Column By: BOBBY CHALMERS / RPW – GEORGETOWN, DE – It’s been a very profitable two days of racing for Matt Sheppard.
One night after taking $6,100 in the Richie Evans Remembered Short Track Super Series event at Utica-Rome Speedway, Sheppard made the tow to Georgetown Speedway for the Gary Simpson Memorial ‘$12K-For-The-12K’ and parked his #9s in victory lane.
Sheppard started in the seventh position but it didn’t take long for the Savannah, NY driver to get to the front. He made his way to third on the second circuit and was in the right position to grab the lead when the 18 of Joseph Watson made contact with leader Ryan Watt.
Both cars got hooked together while Sheppard drove by for the top spot. Each driver fell through the field as the caution was thrown.
However, because the two unhooked and never stopped on track, officials gave both their spots back, putting Watt back on the point and Watson second.
It was only a matter of another lap before Sheppard took the lead, officially, as Watson passed Watt on the restart and then Sheppard got by both of them as the lap counter clicked three.
From there on out, Sheppard was the man in control as he picked up the big $12,000 payday in the first state.
“This was a tough race on our schedule with the race at Utica last night,” Sheppard said. “Gary Simpson was huge to racing and this whole area. The whole Simpson family put on this race, $12,000 for a 32-lap event, that’s outstanding. We couldn’t pass this up. We wanted to come down and be a part of it.”
It was a picture perfect night for Sheppard who won his heat race and led nearly all of the 32 laps in the feature.
“Everything went our way tonight,” he said. “Lady Luck was on our side and we’re sitting here with a nice payday.”
With several late-race restarts, Watson had a couple more chances to take a crack at getting by the leader but Sheppard held tough.
“Luckily, this thing fired off really well on restarts,” he said. “I can’t thank Kevlar enough. I didn’t know where to be. I was kind of moving all over the place in three and four. I ran the top, the bottom, the middle but stayed on the bottom in one and two. It was just a great night for this team.”
It seemed like Sheppard’s Bicknell could run anywhere he wanted to go. Early on in the race, he made most of his passes on the bottom. Later in the race he’d run the bottom in turns one and two and highside in three in four, but the low lane was his line of choice.
“My car could roll the bottom pretty good,” he said. “It seemed like everybody would catch some of the ruts and push up, moving out of my way. I started to move around a little bit but then decided that maybe I should just stick on the bottom.”
With this not being a very long event, Sheppard knew he had to go from the drop of the green.
“Thirty-two laps is not a very long race so I just wanted to keep my nose clean and stay out front,” he said. “I didn’t want to do anything stupid but man, what a weekend it’s been for us.”
Jordan Watson drove to second with Alex Yankowski coming home in third. Ryan Godown made his way from deep to capture fourth and Danny Bouc rounded out the top five.
Ryan Godown Jr. won the Crate 602 Sportsman feature with Kirk Lawson taking the Little Lincoln’s main.
Joe Waters won in the Delmarva Chargers, Robert Smith in the Delaware Super Trucks, Kerry King in Southern Delaware Vintage Modified and Cale Pettyjohn in Southern Delaware Vintage Sportsman.
GARY SIMPSON MEMORIAL RESULTS SUMMARY – GEORGETOWN SPEEDWAY JULY 22, 2022
J.W. Brown Logging Modified Feature Finish (32 laps): MATT SHEPPARD, Jordan Watson, Alex Yankowski, Ryan Godown, Danny Bouc, Matt Stangle, Mike Gular, Brandon Grosso, Joseph Watson, HJ Bunting, Billy Pauch Jr., Jeff Strunk, Jimmy Horton, Richie Pratt Jr., Ryan Riddle, John Willman, Carson Wright, Matt Smith, Norman Short Jr., Austin Hubbard, Danny Hieber, Rick Laubach, Wade Hendrickson, Beau Williams, Scott Hitchens, Ron Myers, James Hill, Ryan Watt, Kevin Sockriter, Sean Weiss.
Ad-Art Sign Company Spec Small-Block Bonus ($250): John Willman (16th)
Bob Hilbert Sportswear “Hot Lap Hero” ($300): Matt Sheppard
Clayton Farms Hard Charger Bonus ($120): Ryan Godown (21st to fourth)
Clayton Farms Hard Luck Award ($120): Wade Hendrickson
Clayton Farms Lap-24 Leader ($120): Matt Sheppard
Clayton Farms 12th on Lap 24 Bonus ($120): Jeff Strunk
Clayton Farms Halfway Leader Bonus ($120): Matt Sheppard
Clayton Farms 12th at Halfway Bonus ($120): Ryan Riddle
Clayton Farms 24th at Halfway Bonus ($120): Wade Hendrickson
Clayton Farms 12th Driver to Redraw Bonus ($120): Wade Hendrickson
Clayton Farms Redrew 12th Bonus ($120): Matt Stangle
Jimmy & Linda Messick Pole Starter Bonus ($120): Rick Laubach
Jimmy & Linda Messick 2nd-Place Starter Bonus ($120): Ryan Watt
Jimmy & Linda Messick Lap-12 Leader Bonus ($120): Matt Sheppard
Jimmy & Linda Messick 12th-Place Finisher Bonus ($120): Jeff Strunk
Jimmy & Linda Messick Heat Race Winners ($120 each): Matt Sheppard, Billy Pauch, Jr. & Ryan Watt
Kruger Trailers “First to the Trailer” Award ($250): Sean Weiss
Michael Maresca Racing Lap-Seven Bonuses ($112 each): Matt Sheppard (first on lap seven); Billy Pauch Jr. (seventh on lap seven); Ryan Riddle (12th on lap seven)
Paradise Senior Living Top Delaware Driver ($400): Jordan Watson (second)
Rent Equip/Party Central Hard Charger ($500): Ryan Godown (21st to fourth)
Blue Hen Dispose-All Crate 602 Sportsman Feature Finish (22 laps): RYAN GODOWN JR., Joe Toth, Steve Kemery, Ryan Simmons, Jordn Justice, Adam White, Eric Kormann, Greg Humlhanz, Tom Sherby, Bobby Watkins, Scott Hitchens, Sean Metz, Nick Van Wickle, Brian Hughes, Shawn Ward, Tom Moore Jr., Jason Musser, Howard Huepfel, Brian Rogers, Brandon Watkins, Aaron Headley, Freddy Massey, Matt Ellery, Chris “Tippy” Martinez, Richie Walls Jr., Jacob King, Jeff Marker
Did Not Qualify: Dakota Kohler, Trey Hicks, Luke Bunting, Michael White, Trent Willey, Steve Yankowski, Tracy Gauger Rodney Cordrey, Ashley Metz, Greg Nailor, Mia Guy, Justin Grosso.
Taylor & Messick Pole Starter Bonus ($120): Ryan Godown Jr.
Taylor & Messick 2nd-Place Starter Bonus ($120): Ryan Simmons
Taylor & Messick Lap 12 Leader Bonus ($120): Ryan Godown Jr.
Taylor & Messick 12th-Place Finisher Bonus ($120): Sean Metz
Taylor & Messick 12th (or last) Place Consolation Finisher ($120): Trent Willey
Taylor & Messick 12th (or last) Place Consolation Starter ($120): Jacob King
Taylor & Messick Heat Race Winners ($120 each): Tom Moore Jr., Adam White, Joe Toth & Steve Kemery
Southern Delaware Vintage Modified/ Sportsman Combined Feature Finish (12 laps): KERRY KING – Modified Winner, DJ Cameron – M, CALE PETTYJOHN – Sportsman Winner, Roscoe Clough, Maddy Jefferson, Terry Chaney, Chris Killen, Dave Schamp, Nathan Austin, Garritt Reagan, Jason Dean – M, Brayden Ritter – M, Todd Miller, Mike Harmon, Jamie Schirmer, Robert Blann, Glenn Lyon
Little Lincoln Feature Finish (12 laps): KIRK LAWSON, Dylan Betts, Mel Joseph, Jr., Eric Reed, Matt Jester, Jordan Herbert, Todd Sammons, Wayne Seaton, Scott Calhoun, Bryan Piercy, MJ White, Ryan Walsen, Bunky White, James Harmon
Delaware Super Truck Feature Finish (12 laps): ROBERT SMITH, Matt Smith, Zack Phillips, Tony Guinta, David Smith, DJ, Wayne Gwaltney, Steve Portillo, Troy Hopkins, Bruce Cornelius, Jerry Hill, Dan Streebig, Angel Carroll, Jesse West, Scott Trice, Bill Dean, Cameron Benson.
Delmarva Charger Feature Finish (12 laps): JOE WATERS, Jay Lowman, Ashley Merritt, Garrett Smith, Robert Strain, Jonathan Pitcher, Tyler Hottle, Randy Merritt, Billy Cummings, John Bailey, Paul Gary.