Perrego Goes From 10th To 1st In Hard Clay Finale

MIDDLETOWN, NY – Anthony Perrego accomplished a rare feat during Friday’s Hard Clay Open: pass Matt Sheppard. Late in the Short Track Super Series feature, Perrego got by Sheppard and drove off to a $10,000 payday in the STSS North Region finale.

Sheppard took the lead over Marc Johnson at the drop of the green, and until a lap 20 yellow, Sheppard was uncontested and all alone up front. On the lap 20 restart, Perrego slipped into third, then went after Johnson for second.

On lap 30, Johnson went to the top to get by a lapped car, and Perrego drove to the bottom and into second. While Sheppard had a straightaway lead, Perrego was good in traffic and quickly closed the gap. Utilizing the same move as he pulled on Johnson, Perrego used another lapped car as a pick to slide by Sheppard for the lead.

A yellow waived soon after Perrego made the pass, eliminating traffic for the leaders. While Sheppard tried the top on the restart, Perrego was too hooked up on the bottom for Sheppard to get to him. At the checkered, it was Perrego winning over Sheppard, Johnson, Mat Williamson, and Mike Mahaney.

“We just got lucky breaks there, yellows at the right time,” Perrego said. “Matt was living and dying by the top of one and two, I actually found the bottom because a lapped car went back by me and I thought it must be pretty good down there. What a battle with him, I guess hanging around him long enough rubbed off on me. Lapped cars had Matt pretty jammed up, there wasn’t much to grab off of three and four, I rolled up to him quick and I tried the top and lost a bunch of ground. I knew if I was patient enough and followed the lapped cars, it might work out in my favor. I got a good break coming off of two and we were able to sneak by him coming out of four. The yellow came out right after, so we were really lucky there.”

Sheppard led the majority of the race, and looked poised to score his 41st win of the year. This win would’ve tied his all-time career high, but Perrego spoiled his plans with ten laps remaining. A consolation prize was being crowned STSS North Region champion, worth $15,000.

“We wanted to get to victory lane with the championship, but couldn’t do it,” Sheppard noted. “Anthony was really good. Felt pretty comfortable most of the race, really got hung up behind the 5L, he was taking up a lot of real estate there, I don’t know if he was having a seizure or what was going on. Awful lot of real estate for a lapped car, and Anthony was able to sneak by me there. He was really good, he’s a good buddy of mine and I’m happy to see him in victory lane.”

Marc Johnson has had an impressive few weeks, making headlines at Oswego in multiple events. Johnson translated that speed up north into his best Short Track Super Series finish with a third at Orange County.

“The draw ended up working for us in the feature,” stated Johnson. “I was struggling with lapped traffic, couldn’t get any grip off the bottom of three and four, but I got some grip off the last restart and it got us back to third. Hopefully this momentum rolls into tomorrow and to Sunday.”

Bob Hilbert Sportswear Short Track Super Series Fueled By Sunoco River Valley Builders North Region Round No. 10 Feature Finish (50 laps): ANTHONY PERREGO, Matt Sheppard, Marc Johnson, Mat Williamson, Mike Mahaney, Max McLaughlin, Mike Gular, Bobby Hackel, Dillon Steuer, Jimmy Horton, Craig Mitchell, Charles Loiodice, Andy Bachetti, Alex Yankowski, David Schilling, Danny Creeden, Allison Ricci, Brett Haas, Daniel Morgiewicz, J.R. Hurlburt, Brian Calabrese, Peter Britten, Cody Higbee, Randy Green, Tommy Meier, Robert Bublak, Bobby Flood, Corey Cormier, Billy VanInwgen, Tanner VanDoren.
Did Not Qualify: John Brown, Mel Schrufer, Rodger Henion, Tyler Dippel, Tyler Corcoran, John Ferrier, Chris Diamond, Brett Hearn, Austin Smith, Tim McCreadie, Edward Kitchell, Lenny Helmich, Jr., Sammy Martz, Jr., Sam Martz, Corey Lowitt, Pete Carlotto, Pat Mann, Billy Fiske, Ray Hall, Jr., Joe Conklin, Jimmy Devitt, Geoff Quackenbush, Heath Metzger, Chris Stevens, Will Shields, Joe Bonetti, Will Dietz, Tanner Siemons, Derek Bornt, Ryan Darcy, Sean Mandel, Brandon Daley, Travis Green, Kevin Root, Dylan Smith, Mike Loney, Ryan Walther, Neil Stratton, Matt Stangle.
American Racer/Lias Tire Bonuses (FREE Tire Certificates): Bobby Hackel (eighth) & Craig Mitchell (11th)
Behrent’s Performance Warehouse Bonuses ($50 Gift Cards): Mat Williamson (fourth) & Dillon Steuer (ninth)
Beyea Custom Headers Redraw Bonus ($50): Mat Williamson (redrew 12th)
EIBACH Springs Bonus ($100 Certificate): Max McLaughlin (sixth)
Evergreen Fuels 46th Lap ($200): Anthony Perrego
FloRacing Heat Winners ($50): Jimmy Horton, Anthony Perrego, Craig Mitchell, Mike Mahaney, Matt Sheppard, Mat Williamson
Henry’s Exhaust System Power Position ($50 Certificate): Craig Mitchell (11th)
Landhoe Maintenance Hard Luck Award ($80): Bobby Flood
Penske Racing Shocks Bonuses: Anthony Perrego (first – $150 certificate); Matt Sheppard (second – $75 certificate); Marc Johnson (third – $50 certificate)
Rock Fantasy Hard Charger ($300): Dillon Steuer
Schultz Racing Fuel Cells Bonus ($100 Certificate): Jimmy Horton (10th)
Spyder Performance Filters Bonuses: Mike Mahaney (fifth – FREE filter); David Schilling (15th – 50-percent off)
Sunoco Race Fuels/Insinger Performance Bonuses ($50 Certificates): Matt Sheppard (second); Charles Loiodice (12th); Peter Britten (22nd)
Superior Remodeling Halfway Leader Bonus ($200): Matt Sheppard
Wilwood Brakes ‘Lucky 7’ Award ($75 Certificate): Mike Gular (seventh)