Sheppard Eyes Third Straight Canandaigua Crown Entering 2013 Showdown

Canandaigua, NY – August 24, 2013 – Dave Roberts, Canandaigua Motorsports Park PR Correspondent

Matt Sheppard of Waterloo, NY won his sixth Team Tiremasters Big-Block Modified feature on Saturday night as the three-time and defending Canandaigua Motorsports Park champion lifted himself back into the points lead with one week remaining for the mighty Modifieds at the fast half-mile Ontario County Fairgrounds.

Sheppard took the lead on lap 22 after starting 16th and was never headed in taking a five-point lead into next Saturday’s finale on Championship Night. Billy Dunn, who held a seven-point edge coming into the night’s activities, finished third in the 35-lap main event.

Double points will be offered on Championship Night.

“I thought our car was awesome tonight, but I thought it was good last week too,” Sheppard said in victory lane, reflecting on his 20th-place finish the previous week. “We just got caught up in someone else’s mess. That’s racing.”

‘Super Matt’ had come into CMP on Saturday with one thought on his mind.

“I knew that we needed to come through the field quickly and we did that,” Sheppard added. “We came here wanting to win, but I also knew that I needed to be careful. I almost got caught up again when a car spun out in front of me.”

Pole-sitter Gil Tegg Jr. maintained the lead for the first two laps before veteran Steve Paine took over the top spot. Meanwhile, Sheppard came through the field and was pressuring Paine on lap 15. He took the lead on lap 22 as the two were coming down the front stretch in front of an appreciative crowd.

Justin Haers had to win the consolation event to make the field and was impressive with a second-place finish after starting 20th on the grid. Billy Dunn started 19th and finished third, while Steve Paine held on for fourth ahead of Danny Johnson who came from the 18th starting position to finish fifth.

Heat race winners were Mike O’Brien, Matt Sheppard, Danny Johnson and Steve Paine. The consolation event was won by Justin Haers.

In the 25-lap Safety Awareness Solutions Sportsman feature, Dan Wiesner took the lead on lap 17 and celebrated his third win of 2013 at CMP. Wiesner started 11th in the feature and was smooth throughout the entire event.

On lap 10, Wiesner slipped into fifth. He moved into second on a lap 14 restart and began to work on then leader Tyler Meeks. Wiesner was all over the back of Meeks until making the winning move three laps later.

“I wasn’t really quite sure at first, but when it came down to the end of the race I knew that the bottom of the track was the way to go,” Wiesner said afterwards. “The car stuck like glue down there.”

Frank Burnell Jr. started on the front row and led the first 13 laps as he looked impressive in his run. Tyler Meeks took over the lead before Wiesner went by and rolled onto the win.

Steve Gray attempted to make a move at Wienser late in the race, but ran out of time, finishing second after starting 15th. Third was Tyler Meeks while Nick Guererri was fourth and Kane Bristol was fifth.

Heat race winners were Frank Burnell Jr., Jon Ellsworth and AJ Lloyd.

The Safety Awareness Solutions Sportsman Division points chase is still in question as Kevin Ridley holds a 21-point lead over Steve Gray.

In the 15-lap Parts Plus Street Stock feature, Mike Welch won his 13th feature of the 2013 season at CMP. In the balance, Welch is also guaranteed to win his ninth title at the famed ‘Land of Legends’ oval.

Welch took the lead from Steve Pesarek on lap eight.

“I’ve been pretty fortunate this year,” Welch said. “Actually, I thought we were a little off tonight.”

Pesarek held on for second while Bill Weller finished third. Rounding out the top-five were Blane Smith and Jack Terrell.

Pesarek held the lead from the start of the race until Welch slipped by into the lead.

Blane Smith was the Parts Plus Street Stock heat race winner.

Marc Minutolo returned to victory lane after a month’s absence, winning the 12-lap Pure Stock feature.

Minutolo, who also leads the Pure Stock points going into this week’s Championship Night, led the entire distance. He has a 50-point lead over Eric Chapman.

“This feels great,” Minutolo said as he talked to CMP track announcer Shane Andrews in the winner’s circle. “Right now, I’m just going to try and keep my composure when I’m on the track.”

“I’ve been in this spot before,” added Minutolo, referring to the points chase.

Eric Chapman ran to second at the checkered flag with Vance Vanderwall in third. Rounding out the top-five were Mike Minutolo Sr. and Shawn Lloyd.

The heat race winner was Eric Chapman.

In the 20-lap Castner Performance 305 Sprint Car feature, Nick Cooper led every circuit to pick up his fourth win of the 2013 season.

“I just kept running my line, the car was good and I’m staying focused,” Cooper said afterwards. “We have good chemistry with this race team.”

Second was Bob Dreste followed by David Ferguson in third. Darryl Ruggles and Charlie Donk rounded out the front-five.

Darryl Ruggles has an 18-point lead over Charlie Donk following Saturday’s program.

Heat race winners were Darryl Ruggles and Nick Cooper.

Kelly Hebing was involved in an accident on lap 11 of the feature after she hit an infield tire and ran into a jersey barrier. CMP safety personnel were on hand quickly. Hebing was able to walk away from the scene on her own. Medical personnel immediately checked out Hebing and she was released.

In the 12-lap Community Car Care of Waterloo Legends Sportsman finale, Mike Marcuccilli led the distance to score his second consecutive victory at Canandaigua Motorsports Park.

Second was Bruce Batzel while Scott Hixson was third. Marcuccilli also won the qualifying heat.

“This is only my third time in the car and I’ve won twice,” said Marcuccilli. “That’s pretty good.”

Season point chases come down to the wire at Canandaigua Motorsports Park on Aug. 31, with the mighty Big-Block Modifieds headlining a jam-packed show of Castner Performance 305 Sprint Car, Safety Awareness Solutions Sportsman, Parts Plus Street Stock, Pure Stock and Community Car Care of Waterloo New Legends Sportsman racing.

Commercial Roofing & Sheetmetal and Morrisville State College present Championship Nite next Saturday at CMP with double points on the line in all classes. Pit gates unlock Saturday at 4pm, grandstands open at 5 o’clock and the first qualifying heat goes green at 7pm.

A complete track schedule is posted on www.CanandaiguaMotorsportsPark.com along with updated point standings, driver rosters, videos, photo gallery and the latest breaking news. Send a note to speed@BigMotorMedia.com to join the e-mail list, or register with http://www.twitter.com/Canandaigua_MSP to keep up-to-date on-line and through text messages on cell phones via Twitter.

For more information, please contact Jeremie Corcoran via cell 315-374-2839 or e-mail jeremiecorcoran@yahoo.com. Contact CMP Marketing Director Joe Bailey (585-500-8852, jbailey0626@yahoo.com) during the week to discuss marketing opportunities still available at the track in 2012 and those open for next season.

Canandaigua Motorsports Park is located at the Ontario County Fairgrounds, east of the city on Town Line Road (County Road 10), with easy access off either Exit 43 (Manchester, Route 21 South) or Exit 44 (Farmington, Route 332 South) of the New York State Thruway, just ½-hour southeast of Rochester.

Event Summary – August 24, 2013
HEP Sales / Lysander Construction Night
Team Tiremasters Big-Block Modified
*Feature (35 laps): MATT SHEPPARD, Justin Haers, Billy Dunn, Steve Paine, Danny Johnson, Matt Billings, Jimmy Phelps, Pete Britten, Chad Homan, Alan Johnson, Ryan Susice, Derrick Podsiadlo, Matt Fink, Gil Tegg Jr, Mike Bowman, Vince Vitale, Mike O’Brien, Tim Currier, Gage Morin, Justin Wright, Bran Sage, Eldon Payne Jr, Dave Marcuccilli, Randy Chrysler, Gary Tomkins. Lap Leaders: Gil Tegg 1-2, Steve Paine 3-21, Matt Sheppard 22-35.
HEAT #1: Mike O’Brien, Dave Marcuccilli, Mike Bowman, Chad Homan, Don Slover.
HEAT #2: Matt Sheppard, Brian Sage, Jimmy Phelps, Derrick Podsiadlo, Matt Fink, Ryan Susice, Justin Haers, Henry Maier.
HEAT #3: Danny Johnson, Dave Allen, Peter Britten, Vince Vitale, Eldon Payne Jr, Justin Wright, Randy Chrysler, Greg Birosh.
HEAT #4: Steve Paine, Gary Tomkins, Billy Dunn, Gil Tegg Jr, Matt Billings, Mike Mahaney, Tim Currier, Gage Morin.
CONSI: Justin Haers, Ryan Susice, Alan Johnson, Gage Morin, Justin Wright, Tim Currier, Randy Chrysler, Greg Birosh, Henry Maier, Mike Mahaney.

Safety Awareness Solutions Sportsman Modified
*Feature (25 laps): DAN WIESNER, Steve Gray, Tyler Meeks, Nick Guererri, Kane Bristol, Kevin Ridley, AJ Lloyd, Paul Guererri, Loren Lincoln, Jon Ellsworth, Jamie Maier, AJ Lewis, Joe Cook Jr, Jeff Stevenson, Dale Darling, Rob Bussey, Bob Reis, Frank Burnell Jr, Kaitlin Pashina, Matt Guererri. Lap Leaders: Frank Burnell Jr 1-13, Tyler Meeks 14-16, Dan Wiesner 17-25.
HEAT #1: Frank Burnell Jr, Tyler Meeks, Karl Comfort, Steve Gray, Loren Lincoln, Kevin Ridley, Bob Reis.
HEAT #2: Jon Ellsworth, Jamie Maier, Dan Wiesner, Matt Guererri, Kane Bristol, AJ Lewis, Dale Darling.
HEAT #3: AJ Lloyd, Paul Guererri, Rob Bussey, Nick Guererri, Kaitlin Pashina, Joe Cook Jr, Jeff Stevenson.

Parts Plus Street Stock
*Feature (15 laps): MIKE WELCH, Steve Pesarek, Bill Weller, Blane Smith, Jack Terrell, Charles Harvey, George LaVare Sr, Adam DePuy, Ron Marsden, Derek Excell, Kevin Parsons. Lap Leaders: Steve Pesarek 1-7, Mike Welch 8-15.
HEAT: Blane Smith, Bill Weller, Mike Welch, Jack Terrell, Steve Pesarek, Ron Marsden, Charles Harvey, Derek Excell, George LaVare Sr.

Castner Performance 305 Sprints
*Feature (20 laps): NICK COOPER, Bob Dreste, David Ferguson, Darryl Ruggles, Charlie Donk, Lee Sanders, Steve Doell Jr, Will Glover, Paul Habeck, Gordy Button, Josh Azzi, Justin Henderson, Scott Davis, Jonathan Preston, Sean O’Dea, Scott Wagner, Dan Kuhn, Kelly Hebing, Todd Henderson. Lap Leader: Nick Cooper 1-20.
HEAT #1: Nick Cooper, David Ferguson, Justin Henderson, Steve Doell Jr, Doug Crews, Scott Wagner, Paul Habeck.
HEAT #2: Darryl Ruggles, Todd Henderson, Charlie Donk, Lee Sanders, Bob Dreste, Sean O’Dea, Kelly Hebing, Will Glover, Josh Azzi.

Pure Stock
*Feature (12 laps): MARC MINUTOLO, Eric Chapman, Vance Vanderwall, Mike Minutolo Sr, Shawn Lloyd, Chris Gingerich, George LaVare Jr, Rod Comfort, Wayne Ellison. Lap Leader: Marc Minutolo 1-12.
HEAT: Eric Chapman, Vance Vanderwall, Marc Minutolo, Wayne Ellison, Chris Gingerich, Mike Minutolo Sr, Shawn Lloyd, Rod Comfort, Jenny Nunez, George LaVare Jr.

Community Car Care of Waterloo New Legends Sportsman
*Feature (12 laps): MIKE MARCUCCILLI, Bruce Batzel, Scott Hixson. Lap Leader: Mike Marcuccilli 1-12.
HEAT: Mike Marcuccilli, Bruce Batzel, Shane O’Grady, Scott Hixson, Jason Scales.

NEXT EVENT: Sat., Aug. 31 @ 7pm; Commercial Roofing & Sheetmetal and Morrisville State College present Championship Nite, Big-Block Modified/305 Sprint/Sportsman/Street Stock/Pure Stock/New Legends Sportsman.