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Shepard wins after leaders wreck at Wahta Springs 300

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Press Release
9/9/2012 8:07:12 PM
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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 Mathews and second-place J.R. Fitzpatrick got together. The contact allowed Shepherd to slip by into the lead.

"This is unreal," said a surprised and happy Shepherd. "It's our first win of the year and having a win three years in a row is really special."

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.
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.
 
The late-race incident between Mathews and Steckly was the opportunity Shepherd needed to get back in contention for the win after a rough day in the pits which put him in the back of the field near midway of the race.

"We had a little problem in the pits with a jack or something, but we have a great crew and a fast car and we always know we are able to win these races and we were so strong," said Shepherd.

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

Ranger stayed out of many of the on-track incidents and collected one his best finishes on an oval track.

"It's always interesting to come to Barrie and the races are always exciting," Ranger said. "I knew we probably didn't have the fastest car but when the caution came out there at the end I was excited because I thought I had a shot."

It proved to be a great show for the fans who came back out on Sunday after rain postponed the race on Saturday night, as there were 10 lead changes among seven drivers.

Points leader D.J. Kennington encountered early-race fuel pump issues and finished 21st, 27 laps down. It was Kennington's first finish outside of the top-10.

While Kennington's problems at Barrie his lead drops 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.

NASCAR Canadian Tire Series (Photo: TSN)

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(Photo: TSN)
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