fourth Heat (8 laps): Sheppard, McCreadie, Pauch, Horton, Adderley, Rauscher, King, Jr.
Super DIRTcar Series Points (Race 14 of 15)
1. Matt Sheppard, 2,399
2. Billy Decker, 2,389
3. Jimmy Phelps, 2,241
4. Brett Hearn, 2,197
5. Danny Johnson, 2,074
6. Justin Haers, 2,037
7. Rob Bellinger, 1,885
8. Pete Britten, 1852
9. Larry Wight, 1,820
10. Tom Sears, Jr., 1,766
11. Rich Scagliotta, 1,760
12. Tim Currier, 1,680
13. Gary Tomkins, 1,678
14. Billy Dunn, 1,474
15. Kenny Tremont, Jr., 1,417
The Super DIRTcar Series and DIRTcar Racing in the Northeast Region is brought to fans by several sponsors and partners including Hoosier Racing Tire, VP Racing Fuels, GM Performance Parts, Nationwide Insurance and Safety-Kleen. Promotional partners include the University of Northwestern Ohio and Chizmark Larson Insurance. Contingency sponsors are ASI, Bert Transmissions, Bicknell Racing Products, Bilstein Shocks, Brodix, ButlerBuilt, Comp Cams, Intercomp, JE Pistons, KSE Racing Products, Motorsports Safety Systems, MSD Ignition, Penske Shocks, Racing Electronics, R2C, Super Flow, Vicci Racing Apparel, WIX Filters, Wrisco Industries, Xtreme Lubricants and Extreme Mufflers.