Shepherd Takes The Checkered

BARRIE, Ontario, Canada — Pete Shepherd III was in the right place at the right time to take the victory in the Wahta Springs 300 Sunday at Barrie Speedway. It marked Shepherd’s third career win in the NASCAR Canadian Tire Series presented by Mobil 1.

Shepherd was running third at the start of a green-white-checkered finish on the tight .333-mile oval when race leader Steve Matthews and second-place J.R. Fitzpatrick got together. The contact allowed Shepherd to slip by into the lead.

Andrew Ranger took second, followed by Noel Dowler. Mathews, who won the pole position in qualifying earlier Sunday afternoon, dropped back to fourth. Dexter Stacey rounded out the top five.

1 Pete Shepherd III
2 Andrew Ranger
3 Noel Dowler
4 Steve Matthews
5 Dexter Stacey

Fitzpatrick led a race-high 113 laps but wound up sixth, followed by Ron Beauchamp Jr., Jason Hathaway, Scott Steckly and rookie Larry Jackson.

Steckly dominated the late stages of the race — leading 110 laps — before contact with Matthews battling for the lead on Lap 294 sent Steckly spinning and set up the final caution. Larry Jackson finished 10th.

Shepherd was making his third start of the season. His previous wins have come at Kawartha in 2010 and Saskatoon in 2011.

Points leader D.J. Kennington encountered early-race mechanical issues and finished 21st, 27 laps down. Kennington’s lead was closed to just 14 over Ranger and 18 over Fitzpatrick with two races remaining.

Kennington and Steckly had accounted for five wins in the previous seven races run at Barrie.

The Wahta Springs 300 will air on TSN, Saturday, Sept. 15 at Noon ET, and on RDS2, Wednesday, Oct. 3 at 10 p.m. ET

The NASCAR Canadian Tire Series returns to the track Saturday, Sept. 15 in the penultimate race of the season for the Wilson Equipment 300 at Riverside International Speedway in Nova Scotia.