Story By: CODY MANMILLER / SHORT TRACK SUPER SERIES – PETTY, TX – On the first completed night of the Bob Hilbert Sportswear Short Track Super Series Fueled By Sunoco Ollie’s ‘Cajun Swing’ presented by Wegner Automotive, Andy Bachetti captured the night cap feature win on Wednesday evening at the Rocket Raceway Park, the second STSS event completed in the state of Texas on the night.
Ryan Godown, who won the event held over from Tuesday came just two laps from sweeping the night as he slowed to a stop with a right-rear flat as the leader in the second main event.
Both drivers have been staples amidst the best in STSS history. With his win, Bachetti joined Godown in the top five on the all-time win list, moving into sole possession of fifth with the seventh triumph of his career.
The Sheffield, Mass., native dealt with some heartbreak of his own after suffering a flat with five to go while running second in the night’s first feature race. He cashed $5,000 for his win, with David Schilling, Koty Adams, Erick Rudolph and Matt Sheppard rounding out the top five.
After a full night of qualifying, Danny Creeden and Godown led another 26 cars to the green flag for 35 laps and $5,000 up for grabs.
Following a series of early cautions, Godown eventually wrestled the lead from Creeden with Sheppard, Bachetti and Adams the top five.
On that lap-13 restart, Bachetti used the outside lane to rocket from fourth to second, around Sheppard and Creeden to put himself in contention.
Just seven laps later, Sheppard slowed with a right-rear flat, sending him pit side and bunching the field up once more.
After a pair of restarts, Godown led Bachetti, Rudolph, Creeden, Adams and Schilling. Schilling became the one to watch with passes on Adams on lap 24 for fifth and then Creeden for fourth just a lap later.
Rusty Smith, who was running inside the top 10, slowed to a stop on lap 29, meaning the field would take off in double file formation with six to go.
Godown still led at the drop of the green, Bachetti was second and now Schilling moved to third when he drove around Rudolph on the outside. Adams followed Schilling into fourth, then Rudolph and Sheppard, who was back into contention after his early-race flat.
The major moment of the race, though, came on lap 33 when Godown, just two laps from sweeping the night and cashing $9,000 in total, slowed to a stop, relinquishing the lead to Bachetti.
Bachetti then cruised to his seventh career STSS win, moving out of a three-way tie with Billy Pauch Jr. and Ryan Watt and into sole possession of fifth on the all-time list.
“Ryan was good and has been all night, but we’ve been working our tails off to come down here and have some fun,” Bachetti said in Victory Lane. “This win is definitely going to make the next couple of days more relaxing.”
Schilling capped his night with a second-place finish, his STSS career best and his second top five of the evening.
“We made a lot of adjustments after the heat race and were able to get through the ruts much better,” Schilling commented. “The track was better than I thought and we just had to survive for a while and be able to maneuver and steer on restarts. We’ll definitely take a second.”
Adams also notched his second top-five of the night and the second for the Ark-La-Tex contingent with an impressive third-place run.
“I got so tight at the end, but I just wanted to try and stay consistent. It’s been really fun so far, just being able to restart next to and race around with Matt Sheppard is really cool,” Adams said in front of his local supporters.”
Rudolph earned another top five in fourth and Sheppard, who suffered some nasty luck all evening long, rallied for fifth.
Finishing sixth through 10th, respectively, were: Creeden, who battled with an extremely tight race car through the second half of the race; Steve Davis, Rusty Smith, Siri and Godown, who rebounded to 10th with just two laps left.
Still three more nights of racing – and plenty of money – are left in the Ollie’s Bargain Outlet STSS Cajun Swing Presented by Wegner Automotive. On Thursday, the traveling crew unloads at Ark-La-Tex Speedway in Vivian, La. for a 35-lap, $4,000-to-win event. The final two legs take place in Greenwood, La. at the Boothill Speedway for another $4,000 to win on Friday and then the $20,000-to-win finale on Saturday night.
ANDY BACHETTI, David Schilling, Koty Adams, Erick Rudolph, Matt Sheppard, Danny Creeden, Steve Davis, Rusty Smith, Tyler Siri, Ryan Godown, Craig Whitmoyer, Thomas Holt, Kodey Keimig, Tommy Rascoe, Rex King, Jr., Rob Litton, Dale Wester, Korey Keimig, Darren Smith, Jack Lehner, J.R. Hurlburt, Keith Badiali, Joseph Brown, Richard Holt, David Forbis
Did Not Start: John Lutes, Jr.
Did Not Qualify: Addison Bowman, Barry White, Jim Introne, Jr., Chase Hatton, Joe Boswell
Accurate Collision of Pompano Heat Winners ($50 each): Matt Sheppard, Erick Rudolph, Ryan Godown, Jack Lehner
Behrent’s Performance Warehouse Bonuses ($50 Gift Cards): Erick Rudolph (fourth), Tyler Siri (ninth), Kodey Keimig (13th) & Joseph Brown (23rd)
Beyea Custom Headers Worst Redraw ($50): Erick Rudolph (Redrew 12th)
BDR Speed Bonus ($50 Certificate): Jack Lehner (20th)
Day Motor Sports American Racer Tire Giveaway (FREE Tire Certificate): Rusty Smith (eighth)
EIBACH Springs Bonus ($100 Certificate): Danny Creeden (sixth)
Fastline Performance Bonuses ($100 Certificates): Koty Adams (Top Louisiana Driver – third) & Thomas Holt (Top Texas Driver – 12th)
Henry’s Exhaust Bonus ($50 Certificate): Craig Whitmoyer (11th)
Penske Racing Shocks Bonuses: Andy Bachetti (winner – $150); David Schilling (second – $75); Koty Adams (third – $50)
Schultz Fuel Cell Bonus ($100 Certificate): Ryan Godown (10th)
Shed Road Auto Parts Hard Charger ($100): Steve Davis (20th to seventh)
VAHLCO Wheels Heat Winners ($50 Gift Cards): Matt Sheppard, Erick Rudolph, Ryan Godown, Jack Lehner
Wilwood Disc Brakes ‘Lucky 7’ Bonus ($75 Certificate): Steve Davis (seventh)