Area Stock Car Racing: Wight passes Sheppard to earn win in Louisiana

The latest on stock car racing from The Recorder's Thomas Coughlin Jr.
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Categories: Sports

Last Friday, the Southern Super Modified Series presented a 32-lap $3,000 to win feature for the northeast modifieds at Chatham Speedway in Chatham, Louisiana.
Matt Sheppard was leading the feature with one lap to go, but his left rear tire was losing air pressure, and Larry Wight made the pass for the win. Rounding out the top five were Stewart Friesen, Jack Lehner and Jessica Friesen. Heat race winners were Matt Sheppard and Erick Rudolph.

The next day was the $10,000 to win Return from the Corona 75-lap main event. Sheppard was finally able to shake his run of bad luck and claim his first win in 2020. Rounding out the top five were Erick Rudolph, Stewart Friesen, Jessica Friesen and Lehner.

Orange County Fair Speedway in Middletown is racing Saturday. The headline is a tribute to Jimmy Horton, with a 43-lap modified feature paying $4,300 to win. The sportsman division will be the supporting class.

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A unique feature of OCFS is its drive-in section on the backstretch, and that will be open Saturday to fans who would like to watch from the comfort of their own vehicles. You must pre-register for the pre-sale parking spots. Up to four passengers will be allowed per vehicle at a cost of $99  per car. To purchase your spot, call the speedway at 845-342-2573. OCFS is expecting many of the top northeast modified teams there. Sheppard, Stewart Friesen, Mahaney, Tremont, and a number of others are looking forward to the opportunity to compete in a true racing event.

Many tracks have either continued to, or are starting to, offer closed practice sessions. Fonda Speedway will hold practice Saturday with no fans in the stands for all divisions. Pit gates open at 3 p.m., and on-track practice is scheduled from 6 p.m. until 10 p.m.

Utica-Rome Speedway held the first actual race in New York on Wednesday. The Conquer the Corona presented the DIRTcar 602 crate sportsman and the DIRTcar pro stocks. Both divisions ran 30-lap features paying $1,000 to win.

For the pro stocks, Chad Jeseo and Jim Normoyle were the heat race winners. In the feature, “Cousin” Luke Horning scored the victory over Josh Coonradt, Nick Stone, Bo Ballard and Jeseo. Kenny Gates finished sixth, taking the Hard Charger award after starting 13th for the event.

Kevin Root claimed the DIRTcar sportsman feature over Zack Sobotka, Matt Janczuk, Chris Mackey and Brian Calabrese. A few other local drivers at U-R were A.J. Miller who finished 15th, Charlie Tibbitts 17th and Tucker O’Connor 23rd. Heat race winners were Austin Germinio, Michael Ballestero, Mackey, and Root. 

On Sunday, the Short Track Super Series will be racing at the Potomac Speedway in Budd’s Creek, Maryland. This will count as a south region points race for the STSS. Modifieds will race in a 50-lap feature for $5,000 to win and $400 to start. The 602 sportsman will have a 25-lap feature paying $1,500 to win and $100 to start. There will also be a local division to fill out the program. Gates open at 3 p.m., hot laps at 6:30 and racing at 7:15. Admission is $25. 

Fonda’s plans for next week look like this: June 13, racing for the Swagger Factory Apparel 602 sportsman and the Algonkin Motel pro stocks, with practice for all others. Pit gate opens at 3 p.m., hot laps at 6 and racing at 7.

On Sunday, racing for the Sunoco Fuels modifieds, limited sportsman, street stocks, and 4-cylinders. Pit gate opens at 3 p.m., hot laps at 6 and racing at 6:30.
Can-Am Speedway was scheduled to race Friday night. On the card were the DIRTcar 358 modifieds, DIRTcar 602 sportsman and the DIRTcar pro stocks. A number of local drivers were confirmed to be headed up there 

Glen Ridge Motorsports Park announced that its point season will begin on June 14. No fans are allowed in the stands. DIRTcar crate modifieds will compete, as will the DIRTcar pro stock division.

You can mark your calendar for Nov. 13-14. Chatham Speedway is making plans for the Mods in the Marsh. A 100-lap modified race paying $20,000. This will be a joint venture between the STSS and SSMS.

Even though it has been closed to the general public, the staff at the Saratoga Automobile Museum is busy. Whenever it is able to open up, one of its new exhibits will be classic race cars from the Dyson Racing Collection.

New York may finally be making progress in regards to opening up as more facilities are putting plans in place to meet state restrictions. However, I know that many are frustrated also, because neighboring states are allowing fans to attend events.

Hopefully, it will be our turn soon. Stay healthy.

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