Oswego preview 2001-06-09

WATERLOO, NY - With the Fulton Speedway closed this Saturday June 9, DIRT 358-Modified superstar rookie Matt Sheppard, 18, is looking for a Supermodified ride at Oswego Speedway. The talented driver has always wanted to try driving a...

WATERLOO, NY - With the Fulton Speedway closed this Saturday June 9, DIRT 358-Modified superstar rookie Matt Sheppard, 18, is looking for a Supermodified ride at Oswego Speedway.

The talented driver has always wanted to try driving a Supermodified on the fast 5/8-mile Oswego oval, and now is better time than any with the night off from Fulton, where he has three feature wins to date out of five starts. If a Supermodified is not available, Sheppard possibly may accept offers to drive a Limited Supermodified.

Sheppard's first win this season at Fulton Speedway came on April 28, in only his first start on the Fulton high banks in a 358-Modified, making him the youngest Modified feature winner in the history of the speedway. He is one of the most up and coming rookie drivers on the DIRT Motorsports circuit since a young teenager Alan Johnson came onto the scene in 1974.

Veteran observers recognize Sheppard as one of the smoothest and classiest drivers currently racing on the Fulton high banks. Currently, he is second in the track point standings at Fulton, and leading the 358-Modified points at Cayuga County Fair Speedway, where he nearly pulled off a major upset over Big Block campaigner Scott Prentice.

Recently, Matt has been the focus of a great deal of media attention, including on the nationally televised "This Week on DIRT" program, where he was recognized as "Driver in the House" and interviewed in the DIRT Production Studios by Doug Logan. All eyes have been on this exciting driver, and currently he is recognized by Area Auto Racing News as the tenth best DIRT Modified driver at the present time, and he is well on his way to being the ARANY DIRT 358-Modified Rookie of the Year.

Sheppard is no stranger to Big Block power, as he successfully qualified for his very first Big Block DIRT Modified event and raced against some of the very best names in DIRT Modified racing this past April on the Dirt Track at Lowe's Motor Speedway in Charlotte, North Carolina.

In only his second full season in open wheeled DIRT competition in 2000, Sheppard dominated the DIRT Sportsman division, winning 22 events out of 47 starts, improving his DIRT feature win total to 28. Currently, after his three wins at Fulton this season, he holds 31 DIRT sanctioned checerked flags.

In addition to winning nearly half his races last season, he earned his first track championship at Cayuga County Fair Speedway with a total of nine victories along with four more wins at the nearby Rolling Wheels Raceway to win the coveted crown at the Fast Track. At Canandaigua Speedway where he won his first DIRT sanctioned feature as a Sportsman rookie at age 16, Sheppard finished fourth in points with seven feature wins.

Most importantly, Sheppard registered a division-high six victories in the 2000 UFPO 'Dig Safely' Sportsman Super DIRT Series and recorded 10 top five finishes to beat out defending series champion Chris Schultz to claim his first overall Hoosier Tire-Sunoco Race Fuels Mr. DIRT Title.

Sheppard's most dominating victory on the 2000 season came during October's Super DIRT Week XXIX on the Moody Mile at the New York State Fairgrounds in Syracuse. He led the entire 30-lap distance, coming from a third place starting spot, and having a huge lead throughout the event.

Matt Sheppard is very serious about wanting to race at Oswego Speedway this Saturday night, can bring a crew, possibly sponsorship, and could very well be successful. If anyone is looking for a driver, or interested, please call Doug Zupan at (315) 363-2056 or email at zuperman@dreamscape.com.

-Doug Zupan

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