NEW EGYPT, N.J. – Jimmy Horton defeated everything at New Egypt Speedway Saturday evening, including the track as he captured the 60-lap Race of Champions Dirt Modified Tour event.
The Cabin Fever 60 season opener had fierce competition throughout the event on a less than perfect early Spring track surface.
“The track was the same for all of us,” said Horton from victory lane. “We all got beat up but it was a lot of fun racing back and forth for the lead the way we did with Ryan (Godown) and Billy (Pauch). I am sure the fans loved it.”
Matt Sheppard and Billy Decker brought the 27-car field to the green flag with Sheppard grabbing the early lead. Sheppard led the field for the first 10 laps as third-starting Sammy Piazza challenged for the lead.
By lap 15 Horton, who had started sixth, was challenging for the lead with ninth starting Billy Pauch right with him.The duo passed Sheppard on either side simultaneously with Horton taking command.
This was short lived as Pauch worked hard on him as defending New Egypt modified champ Ryan Godown bared down on the two. The three stars traded the lead numerous times during the middle portion of the race while the fans wildly cheered them on.
Just after halfway Sheppard dropped out with mechanical issues and shortly after that Pauch retired pit side as well. With 20 laps remaining Godown got a flat and after getting new rubber rejoined at the rear of the field.
Piazza and 16th-starting Craig Von Dohren now took up the chase and began to pressure Horton, with Piazza leading again momentarily. Horton again was up to the challenge as he took the lead back.
The final 10 laps saw numerous yellows for cars breaking, but saw more action than this article could do justice as this event will surely be one of the favorites to buy at the video stand.