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Fresh Start: Matt Sheppard wheels new HBR ride to fast time in Florida

021814 DCN MattSheppard

Super DIRTcar Series racing continues Wednesday at Volusia Speedway Park

BARBERVILLE, FLA. – February 18, 2014 – A new year means new beginnings, at least for many of theSuper DIRTcar Series racers at DIRTcar Nationals presented by Summit Racing Equipment. The Big-Block Modified tour opened its 2014 season Tuesday, Feb. 18, with practice laps at Volusia Speedway Park, and it was some newcomers that wowed the crowds in the grandstands.

For the first of three hot laps sessions, Anthony Perrego of Montgomery, N.Y., sat behind the wheel of a Big-Block Modified for the first time. Just a couple laps later Perrego claimed fast time with a 17.005-second lap.

“I was pretty nervous going out for that first one,” Perrego recollected. “We were sitting out on the infield and I had Brett around me, and I had those guys around me. You get a little jittery when you see those guys.”

Despite the stiff competition and the nerves, Perrego rose to the top in both the first and second practice sessions. He finished third in the final session after three-time series champion Matt Sheppard and eight-time series champion Brett Hearn.

“The first time in a Big-Block, I was pretty impressed to be able to get a fast time in one and two,” said Perrego, who started in the Sportsman class and moved up to a small block mid-year 2013.

Defending Super DIRTcar Series Champion Hearn was strong all night, placing second in each practice session. Sheppard made fast time in the third round, showing off his new ride with Henke-Baldwin Racing (HBR).

“Everything’s been good; the team’s been good, the car has felt good,” Sheppard said of the change. “I’m just excited to get into a real race and see how we stack up.”

Sheppard racked up three consecutive Super DIRTcar Series championships before joining HBR and has been quick to acclimate to the FX Caprara Car Companies sponsored No. 9h. He finished 18th in time the first round and 15th the second, but made the right changes to claim fast time the final time around with a 18.018-second lap.

“The car wasn’t so good in the second session, but we made a few adjustments and I think we’ll be right there this week,” said Sheppard, anticipating a strong showing for the 9h both at DIRTcar Nationals presented by Summit Racing Equipment and the remainder of the Super DIRTcar Series.

The Super DIRTcar Big-Block Modified Series returns to Volusia Speedway Park Wednesday, Feb. 19, for the first of four doubleheaders rounding out DIRTcar Nationals presented by Summit Racing Equipment. Tickets will be available for purchase at the gate and include a FREE Fan Pit Pass!

Live video coverage is also available for purchase on DIRTvision.com for $21.99 per night. DIRTvision also offers a special package including all four upcoming Super DIRTcar Series races, along with accompanying UMP Late Models and World of Outlaws Late Models races, for just $69.99. For more information, visit www.DIRTvision.com

Hot Lap Session 1 Best Lap Times:

1

55G

Anthony Perrego Montgomery NY

17.005

2

20

Brett Hearn Sussex NJ

17.614

3

22c

Mario Clair St-Edmond Quebec

17.753

4

3h

Justin Haers Phelps NY

17.811

5

7z

Dale Planck Homer NY

17.865

6

85

H.J. Bunting Milford DE

17.869

7

54

Steve Bernard Granby Quebec

17.883

8

30

Jamie Mills Milford DE

17.884

9

21a

Pete Britten Brisbaine Queensland

17.984

10

3A

Kevin Albert Lebanon PA

18.016

11

6m

Mat Williamson St. Catharines Ontario

18.107

12

22J

Jeremy Wilder Fort Plain NY

18.138

13

323

Neil Williams Pittsgrove NJ

18.191

14

8

Rich Scagliotta Bound Brook NJ

18.191

15

10v

Billy VanInwegen Sparrowbush NY

18.226

16

98h

Jimmy Phelps Baldwinsville NY

18.242

17

21

Yan Bussiere Drummondville Quebec

18.323

18

9h

Matt Sheppard Waterloo NY

18.357

19

1

Billy Pauch Frenchtown NY

18.363

20

74

J.R. Heffner Vatalie NY

18.375

21

64

Daniel Nadeau Maryville Quebec

18.426

22

O7

Tim Kerr Picton Ontario

18.475

23

1g

Darwin Greene Susquehanna PA

18.529

24

99

Bruno LaPage Maplegrove Quebec

18.544

25

42

Kyle Sheldon Nassau NY

18.628

26

88

Dave Allen Palmyra NY

18.712

27

48Too

Dave Rauscher Waterloo NY

18.764

28

29

Chris Ostrowsky Conklin NY

18.927

29

5

Jimmy Horton Neshanic Station NJ

18.938

30

14

C.G. Morey Rutland VT

18.956

31

21k

Randy Chrysler Lewiston NY

19.123

32

8R

Rob Bellinger Dexter NY

19.376

1w

Stewart Friesen Niagara-on-the-Lake Ontario

NT

Hot Lap Session 2 Best Lap Times:

1

Perrego

17.350

2

Hearn

17.408

3

Friesen

17.617

4

Clair

17.640

5

Haers

17.660

6

Williams

17.704

7

VanInwegen

17.732

8

Planck

17.769

9

Pauch

17.848

10

Horton

17.850

11

Bernard

17.859

12

LaPage

17.910

13

Heffner

17.956

14

Kerr

18.066

15

Sheppard

18.115

16

Bunting

18.141

17

Bellinger

18.160

18

Britten

18.185

19

Scagliotta

18.193

20

Albert

18.201

21

Wilder

18.210

22

Williamson

18.217

23

Greene

18.329

24

Phelps

18.342

25

Nadeau

18.353

26

Chrysler

18.398

27

Rauscher

18.474

28

Ostrowsky

18.483

29

Bussiere

18.488

30

Sheldon

18.737

Allen

NT

Morey

NT

Mills

NT

Hot Lap Session 3 Best Lap Times:

1

Sheppard

18.018

2

Hearn

18.021

3

Perrego

18.074

4

Pauch

18.084

5

Planck

18.172

6

LaPage

18.267

7

Williamson

18.319

8

Clair

18.342

9

Bunting

18.381

10

Friesen

18.426

11

Wilder

18.464

12

Haers

18.466

13

VanInwegen

18.534

14

Greene

18.562

15

Britten

18.593

16

Williams

18.635

17

Bernard

18.664

18

Bussiere

18.671

19

Phelps

18.730

20

Heffner

18.742

21

Kerr

18.750

22

Allen

18.781

23

Horton

18.829

24

Ostrowsky

18.868

25

Chrysler

18.875

26

Scagliotta

18.879

27

Sheldon

18.961

28

Bellinger

19.069

29

Morey

19.318

30

Rauscher

19.348

31

Nadeau

19.372

Albert

NT

Mills

NT

The Super DIRTcar Series and DIRTcar Racing in the Northeast Region is brought to fans by several sponsors and partners including Hoosier Racing Tire, VP Racing Fuels, Chevy Performance Parts, NAPA Auto Parts, Safety-Kleen, and Velocita USA. Contingency partners include the University of NorthwesternOhio, Contingency sponsors are ASI, Bicknell Racing Products, Bilstein Shocks, Brodix, ButlerBuilt, Cometic Gasket, Comp Cams, Edelbrock, Integra Shocks, Intercomp, JE Pistons, JRI Shocks, KSE Racing Products, Motorsports Safety Systems, MSD LLC, Fox Shocks, Racing Electronics, Superflow and Wrisco Industries.

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