Category Archives: Orange County Fair Speedway

SHEPPARD POCKETS $25,000-PLUS AT STSS HARD CLAY OPEN SATURDAY

Written by Chris Moore

MIDDLETOWN, NY – Matt Sheppard dominated the field in the 50-lap ‘Hard Clay Open’ on Saturday night, continuing his incredible run at Orange County Fair Speedway.

“I don’t know if it was pretty, but we’re here in Victory Lane and we’re really excited about that,” proclaimed an elated Sheppard to the OCFS crowd.

Sheppard’s triumph netted the Savannah, N.Y., driver a $25,000-plus payday in Round No. 2 of the Halmar International ‘Elite’ Series for the Bob Hilbert Sportswear Short Track Super Series (STSS) Fueled By Sunoco. The win was Sheppard’s 23rd of his STSS career, and his second consecutive at the “Legendary House of Power” in STSS competition.

The ’Hard Clay Open’ not only served as the second round of the ‘Elite’ Series; it also kicked off the River Valley Builders North Region $15,000 title fight.

A field of 71 STSS Modifieds signed into the pit area, with 31 starting the main event.

“It was just a good night for us. This place has been good to us recently and hats off to the track crew… we could race all over for all 50 laps,” Sheppard said.

Mooresville, N.C.’s Max McLaughlin came home with a runner-up finish in the Heinke-Baldwin Racing No. 8H.

“There was no passing him (Sheppard) tonight,” McLaughlin said. “I did everything I could to get a good run off turn two and by the time we were coming off the corner he was two car-lengths ahead of me.”

Sheppard led the field to green alongside King Ferry, N.Y.’s Mike Mahaney after the Beyea Custom Headers Redraw. Mahaney quickly jumped to the front of the field at the drop of series starter Joe Kriss’ green flag, leaving Sheppard to chase him.

Mahaney’s fortunes changed quickly. Rear-end issues on the second lap led Mahaney’s George Huttig-owned No. 35 to stop in turn four, handing Sheppard a lead he would never relinquish.

Wurtsboro, N.Y.’s Danny Creeden was on the march early, as he raced from his seventh starting position into the runner-up spot after just four laps. McLaughlin’s charge became noticeable in just four laps as well, climbing from ninth to fourth in that time.

One lap later McLaughlin raced underneath Ringoes, N.J.’s Ryan Godown to take the third position away in the early going.

While the top-three raced away from the rest of the field and closed in on slower traffic, a five-car battle was shaping up at the back half of the top-five. Sheffield, Mass., star Andy Bachetti was working to hold off Middlesex, N.J.’s Alan Johnson, Covington Township, Pa.’s Alex Yankowski, St. Catherines, Ontario, Canada’s Mat Williamson and Middletown, N.Y.’s Anthony Perrego.

Williamson was not to be denied. ‘Money Mat’ – who started 10th before falling back on the opening start – was racing his way forward using the outside line.

Meanwhile, the lead trio had reached lapped traffic and Sheppard began to truly flex his muscle. The Hurlock Auto & Speed Supply No. 9S was effective running both the top and bottom, allowing him to navigate traffic with ease.

Creeden and McLaughlin raced side-by-side for multiple laps as they worked to keep pace with Sheppard. McLaughlin raced underneath Creeden on lap 18 to claim the runner-up spot.

Williamson’s assault continued, as he turned his attention to fourth-place-running Godown with Williamson clearing him on lap 22.

Things settled down in the top-five until a yellow on lap 37 for a slowing Billy Van Inwegen.

McLaughlin threw the proverbial kitchen sink at Sheppard on the ensuing restart, but Sheppard was too strong rolling through the middle of turns one and two. Williamson used the outside groove from his fourth starting position to his advantage, sliding around Creeden for the fourth spot.

After a yellow for Bobby Hackel’s flat left-rear tire on lap 38, the remaining 12 laps clicked off without interruption and Sheppard raced his way to the $25,362 paycheck.

McLaughlin’s second-place run was his best of the young STSS season.

“These guys have given me fast racecars every time out,” he said. “Hopefully next time we can get a little better and finish one spot better.”

Williamson rounded out the podium.

“Our guys worked hard, we went to Jeff’s (Behrent) yesterday morning and the guys worked hard and we had a good racecar… we’ll go back and work a little harder and see if we can get two spots better,” Williamson offered.

Creeden came home with a solid fourth-place run and Godown rounded out the top-five.

Finishing sixth through 10th, respectively, were: Andy Bachetti, who settled into sixth after Williamson got around him for the top-five; Anthony Perrego, the defending big-block Modified champion at OCFS; Alan Johnson, who drew 75 – the worst number in the bucket – at the pre-race draw; Michael Maresca, who has now posted back-to-back top-10 finishes to open the ‘Elite’ Series; and Mike Gular, who qualified via a consolation.

Seven heat races were run in memory of Pete Gardner, with $112 going to each winner and $56 to the runner-up finishers. Winners were Creeden, Maresca, Yankowski, Jimmy Horton, Sheppard, McLaughlin and Mahaney.

Consolation victors were David Schilling, Billy Decker and Gular.

Next up for the Bob Hilbert Sportswear Short Track Super Series Fueled By Sunoco is a trip to Delaware International Speedway for the eighth running of the ‘Diamond State 50’ under STSS sanctioning. The STSS big-block/small-block Modifieds compete in Round No. 2 of the Hurlock Auto & Speed Supply South Region. The STSS Crate 602 Sportsman join the program for their third try at Round No. 1 of the Belmont’s Garage South Region.

To learn more about the Short Track Super Series Fueled By Sunoco, visit www.shorttracksuperseries.com, e-mail bdmotorsportsmedia@gmail.com, check out ‘Short Track Super Series’ on Facebook or @ShortTrackSS on Twitter or Instagram.

The Short Track Super Series is presented by American Racer/Lias Tire, Sunoco Race Fuel, Insinger Performance, FloSports, Bob Hilbert Sportswear, Halmar International, River Valley Builders, Hurlock Auto & Speed, Velocita-USA, St. Lawrence Radiology, Design for Vision & Sunglass Central, Belmont’s Garage, Precision Hydraulic & Oil, Prime MAC Tools, F.X. Caprara Car Companies, Behrent’s Performance Warehouse, Beyea Custom Headers, Bicknell Racing Products, Dirt Track Digest, EIBACH, Elite Welder Testing & Training, Flach Performance Products, Henry’s Exhaust, Hig Fab, Penske Racing Shocks, Schultz Racing Fuel Cells, Spyder Filters, Superior Remodeling, Teo-Pro Car, VAHLCO, Wegner Automotive & Wilwood.

‘HARD CLAY OPEN’ RESULTS SUMMARY – ORANGE COUNTY FAIR SPEEDWAY APRIL 2, 2022

Bob Hilbert Sportswear Short Track Super Series Fueled By Sunoco Halmar International ‘Elite’ Series Round No. 2 Feature Finish (50 laps): MATT SHEPPARD, Max McLaughlin, Mat Williamson, Danny Creeden, Ryan Godown, Andy Bachetti, Anthony Perrego, Alan Johnson, Michael Maresca, Mike Gular, Alex Yankowski, Larry Wight, Jack Lehner, Stewart Friesen, David Schilling, Jimmy Horton, Richard Smith, Danny Tyler, Brett Haas, Billy Decker, Rocky Warner, Ronnie Johnson, Billy Pauch Jr., Ryan Watt, Jeff Taylor, J.R. Hurlburt, Brian Calabrese, Billy Van Inwegen, Bobby Hackel, Jerry Higbie, Mike Mahaney.

Did Not Qualify: Craig Mitchell, Neil Stratton, Tanner Van Doren, Darren Smith, Kyle Coffey, Demetrios Drellos, Dillon Steuer, Derek McGrew, Brett Tonkin, Bob Hentschel, Brian Gleason, John Ferrier, Jeremy Pitts, Danny Varin, Ryan Walther, Sammy Martz, Sr., J.R. Heffner, Adam Pierson, Peter Britten, Marc Johnson, Logan Watt, Melvin Schrufer, Bob McGannon, Daniel Morgiewicz, Tyler Boniface, Derek Bornt, Ryan Odasz, Erik Rudolph, Joey Coppola, Corey Lowitt, Geoff Quackenbush, Michael Loney, David Marcuccilli, Roger Henion, Bobby Flood, Jessica Friesen, Allison Ricci, Chris Stevens, Matt Janiak, Mike Trautschold.


American Racer/Lias Tire Bonuses (FREE Tire Certificates): 
Alan Johnson (eighth) & David Schilling (15th)
Behrent’s Performance Warehouse Bonuses ($50 Gift Cards): Dan Creeden (fourth) & Michael Maresca (ninth)
Beyea Custom Headers Redraw Bonus ($50): Ryan Watt (Redrew 14th)
Eibach Springs Bonus ($100 Certificate): 
Andy Bachetti (sixth)
Elite Welder Training & Testing Redraw Bonus ($200): 
Ryan Watt (Redrew 14th)
Frank Stevens & Sons Roofing Hard Charger ($350): Stewart Friesen (31st to 14th)
Henry’s Exhaust System Power Position ($50 Certificate): Alex Yankowski (11th)
Penske Racing Shocks Bonuses: Matt Sheppard (winner – $150 certificate); Max McLaughlin (second – $75 certificate); Mat Williamson (third – $50 certificate); Mike Gular (10th – $25 certificate)
Pete Gardner Memorial Heat Races ($112 Each): Danny Creeden, Michael Maresca, Alex Yankowski, Jimmy Horton, Matt Sheppard, Max McLaughlin, Mike Mahaney
Pete Gardner Memorial Heat-Race Second-Place Finishes ($56 Each): Ryan Godown, Mat Williamson, Anthony Perrego, Richard Smith, Andy Bachetti, Ryan Watt, Alan Johnson
Rock Fantasy Halfway Leader ($250): Matt Sheppard
Schultz Racing Fuel Cells Bonus ($100 Certificate): 
Mike Gular (10th)
Spyder Performance Filters Bonuses: 
Ryan Godown (fifth – FREE Filter); David Schilling (15th – 50-percent off certificate)
Sunoco Race Fuels/Insinger Performance Bonuses ($50 Certificates): Max McLaughlin (second), Larry Wight (12th) & Ronnie Johnson (22nd)
Wilwood Brakes ‘Lucky 7’ Award ($75 Certificate): Anthony Perrego (seventh)

Legendary: Short Track Super Series ‘Elite’ Heads to Orange County Fair Speedway this Weekend

Written by Chris Moore

MIDDLETOWN, NY – Legendary.

The Bob Hilbert Sportswear Short Track Super Series (STSS) Fueled By Sunoco heads to Orange County Fair Speedway (OCFS) for the ‘Hard Clay Open’ on Saturday, April 2.

The visit to the Legendary House of Power for the STSS is the second round of the Halmar International ‘Elite’ Series and the opening round of the River Valley Builders North Region.

The 2022 ‘Hard Clay Open’ will be the richest edition of the event to date. The first driver across the line at the end of the 50-lap main event will receive the $25,000 paycheck – the standard for the Halmar International ‘Elite’ Series.

The purse in total eclipses over $80,000plus bonus cash, awards and certificates.

The springtime ‘Hard Clay Open’ returns to STSS schedule for the first time since 2019 in the 11th visit for the STSS to the Middletown, N.Y., fairgrounds five-eighths-mile.

Defending North Region champion – Savannah, N.Y.’s Matt Sheppard – won the last STSS visit to OCFS: a non-points event in October 2021.

The River Valley Builders North Region also gets underway for the STSS Modifieds in the combo event, with a $15,000 championship on the line from an increased regional point fund of $46,650.

The increased regional point fund is also being applied to the Hurlock Auto & Speed Supply South Region, which got underway last weekend at Port Royal (Pa.) Speedway.

The Crate 602 Sportsman will take part in the night of racing for $1,000-to-win under the speedway’s rules package.

The ‘Hard Clay Open’ will be preceded by a practice on April 1 (Friday).

For the April 2 event, pit gates open at 3 p.m. with the grandstands and drive-in opening at 4 p.m. Hot laps are set to begin at 5:30 p.m. and racing to follow at 6:30 p.m.

Grandstand admission is $40 for reserved seating and $35 for General Admission. Senior admission (ages 65 and up) is $30. Kids 12 and under are admitted FREE.

Pit admission is $40 for OCFS Members and $45 for Non-Members.

Complete race information is posted on the STSS website at the following link: http://shorttracksuperseries.com/event-info/

The entire night of racing, along with every STSS race in 2022, will be broadcast LIVE on FloRacing (www.floracing.tv).  

Orange County Fair Speedway is located at 239 Wisner Avenue Middletown, N.Y. 10940 and can be reached by phone at 845.342.2573 or by e-mail at info@ocfsracing.com. The speedway website is www.orangecountyfairspeedway.net.

To learn more about the Short Track Super Series Fueled By Sunoco, visit www.shorttracksuperseries.com, e-mail bdmotorsportsmedia@gmail.com, check out ‘Short Track Super Series’ on Facebook or @ShortTrackSS on Twitter or Instagram.

ON TO OCFS: HALMAR ELITE SERIES HEADS TO THE HOUSE OF POWER APRIL 2 

Written by Chris Moore

MIDDLETOWN, NY – The Bob Hilbert Sportswear Short Track Super Series (STSS) Fueled By Sunoco was finally able to lift the lid on the Northeast racing season last Sunday at Pa.’s Port Royal Speedway.

Ringoes, N.J.’s Ryan Godown claimed the Spring ‘Speed Showcase,’ and the $5,000-plus payday to open the Hurlock Auto & Speed Supply South Region.

Now, the STSS treks further North into the Empire State for the first round of the River Valley Builders North Region and the second round of the Halmar International ‘Elite’ Series. Godown also claimed the ‘Rebel 50’ at Cherokee Speedway in Gaffney, S.C., in the first round of the Halmar International ‘Elite’ Series.

Orange County Fair Speedway (OCFS) hosts the historic $25,000-to-win event – which holds a total purse of over $80,000 – in the 50-lap ‘Hard Clay Open’ on Saturday, April 2.

OCFS was the site of the first-ever STSS race in history back in April of 2014. Sheffield, Mass., star Andy Bachetti was victorious in the inaugural event, besting Tim Hindley and Danny Tyler.

Seven years later, the STSS returns to the historic Orange County five-eighths-mile oval for the 11th time in its history.

Bachetti claimed another STSS win at OCFS in the 2017 ‘Hard Clay Open,’ the second of his six career STSS triumphs.

Sprakers, N.Y.’s Stewart Friesen leads STSS competition at the House of Power, with four wins in the 10 events held at OCFS. His most recent win took place in the ‘Hard Clay Finale’ in 2019.

Matt Sheppard had never won at the Legendary House of Power before the ‘19 ‘Hard Clay Open’ when the Savannah, N.Y., native claimed the $11,919 victory. Since then, Sheppard has become a force at OCFS, including his victories in the 2021 ‘Hard Clay Finale’ and the ‘Eastern States 200’ just two days later.

Boyertown, Pa.’s Mike Gular and Waldwick, N.J.’s Tommy Meier are the other names found in the STSS history book as winners at Orange County Fair Speedway.

The STSS returns for its richest event ever at Orange County Fair Speedway on April 2. April 3 is reserved as a rain date for this event.

Complete race information is posted on the STSS website at the following link: http://shorttracksuperseries.com/event-info/

The entire night of racing, along with every STSS race in 2022, will be broadcast LIVE on FloRacing (www.floracing.tv).

Orange County Fair Speedway is located at 239 Wisner Avenue in Middletown, NY 10940. To contact Orange County Fair Speedway, e-mail info@ocfsracing.com or call the speedway office at 845.342.2573. The speedway website is www.orangecountyfairspeedway.net.

To learn more about the Short Track Super Series Fueled By Sunoco, visit www.shorttracksuperseries.com, e-mail bdmotorsportsmedia@gmail.com, check out ‘Short Track Super Series’ on Facebook or @ShortTrackSS on Twitter or Instagram.

The Short Track Super Series is presented by American Racer/Lias Tire, Sunoco Race Fuel, Insinger Performance, FloSports, Bob Hilbert Sportswear, Halmar International, River Valley Builders, Hurlock Auto & Speed, Velocita-USA, St. Lawrence Radiology, Design for Vision & Sunglass Central, Belmont’s Garage, Precision Hydraulic & Oil, Prime MAC Tools, F.X. Caprara Car Companies, Behrent’s Performance Warehouse, Beyea Custom Headers, Bicknell Racing Products, Dirt Track Digest, EIBACH, Elite Welder Testing & Training, Flach Performance Products, Henry’s Exhaust, Hig Fab, Penske Racing Shocks, Schultz Racing Fuel Cells, Spyder Filters, Superior Remodeling, Teo-Pro Car, VAHLCO, Wegner Automotive & Wilwood.


STSS ORANGE COUNTY HISTORY: PAST EVENT WINNERS

October 22, 2021 – MATT SHEPPARD – Anthony Perrego – Mat Williamson – David Schilling – Larry Wight

October 24, 2019 – STEWART FRIESEN – Anthony Perrego – Andy Bachetti – Matt Sheppard – Billy Decker

April 7, 2019 – MATT SHEPPARD – Stewart Friesen – Anthony Perrego – Brett Hearn – Mike Gular

October 18, 2018 – MIKE GULAR – Mat Williamson – Anthony Perrego – Tyler Dippel – Mike Mahaney

May 8, 2018 – STEWART FRIESEN – Rick Laubach – Jerry Higbie – Brett Hearn – Billy Decker

October 19, 2017 – STEWART FRIESEN – Andy Bachetti – Rick Laubach – Craig Mitchell – Jeremy Smith

April 9, 2017 – ANDY BACHETTI – Stewart Friesen – Brett Hearn – Billy Decker – Tommy Meier

April 2, 2016 – TOMMY MEIER – Danny Johnson – Mike Ricci – Andy Bachetti – L.J. Lombardo

April 11, 2015  STEWART FRIESEN – Jerry Higbie Jr. – Danny Johnson – Tommy Meier – Brett Hearn

April 6, 2014  ANDY BACHETTI – Tim Hindley – Danny Tyler – Danny Johnson – Jeff Heotzler