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Kryptonite: Anthony Perrego Charges Past Matt Sheppard at ‘Hard Clay Finale’
Written by Chris Moore
MIDDLETOWN, NY – Kryptonite.
For the second time this season, and the 10th time in his career, Anthony Perrego was victorious with the Bob Hilbert Sportswear Short Track Super Series (STSS) Fueled By Sunoco.
Perrego outdueled Matt Sheppard in the late stages of the 50-lap ‘Hard Clay Finale’ to top the 69-car field and pick up the $10,000-plus victory.
“It feels great to come here and get this win,” proclaimed an ecstatic Perrego in Victory Lane. “Specially to beat that 9s car (Sheppard), he’s been so good all year.”
Sheppard held on for the runner-up finish, making him the $15,000 River Valley Builders North Region Champion for the second consecutive year.
“We’ve had a tremendous series, I don’t know if we had any bad finishes,” said Sheppard of his 2022 North Region. “We had it pretty much locked up coming in here, so we really wanted to get to Victory Lane tonight, but Anthony (Perrego) was really good.”
Following the Beyea Custom Headers Redraw, Guilderland, N.Y.’s Marc Johnson and “Hollywood,” Craig Mitchell occupied the front row, while Perrego would come from the 10th starting position.
At the drop of the green flag, the race changed before lap was ever completed. Fourth-place starter Brett Haas got a great jump and drove around Sheppard for third and was alongside Mitchell for the runner-up spot.
Haas and Mitchell made contact racing in tight quarters for the runner-up spot, causing them both to cut tires and restart at the rear.
When racing resumed, Sheppard wasted no time flexing his muscle. The Savannah, N.Y., resident rolled off outside of the front and quickly raced to the front.
Perrego, meanwhile. marched into the top five in the opening three laps before his charge became more methodical.
The Montgomery, N.Y., driver raced by Elizabethtown, N.Y.’s Mike Mahaney on lap four. From there Perrego would battle for the final podium spot with East Greenbush, N.Y.’s Bobby Hackel and Canadian Mat Williamson.
After a long battle for third, the yellow flag flew on lap 20, resetting the field. Perrego took advantage of the restart, finally working around Hackel and setting his sights on Sheppard and Johnson.
Sheppard led lap 25 to claim the $200 Superior Remodeling Halfway Bonus, while Perrego continued to work over Marc Johnson for the runner-up spot.
Four laps later, Perrego got his opportunity. Johnson skated up the racetrack in lap traffic and Perrego rolled underneath Johnson and drove away with second.
From there, Perrego would quickly reeled in Sheppard, who was busy negotiating several lap cars in front of him.
Sheppard’s struggles with lap traffic continued and Perrego had quickly cut a deficit that was over three-seconds down to car lengths by lap 40.
Perrego led by just half a car-length when the field completed lap 41. The lead at the line was key because the yellow flag immediately followed, which was the final caution of the race.
Sheppard chased Perrego for the final nine laps but came up short.
Perrego raced to another STSS triumph and the $10,000 victory.
Sheppard held on for second and claimed the $15,000 River Valley Builders North Region Championship.
Marc Johnson rounded out the top three after drawing the worst available number – 100 – at the pre-race drivers’ meeting.
“It was an uphill climb after the original draw but we made the redraw and it worked out from there and I’m happy to be on the front stretch,” said a content Johnson following his podium run.
Mat Williamson drove the Behrent’s Performance Warehouse No. 3 to a fourth-place finish and Mike Mahaney rounded out the top five in the George Huttig-owned No. 35.
Finishing sixth through tenth, respectively, were Mooresville, N.C.’s Max McLaughlin aboard the HBR No. 8H; Boyertown, Pa.’s Mike Gular in his Terry Fasnacht-owned No. 2A; Bobby Hackel IV piloting his family-owned No. 97; Bohemia, N.Y.’s Dillon Steuer, who was the Rock Fantasy Hard Charger in his Zubi’s Racing No. 88z; and Neshanic Station, N.J.’s Jimmy Horton rounded out the top-10.
Up next for the STSS is the ‘Mid-Atlantic Championship’ Weekend at Del.’s Georgetown Speedway on Thurs.-Sat. Oct. 27-29. The weekend of racing culminates with the 40-lap STSS Modified event paying $25,000 to win in the finale of the Hurlock Auto & Speed Supply South Region and the Halmar International ‘Elite’ Series. The STSS Crate 602 Sportsman also conclude the Belmont’s Garage South Region with a 25-lap, $1,500-to-win feature event.
Orange County Fair Speedway is located at 239 Wisner Avenue in Middletown, NY 10940. To contact Orange County Fair Speedway, e-mail email@example.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 firstname.lastname@example.org, 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 FINALE’ RESULTS SUMMARY – ORANGE COUNTY FAIR SPEEDWAY OCTOBER 21, 2022
Bob Hilbert Sportswear Short Track Super Series Fueled By Sunoco River Valley Builders North Region Round No. 10 Feature Finish (50 laps): ANTHONY PERREGO, Matt Sheppard, Marc Johnson, Mat Williamson, Mike Mahaney, Max McLaughlin, Mike Gular, Bobby Hackel, Dillon Steuer, Jimmy Horton, Craig Mitchell, Charles Loiodice, Andy Bachetti, Alex Yankowski, David Schilling, Danny Creeden, Allison Ricci, Brett Haas, Daniel Morgiewicz, J.R. Hurlburt, Brian Calabrese, Peter Britten, Cody Higbee, Randy Green, Tommy Meier, Robert Bublak, Bobby Flood, Corey Cormier, Billy Van Inwegen, Tanner VanDoren
Did Not Qualify: John Brown, Mel Schrufer, Rodger Henion, Tyler Dippel, Tyler Corcoran, John Ferrier, Chris Diamond, Brett Hearn, Austin Smith, Tim McCreadie, Edward Kitchell, Lenny Helmich, Jr., Sammy Martz, Jr., Sam Martz, Corey Lowitt, Pete Carlotto, Pat Mann, Billy Fiske, Ray Hall, Jr., Joe Conklin, Jimmy Devitt, Geoff Quackenbush, Heath Metzger, Chris Stevens, Will Shields, Joe Bonetti, Will Dietz, Tanner Siemons, Derek Bornt, Ryan Darcy, Sean Mandel, Brandon Daley, Travis Green, Kevin Root, Dylan Smith, Mike Loney, Ryan Walther, Neil Stratton, Matt Stangle
American Racer/Lias Tire Bonuses (FREE Tire Certificates): Bobby Hackel (eighth) & Craig Mitchell (11th)
Behrent’s Performance Warehouse Bonuses ($50 Gift Cards): Mat Williamson (fourth) & Dillon Steuer (ninth)
Beyea Custom Headers Redraw Bonus ($50): Mat Williamson (redrew 12th)
EIBACH Springs Bonus ($100 Certificate): Max McLaughlin (sixth)
Evergreen Fuels 46th Lap ($200): Anthony Perrego
FloRacing Heat Winners ($50): Jimmy Horton, Anthony Perrego, Craig Mitchell, Mike Mahaney, Matt Sheppard & Mat Williamson
Henry’s Exhaust System Power Position ($50 Certificate): Craig Mitchell (11th)
LandHoe Maintenance Hard Luck Award ($80): Bobby Flood
Penske Racing Shocks Bonuses: Anthony Perrego (first – $150 certificate); Matt Sheppard (second – $75 certificate); Marc Johnson (third – $50 certificate)
Rock Fantasy Hard Charger ($300): Dillon Steuer (19th to ninth)
Schultz Racing Fuel Cells Bonus ($100 Certificate): Jimmy Horton (10th)
Spyder Performance Filters Bonuses: Mike Mahaney (fifth – FREE filter); David Schilling (15th – 50-percent off)
Sunoco Race Fuels/Insinger Performance Bonuses ($50 Certificates): Matt Sheppard (second); Charles Loiodice (12th); Peter Britten (22nd)
Superior Remodeling Halfway Leader Bonus ($200): Matt Sheppard
Wilwood Brakes ‘Lucky 7’ Award ($75 Certificate): Mike Gular (seventh)