FULTONVILLE - Sunday did not start out the way Matt Sheppard wanted it to.
Sheppard arrived late for racing at The Ridge after his rig suffered a flat tire on the Thruway.
His day finished well, however, as the Waterloo driver beat the rain and a field of 16 modifieds to claim the 35-lap, $3,000-to-win modified feature Sunday at The Ridge.
Billy Decker (91) finds some bite on the low side of turn two as he battles with Jeremy Wilder (22J) during modified heat race action Sunday at The Ridge.
The Leader-Herald/James A. Ellis
Also picking up victories Sunday were Rob VanAernam (street stock), Chuck Wainwright Jr. (cruisers), Mike Jackson (rookie sportsman) and Jamie Kiser (lightning sprints). The scheduled 35-lap sportsman feature was rained out.
With storm clouds rolling in, Dave Constantino and Marc Johnson brought the modified field to the green flag. Constantino grabbed the early lead with Jackie Brown following in second.
Facing the possibility of a rain-shortened event, Sheppard and modified points leader Bobby Varin headed to the front with a sense of urgency.
Constantino was in front when the caution flew on lap nine for JaMike Sowle after he crossed the line three-wide in a battle for third with Varin and Sheppard.
Varin used the restart to get alongside and pass Constantino for the lead on lap 10. Sheppard pulled into second a lap later before passing Varin on the outside of turn four to take the lead.
The second caution flew on lap 14 when Varin spun onto the infield on the backstretch while battling with Sheppard.
Sheppard pulled away on the restart, leaving Constantino and Johnson fighting for second ahead of Brown, Jeremy Wilder and Billy Decker as the race hit the halfway point.
Sheppard drew off to a half-track advantage at the checkers. Constantino won the battle for second with Johnson third, Decker fourth and Brown fifth. Craig Hanson, Wilder, Floyd Billington, Rocky Warner and Jeremy Markle completed the top 10.
Jason Samrov led the opening lap of the second leg of the 25-lap Harry's Auto Street Stock Series feature.
Dan Folts took over at the point on the second circuit and withstood a pair of restarts before relinquishing the lead to VanAernam on lap five.
Mark Lester used to high line to catch VanAernam and twice got alongside VanAernam, but could not complete the pass as VanAernam was hooked up on the inside.
At the checkers, VanAernam held a three-car advantage for his fourth win of the season and second of the three-race series.
The sportsman division will run double features as part of a regular race card next Sunday.