It was a classic super hero battle between ‘Super’ Matt Sheppard and ‘Batman’ Peter Britten on the final laps of the Billy Whittaker Cars 200 at Oswego Speedway. Sheppard brought the crowd to their feet as he made a last lap move on Britten to pick up his second NAPA Super DIRT Week victory.
Britten rolled off on the inside of the 13th row for Sunday’s crown jewel. It took until lap 105 for Britten to maneuver his way into the lead and set sites on the checkers.
After pitting on lap 161 to put fresh tires on, Sheppard had nowhere to go but forward.
With lapped traffic coming into play on the final lap, Sheppard took advantage and was able to roll the outside of Britten in turns one and two making the risky move stick as he exited turn two with the lead, leaving Britten behind in second.
“I wasn’t happy with the way last year ended,” noted Britten. “It’s been burning inside me ever since the checkered. That’s my goal to get back on that top step this year.”
Believe it or not, Britten’s ride for Super DIRT Week last year was a spur of the moment opportunity.
“Last year was a last-minute deal to do the whole thing,” he added. “We got to the track and had what we needed. Could we have been more prepared? Definitely.”
Super DIRT Week 2018 will mark one year since Britten and car owner, Ray Graham, have teamed up.
“The dynamics and relationship have changed a lot,” he said. “I know a lot about Ray and all the guys pretty well. It’s a lot more comfortable atmosphere to be involved with, which I think will help leading into this year. We’ll be better prepared.”
Britten isn’t letting his Oswego heartbreak hold him back from returning for redemption.
“We learned some lessons last year,” added Britten. “There’s no point in learning unless you can come back and do better. We have to take with what we had last year and improve on it. That’s all you can really do is keep working towards that goal.”
A lot of changes have been made in the Big Block Modified scene throughout the northeast, Britten feels it will play a huge part come Super DIRT Week time.
“There’s been a lot of teams doing different things suspension wise,” he said. “This year it seems like there’s a lot of guys playing around and taking advantage of different technology. Modified racing has gotten a lot harder because of all the changes. I think that’s part of the challenge this year. I think it’s a good thing though.”
Britten strongly believes the team that can manage those factors the best come Super DIRT Week will be the one to come out on top.
“I think that’ll be the key to our success,” Britten noted. “If we’re not good right off the truck then we have to be prepared to make changes to be good. I think we will be better prepared this time around to handle situations like that.”
The Billy Whittaker Cars 200, on Sunday, October 7th, will feature 41 of the best Big-Block drivers in the country competing for their place in NAPA Super DIRT Week history along with a $50,000 paycheck.
Will Batman redeem his heartbreak and find himself on the top step this year?