Big Track

Matt Sheppard Brought The Thunder To The Thousand Islands At Can-Am Speedway

LA FARGEVILLE, NY – It was a dominant showing by ‘Superman’ Matt Sheppard in the HAS number 9s at Can-Am Speedway, Wednesday night. The Waterloo, New York native took full advantage of the 1st place redraw and ran a green-to-checkered 75-lap Thunder in the Thousand Island DIRTcar feature.

The night of racing began with delays, as rain from the previous two days in La Fargeville, NY caused intermittent issues with the transponder loop under the track. An entire team of track workers helped dig a trough across the finish line to lay down a new loop of wire to get the transponders to register and allow racing to begin. Once it did, there was no turning back. With two features totaling 105 laps, only a single caution flag waved over the track the entire night, and that wasn’t until 82 laps of racing had already elapsed.

In the Super DIRTcar Big Block Modified feature, Matt Sheppard pulled away from the field immediately at the drop of the green and never relented. The caution-free race never had a lead change, though behind the leader a great deal of battling for position transpired. In the end, Sheppard was able to keep enough lapped traffic between himself and second place finisher, Stewart Friesen, to never even allow Friesen the opportunity to make a play for the lead.

“Luck was on our side a little with the redraw and no cautions,” Sheppard said, from victory lane after the race. “I think this makes four in a row for us, so we’re heading in the right direction.”

Stewart Friesen took second place, climbing up from an 8th place starting position. Friesen had the fastest lap time with an 18.704 second lap during time trials. With the top twelve drivers redrawing for position prior to the feature, Friesen’s 8th place starting position proved to be too much to overcome to have a shot at victory.

“I beat up my tires a little bit racing against some lapped cars,” Friesen said, during the DIRTvision interview from the front straightaway, after the race. “We might have benefited from a caution if we’d had one. We got the second-place finish. We’re not happy with that, but we’ll march on.”

Tim Fuller, of Watertown, NY and the 2021 track champion at Can-Am Speedway scratched out a third-place finish after starting sixth.

“I handicapped myself early on. I tried to get too many too early and got up into the cushion. But I was able to climb back” Fuller said, after the race.

St. Lawrence Radiology, the primary sponsor of Fuller’s number 19 also presented the evening’s racing action.

The FABCO DIRTcar Pro Stocks were also on display at the Nasty Track of the North, Wednesday night. Tyler Bushey, of Heuvelton, NY, had the pole to start the race, and like Sheppard in the earlier feature race, Bushey held onto the lead throughout the entirety of the feature.

The single caution came in lap 7 when Brian Carter in the 6c car spun out in turn four. He was able to rejoin the race immediately at the tail of the field and racing resumed with Bushey retaining the lead for the balance of the race.

“I know how to race here, and I was just going to run my line until somebody passed me,” Bushey said, from victory lane. “I hit the hole in four wrong and almost gave [second place finisher, Mike White] a chance. I knew I had to hit one and two perfectly to get the win.”

White, from Winthrop, NY, made several attempts to pass in the closing laps of the thirty-lap feature, but was unable to improve beyond a second-place finish.

Racing returns to Can-Am Speedway Friday, May 20th with full card of racing action, featuring five classes.

For more information, visit: racecanam.com. For full results from the Thunder in the Thousand Islands, visit: myracepass.com.

FEATURE RESULTS:

THUNDER IN THE THOUSAND ISLANDS DIRT CAR BIG BLOCK FEATURE (75 Laps):

1. 9S-Matt Sheppard[1]; 2. 44-Stewart Friesen[8]; 3. 19-Tim Fuller[6]; 4. 8H-Max McLaughlin[18]; 5. 88-Mat Williamson[3]; 6. 98H-Jimmy Phelps[2]; 7. 25R-Erick Rudolph[16]; 8. 3H-Justin Haers[9]; 9. 28-Jordan McCreadie[4]; 10. 21A-Peter Britten[20]; 11. 2L-Jack Lehner[7]; 12. 83X-Tim Sears Jr[13]; 13. 4-Anthony Perrego[14]; 14. 99L-Larry Wight[24]; 15. 2A-Mike Gular[17]; 16. 3J-Marc Johnson[21]; 17. 91-Billy Decker[25]; 18. 7Z-Zachary Payne[11]; 19. 84Y-Alex Yankowski[23]; 20. 215P-Adam Pierson[19]; 21. (DNF) 7MM-Michael Maresca[15]; 22. (DNF) R70-Ryan Arbuthnot[5]; 23. (DNF) 49-Billy Dunn[12]; 24. (DNF) 66X-Carey Terrance[10]; 25. (DNF) 60-Jackson Gill[22]; 26. (DNF) 34-Kevin Root[26]; 27. (DNF) 66W-Derek Webb[27].

FABCO DIRTCAR PROSTOCK FEATURE (30 Laps):

1. 15X-Tyler Bushey[1]; 2. 1X-Mike White[2]; 3. 5B-Ian Bressette[3]; 4. 72-Bruno Richard[5]; 5. 2H-Luke Horning[12]; 6. 23-Scott Towslee[9]; 7. 7-Rob Yetman[4]; 8. 8-Marc Lalonde[14]; 9. 57K-Kevin Fetterly Jr[6]; 10. 75-Eli Gilbert[7]; 11. 17-Nick Hilt[10]; 12. 14J-Johnny Rivers[11]; 13. 09-Shawn Perez[15]; 14. 6C-Brian Carter[8]; 15. 22B-Blayne Nichols[13]