It’s Matt Sheppard In Big-Block Tussle

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Matt Sheppard (9s) races under Peter Britten at Volusia Speedway Park. (Jim DenHamer photo)

BARBERVILLE, Fla. — Matt Sheppard won a thriller in Super DIRTcar Series big-block modified competition on Valentine’s Day at Volusia Speedway Park.

Sheppard won the 30-lap event on the half-mile dirt track after a race that saw four leaders and multiple lead changes.

Sheppard, who started fourth, held off Stewart Friesen and Peter Brittain for the victory.

“The track was so racy. We were all moving around there,” Sheppard said. “Guys were running the middle, the top, the bottom. I got them on the bottom off of turn two. I think Stewie [Friesen] got messed up in lapped traffic, or he moved around to try to find a new line. I just caught him by surprise. I knew after following him for half the race how good he was, and I knew if I got out front, I couldn’t make any mistakes.”

Friesen also spoke highly of the track and the racing. His battle with Matt Sheppard is the final frames showcased the high-quality competition on hand.

“It was good, I thought he [Matt Sheppard] was going to check out there,” Friesen said. “But we got rolling and got right back to him. It was a challenging race fan but a lot of fun. The track was a lot faster than last night and it had a gnarly cushion. I watched the replay from last night and saw the guys up front roll the bottom. I thought it was going to be the place to be, but then Matt came blowing by.”

Third-place finisher Peter Britten had his best finish of the week so far.

“The track was definitely different,” Britten said. “When you get down here the track changes every night. You gotta roll with it pretty quickly and pick it up. So, we made some changes too and we were pretty decent. We were in the fight. Last night we thought we were pretty good right up to the start of the feature. Then we started pushing real bad. We changed a few things to fix that. I think that helped and like I said, the track was different tonight.”

Graham Racing driver Anthony Perrego had another strong run and finished fourth with Wednesday night winner Billy Decker fifth.

The finish:

1. 9s-Matt Sheppard [4]; 2. 44-Stewart Friesen [5]; 3. 21a-Peter Britten [1]; 4. 18-Anthony Perrego [8]; 5. 91-Billy Decker [10]; 6. 19m-Jessey Mueller [2]; 7. 25-Erick Rudolph [16]; 8. 1-Billy Pauch [13]; 9. 99l-Larry Wight [12]; 10. 20-Brett Hearn [9]; 11. 3-Justin Haers [11]; 12. 42p-Pat Ward [15]; 13. 19-Tim Fuller [14]; 14. 88-Mat Williamson [18]; 15. 111-Demetrios Drellos [22]; 16. 118-Jim Britt [25]; 17. 5-Ryan Godown [20]; 18. 9t-Will Thomas [3]; 19. 2L-Jack Lehner [17]; 20. 33-Marc Johnson [19]; 21. 98t-Tyler Thompson [24]; 22. 23-Kyle Coffey [21]; 23. 46-Jeremy Smith [26]; 24. 1g-Darwin Greene [23]; 25. 7-Rick Laubach [7]; 26. 27j-Danny Johnson [6]