Column By: STEPHEN DURHAM / RPW – WEEDSPORT, NY – Matt Sheppard is returning to dominant form as we head through August, as he currently has back to back wins on the tour.
Drivers like Johnson and Perrego are also picking up momentum as we get later into the season. “Money” Mat Williamson has been struggling over recent races, with the most recent top 5 being back at Lebanon Valley back in late August.
McLaughlin and Friesen both have been on their California comfort, and tolls and will be eager to see how they continue their success.
No new drivers were introduced into the top 10 of the power rankings ahead of SummerFAST, but lots of moving around within the league.
Here is this week’s power rankings!
1: Matt Sheppard (Previous Rank: 1):
Sheppard is on a dominant roll right now with the Super DIRTcar Series, coming off back to back wins at Big Diamond and Orange County, we will look to make it 3 as they head into SummerFAST. Sheppard started 7th, and climbed his way to the top during the Battle of the Midway. Kicking off the week is Weedsport on Monday, where Sheppard finished 4th back in May, Tuesday is Brewerton, where Sheppard finished 5th at in 2021, Wednesday is Fulton, where the series hasn’t been to since 2017, and Sheppard finished 2nd, and finishing the week at Land of Legends on Thursday, where Sheppard finished 3rd at just a few weeks ago.
2: Max McLaughlin(Previous Rank: 2):
A stellar rebound for McLaughlin at his Saturday hometrack, coming home in 3rd in the Battle of the Midway. “Mad-Max” currently sits 3rd in the standings, 61 points behind points leader Sheppard, and 7 points behind Perrego. McLaughlin had a top ten finish at Weedsport in May, 12th at Brewerton in 2021, but had wins back in 2019 in weekly action, 18th at Fulton back in 2017, but did have 1 win in 2017 in weekly action, and McLaughlin won the most recent race at Land of Legends at the end of June.
3: Stewart Friesen (Previous Rank: 4):
Three consecutive top 5s for Friesen, and he will look to continue to be running near the top this week for SummerFAST. Friesen came home 4th at his team owners track at Orange County. Friesen is currently 7th in the series points, due to commitment with the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series. Friesen won back in May at Weedsport, was not at Brewerton last October, finished 9th back in 2017 at Fulton, and finished 5th back in June at Land of Legends.
4: Mat Williamson (Previous Rank: 2):
The summer months has not been friendly to Williamson, who hasn’t cracked the top 5 since Lebanon Valley back in May, with his lone top 10 being at Big Diamond of the 4 races since then. Williamson came home 14th at Orange County and will be eager to get things turned back around. Willamson finished 9th at Weedsport back in May, he is the most recent winner at Brewerton back in 2021 during Super Dirt Week, wasn’t at the 2017 race at Fulton, but is a winner of the Outlaw 200, and finished 20th at Land of Legends back in June.
5: Anthony Perrego (Previous Rank: 7):
Five consecutive top 10s, with two top 5s in there as well, including finishing 2nd at Orange County behind Sheppard. This has boosted Perrego to 2nd in the standings, and he is hungry for more. Perrego didn’t race at Weedsport back in May, but has two top 5s to his credit in six starts, no starts ever made at Brewerton, and one start only made at Fulton with the Outlaw 200 finishing 27th, and finished 7th at Land of Legends in the most recent visit.
6: Marc Johnson (Previous Rank: 6):
Perrego and Marc Johnson have made gigantic strides on the Super DIRTcar Series in 2022, currently both top 5 in the standings. Johnson came home 7th at Orange County, his third top 10 of the last five races, finishing 2nd back to back races between sister tracks of Lebanon and Malta. This week will push Johnson to higher tests though. At Weedsport, Johnson finished 21st, Johnson has no starts at Brewerton, one start at Fulton during OktoberFAST in 2020, finishing 15th, and Johnson finished 12th back at Land of Legends.
7: Jimmy Phelps (Previous Rank: 5):
It was not Phelp’s day at Orange County, coming through the Last Chance Showdown and finishing 20th. Phelps has only two top 10s since Memorial Day weekend, one coming at Weedsport and the other at Land of Legends. Phelps finished 8th at Weedsport, 2nd behind Williamson in 2021 at Brewerton, with 24 career wins overall at Brewerton, Phelps finished 3rd at Fulton back in 2017, and has had similar great success with 30 overall wins, and Phelps finished 10th at Land of Legends in the most recent visit.
8: Peter Britten (Previous Rank: 8):
For Britten, it hasn’t been the most consistent and best trend over recent months on the series. Only one top 10 in the last six races, coming at Albany Saratoga back in June. Britten came home 15th at Orange County and will look to build momentum into the late season. Britten finished 14th at Weedsport back in May, 3rd at Brewerton in 2021, 15th at Fulton back in 2017, and had a rough go at his hometrack of LOL, coming home in 26th.
9: Jack Lehner (Previous Rank: 9):
Two top 10s scored in the last 6 races for the young hot shoe. Lehner came home 16th at Orange County in the most recent series race. The “Ginga Ninja” found the top 10 back in May at Weedsport, coming home in 10th, Lehner didn’t make the main event in 2021 at Brewerton, and only has two starts there and at Fulton, with no strong finishes inside the top 5.
10: Alex Yankowski (Previous Rank: 10):
It was a struggle for the young Yankowski, coming home in 27th. Before Orange County, Yankowski finished 4th at Big Diamond, his home track. Yankowski also finished 10th at Lebanon Valley back in May. Yankowski finished 18th at Weedsport in May, with no starts at Brewerton or Fulton, and finished 13th at Land of Legends back in June.
On the Radar:
Mahaney is coming off a fresh win at his weekly Friday night track at Albany Saratoga over the weekend on Friday. Mahaney, three top 10s since Memorial Day weekend, with wins at Albany Saratoga and a runner-up finish at Weedsport back in May. Mahaney will be hungry for more great success as things heat up this week.
It hasn’t been the strongest of 2022 season campaigns, struggling at times to string together strong runs. Root’s best finish since Weedsport in May, was just recently at Orange County with a 13th place finish, as he gets more into the mind and ring shopping techniques.