Super DIRTcar Series’ Class Of 2023 Could Prove To Be One Of The Strongest In Recent Memory
Story By: MICHELINA FRISS / DIRTCAR – WEEDSPORT, NY – The Super DIRTcar Series continues to grow its roster heading into the 2023 championship season with the most elite talent in Big Block Modified racing.
The Series is preparing for a thrilling season of action-packed racing across the Northeast, and into Canada, with a roster filled with champions, veterans and newcomers hungry for success.
Here’s a look at the current 2023 roster:
Matt Sheppard/ 9x Series champion / Waterloo, NY
Nine-time and defending Series champion Matt Sheppard recorded one of the most successful seasons in Big Block Modified racing history last season – and still isn’t done. He scored seven Feature victories, including a third Billy Whittaker Cars 200 title, before being crowned the season champion.
Sheppard will test his driving skills yet again this season against his competitors around the Northeast and north of the border into Canada during his hunt for an unprecedented 10th Series title.
Mat Williamson/ 2019 Series champion / St. Catharines, ON
Mat Williamson, the 2019 Series champion, and two-time Super DIRT Week winner, returns to the Series after a runner-up finish last season. He started off the 2023 season with a bang at the Federated Auto Parts DIRTcar Nationals in February, capturing two wins in three nights and scoring his first Big Gator championship.
That success comes after ending the 2022 season with two wins at the World of Outlaws World Finals. He’ll try to keep that momentum rolling throughout the season and pick up a second Series title.
Jimmy Phelps/ Baldwinsville, NY
Veteran driver Jimmy Phelps has been a forced to be reckoned with in northeast Big Block Modified racing for over 20 years. The “Baldwinsville Bandit” scored his first points-paying Series win in two years last year, bringing him to 22 Super DIRTcar Series victories overall, and finished third in points.
With that momentum behind him and a second year to build is program with teammate Max McLaughlin, Phelps will be poised to hunt down his first Series title.
Max McLaughlin/ Mooresville, NC
One of the rising stars of the Super DIRTcar Series, 23-year-old Max McLaughlin, will compete in tandem with his Heinke-Baldwin Racing teammate Jimmy Phelps for a second season in a row. McLaughlin repeatedly showcased his potential in racing with the best-of-the-best, including his first points-paying victory at Land of Legends Raceway and a third-place finish at the Billy Whittaker Cars 200 last year.
Peter Britten/ Brisbane, QLD
“The Batman” Peter Britten, representing his home country of Australia, enters his 12th full-time season with the Super DIRTcar Series this year. While he finished fifth in points last season, Britten went winless. After using the off-season to restructure his program, Britten will be poised to park his #21a Big Block back in Victory Lane.
He’s already off to a strong start, having won the season-opening race at Albany-Saratoga Speedway.
Anthony Perrego/ 2022 Rookie of the Year/ Walden, NY
Anthony Perrego scored the Rookie of the Year honors last season, anchored by consistent finishes, including a second-place finish to eventual Series champion Matt Sheppard at Orange County Fair Raceway. Perrego entered his rookie season with two Series wins already under his belt but was unable to find Victory Lane last year.
With the rookie stripes off and a notebook to work off of, he and his Four Star Racing team are poised to make more noise in 2023.
Adam Pierson/ East Corinth, VT
One of two drivers representing the Green Mountain State, Adam Pierson steadily improved during his 2022 rookie stint. He turned out two top-five finishes, including a second-place finish at Land of Legends Raceway on the closing night of SummerFAST. With a year of experience of Series racing now in the notebook, he will aim to build on the progress he made last year as he searches for his first Series win.
Jack Lehner/ Saratoga Springs, NY
Jack Lehner, a rising talent on the Super DIRTcar Series tour, is coming off a season of growth and improvement. After working hard on rebuilding his car with new parts in the off-season and investing in his own shock business, the Saratoga Springs, NY native is ready to up his game on the track. “The Ginja Ninja” landed a second-place finish on the final night of the 2023 Federated Auto Parts DIRTcar Nationals after being passed on the last lap in heartbreaking fashion. Even though he fell short of capturing the victory, Lehner showed his readiness to be a serious Series contender.
Mathieu Desjardins/ Yamaska, QC
When former Series driver Paul St. Sauvuer retired at the conclusion of last season, his #37 machine sat waiting for the next driver to fill its seat. When Mathieu Desjardins was approached with the opportunity to drive the car, he said, “Yes,” without hesitation. The Yamaska, QC native will be a part of the 2023 rookie class, as it will be his first season as a full-time Series driver.
He has significant racing experience, competing in the DIRTcar Sportsman Modified division from 2010-2015 and then in the DIRTcar 358 Modified division from 2016-2022. He got his first taste of victory in a Big Block last fall, capturing the win on the second night of the World of Outlaws World Finals.
Tim Sears Jr. / Center Square, NY
The Central New York native is back for his third season as a Series full-time driver and will look to continue his steady improvement in Series matchups. Sears Jr. has finished 11th in his first two years on tour in the points battle and will fight to break into the top 10 this season.
He captured the 2022 track championship in his DIRTcar 358 Modified at Fulton Speedway and will look to use his experience there in his DIRTcar Big Block Modified when the Series returns in August for the annual SummerFAST. He will also look to improve on his fifth place SummerFAST finish at Brewerton Speedway – a home track he’s won at multiple times.
Chris Hile/ Syracuse, NY
2022 Brewerton Speedway DIRTcar Big Block Modified champion Chris Hile has rejoined the Super DIRTcar Series tour this year. The veteran Modified driver is always looking to challenge and expand his racing repertoire, as he also competed in a World of Outlaws NOS Energy Drink Sprint Car race last season.
He scored the 2021 Rookie of the Year title with the Series but stepped back from touring full-time last year to build up his program. Now, he’s poised to add Super DIRTcar Series trophies to his collection.
Felix Roy/Napierville, QC
Months after turning 18, Felix Roy fulfilled his childhood dream of becoming a full-time Super DIRTcar Series driver as he signed on to run the tour this season. With the help and support of his father and crew chief, the teenager will put his skills to the test as he competes against the best Big Block Modified drivers in the northeast.
The Naperville, QC native has already tasted Big Block competition as he hit the track during the 2023 Federated Auto Parts DIRTcar Nationals in Barberville, FL in February. While it wasn’t his first time contending in a Big Block Modified, it gave the young racer a preview of what he will be competing against this season. Roy will also be competing in a DIRTcar 358 Modified in both Canadian and American tracks which will have him running around 100 events by season’s end.
Kevin Root/ Geneva, NY
The 2021 DIRTcar Big Block Modified Rookie of the Year is back for his third season on tour. Root has seen an exceptional amount of success competing in the DIRTcar Sportsman Modified division and decided to make the jump to DIRTcar Big Block in 2021. With two seasons under his belt as a full-time Series driver, Root will look to continue honing his skills this season by competing against the best Big Block Modified drivers the northeast has to offer.
CG Morey/ Rutland, VT
With a new crew chief in tow that he credits as his biggest career break, CG Morey is ready to take on the Super DIRTcar Series schedule for another season. After a year of taking notes on DIRTcar Big Block Modified Northeast tracks, he’ll be looking to draw from his experience and move up in the standings.
Darren Smith/ Binghamton, NY
After running the Series with DIRTcar Big Block Modified legend Billy Decker as his teammate last season as a rookie, Darren Smith is ready to take on the tour on his own. The Binghamton, NY native made the made strides during the 2023 Federated Auto Parts DIRTcar Nationals and will look to translate that into a strong 2023 season.
Steve Bernard/ Granby, QC
The Series will be full of solid contenders this season as veteran driver Steve Bernard has signed on to compete as a full-time Super DIRTcar Series Big Block Modified driver. An established DIRTcar 358 Modified driver with several track records to his name, Bernard will look to take on the challenge of competing in the next division. While he is no stranger to competing in the division, he’ll look to expand his skill set as he contends against the most prominent names.
Marcus Dinkins/ Watkins Glen, NY
Marcus Dinkins is returning for another season of Series competition with the Beasts of the Northeast. After a 14th place finish in points last season, the Watkins Glen, NY native will look to draw from a season of experience, keep his equipment in top shape, and become more consistent in his finishes.
Ronnie Davis III/ Memphis, NY
After working his way up through several divisions, “RD III” is ready to take on the Series tour full-time. The 2021 Fulton Speedway DIRTcar 358 Modified champion and the runner-up in the 2022 Fulton Speedway DIRTcar Modified track championship, he’s ready to take his skills to the next level against the Series stars. He’ll travel the northeast looking to make a name for himself among the best in Big Block Modified racing.
These drivers will start their hunt for a Super DIRTcar Series Big Block Modified title at Bridgeport Motorsports Park on Sunday, April 23. Tickets will be available at the track.