By Phillip Prichard using The Super Dirt Car Big Block Modified Series Press Release:
Brett Hearn is rounding out another strong Super DIRTcar Big-Block Modified Series season with unparalleled success at the World of Outlaws World Finals. After winning two heat races Thursday, Hearn made the redraw for Friday’s feature, drew the pole, and led the 40-lap race flag to flag.
Three-time defending Super DIRTcar Series Champion Matt Sheppard was just over 100 points shy of the tour leader, Hearn, before Friday’s race, and went into the feature hoping to pick up his first Charlotte win and shake up the point standings. Sheppard started the race in seventh, but by the second lap was challenging Ryan Godown for third thanks to a strong restart.
Godown and Sheppard raced side-by-side for several laps, Sheppard a nose ahead on the turns and Godown fast on the straightaways, before Sheppard was finally able to slip by in turn 5. Another powerful double-file restart in lap 9 launched Sheppard to second place.
The series point leader and runner-up took center stage as they circled the 4/10-mile, both looking for more than just the night’s victory. Hearn lapped Rich Scagliotta in lap 16, Sheppard in hot pursuit as the leaders maneuvered through traffic.
A left-rear flat on Keith Flach’s No. 43 brought the third caution of the race and put Sheppard and Hearn on the front row to battle it out at the restart.
Once again, Sheppard found some extra speed on the restart, and tried to slide inside Hearn for the lead. However, a lap-20 caution slowed Sheppard’s advance.
The double-file restarts played to Sheppard’s advantage, and he again sped to the inside groove to attempt the pass.
“I never saw anyone alongside me, but I knew I was under pressure,” said Hearn, who managed to fend off Sheppard’s advances and soon carve out a hefty lead. “I just kept my head down and kept on going as fast as I could go.”
Late in the race, the No. 1 of Stewart Friesen picked up momentum, and Friesen passed Sheppard for second in lap 32. Friesen quickly closed in on Hearn, with Sheppard in hot pursuit. The three darted around lapped traffic, Friesen and Hearn going three-wide around Johnson and Sheppard close at their heals.
However, the late-race challenges had nothing on Hearn, and he picked up another World of Outlaws World Finals victory.
While pleased with his success, particularly the boost his victory gave to his point advantage over Sheppard, Hearn was quick to refocus on improving the car for Saturday’s racing.
“We were very good the first half of the race, but I was really struggling at the end,” Hearn said. “It’s never easy. We tried to make the right choices in tires and setup and stuff like that, and maybe we didn’t make the right choices tonight but the ones we made were good enough to win the race.”
Friesen finished second, and, like Hearn, was already concerned with Saturday. Both drivers mad Saturday’s redraw for the top five starting positions after picking up two qualifying heat race wins Thursday.
“We were definitely a 40-lap car, maybe even a 50-lap car, so we came on strong there in the end. We learned some things, we’ll apply that for tomorrow,” Friesen said. “I’m really proud of my team, these guys work really hard.”
Sheppard finished third to collect his seventh top-five finish at The Dirt Track at Charlotte.
“We had a good night tonight. We started a little further back than Brett and Stew, and we got up there,” said Sheppard, who, despite his many other accomplishments, has yet to claim victory at Charlotte. “We start a little further back tomorrow, so we’ve got a little more work to do, but if we were good tonight, I don’t see any reason why we shouldn’t be good tomorrow.”
Dale Planck, also a two-time heat race winner this year at the World of Outlaws World Finals, started the race in fifth and finished fourth. Gary Tomkins finished fifth after starting second. Hard-charging Jimmy Phelps and Billy Dunn started 17th and 23rd, respectively, and ended up sixth and seventh. Rounding out the top ten are Ryan Godown in eighth, Billy Decker in ninth and Matt Billings in tenth.
The World of Outlaws World Finals at the Dirt Track at Charlotte concludes Saturday, Nov. 9, with another action-packed night of feature races for the Super DIRTcar Series.
1. 20 Brett Hearn – Sussex, N.J.
2. 1F Stewart Friesen – Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario
3. 9s Matt Sheppard – Waterloo, N.Y.
4. 7z Dale Planck – Cortland, N.Y.
5. 84 Gary Tomkins – Clifton Springs, N.Y.
6. 98h Jimmy Phelps – Baldwinsville, N.Y.
7. 49 Billy Dunn – Watertown, N.Y.
8. 747 Ryan Godown – Ringoes, N.J.
9. 91 Billy Decker – Unadilla, N.Y.
10. 74M Matt Billings – Brockport, Ontario
11. 21a Pete Britten – Brisbane, Queensland, Australia
12. 3h Justin Haers – Phelps, N.Y.
13. 14s Duane Howard – Oley, Penn.
14. 10v Billy VanInwegen – Sparrowbush, N.Y.
15. 48too Dave Rauscher – Waterloo, N.Y.
16. 63 Adam Roberts – Watertown, N.Y.
17. 6m Mat Williamson – St. Catharines, Ontario
18. 83 Brian Swartzlander – Leechburg, Penn.
19. 10c Tim Currier – Auburn, N.Y.
20. 7x Rick Laubach – Quakertown, Penn.
21. 8 Rich Scagliotta – Hillsborough, N.J.
22. 66x Carey Terrance – Hogansburg, N.Y.
23. 7J Danny Johnson – Rochester, N.Y.
24. 37md Jeremiah Shingledecker – Polk, Penn.
25. 74F Tim Fuller – Edwards, N. Y.
26. 4* Tim McCreadie – Watertown, N.Y.
27. 43 Keith Flach – Ravena, N.Y.
28. 42B Kevin Bates – Lake Ariel, Penn.
Did not qualify:
8R Rob Bellinger – Cicero, N.Y.
3d Matt DeLorenzo – Cropsyville, N.Y.
115 Kenny Tremont, Jr. – West Sandlake, N.Y.
19w Justin Wright – York, N.Y.
R40 Ryan Forte – Blue Anchor, N.Y.
5H Chris Hile – Syracuse, N.Y.
T21 Roger Chrysler – Tuscarora Nation, N. Y.
26 Rick Richner – Niagara Falls, N.Y.
27T Travis Stacey – Kanawage, Quebec
323 Neal WIlliams – Pittsgrove, N.J.
21k Randy Chrysler – Lewiston, N.Y.
4J Stephane LaFrance – St. Albert, Ontario
711 JaMike Sowle – Fultonville, N. Y.
14g Brian Gleason – Hyde Park, N.Y.
47 Bob Sarkisian – Woolwich, N.J.
M40 Mark Forte – Blue Anchor, N.J
21m Bob McGannon – Garnerville, N.Y.
29e Erik Martin – Evans City, Penn.
7 Mike Maresca – Potsdam, N.Y.
14m C.G. Morey – Danby, Vt.
29 Sammy Piazza – Lawrenceville, N.Y. (DQ)
B-Main 1: McCreadie, Dunn, Bellinger, DeLorenzo, Tremont, Scagliotta, Wright, R. Forte, Hile, Roger Chrysler, Richner, Maresca, Morey. DNS: Stacey
B-Main 2: Britten, Terrance, Laubach, Williams, Rauscher, Currier, Randy Chrysler, LaFrance, Sowle, Gleason, Sarkisian, M. Forte, McGannon. DNS: Martin
Qualifying Heats (8 laps, top 4 transfer, winner redraws – ran Thursday, Nov. 7)
Heat 1: Planck, Flach, Billings, Swartzlander, McCreadie, Williams, Bellinger, Currier, R. Forte, LaFrance
Heat 2: Hearn, Sheppard, Fuller, Phelps, Britten, Wright, Terrance, Roger Chrysler, Martin. DNS: Maresca.
Heat 3: Friesen, VanInwegen, Bates, Shingledecker, Tremont, Randy Chrysler, DeLorenzo, Sowle, Stacey, Sarkisian
Heat 4: Godown, Haers, Howard, Decker, Laubach, Dunn, Gleason, Hile, McGannon, Richner
Heat 5: Tomkins, Johnson, Williamson, Roberts, Morey, Rauscher, Scagliotta, M. Forte. DQ: Piazza
Timed Hot Laps (ran Thursday, Nov. 7): 1. Phelps 15.730, 2. Planck 15.781, 3. Britten 15.799, 4. Godown 15.808, 5. Hearn 15.915, 6. Williams 16.051, 7. Fuller 16.098, 8. Howard 16.120, 9. Flach 16.126, 10. Currier 16.195, 11. Billings 16.220, 12. Friesen 16.231, 13. McCreadie 16.238, 14. Haers 16.245, 15. Decker 16.276, 16. VanInwegen 16.322, 17. Swartzlander 16.332. 18. Laubach 16.340, 19. Sheppard 16.342, 20. Terrance 16.343, 21. Bellinger 16.416, 22. Bates 16.429, 23. Gleason 16.554, 24. Dunn 16.600, 25. Martin 16.625, 26. Shingledecker 16.625, 27. Randy Chrysler 16.654, 28. Tomkins 16.676, 29. Williamson 16.676, 30. Johnson 16.723, 31. Scagliotta 16.776, 32. Tremont 16.782, 33. DeLorenzo 16.812, 34. McGannon 16.812, 35. Wright 16.834, 36. Hile 16.877, 37. LaFrance 16.915, 38. Sowle 16.936, 39. Stacey 16.980, 40. R. Forte 17.059, 41. Richner 17.069, 42. Rauscher 17.071, 43. Piazza 17.091, 44. Morey 17.127, 45. Roberts 17.176, 46. Sarkisian 17.183, 47. Maresca 17.185, 48. M. Forte 17.303, 49. Roger Chrysler 17.369