Matt Sheppard is Super In Bob St Amand Sr Memorial at Merrittville

8/3/2016 - 8:43:44 AM

For the fourth time in his career, “Super” Matt Sheppard from Waterloo, NY claimed the $6000 winners purse in the seventh edition of the Bob St. Amand Sr Memorial 100 for the Big Block Modified Super DIRTcar Series presented by L. St Amand Enterprises and St Amand Auto and Truck at the Merrittville Speedway on Civic Holiday Monday. It was his win in the event that honors former racer, champion and long time pit steward Bob St Amand Sr.  

In other action at Merrittville, St. Catharines, Ontario’s Justin Sharp claimed the Yager Bros Trucking DIRTcar Sportsman feature event. Divisional points leader Mark Fawcett from Canfield,Ontario won the main event for the Hoosier Stocks. Kyle Rothwell from Welland, Ontario won the 20 lap feature for the Van Raine Construction 4 Cylinders.

“I can’t thank the St. Amand Family enough for what they do for this race to really make it special” stated Sheppard in victory lane. It was a great points night as we know Stew (Friesen) is right there and will be night in and night out” Sheppard continued.

The Bob St. Amand Memorial 100 for the Super DIRTcar Series Big Block Modifieds was led to starter Dave Farney’s green flags by Tim Fuller and Pat Ward and it was Fuller jumping into the lead with Matt Sheppard, Ward, Larry Wight and Chad Brachmann in the top five early on with Brett Hearn, Billy Decker, Mark D’llario, Stewart Friesen and defending race winner Mat Williamson completing the top ten on lap five. Rich Scagliotta spun in turn two to bring out the caution with seven laps complete, erasing Fuller’s early race lead over the field. The lap 11 restart would see Fuller pull in front of “Super Matt” Sheppard as Larry Wight moved into third place with teammate Ward and Brett Hearn raced in the top five. Sheppard would look to the outside of Fuller for the lead but Fuller would keep the lead. As the duo battled for the lead, this would allow Wight to reel in Fuller and Sheppard. Sheppard would out race Fuller exiting turn four to take over the race lead on lap 18 with Fuller now being the chaser.  

With Sheppard out front, Larry Wight would make contact with Fuller, hit the outside wall but was able to keep the third spot with Hearn and Ward running in the top five. Stewart Friesen battled Billy Decker for eighth at the races ¼ mark, just as the leader and current Super DIRTcar Series points leader Sheppard hit lap traffic. Ryan Susice suffered a flat tire on lap 29 and came to a stop on the front straightaway to bring out the caution. Matt Sheppard and Chad Brachmann received a $150 bonus for being the first Big Block and Small Block across the line on lap 30.Mark D’llario hit the front stretch wall on lap 35 to bring out the caution, ending his night as he went off on the business end of the tow trucks. Off the restart, Sheppard would run out front as Brett Hearn would pass Wight to take over third. Stewart Friesen would pass Pat Ward to take over sixth place on lap 39 as he continued to stay close to Sheppard in the race for the Super DIRT Series Championship.  Sheppard would continue to show the way over Fuller at the halfway mark with Wight, Hearn, Brachmann, Friesen, Williamson, Pete Bicknell, Tommy Flannigan and Ward running in the top ten. Chad Brachmann would go to the inside of Hearn exiting turn four to take the fourth place away on lap 57. Sheppard would hit lap traffic on lap 59, just as Brachmann passed Larry Wight for third place.  Friesen would pass Hearn to take fifth away on lap 63 and then went after fourth place Wight. Hearn’s slip deeper in the top ten would continue on lap 69 as Pete Bicknell passed “The Jet” to move into sixth place. The leaders would have a hard time negotiating lap traffic in the races later stages. Mike Bowman, past race winner would recover from an early race miscue to move into seventh and then went after Bicknell. Brachmann would pass Fuller on lap 75 to take over the runner up spot and “CB3”, a Merrittville champion started to chase down race leader Sheppard. Fred Carleton would spin to bring out the caution on lap 79, erasing the lead that Sheppard had over Brachmann.  

The restart with 21 laps remaining saw Sheppard, Brachmann, Friesen take off with Fuller and Bowman moving into fifth. Bowman would go underneath Fuller to take fourth away on lap 82. Sheppard would pull away from Brachmann as Friesen started to mount a challenge in the final 15 laps to go after the runner up spot and Bowman was catching Friesen.  

Keith Flach slowed on the front stretch to bring out the caution on lap 94, setting up a six lap shootout and erasing the straightaway lead that Sheppard had over Brachmann. Sheppard continued his lead on the restart over Brachmann. Brachmann pushed his family-run Find It sponsored car as hard as he could to catch Sheppard. Mike Bowman passed Friesen to take third and then went after Brachmann. Sheppard would go on to score the win, his fourth Bob St. Amand Memorial title.

Merrittville’s Pinty’s Delicious Foods 358 Modified regulars Brachmann, Bowman, and Bicknell would complete the top five with Friesen in fourth.

Tom Richau Jr and Luke Carleton led the Yager Bros Trucking DIRTcar Sportsman to the green flag for their 25 lap feature event and it was Carleton jumping into the lead. Justin Sharp, Brent Begolo and Brad Rouse raced their way into the top five early on as Carleton started to pull away from the balance of the field. Sean Dominey and John Babion both slowed on the front straightaway to bring out the races first caution on lap eight. Sharp and Rouse would move into first and second off the lap eight restart as Rouse would go to the bottom of the speedway to challenge Sharp for the lead. As the lead trio of Sharp, Rouse and Carleton started to pull away from the field at the halfway point, Cody McPherson would challenge Begolo for the fourth position. Sharp would hold off Rouse to score the win, his second straight win for the Sportsman portion of the Bob St. Amand Sr Memorial.  

Jack Myers and Kyle Pelrine shared the front row for the Hoosier Stocks feature and it was Pelrine taking the lead as current points leader Mark Fawcett moved into second place at the end of the first scored lap. Pelrine, Fawcett and Dave Bailey went three wide for the battle for the lead and Fawcett would take over the lead at the end of lap three as Bailey moved into second. Jim Lampman worked his way through the field and entered the top five by lap 10 and challenged Chris Crawford and Bill Bleich Jr for third place on lap 12. Lampman would challenge Bleich for third for several circuits and took the third spot away on the final lap. Bleich would be able to get the third spot back at the checkered flag as Fawcett pulled away from the field to score the victory. Bailey, Bleich Jr, Lampman, and Crawford would round out the top five.  

“I cannot thank my crew enough for all their hard work to get this car ready” stated Rothwell in victory lane after another victory in the Van Raine Construction 4 Cylinder division.   Gary Hodgson and Clinton Nicholls brought the field of Van Raine Construction 4 Cylinders to the green flag for their 20 lap feature event and it was Hodgson jumping out into the race lead. Mike Sadusek moved into third and he quickly went past Nicholls to take over second place at the start of lap two and by the end of the second lap, would take over the lead. The caution would come out on lap three as Austyn Werstroh slowed on the front straightaway to bring out the caution. On the races restart, Cole Hardy made hard contact to the front stretch wall to bring out the red flag on lap four. Hardy climbed out of his car under his own power. Sadusek continued to show the way over Jay Moulton as Kyle Rothwell took over third place from Kyle Miller on lap six. Rothwell went after Moulton for the second spot and would complete the pass prior to the halfway mark. Rothwell went to the outside of Sadusek and challenged him for the lead and would take over the top spot on the inside of turn two after Sadusek broke in turn one on lap 12. Leroy Buscumb took second away from Moulton as Jason Coutu and Tyler Lafantaisie moved into fourth and fifth respectively with five laps remaining. Rothwell pulled away in the races’ final stages to pick up the win.  

MERRITTVILLE MOMENTS: Fans, crews, officials and drivers alike enjoyed the pre-race pasta dinner by Club Castropignano. The St. Amand family would like to thank all the individuals and companies that were apart of the lap sponsorship programs that raised over $10,000 in lap money and other awards that were distributed throughout all the classes in competition. 

Merrittville will return to action on Saturday August 6th as Niagara Employment Help Centre presents Help a Child Smile Night at the Races! The Pinty’s Delicious Foods 358 Modifieds will be joined by Yager Bros Sportsman, and the Van Raine Construction 4 Cylinders. The Hoosier Stocks will be running in qualifier #2 as part of the Duel on the Dirt and it will also be round #2 of the Eataly Foods Pro 4 Triple Truck Challenge. Showtime Saturday will be at 7:00pm with the Grandstand gates opening at 5:30pm.

For more information, log on to email them at, call (905) 892-8266 and follow them on Facebook and on Twitter @Merrittville. Merrittville Speedway is located at 2371 Merrittville Highway in Thorold, Ontario .    


Big Block Modified Super DIRTcar Series: MATT SHEPPARD, Chad Brachmann, Mike Bowman, Stewart Friesen, Pete Bicknell, Tim Fuller, Chris Steele, Erick Rudolph, Gary Lindberg, Brett Hearn, Mat Williamson, Larry Wight, Mike Mahaney, Billy Decker, Tommy Flannigan, Jimmy Phelps, Pat Ward, Danny Johnson, Ryan Susice, Peter Britten, Tim Jones, Max McLaughlin, Rich Scagliotta, Shayne Pierce, Fred Carleton, Keith Flach, Rick Richner, Michael Maresca, Frank Cozze, Jean-Francois Corriveau, Gary Tomkins, Mark D’llario Failed to Qualify: Todd Gordon, Boyd MacTavish, Bill Bleich Sr, Rex King Jr, Scott Wood

Qualifying Winners: Tim Fuller, Larry Wight, Chad Brachmann, Matt Sheppard

Last Chance Showdown Winners: Pete Bicknell, Frank Cozze

Fast Time: Tim Fuller 15.763 seconds

Yager Bros DIRTcar Sportsman: JUSTIN SHARP, Brad Rouse, Luke Carleton, Brent Begolo, Cody McPherson, Paul Gaboury, Tom Richau Jr, Rob Knapp, Chris Storm, Adam Leslie, Jay Mallory, Charlie Lynch, John Babion, Chris Bellamy, Dave DiPetro, Sean Dominey, Joey Mastrioanni

Qualifying Winners: Charlie Lynch, Luke Carleton

Hoosier Stocks: MARK FAWCETT, Dave Bailey, Bill Bleich Jr, Jim Lampman, Chris Crawford, Kyle Pelrine, Dave Small, Ryan Beagle, Pete Reid, Jason Fontaine, Vince Fargnoli, Steve Shaw, Brandon Murrell, Jack Myers, Brad Sheehan, Robin Mortensen, Rob Murray, Al Blanchard

Qualifying Winners: Mark Fawcett, Dave Bailey

Van Raine Construction 4 Cylinders: KYLE ROTHWELL, Leroy Buscumb, Jason Coutu, Tyler Lafantaisie, Tony Kelly, Jay Moulton, Kyle Miller, Tom Neale, Vincent Pagnotta, Sam Iftody, Alex Riley, Go Fast Teeple, Brandon Iudiciani, Jeremy Smith, Clinton Nicholls, Gary Hodgson, Kourtney Kocarik, Austyn Werstroh, Mike Giberson, Trevor Want, Mike Sadusek, Cole Hardy

 Qualifying Winners: Teeple, Tony Kelly, Kyle Rothwell  

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