MERRITTVILLE: Can Sheppard make it four in a row?

MERRITTVILLE: Can Sheppard make it four in a row?

Written by  on Tuesday, 31 July 2012 11:01
THOROLD, ON - A lot of questions will be answered in one week’s time when Merrittville Speedway plays host to the 3rd annual Bob St. Amand Senior Memorial 100 lap Big Block Super DIRTcar Series on Monday, August 6, as a presentation of L. St. Amand Enterprises.
The first thing that comes to mind is, can Matt Sheppard make it four in a row at the Thorold facility in 2012? Sheppard has two SDS Victories to-date with the last one at Autodrome Drummond putting him one point ahead of Brett Hearn going into next week’s doubleheader.

Sheppard won the 17th and final Trevor Wilkens Memorial and since the event has honored Bob St. Amand Sr. by winning both tributes so far. The only other driver in the event’s storied history to win 4 in a row was Alan Johnson from 2003 to 2006. Sheppard sure has to love Holiday Mondays in August at Merrittville!

Back on Monday, May 21, Hearn showed how much he likes Holiday Mondays in May after winning his third straight 358 Modified Super DIRTcar Series 100. With the Small Block SDS Win can he win his first Big Block Series Event here in 20 years? His last was in 1991. Hearn appeared to have 1992’s edition all locked up if not for a last lap Turn 4 move by Merrittville’s own Ron Smoker to steal the win that year with a move that is still remembered today!

Matt Sheppard actually won last year’s event with his Small Block holding off Merrittville Regulars Chad Brachman, Larry Lampman and Mat Williamson. Could one of these hometown heroes pull off the upset this year like Smoker did?

You can’t count them out. You also have to keep an eye out as well for one of the hottest drivers in 2012, like Todd Gordon who just won his third of the season and others such as Pete Bicknell, Tim Jones, Travis Braun, Fred Carleton, Scott Wood or Tommy Flannigan, who has competed in several Big Block SDS Events already leading into next week’s event.

In the Series’ only other visit to Ontario at the Cornwall Motor Speedway this season, Chris Raabe pulled off the upset with his Small Block.

When you think of extra distance events at Merrittville, drivers you can’t count out are Lampman and Williamson-- not to mention Mike Bowman. In about a month’s time when the Points conclude for the 61st season, Bowman has won the 50 lap John Spencer Memorial twice among other extra distance events and surely would to notch his second win of the season next Monday as would Chris Steele who also has visited Victory Lane once this season.

Finally, the 2012 Big Block Modified Super DIRTcar Series Points has former winner Jimmy Phelps, Billy Dunn and Danny Johnson as the Top 5 in points. Danny Johnson. Surely Johnson would like to get back in the win column at Merrittville backing up his 2012 SDS Win at Canandaigua. He’s won the Big Block version four times.

The best way to see how this year’s story unfolds is to be in your seat when the Gates Open at 4 p.m. for all the excitement Monday, August 6, for the L. St. Amand Enterprises Extravaganza! There’s nowhere on dirt that you will see 100 laps of feature in the Big Block Modified Super DIRTcar Series Main Event plus a 25 lap Hoosier Stock Duel on the Dirt Home Track Event!

The 3rd Annual Bob St. Amand Sr. Memorial 100 Big Block Modified Super DIRTcar Series Event on Monday, August 6, is an event that Merrittville Speedway has hosted since 1972 – the year Bob ‘Sr.’ won his Modified Points Championship. Since that first event, the stars of DIRTcar Modified racing have challenged Merrittville’s talented field of hometown heroes in the Canadian Civic Holiday Classic.

It has become a must see event on any race fan’s race schedule as race teams and race fans alike have come to enjoy the event and all that the surrounding Niagara Region has to offer. Located in the heart of one of the most famous tourist destinations in the world, the track is minutes from the roar of Niagara Falls with its world-class casinos and attractions. The Niagara Peninsula is also the most well-known and developed wine region in Canada and North America. Race fans may also wish to make it a doubleheader and enjoy all the action of Saturday, August 4’s Lucas Oil Weekly Racing Series Program hosted by Miller’s Auto Recyclers that features a $1000 to win David Chevrolet King of the Crates Series Event for the Original Pizza Logs Sportsman and the final Grantham Lions Enduro Qualifier accelerated by Niagara College. Monday, August 6’s festivities begin with the famous pre-race Pasta Dinner hosted by Club Castropignano.

From Jim Irvine / Merrittville Speedway Public Relations

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