Hometown Sports
Don't Miss

Matt Sheppard Defends Speed Showcase Title in 2024

By Brad Strawser
Port Royal, PA – March 16, 2024 — Matt Sheppard was able to charge to the front from his ninth place starting spot to take home the $50,000 paycheck in the Speed Showcase makeup event from 2023.

The drivers were tested during the Speed Showcase weekend with a track surface that would put their minds to the test. On Friday’s qualifying night, the track had character that would challenge drivers to run lines that might be a bit out of their comfort zone. On Saturday, with a daylight start time, the track looked like it would be a test of tire ware for the race teams.

Come time for the A-main event for the Short Track Super Series, the track crew had completed a total rework of the track’s surface, and looked like a brand new racing surface than what the driver’s saw throughout the consolation events leading up.

Through the 75-lap main event, tire ware still would prove to be a factor for teams, as many drivers would have to make their way to the pit area on the front stretch for tire changes after losing air pressure.

It started to feel like drivers who were prepared for a tire ware race would potentially benefit most if they selected a different tire than the rest.

However, event winner Matt Sheppard did choose to go with a softer tire compound, but he said in victory lane, that getting out in front allowed him to focus on saving tire tread to get him to the finish line.

“I think the key was that restart and getting out front,” said Sheppard, “Once I got out front, I could really go into conserve mode and conserve enough to get me to the end. If I didn’t get that good restart and get out front, I probably would’ve been in trouble.”

Getting out front did benefit Sheppard, but he wouldn’t go without challenge as Billy Decker charged to the front from his 24th starting spot and had some chances to overtake Sheppard over the course of a few late race restarts.

“I didn’t like our chances the other night when the track was super-sonic but when the track slowed down, I liked our chances,” said Decker on the podium when asked if he thought he would have a shot at the win from 24th.

The Bob Hilbert’s Sportswear Short Track Super Series will now take a few months off with their next racing coming on May 7th at Delaware International Speedway for the Short Track Super Series Diamond State 50.

Port Royal Speedway will be back in action on Saturday March 23rd with Weikert Livestock 410 sprint cars, Selinsgrove Ford Super Late Models, and Zimmerman Truck Repair Limited Late Models with racing getting under way at 4PM.

General admission tickets will be $20, students (13-18) will be $10, and pit passes will be $35. Kids age 12 and under are free admission.

The entire season of racing in 2024 will be broadcast live on FloRacing (www.floracing.tv) via the annual subscription.

To learn more about Port Royal Speedway, visit www.portroyalspeedway.com, e-mail info@portroyalspeedway.com, check out ‘Port Royal Speedway Trackside Media’ on Facebook, and @PortRoyalSpdway on Twitter.

Full Event Results:

‘Speed Showcase 75’ Bob Hilbert Sportswear Short Track Super Series Fueled By Sunoco Ollie’s ‘Elite’ Series Round No. 4 Feature Finish (75 laps): 1. 9S-MATT SHEPPARD[9]; 2. 91-Billy Decker[24]; 3. 58-Louden Reimert[18]; 4. 19-Tim Fuller[26]; 5. 3W-Mat Williamson[7]; 6. 2L-Jack Lehner[22]; 7. 9J-Marc Johnson[33]; 8. 84Y-Alex Yankowski[23]; 9. 357-Max McLaughlin[14]; 10. 4P-Anthony Perrego[31]; 11. 29K-Ryan Krachun[35]; 12. 3RS-Dalton Slack[16]; 13. 35M-Mike Mahaney[2]; 14. 2X-Jeff Strunk[5]; 15. 98H-Jimmy Phelps[13]; 16. 70A-Alex Payne[11]; 17. 28T-Michael Trautschold[34]; 18. 6B-Danny Bouc[17]; 19. 27J-Danny Johnson[32]; 20. 6D-Dillon Steuer[29]; 21. 97-Bobby Hackel IV[30]; 22. 1Z-Jessica Friesen[6]; 23. 7MM-Michael Maresca[20]; 24. 14W-Ryan Watt[4]; 25. 16X-Danny Creeden[8]; 26. 25R-Erick Rudolph[19]; 27. 32-Brandon Grosso[36]; 28. 6S-Matt Stangle[15]; 29. 65-Austin Hubbard[21]; 30. 1X-Willy Decker[28]; 31. 2RJ-Ronnie Johnson[1]; 32. 24M-Sammy Martz Jr[27]; 33. 26-Ryan Godown[3]; 34. 2A-Mike Gular[10]; 35. 1-Billy Pauch Jr[12]; 36. JS98-Rocky Warner[25]

Did Not Qualify: 35C-Chris Curtis; 21M-Bob McGannon; 20C-Cole Stangle; 17Z-Seth Zacharias; 28-Brian Swartzlander; 24-Jake Dgien; 71-Jimmy Zacharias; 11-Matt Caprara; 7Z-Zach Payne; 99L-Larry Wight; 29-Garrett Krummert; 117-Kevin Hirthler; 77-Alan Barker; 221-Gary Edwards III; 1G-Darwin Greene; 87-Neil Stratton; X1-Ken Eckert; 11H-Danny Hieber; 165-Rex King Jr; 15M-Daniel Morgiewicz Jr; 58M-Marshall Hurd; 10C-Tanner Van Doren; 74W-John Willman; 22-Brandon Walters; 01-Danny Varin; J24-Justin Grosso

STSS Ollie’s ‘Elite’ Series Modified Champion ($15,000): Matt Sheppard
American Racer/Lias Tire Bonuses (FREE Tire Certificate): Ryan Krachun (11th) & Mike Mahaney (13th)
BDR Speed Hard Charger Award ($500): Marc Johnson (33rd to seventh)
Behrent’s Performance Warehouse Bonuses ($50 Gift Cards): Tim Fuller (fourth) & Max McLaughlin (ninth)
Beyea Custom Headers Redraw Bonus ($50): Mike Gular (Redrew 10th)
Design for Vision/Sunglass Central Bonus (Oakley Sunglasses): Matt Sheppard (Winner)
Eibach Springs Bonus ($100 Certificate): Jack Lehner (sixth)
Elite Welder Training & Testing Halfway Leader Bonus ($250): Matt Sheppard Henry’s Exhaust Power Position ($50 Certificate): Ryan Krachun (11th)
Penske Racing Shocks Bonuses: Matt Sheppard (first – $150 certificate); Billy Decker (second – $75 certificate); Louden Reimert (third – $50 certificate); Tim Fuller (fourth – $25 certificate)
Schultz Racing Fuel Cells Bonus ($100 Certificate): Anthony Perrego (10th)
Wilwood Brakes ‘Lucky 7’ Bonus ($100 Certificate): Marc Johnson (seventh)

‘Speed Showcase 50’ Bob Hilbert Sportswear Short Track Super Series Fueled By Sunoco Crate 602 Sportsman Belmont’s Garage South Region Round No. 2 Feature Finish (50 laps): 1. 4M-LOGAN WATT[4]; 2. 9J-Joe Toth[17]; 3. 77-Kyle Smith[20]; 4. 4D-Steve Davis[25]; 5. 38S-Sean Imbeault[21]; 6. 57-Brandon Edgar[18]; 7. 17K-Brian Krummel[8]; 8. 38-Zach Sobotka[29]; 9. 14B-Ethan Bill[11]; 10. 43-Michael White[26]; 11. 14T-Payton Talbot[33]; 12. 22C-Cedric Gauvreau[13]; 13. 21C-Brian Calabrese[3]; 14. 29-Matt Ellery[16]; 15. 20-Ryan Simmons[31]; 16. 73H-Paulie Hartwig III[1]; 17. 04-Mike Butler[30]; 18. 32C-David Miloszar[9]; 19. 4H-Travis Hill[2]; 20. 7J-Jarod Millman[35]; 21. 44R-David Rogers[5]; 22. 49-Chris Jakubiak[12]; 23. 59K-Dakota Kohler[34]; 24. 38L-Jared LaBagh[32]; 25. 27-Michael Ballestero[14]; 26. 74-Jax Yohn[7]; 27. 89-Dylan Madsen[23]; 28. 22A-Adrianna Delliponti[15]; 29. 4F-Howie Finch[10]; 30. 15-Adam White[27]; 31. 27Z-Dave DiPietro II[24]; 32. 97-Matt Smith[19]; 33. 76-Jean Francois Tessier[6]; 34. 711-Chris Crane Jr[28]; 35. 7G-Brett Gilmore[22]

Did Not Qualify: 25-Stephen Gray; 5B-Bryce Bashore; 11-Nick Zielinski; 711X-Connor Crane; 63-Chip Constantino; 89T-Mike Toth; 17D-Mike Loney; 197-Michael Schane; 08-Andrew Bohn; 9K-Blaine Klinger; 12-George Schweigart; 18-Blayden Arquette; 69G-Dakota Green; 41-Nick Van Wickle; 22-Billy Fiske; 44-Gordon Smith; 69B-Drew Boniface; 24B-Joey Bruning; 3J-Joe Judge; 117-Jesse Hirthler; 23-David Dickey; 26B-Maddy Broedel; 67W-Zack Welch; 8-Ryan Higgs; M-KYLE SMITH; 19B-Brad Brightbill; 29A-Aryane Imbeault; 00-Cody Manmiller; 9L-Jimmy Leiby; 77L-Ed Lukas; B24-Brendan Gibbons; 2S-Mikey Schneck Jr; 03-Joshua Jock; 35T-Cameron Tuttle; 52-Jessica Power; 61L-Donovan Lussier; 10K-Kolyn Schane; 5C-Ayden Cipriano; 32-Carter Crooker; 5K-Kenny Peoples Jr; 04S-Logan Starr; 13G-Adam Taft; 21-Monte Pool; 782-Mark Shupp; 59-Colin Cox; 44H-James O’Hara

American Racer/Lias Tire Bonus (FREE Tire Certificate): Michael White (10th)
Belmont’s Garage Hard Charger Award ($100): Payton Talbot (33rd to 11th)
Beyea Custom Headers Redraw Bonus ($25): Chris Jakubiak (Redrew 12th)
Fastline Performance Bonuses ($100 Certificates): Joe Toth (second) & Cedric Gauvreau (12th)
Henry’s Exhaust Power Position ($50 Certificate): Payton Talbot (11th)

‘Speed Showcase 25’ Pro Stock Feature Finish (25 laps): 1. 711-RICH CRANE[8]; 2. 33-Bruno Cyr[6]; 3. 56-Jay Fitzgerald[10]; 4. 35-Ken Gates[7]; 5. 110-Devon Camenga[15]; 6. 324-Jason Casey[13]; 7. 322-Jay Casey[12]; 8. 6-Shane Playford[2]; 9. 28H-Johnny Holmes[14]; 10. 25-Steve Cosselman[5]; 11. 72-Denis Gauvreau[3]; 12. 2H-Luke Horning[1]; 13. 28-Philip DeFiglio[9]; 14. 81-Bret Belden[4]; 15. 9J-Eric Jean Louis[16]; 16. 49-Ivan Joslin[11]

Article Credit: Brad Strawser

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *