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N.Y. driver wins big at Hagerstown Speedway

November 05, 2004

HAGERSTOWN - The largest crowd in Hagerstown Speedway's Octoberfest history witnessed Matt Shepard's awesome performance as he swept both the big-block modified and the small-block modified 100-lap features to pocket $20,000.

The Waterloo, N.Y., driver is the first to win two Octoberfest features in the same day. Fresh off a big win in the Hub-City National 150 last month, Jeremy Miller continued his hot streak by winning the 100-lap late-model feature and $10,000. Fred Rahmer had won just about every race in the area except the Octoberfest. The Salfordville, Pa., driver ended that winless streak Sunday by winning the 50-lap main event for the sprints and $10,000 to end his season with 34 wins in 2004 at area tracks.

A near record 242 late models, modifieds and sprint cars signed in for the 17th Annual Octoberfest 350 Saturday. Thirty-three qualifying events were reeled off Saturday to set the field for 350 laps of feature racing on Sunday.

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Sheppard started his record-breaking day off on the pole in the 100-lap small-block feature and quickly jumped out in front with Billy Decker and Jimmy Horton in pursuit. The top three started pulling away from the rest of the field as Decker pulled even with Sheppard on the back stretch on lap six. Sheppard held of the challenge as he started putting the slower cars a lap down on lap 13. Decker pulled even again on lap 15 and four laps later on lap 19, Decker took over the lead. But Sheppard came right back two laps later to regain the lead on lap 21. Sheppard was unable to hold on to the lead as Decker moved back on top on lap 24. At the fuel stop on lap 50, the top five were Decker, Sheppard, Hearn, Pat Ward and Horton.

During the fuel stop, Decker was disqualified for working on the car and Sheppard inherited the lead for the restart. While Shepard paced the field, Frank Cozze began to make his move passing Horton for fourth. On the lap 66 restart, Cozze went to the outside in turn two to take third from Ward as the top three of Sheppard, Hearn and Cozze began to pull away from the field. Cozze passed Hearn for second on lap 76 and two laps later Hearn pulled into the pits with a flat. Cozze kept the pressure on Sheppard puling even with the leader on lap 79. On lap 93, Cozze's front left tire started going flat as Ward moved into second. Ward was unable to track down the leader the final six laps as Sheppard recorded his first career win at Hagerstown. Ward and Keith Brightbill were next with 24th-starting Kenny Brightbill fourth. Twenty-eighth starting Todd Burley rounded out the top five. Kyle Strickler was sixth after start 26th with Bobby Varin and Kevin Hirtler next. Cozze faded back to finish ninth on a flat with Billy Pauch Jr finishing out the top 10. Heat winners for the 77 small blocks were Sheppard, Horton, Decker, Varin. Pauch, Keith Brightbill and Ward. The consolations were won by Ryan Wyatt, H.J. Bunting Jr., Kenny Brightbill and J.R. Heffner.

The Hagerstown Speedway will close out the 2004 season with the annual awards banquet on Saturday night, Dec. 18.

LATE MODELS: 1. Jeremy Miller; 2. Kenny Pettyjohn; 3. D.J. Myers; 4. Brian Ruhlman; 5. Allan Brannon; 6. Gary Stuhler; 7. John Mason; 8. David Pettyjohn; 9. Dave Hess Jr.; 10. Marvin Winters; 11. Mike Lupfer; 12. Tome Myers; 13. Dutch Davies; 14. Eric Myers; 15. Larry Wright; 16. Paul Crowl; 17. Jackie Boggs; 18. Frankie Plessinger; 19. Tommy Armel; 20. Chuck Shutz; 21. Charlie Schaffer; 22. Booper Bare; 23. Kirk Ryan; 24. Gerald Davis; 25. Jim Bernheisel; 26. Jason Covert; 27. Devin Friese; 28. Randy Stoudt; 29. Nathan Durboraw; 30. Ricky Elliott. DNQ:

Richard Walls; Billy Decker; Mike Hardy; Mary Byram; Ray Davis Jr.; Rick Hulson; Corey Conley; Tim Wilson; David Lingo Jr.; Les Hare; Waylon Wagner; Jerry Fifield; Paul Cursey; Jason Flory; Dan Stone; Tom Decker Jr,; Matt Hubbard; Brad Ritter; T.J. Wright; Mike Wharton; Mike Lupfer; Richard Jarvis; Kristin Flory; Cody Shultz; Kerry King; Dave Rice Jr.; Billy Wampler; Vic Coffey; Scott LeBaron; Rick Whaley; Scott Dorman; Gary Beck Jr.; (Lap Leaders: Boggs, 1-4, 28-67; Miller, 5-27, 68-100). 61 cars.

BIG-BLOCK MODIFIEDS: 1. Matt Shepard; 2. Billy Decker; 3. Keith Hoffman; 4. Jimmy Horton; 5. Ricky Elliott; 6. Kenny Brightbill; 7. Duane Howard; 8. Kyle Strickler; 9. J.R. Heffner; 10. Bob Varin; 11. Mike Gular; 12. Kevin Bolland; 13. Brian Berger; 14. Pat Ward; 15. Frank Cozze; 16. Greg VonDohren; 17. Howard O'Neal; 18.

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