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This Week In DIRT; Gravel Takes Natty Open: Sheppard Now $20,000 Richer; Madden Loves Georgia; Local News

And we’re back again, for yet another edition of TWID. Were you in a food/beer induced coma this weekend from two days of watching football, naked, with the lights off? Did the wife make you rake the yard all weekend and withhold not only romantic services, but kept you away from the track? Perhaps you went off the grid because you were afraid of a stalker. This happens from time to time. But don’t worry, we’re going to catch you back up on what you missed in dirt racing.  Here we go:


Gravel Wins at Williams Grove; Apologizes Afterwards:

It wasn’t pretty and even Donny Schatz said as much in a post race interview. But when the dust settled, David Gravel had won the biggest race of his career this Saturday in the National Open at Williams Grove.  

Gravel started on the pole of the 40 lap feature and had pretty much put the field behind him except for one Stevie Smith. Then, following a late race restart, Smith got around him to take a brief lead until Gravel made contact with him at the end of the front straightaway going into turn one which sent Smith into a spin and put Gravel back out in front. The Connecticut driver then held off Donny Schatz over the remaining laps for the win, receiving a huge chorus of boos in victory lane. 

Gravel was very apologetic during his post race interview, he may still be apologizing as we’re typing this for all we know. We believe that people on Beer Hill have been meeting in private for most of the day, to determine whether this apology will be accepted. No announcement has been made by anyone on Beer Hill as of this moment, and we will let you know the minute they do so. 

Gravel took home his fifth win with the outlaws this season on Saturday night. We can debate the infraction all you want, and it was a shame that the incident occurred as a great battle between the two was unfolding that may have gone down to the final set of turns. Unfortunately, we didn’t get to see it play out. 

Sheppard Scores Large Novelty Check in Fulton:

Matt Sheppard won $20,000, a nice cowboy hat Saturday night at Fulton Speedway in the annual Outlaw 200.  The race, which ended sometime in the early morning hours, we’re pretty sure it’s over with anyway, the picture does not lie, saw literally more cautions than could be counted, but Sheppard survived and his car did too. 

Brett Hearn and Billy Decker both survived but their cars fell by the wayside while Jimmy Phelps looked as if he’s getting his game to the right level at the right time with a strong 2nd place showing.  Only 27 of the race’s first 100 laps were run under a green flag, and the 45 car field dwindled to about 18 by races end, but in the end, Sheppard snagged his biggest win with a sail paneled car in the victory. 

Madden Loves Georgia; Decides to Win There–Again:

For the second time in as many years. Chris Madden won the Dixie Shootout at Dixie Speedway Saturday Night. Scott Bloomquist started on the pole but somehow spun and went to the tail leaving Dale McDowell in the lead. 

Madden saw a gap and went for it, passing the Dream 100 champion en route to the victory. It has been an up and down season for the veteran driver from South Carolina. He was dominant in March in regional and NDRL action, then suffered an illness that sidelined him for a good bit of the mid season.  Madden added in victory lane that this really should have been his 3rd win in a row in the Dixie Shootout, lamenting a race two years ago when he lost while leading on the final lap which indicates that perhaps it should really not have been his third in a row. 

Local: Sharon Adds RUSH Sportsman; PPMS Cuts Weekly Super Lates:

The RUSH sportsman modified series will call Sharon Speedway home in 2014. The first year organization featured 10-12 car fields in their inaugural season and have already fielded inquiries for more possible entries in 2015.  New Yorker’s Greg Martin and Adam Hilton dominated the action in the first season each scoring multiple victories.

One thing that is encouraging to see though, is that there appears to be a deep comittment to success for these guys who put on some good shows despite the common problem of low car counts in a trial year. 

One bit of bad news though, it appears that PPMS (Pittsburgh Pennsylvania’s Motor Speedway) has scaled back their super late models to just special event appearances in 2015. 2014 saw very few drivers call PPMS home in the division on a week to week basis and most likely the right call was made here. But what will be interesting to see, will be whether the front gate price of $15 for the weekly show will decrease with less purse to pay out, time will tell.

Australia Season is Upon Us:

The action down under (don’t take that the wrong way) is heating up. And we’ve got a guide with helpful links and information ready to go for you. So if you want to keep up with it all, we suggest you check out our TDN Australian Dirt Guide: 

Okay folks, that’s about it! We’ll have a driver interview this week who had a great first season in local sprints, another version of TDN Roundtable, and a Super Dirt Week Preview on tap later on this week.

Have a great one folks, and stay DIRTY! 



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