Tonight marks the first race of the 2023 SummerFAST three race mini-series for the Super DIRTcar Series. Last season's four race slate had half of the event washed out, but Matt Sheppard was crowned the inaugural SummerFAST champion. Brewerton Speedway is a banked, 1/3rd mile, D-shaped circuit that is the weekly or former weekly home to many of the top drivers, so the local crowd is incredibly strong. It is also of note that Peter Britten, who occupies 3rd in series points, will be out of competition for a few weeks while he recovers from a hand injury. Be sure to tune into DirtVision tonight at 6:15 P.M. EST and lock your DirtDraft rosters in before heat races kick off!
Part I: Brewerton Speedway (Monday, August 14th)
Matt Sheppard: $21,600
What else could you possibly say about Matt Sheppard? He won this event (and the mini-series) last season, leads SDS points (again), and has not finished outside of the top 10 in SDS competition this season. He picked up the "Dirty Jersey" STSS South win at New Egypt last Tuesday and snagged another Utica-Rome victory in Friday night's "Dog Days of Summer" special. I almost forgot to mention that "Super" Matt is a 5-time Brewerton champion and holds 40 career wins at the "D-Shaped Dirt Demon". Sheppard will likely be the man to beat on Monday night.
Mat Williamson: $21,400
Williamson trails Sheppard by 59 points coming into Brewerton, a track where he has won the past three Hurricane Harvey Super DIRT Week 358 modified events and holds 5 wins total in just 13 starts. During the SDS 3-race Canadian swing, Williamson posted finishes of 4th, 5th, and 3rd. In fact, Williamson has not finished outside of the top 5 in any competition since a 19th place STSS North finish at Granby on July 25th. His 3 series wins top Sheppard this season, so a battle of the titans might be in the cards at Brewerton.
Tim Sears Jr.: $21,200
The man who sits inside the top 5 on the RaceStatCentral power rankings is having himself a dandy of a season, as he is the points leader at not only Brewerton, but Fulton as well. He only has one finish inside of the top 5 with the SDS this season, but notched a 5th in this race last season. He is a combination of series regular and local hot shoe, so look for Sears to battle the big dogs on his home turf and try to claim his 4th Brewerton victory of the season.
Larry Wight: $21,100
Sears might hold the points lead at Brewerton and Fulton, but "Lightning" Larry is hot on his heels heading into the final stretch. The 2019 Brewerton track champion has had an up-and-down season, with the highs coming at the two Central NY tracks, where has claimed 5 wins (2 at Brewerton). While not a regular on the tour, Wight has contested 10 of the 11 events and finished inside of the top 10 in 50% of them. A good showing at one of his home tracks would definitely ensure that he finishes off 2023 on a good note.
Chris Hile: $20,900
Chris Hile checked off his first series win at Albany-Saratoga in June and comes into this event sitting 4th in SDS points. The 2022 Brewerton track champion only contested this event during SummerFAST 2022, but came home a solid 8th after starting in 18th. Hile will look to move into the top 3 in SDS standings with a solid run at his home track.
Jimmy Phelps: $20,700
"The Baldwinsville Bandit" swings into central NY as a part of the dogfight going on for the top 5 in the series point standings between Hile, Mahaney, and the aforementioned Phelps. While a title is probably a bit out of reach for the veteran competitor, a good run during SummerFAST could bump him up the standings. Starting off at Brewerton is the best case scenario for Phelps, as he holds two weekly victories this season, including this past Friday night, where he drove from 12th to the win. If that was not impressive enough, Phelps is a five-time champion at Brewerton.
Chad Phelps: $19,600
If you need a budget pick for your lineup that offers some upside, Chad Phelps in the X car could be your guy. Phelps has not won a race since 2018, but holds 3 career victories at Brewerton and comes into the race with 2 top 5s and 6 top 10s in 10 starts this season. The veteran of over 200 Brewerton starts could use his local knowledge to secure another solid result in 2023.
Ronnie Davis III: $19,500
Davis started the season out on the tour, but has not contested an SDS event since his 11th at Big Diamond on July 11th, which also happened to be his best result with the series in 2023. Davis has posted consecutive top 5s at his home circuit in August, where he sits 5th in points with 1 victory and 4 top 5s. He finished 11th last year in this event and would be a good bet for a top 10 performance this year.
Amy Holland: $18,400
Holland is in her first full season of modified racing and was able to snag her first victory on July 28th. With the good weekly competition to be found at Brewerton, her additional top 5 and 4 top 10s are nothing to scoff at. Additionally, she finished on the podium behind only Williamson and Wight in the DIRTcar 358 Modified Series "High Bank Holdup" event at Fulton back in June. Holland most likely will not contend for the victory, but she has proved that she is bad fast in a modified and could post a very good result.
Todd Root: $18,000
Root picked up his first career Brewerton Speedway (and first career Big Block) victory on June 9th, when he bested Jeff Taylor and Larry Wight in the 35-lap weekly feature. The start of the season saw Root post four finishes of 20th or worse, but he has righted the ship. Since then, he has only had two finishes outside of the top 15 and notched 3 top 5s. At $18,000, Root is the lowest salary currently listed on DirtDraft, so why not take a chance?