Sheppard Takes Ark-La-Tex For Second Night In A Row – DTD Exclusive

By  DTD Staff

VIVIAN, LA – Matt Sheppard snagged the lead from Jeff Strunk early in the 50-lap Short Track Super Series feature at Ark-La-Tex Speedway, driving off uncontested for his second win in as many nights. The sweep of the two shows nets Sheppard $9,000 heading into the remaining two nights at Chatham Speedway.

Teammates Mike Gular and Strunk swapped the lead in the opening circuits of the 50-lap feature, as Strunk secured the lead by lap four. A lap later, Sheppard slid under Gular, working into second and marching in on Strunk. Sheppard spent some time searching, playing with different lines to find a route by Strunk. On lap 13, Sheppard drove by Strunk up top, moved back to the bottom, and took off.

Strunk was all alone in second, distancing himself over the battle for third between Jack Lehner, Gular, and Stewart Friesen. Out front, Sheppard was walking away, and half a track behind him, Friesen worked by Gular and Lehner to grab third shortly after halfway.

Sheppard worked traffic with ease, continuing to pull on Strunk. Friesen closed in on Strunk, slipping by him on the last lap, but half a lap ahead, Sheppard was taking the checkered flag for his second win in a row. Friesen crossed the line a distant second, with Strunk, Lehner, and Gular.

“I like these Louisiana tracks, I wouldn’t mind moving down here,” Sheppard said. “This state has been real good to me, the tracks are fun and racy. Opposite of last night, I stayed pretty hooked to the bottom tonight, just tried to be patient and work traffic. Sometimes when you’re leading you want to see cautions, but this place is a rhythm track so I would have rather been in traffic than deal with restarts.”

One spot better than last night, but further behind in terms of time was Friesen. No flats tonight, Friesen’s 50-lap race was certainly less eventful than last night’s 40.

“This place is definitely a lot of fun, and a lot of traffic out there,” noted Friesen. “Every time I seemed to get a run on someone, I got boxed in with traffic and had to settle back in line. I wish we could’ve gotten a win here, but it was fun running out there the last couple nights.”

Strunk upped his finish from last night as well, improving on his fifth with a podium finish. Even then, Strunk wasn’t totally satisfied.

“I definitely stayed hooked to the bottom since I saw them go out there with the grader and push the berm in a little,” Strunk stated. “It sucks to lead a race and not win it, but I’ll still take a third. It’s a good payday, but not as nice as what could’ve been, but even then, happy to get it for my car owners this week. It’s a solid base we can build off of the next two nights.”

Jamie Burford picked up the 20-lap Crate Late Model main event, with Chase Hatton taking the 20-lap Pro Modified headliner and Michael Newman the Four Cylinder 15-lap victor.

The “Cajun Swing” continues on Friday and Saturday night, culminating in a $20,000-to-win ‘Mods in the Marsh 75’ feature event at Chatham. STSS Modifieds will run Qualifying Events on Friday in addition to all of the track’s weekly divisions.

All events are broadcast LIVE on Dirt Track Digest TV (

Ark-La-Tex Speedway is located at 13035 Boyter Lane Vivian, LA 71082. To learn more, contact the speedway office at 318.375.3470 or visit the website at

Chatham Speedway is located at 14325 Highway 4 Chatham, LA 71226. The speedway website is and promoter Jerry Hobson can be reached by phone at 318.381.7972.

To learn more about the Short Track Super Series Fueled By Sunoco, visit, e-mail, check out ‘Short Track Super Series’ on Facebook or @ShortTrackSS on Twitter or Instagram.

The Short Track Super Series is presented by American Racer/Lias Tire, Sunoco Race Fuel, Insinger Performance, Bob Hilbert Sportswear, Halmar International, Velocita-USA, Design for Vision/Sunglass Central, Rob Sherlock Roofing, ATL Racing Fuel Cells, Behrent’s Performance Warehouse, Beyea Custom Headers, Bicknell Racing Products, Dirt Track Digest, EIBACH Springs, Escape RV, Fast Axle, Fox Racing Shocks, Henry’s Exhaust, Hig Fab, HyperCo, Kirkey Racing Fabrication, Land Hoe Maintenance, K&N, MJK Home Maintenance, Precision Hydraulic & Oil, QA1, Racing Optics, Superior Remodeling, Teo-Pro Car, VAHLCO, Velocita, WELD Racing & Wilwood.




Bob Hilbert Sportswear Short Track Super Series Fueled By Sunoco Modified Cajun Swing Event No. 2 Feature Finish (50 laps): MATT SHEPPARD, Stewart Friesen, Jeff Strunk, Jack Lehner, Mike Gular, John Willman, Derrick McGrew Jr., Jeff Heotzler, Eric Williams, Shane Hebert, Dave Rauscher, Caleb Dillard, Jimmy McCommas, James Griffin, Korey Keimig, Tommy Hall, Tommy Rascoe, Joe Boswell, Corey Oltz, Glenn Stone, David Forbis, Greg Dillard.

American Racer/Lias Tire Bonuses (FREE Tire Certificate): Derrick McGrew Jr. (seventh) & Jimmy McCommas (13th)
Behrent’s Performance Warehouse Bonuses ($50 Gift Cards): Jack Lehner (fourth), Eric Williams (ninth) & Shane Hebert (Top Louisiana/Texas Driver)
Beyea Custom Headers Redraw Bonus ($50): Shane Hebert (redrew ninth)
Downstate Dirt & Deals Hard Charger ($50): Eric Williams (18th to ninth)
EIBACH Springs Bonus ($100 Certificate): John Willman (sixth)
TKS Painting Services Redraw Cash: Jeff Strunk ($50 – pole) & Mike Gular ($25 – outside pole)
Wilwood Brakes Bonus ($75 Certificate): Derrick McGrew Jr. (seventh)

Crate Late Model Feature Finish (20 laps): JAMIE BURFORD, Chase Deliro, Jon Mitchell, Rick Duke, Chad Dupont, D Grieder, Dustin Woods, Garrett Lindsey, Kelly Locky, Clayton Stuckey, Anthony Boutman, Garrett Gibson, Doug Ingalls, Steve Turnage, Jacob Banaka, Rickey McNeely, Josh Daughtry, Tim Eavts, Austin Dupont.

Pro Modified Feature Finish (20 laps): CHASE HATTON, Doug Vick Jr., Trent Humphrey, Josh Landers, B.J. Cook, Kevin Peters, Robert Declude, Taylor Monroe, Hayden Brown, Richard Holt, David Hatton, Ryan Humphrey, Justin Ingalls, Jason Beasley.

Four Cylinder Feature Finish (15 laps): MICHAEL NEWMAN, Cole Ogden, Justin Converse, Bobby Kephart, Kevin Peace, Johnny Steward, Ron Willardson, Morgan Powell, Haydon Ball, Kandyce Roberts, Jay Chrene, Frank Blankey.