Matt Sheppard Dominates Hustlin In The High Banks 55 For The Short Track Super Series
Bob Hilbert Sportswear STSS Fueled by Sunoco, Hurlock Auto and Speed North Region Event 7.
Nightly Sponsor’s, Two Rivers Timber, Addison NAPA, Bath NAPA Corning NAPA, Hornell NAPA, Wellsville NAPA, and Lawrenceville PA NAPA
Area Auto Racing News Exclusive story by Kenny Shupp Jr.
(Woodhull, NY) After a two-year layoff due to rain and Covid, the Bob Hilbert Sportswear Fueled by Sunoco Short Track Super Series made its return to the Woodhull Raceway for the Hustlin’ the High Banks 55.
With a spring and summer that has found Woodhull plagued with seven total washouts, Mother Nature finally caved in and with perfect weather conditions a packed house awaited a highly anticipated night of great race action.
Thirty-four of the best Modified drivers that the northeast has to offer checked in on a night where both the mighty Modifieds as well as the 602 Crate Sportsman were the high lite of the evening. Also included in the program was the Woodhull Auto Supply Hobby Stocks in a show-up points only event.
After four qualifying heat’s and one lone consolation the twenty-eight-car Modified feature was set with The Doctor, Danny Johnson and Woodhull Raceway track regular, Joe Dgien leading the stacked field to the opening green for the fifty-five lap, $5,500 to win event.
Off the drop of the green, The Doctor jumped into the early advantage with Dgien in tow. The first yellow would appear on lap two eliminating Alan Johnsons night as he was swept up in a turn four incident. The next caution flag would fly one lap later along with a red flag on the lap three restart which totally blocked the turns three and four end of the speedway. Once back to action, Johnson continued to lead the parade thru lap five when Wild Child Andy Bachetti would assume the top spot from his fourth row starting position. After a lap twelve restart, Bachetti would keep control of the field until lap sixteen when the fifth starting Superman Matt Sheppard would wrestle away the lead which he would never relinquish. Two more yellow flags would slow the pace on laps twenty-four as Mike Mahaney got turned exiting turn four and the final slow down coming for Stewart Friesen on lap thirty-five for the inaugural 2015 Woodhull/STSS event winner as he was out with a broken front end. With each stoppage Sheppard had well over a full straight away advantage. With twenty laps remaining all eyes had shifted to Woodhull’s winningest Modified driver, Billy VanPelt who was flying thru traffic using the very top of the banking to his advantage. BVP had originally lined up fourth but was sent to the rear after an early event caution in which he was involved. With the laps winding down and the top three of Sheppard, Bachetti and Anthony Perrego distancing themselves from the remainder of the field it would be a twenty- lap dash to the checkered flag. VanPelt moved by both Perrego and Bachetti as the pair were racing side by side, but just as BVP would take over second, he got too high in turns three and four allowing both Bachetti and Perrego to get back by as VanPelt would begin to lose some momentum. With only five laps remaining Sheppard’s full straight away advantage was now gone as he was in heavy lap traffic and staying on the bottom which allowed both Bachetti and Perrego to rapidly close within striking distance. With parallel sticks up Bachetti was all over Sheppard with Perrego still having a shot as the trio had a five-car length over the fourth place running BVP. With the white rag in the air Sheppard continued to take the low road while Bachetti had found real speed on the very top of the high banks and as the lead pack moved into turns three and four it was still no sure thing that Superman would take home the winner’s check. As the leaders flashed by the finish line Sheppard had Bachetti literally pushing him across the stripe in one of the best Modified Feature events ever witnessed in the fifty-six-year history of the Woodhull Raceway. Perrego had to settle for a close third with VanPelt’s drive from the back to nail fourth in an event that will be talked about for years in local racing circles. Timing and scoring will show that Sheppard’s win was by just 0.166 seconds over Bachetti after the fifty-five-lap grind with Perrego only 0.66 back.
Following VanPelt across the line was Ryan Susice who continues to impress as he would round out the top five in another impressive Woodhull feature finish. Billy Decker received the Hard Charger Award advancing nineteen spots from twenty fifth to the sixth spot at the finish as he was chased across the line by Danny Johnson, Brady Fultz, Jake Dgien and Dillon Groover would round the top ten.
As he exited the car in victory lane and to a standing ovation, Superman Matt Sheppard had put on a spectacular drive before the massive Woodhull Raceway crowd and thousands more viewing on Flo Racing. In the past three STSS events staged at Woodhull, Sheppard, Bachetti and Perrego have been solid contenders as they find the high banked one-third of a mile clay oval much to their liking.
In the companion STSS 602 Crate Sportsman twenty-five lap, $1,500 to win affair veteran driver, pole starter and local Woodhull fan favorite, Dale Welty would bring the twenty-eight-car field to the opening green. In an event that was slowed by no less than eight caution flags, Welty was able to drive away after each restart and with a final fourteen lap green flag run, Welty had over a full straight away advantage over second place finisher, Kenny Peoples Jr., Casey Pavlick, and Ted Morseman making it a top four Woodhull Raceway regular’s finish. Tim Hartman Jr. will stretch his current point lead over Payton Talbot with a fifth-place finish after round five of the North Region STSS 602 Crate Sportsman Division as he was followed across the line by another invader in second generation pilot, Will Shields with Dave Dipietroll, Aiden Groover, lady competitor and Woodhull’s most recent Sportsman feature winner, Isabel Barron in ninth place with Anthony Tramontana rounding out the top ten.
The Woodhull Auto Parts Hobby Stocks had the opportunity to be a part of the history making night viewed on Flo Racing and they did not disappoint in their twenty-five-lap feature.
Leo Eldridge would take command right off the drop of the opening green flag and led the first nineteen laps while being dogged by fourteenth place starter and current point leader, Jeredd Dennis who would take command on lap twenty and with only one caution to slow the pace would go on to the popular feature win for the second -generation driver. Mike Spencer would claim the runner up spot while Dillon Philip held on to take the final podium finishing spot. Joe Birdsall and Paul Dgien would round the top five. Chasing the lead group across the line were Scott Brown, early race leader, Leo Eldredge, Dick Wallace, Carter Dennis with Mike Carapella claiming tenth.
Congratulations to all competitors.
For a complete run down of the Short Track Super Series final results, along with all posted contingencies go to www.facebook.com/shorttrackss/
For a look at the remainder of the Short Track Super Series 2021 schedule, the current point standings for both North and South Regions, Series History and much more simply log on at www.shorttracksuperseries.com
WOODHULL RACEWAY STSS HUSTLIN THE HIGH BANKS RESULTS 8/10/2021 Bob Hilbert Sportswear STSS Fueled by Sunoco, Hurlock Auto and Speed North Region Event 7. Nightly Sponsor’s, Two Rivers Timber, Addison NAPA, Corning NAPA, Hornell NAPA, and Wellsville NAPA. STSS Modifieds (34 cars) Heats: Brady Fultz, Alan Johnson, Joe Dgien, Anthony Perrigo. Consolation: Mike Bills Hustlin In The High Banks 55 (55 laps): 1) Matt Sheppard, 2) Andy Bachetti, 3) Anthony Perrigo, 4) Billy VanPelt, 5) Ryan Susice, 6) Billy Decker, 7) Danny Johnson, 8. Brady Fultz, 9) Jacob Dgien, 10 )Dillon Groover, 11) Donnie Lawson, 12) Mike Gular, 13) J. R. Hurlburt, 14) Alex Tonkin, 15) Joe Dgien, 16) Dayton Brewer, 17) Brett Haas, 18) Mike Mahaney,19) Josh Nobriga ,20) Stewart Friesen, 21) Cory Costa, 22) Brian Malcolm, 23) Cole Youse, 25) Mike Bills, 26) Bobby Hackel, 27) David Schilling, 28) Alan Johnson. DNQ. Shannon Whaley, Brayden Bills, Brian Doolittle, Joe Judge, Jim LaRock, Nick Mady Jr. Did Not Qualify: Shannon Whaley, Brayden Bills, Brian Doolittle, Joe Judge, Jim La Rock, Nick Mady Jr.
American Racer/Lias Tire Bonuses (FREE Tire Certificates): Jake Dgien (ninth) & J.R. Hurlburt (13th) Autism Awareness Winner’s Award presented by Halmar ($250): Matt Sheppard Behrent’s Performance Warehouse Bonuses: Billy Van Pelt (fourth) & Jake Dgien (ninth) Beyea Custom Headers Redraw Bonus ($50): Mike Mahaney (Redrew 12th) FloRacing Heat Winner Bonuses ($50): Brady Fultz, Alan Johnson, Joe Dgien & Anthony Perrego FloRacing Hard Charger Award ($250): Billy Decker (25th to sixth) Henry’s Exhaust System Bonus ($50 Certificate): Donnie Lawson (11th) Penske Racing Shocks Bonuses: Matt Sheppard ($150 Certificate – first); Andy Bachetti ($75 Certificate – second); Anthony Perrego ($50 Certificate – third); Dillon Groover ($25 Certificate – 10th) Spyder High Performance Filters Bonuses: Ryan Susice (FREE Filter – fifth); Joe Dgien (50-percent Certificate – 15th) Sunoco Race Fuels/Insinger Performance Bonuses ($50 Certificates): Andy Bachetti (second); Mike Gular (12th); Brian Malcolm (22nd) Superior Remodeling Halfway Leader Bonus ($200): Matt Sheppard TKS Painting Front-Row Bonuses: Danny Johnson (Pole – $50); Joe Dgien (Outside Pole – $25) Wilwood Brakes Lucky 7 Bonus ($75 Certificate): Danny Johnson (seventh)
Bob Hilbert Sportswear Fueled by Sunoco Precision Hydraulic and Oil North Region Event 5. STSS 602 Crate Sportsman (37 cars) Heats: Dale Welty, Casey Pavlick, Kenny Peoples Jr., Tim Hartman Jr. Consolations: Craig Irvine, Carter Crooker. 25 lap feature: 1) Dale Welty, 2) Kenny Peoples Jr., 3) Casey Pavlick, 4) Ted Morseman, 5) Tim Hartman Jr., 6) Will Shields, 7) Dave Dipietroll, 8. Aiden Groover, 9) Isabel Barron, 10) Anthony Tramontana, 11) Kaiden Dgien, 12) Hunter Lapp, 13) Cayden Lawson,14) Payton Talbot, 15) Art Goodier, 16) Christian 17) Zschoche, 18) Kreg Crooker, 19) Tim Guild, 20) Craig Irvine, 21) Mike Ballestero, 22) Ajay Potrzebowski, 23) Carter Crooker, 24) Shane Henion, 25) David Mayo, 26) Josh Keesey, 27) AJ Costley, 28)Josh Nobriga. DNQ. Adam Taft, Bryce Bailey, Bob Butcher, Tony Harris, Matt Irwin, Blake Lawson, Josh Matakura, Stacy Jackson, Steve Schrader
Did Not Qualify: Adam Taft, Bryce Bailey, Bob Butcher, Tony Harris, Matt Irwin, Blake Lawson, Josh Makatura, Stacy Jackson, Steve Schrader.
American Racer/Lias Tire Bonus (FREE Tire Certificate): Anthony Tramontana (10th) Beyea Custom Headers Redraw Bonus ($25): Josh Keesey (Redrew 12th) Fastline Performance Bonuses ($100 Certificates): Kenny Peoples Jr. (second) & Hunter Lapp (12th) Woodhull Auto Supply Hobby Stocks: (14 cars) Heats. Jeredd Dennis, Joe Birdsall, 25 lap feature. 1) Jeredd Dennis, 2) Mike Spencer, 3) Dillon Philip, 4) Joe Birdsall, 5) Paul Dgien, 6) Scott Brown, 7) Leo Eldridge, 8. Dick Wallace, 9 Carter Dennis, 10) Mike Carapella ,11) Brandon Conklin, 12) Scotty Brown, 13) Greg Young, 14) Glenn VanCise.