By MIKE MALLETT
People often say that change can be a good thing. Matt Sheppard might beg to differ. Sheppard, the defending Super DIRTcar Series champion decided to come to Florida with some fresh ideas. Those ideas didn’t pan out all that great so the Waterloo, N.Y., driver went with what he knows which helped him find his way back to Volusia Speedway Park victory lane.
“Like I said, going back to basics made a world of difference tonight,” stated Sheppard. “We come down here, we had some ideas we thought we could make our program better, but I think we were wrong or we have to go back to the drawing board.”
Sheppard was fast from the get go on Friday night. His Bicknell No. 9s was strong in time trials, he went on to win the heat before getting around Danny Johnson in the feature for his seventh career win in Florida.
“At the same time this car, I think we were second quick overall in time trials,” commented Sheppard. “It was good in the heat when there was bite and it was awesome when it slowed down and got black. That’s what we needed out of this thing. It feels good to be back in victory lane.”
Sheppard admitted that the boost was a nice morale booster for the entire team. It was needed after dropping out of the first feature and then finishing sixth in the second one on Thursday evening. The bonus is now he knows he’s got a good piece for the 50-lap, $5,000 to win finale on Saturday night, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t changes ahead.
“Tomorrow is where all the money is at,” mentioned Sheppard. “We’re going to think about our run tonight and see if there is anywhere we can improve or not improve and probably just go from there.”