MALTA, N.Y. (NEWS10) — Matt Sheppard claimed his first series win at Albany-Saratoga Speedway on Saturday night. Sheppard is an eight-time and defending Super DIRTcar champion.

Starting from 15, after missing the redraw, Sheppard stayed out of the purview of onlookers for the first half of the Feature. While the focus was on the frontrunners, he gradually made his way up the field taking over 10th place by the halfway point. With 10 laps to go, Sheppard was in fourth. He soon maneuvered his way up to first and eventually won the race.

“So, when we had the last caution on Lap 35 give or take, I was still 11th,” Sheppard said. “Adam Pierson was leading, and I know how good Adam runs here and I know Decker was running second. I got by Decker at the end there and I thought to myself we might have got second or third here. Finally, I looked over at the Jumbotron and saw my number on the top and I was like, what?! When they announced it on the one way, I actually believed it then, I guess.”

The contention offered the winner $10,000 and a guaranteed starting spot at the 50 Running of NAPA Super DIRT Week. Due to Sheppard having already secured a position at the prestigious race, the spot was then granted to the runner-up, Billy Decker. The Super DIRTcar Series will travel to Oswego Speedway in Oswego, NY for the 50th Running of NAPA Auto Parts Super DIRT Week, Oct. 3-9.