A Look Back: 10th Anniversary Short Track Super Series Year in Review
Written by Chris Moore
MILLSBORO, DE – A look back.
The 10th anniversary season for the Bob Hilbert Sportswear Short Track Super Series (STSS) Fueled By Sunoco is officially in the books.
The historic year – despite being marred by rain – saw first-time winners, impossible feats accomplished and an inaugural visit to Canada.
Savannah, N.Y.’s Matt Sheppard once again paced the STSS big-block/small-block Modified field, winning both the River Valley Builders North Region and Rent Equip/Party Central South Region championships.
The Ollie’s ‘Elite’ Series Champion will be determined in March of 2024 when the STSS heads back to the Port Royal Speedway in Pennsylvania, following the annual October visit being postponed by weather.
For the fourth consecutive season, the STSS season began with the ‘Sunshine Swing,’ at All-Tech Raceway in Lake City, Fla., in February.
Sprakers, N.Y.’s Stewart Friesen won his first of five races on the tour in the calendar year in the Sunshine State, his fourth ‘Sunshine Swing’ victory in his career.
On Night No. 2, the first new winner of the season broke through when East Greenbush, N.Y.’s David Schilling was triumphant.
The following two nights were lost to wet weather, which unfortunately became a theme for the season.
Pa.’s Selinsgrove Speedway hosted the first race of the season in the Northeast, and it was Potsdam, N.Y.’s Michael Maresca whoclaimed his second career STSS victory in the ‘Icebreaker.’
Matt Sheppardwon the next two races with the tour, topping both the ‘Hard Clay Open’ at Orange County Fair Speedway in Middletown, N.Y., in April and the ‘Battle of the Bullring’ at Accord (N.Y.) Speedway in May.
Sheppard’s closest competitor in South Region action went to Victory Lane the next week, when Frenchtown, N.J.’s Billy Pauch Jr. topped the ‘Diamond State 50’ at Delaware International Speedway in Delmar, Del.
Corning, N.Y.’s Cory Costa added his name to the all-time win list, besting a dramatic ‘Outlaw Showdown’ at his home track: Outlaw Speedway in Dundee, N.Y.
Friesen returned to Bicknell Racing Products Victory Lane at Devil’s Bowl Speedway in West Haven, Vt., claiming the ‘Slate Valley 50.’
Sheppard followed Friesen’s victory with three consecutive STSS victories of his own. Sheppard topped the ‘Firecracker 50’ at Fonda (N.Y.) Speedway and the ‘Richie Evans Remembered 61’ at Vernon, N.Y.’s Utica-Rome Speedway in the same July week.
Sheppard kicked off the first ever ‘Lumberjack Swing’ with a win at Autodrome Granby in Granby, Quebec, Canada.
Night two of the ‘Lumberjack Swing’ went to a Canadian, when St. Catherines, Ontario, Canada’s Mat Williamson got his first STSS win of the season and the fifth of his career at RPM.
The STSS returned to American soil for a non-points event at Action Track USA in Kutztown, Pa. The impossible ‘Berks County Brawl’ went to a Pennsylvania native: Mike Gular.
Sheppard didn’t stay away from Victory Lane long, claiming the ‘Dirty Jersey’ at New Egypt (N.J.) Speedway one week later.
Friesen and Sheppard alternated wins over the next three events, with Friesen winning the ‘Blast at the Beach’ at Georgetown (Del.) Speedway and Sheppard taking home the ‘New Yorker’ at Utica-Rome Speedway.
Friesen then claimed the proverbial ‘big one,’ taking home the $53,000-to-win ‘Fonda 200’ at Fonda Speedway, his third win in the last five years in the historic event.
Pipersville, Pa.’s Danny Bouc was the most recent new STSS winner of 2023, closing out the South Region with a win in the ‘Mid-Atlantic Championship’ at Georgetown Speedway.
Stewart Friesen bookended the 2023 season just a couple of days ago, winning the ‘Hard Clay Finale’ at Orange County Fair Speedway, the final race of the ‘23 season.
In total, the STSS Modifieds ran 19 races over the course of the rain-soaked season.
Sheppard led the way with seven wins over the season on top of his pair of championships.
Nine different drivers claimed victory over the 19 races, including three first-time winners on the STSS.
In STSS Crate 602 Sportsman action, Upper Makefield, Pa.’s Joe Toth became the first driver to win both the Precision Hydraulic & Oil North Region and the Belmont’s Garage South Region Championships.
The STSS Crate 602 Sportsman ran 13 events between the two regions in 2023.
Stay tuned for updates regarding the upcoming 2024 season, which begins in February at All-Tech Raceway in Lake City, Fla., Feb. 6-10.
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, FloSports, Bob Hilbert Sportswear, Rent Equip/Party Central, BDR Speed, Bicknell Racing Products, Ollie’s, Penske Racing Shocks, Wegner Automotive, River Valley Builders, Behrent’s Performance Warehouse, DIG Race Products, Velocita-USA, Franklin Products, Design for Vision & Sunglass Central, Belmont’s Garage, Quality Drywall, Precision Hydraulic & Oil, Prime MAC Tools, F.X. Caprara Car Companies, Algonkin Motel, Beyea Custom Headers, Dirt Track Digest, EIBACH, Electric Neon Custom Signs, Fastline Performance, Flach Performance Products, Henry’s Exhaust, Hig Fab, Schultz Racing Fuel Cells, Spyder Filters, Superior Remodeling, Teo-Pro Car, VAHLCO & Wilwood.