Open-Wheel Stars Sheppard, Guererri & Kolosek Take 1st Checkers Of '24 Canandaigua Campaign

Written on 06/09/2024

Sheppard, Guererri, Kolosek Capture 1st Checkers Of '24 Canandaigua Campaign

Full-fender veterans Grant & Minutolo and novice Sportsman Spoor return to victory lane


Canandaigua, NY – June 8, 2024 – Tom Skibinski, Land of Legends Raceway PR


Waterloo wheelmen Matt Sheppard and Matt Guererri returned to familiar form June 8 at Land Of Legends Raceway as the former speedway point champions scored their first wins of the season at the revered Ontario Co. Fairgrounds oval.


It was the 91st trip to victory lane for Pepsi Big-Block Modified winner Sheppard and 18th career Stirling Lubricants Sportsman triumph for Guererri in another hotly contested 'Saturday Spectacular' presented by Wilbert's Premium Auto Parts.


MighTea Boba 305 Sprint Car chauffeur Johnny Kolosek matched both Matts with his own first winner's circle appearance of '24 while Jimmy Grant (Eldredge & Sons Scrap Recycling Street Stock) and Marc Minutolo (Lloyd's Contracting Hobby Stock) increased their respective division point leads after two more dominating performances in full-fender competition. And for the second straight week it was talented teenager Chase Spoor taking the checkered flag in the Maguire Ford of Canandaigua New Legends Sportsman main.


On this night the Midlakes H.S. AV Club 'Eagle Vision' program spearheaded by Chris Marquart was recognized as the beneficiary of the weekly 50/50 drawing.


A looming threat of rain forced officials to hurry along show with over 100 race cars parked pitside for the six-card showdown. With a dozen qualifying heats and 122 feature race laps on the docket, the high-speed show was completed in three hours despite light rain hitting the speedplant on three separate occasions.


None of the elements affected Sheppard as the nine-time LOLR Big-Block points king had his potent #9S Hurlock Auto & Speed-Westmoreland Golf Glub-St.Lawrence Radiology/Bicknell mount on rails from the drop of chief starter Scott Hixson's initial green flag.


“Been knocking on the podium (top-3) so definitely feels good to get back to victory lane,” remarked Sheppard, 41, who opened the season with a pair of third-place finishes before settling for second last week. “We've had pretty good race cars, things just haven't really been going our way.”


After rolling out eighth on the 18-car starting grid, everything seemed to fall perfectly in place for 'Super Matt' as he rocketed into third with just five circuits scored in the headline 30-lapper. Justin Wright out-dueled pole-sitter Torrey Stoughtenger for the lead while Daniel Johnson Jr. completed the trio up front in the early going.


Johnson moved to the point on lap seven and two laps later Sheppard overtook Wright for the runner-up spot. Sheppard pulled off a perfect slide job switching lanes low to high rounding turns one and two to forge the final lead change on lap 11 leaving only the battle for front-five positions up for grabs the remainder of the way.


At the halfway mark runner-up Johnson was sandwiched between Super DIRTcar Series stalwarts Sheppard, Peter Britten and Williamson with Erick Rudolph moving in to challenge Wright for a top-5 slot. Sheppard continued to set a blistering pace, building up a near straightaway advantage before Dalton Martin slowed to incur the lone caution period on lap 19.


There was no denying Sheppard back under green as the Northeast's hottest driver never looked back, authoring a comfortable 15 car-length victory over Britten followed by Williamson, Rudolph and Johnson in his best outing of the year.


“We've been pretty good here all year,” noted Sheppard, who posted three wins in just six starts last season at the historic fairgrounds half-miler. “Been battling some fuel delivery issues and some different things, finally we put it all together.”


“Track was outstanding. We were able to run high, run low and the car was very good. Just felt good to put it all togther for once,” added Sheppard, now the solo leader atop the standings ahead of two-time winner Alex Payne (finished 6th).


After suffering through an early season blown engine, two-time LOLR Sportsman points champion Guererri rebounded in fitting fashion to register his first win of '24 at his Saturday night stomping grounds.


“Didn't think I was ever gonna win again,” commented Guererri, 34, whose last win came in August of 2022. “It was a tough road but I waited for this moment for a long time. Wouldn't be here if it wasn't for my dad and I owe this a lot to my brother Nick too. This sport is very humbling, its tough and you get down on yourself. Think you don't want to do it anymore but these guys (team) over here push you to do it.”


Rookie Nick Ventura led for the first time to kick off the 25-lap main event before Tim Lafler tracked him down on a lap four restart. Tenth starting Guererri was even faster aboard his no. 12G Tradition Automotive Group-Mohawk Northeast-Sunset Bowl/Bicknell entry, dropping Ventura to third as the top trio jockeyed three-wide exiting turn four on that same lap. Guererri moved ahead of Lafler the next time around with Tim Baker and Dave Conant filling out the front-five.


After a turn four melee involving Justin Liechti and asphalt ace Tommy Catalano, Lafler regained the lead on the lap 12 restart while Guererri fell to third behind hard-charging Conant.


“We were pace lapping and you could tell it was starting to sprinkle (rain) and the track was wet,” Guererri said about the sudden setback. “We went down into turn one and Lafler got a good jump on me. He had a nose so I was on a four-wheel slide across the track. Then we got into turn three and I drove into the side of Conant because the track was wet. Thankfully I kept my composure, kept it cool, tried to hit my marks and just tried to get back to the front.”


Guererri grabbed second from Conant and when Justin Henderson looped his ride to require a yellow flag on lap 21 it came down to a five lap shootout. Guererri was quick to pounce, ducking under Lafler as the pair swapped spots exiting turn two on the 23rd go round.


Kasey Coffey made contact with the turn four uke tire sending his car sideways to force a final yellow with two laps to go. Guererri never waivered, pulling out to a commanding 10 car-length victory at the stripe. The last lap dash, however, proved pivotal as fifth running Tyler Corcoran bolted to second in a four-wide maneuver through turn four with the checkered flag in sight.


Conant shadowed points leader Corcoran across the line with reigning division points king Zach Sobotka and Lafler rounding out the top-five.


“Made a few tweaks last week,” Guererri divulged post-race. “Randy Kisacky (Sheppard's crew chief) told me after the race I'd rather try to adjust a 'tight' race car than a 'loose' race car. We can fix it, will try a few things and see if it works. Before the feature I went over, he told me to do a few things and the car was awesome.”


The 20-lap Sprint Car A-Main was just as exciting for Kolosek as he held off veteran wingman Bobby Parrow by 0.258-sec. to take home the first-place trophy.


“I saw Bobby coming. It was just a race to the finish and the best drag race won so that's the way it goes,” smiled Kolosek, 23, following his sixth career win in Canandaigua. The Marion driver used his lone win to finish fifth in last year's points chase and now tops this season's standings after four events. “It was a lot of fun, the track was great so you couldn't ask for a better night.”


James Layton jumped out early ahead of Kolosek's teammate Tori Kaplin local and hotshoe Ethan Gray. Action came to a sudden halt on lap four when Dillon Paddock caught the back of a sideways Alan Buchanan out of turn two and flipped down the back chute. No injuries were reported yet Dillon's mount was carried back to the pits in pieces while Buchanan was also done for the night.


Layton resumed his role up front with Gray sliding into second on lap seven. Halfway through 14th starting Parrow charged into third with Kolosek and Kaplin closely in tow. Kirsten Domroski slid over the turn two embankment to cause the final slowdown on lap 11 and the ensuing restart was all Kolosek needed to advance aboard his #26J Todd's Towing-Pet Passages Crematory/Mach1 machine.


Rim-riding his way around as rain drops began to fall, Kolosek blasted into the lead on lap 12 while Parrow stormed into second nearly as fast, stealing second from Gray on lap 17. Weaving his way through traffic over the final circuits, Parrow shortened the gap and pulled up to Kolosek's bumper as the lead duo crossed the line in the closest finish of the night. Gray, Layton and 12th starting Blake Warner completed the final front-five.


“We're just getting the bugs worked out and getting the car dialed in,” figured Kolosek, after 'Captain America' returned to his former number 26 and found success early in the season. “Watching the track as it changes and keeping up with it, and its been working for us. I actually didn't know it started raining but I've had that happen before when the grip just goes away. But it was great the whole way through.”


For the third time in four Street Stock events it was two-time track points champ Grant retaining his stronghold on Land of Legends' top full-fender class.


“Ya, we're not doing too bad,” down-played the Penn Yan pilot, whose other finish was second to last week's winner Minutolo. “Just grateful to be here.”


Pat Hobbs held off C.J. Guererri for the first four circuits before dropping to second with a handful complete in the 20-lap Street Stock feature. Minutolo and Grant closed in on the leaders as Mike Welch watched from fifth further back.


In a daring three-wide maneuver out of turn four, Grant rushed from fourth to second on lap seven then edged past leader Guererri the next time around to set the record straight. Minutolo drove high around Guererri scaling turn two to secure second on lap 12 yet the no. 36 Fratto Curbing-Washburn Excavating Chevrolet Camaro was too far in front to contest for another win in the 7-minute caution-free affair.


“This is the old car here, we ate the cam last week in our motor so we're on six cylinders,” said Grant, who outlasted Minutolo by a dozen car-lengths on the final score sheet. Guererri, Hobbs and Welch finished in order. “But this one still seems to get around here pretty good.”


Minutolo also navigated the speedway very well, with the Newark driver's third straight Hobby Stock victory giving him 71 overall, including 11 in the Street stock division, and leaving the $100 Prouty's Bar Bonus intact for another week.


“Its one of those things where I feel like I can put (car) wherever I wanted to, you hear that from a lot of drivers,” mentioned five-time track champion Minutolo, whose father Mike Sr. tallied 33 full-fender feature wins at the same fairgrounds from 1998-2013. “Was good in the middle and good down low, not to sound arrogant but I excel down low.”


Blane Smith paced the 18-car field early yet a brief miscue in turn one resulted in a tap from behind by Brighton Grant, giving the lead to Justin Eldredge for the upcoming lap four restart. Frontstretch contact involving Daniel Kerrick, Eddie Stevens and Minutolo forced Kerrick to the pits although he returned soonafter.


The lap seven restart was just what Nate Peckham needed to grab the lead from Eldedge yet by lap 10 Minutolo closed in while Eldredge faded to fourth behind Grant. The charge forward continued as Minutolo moved ahead for good on lap 11 although the rear-view mirror of his #25B Honeoye Auto-Real Estate By Jenn-Tradition Automotive Chevrolet Monte Carlo was filled with uncertainty until the end.


As Minutolo and Peckham ran uncontested up front, Grant, Eldredge, Kerrick and Tyler Burnell diced through traffic, mixing in four-wide maneuvers as the laps dwindled. At the line it was Minutolo in a 10 car-length romp over Peckham with Eldredge holding off a relentless Kerrick as Grant closed out the top-five finishers.


“I've run 17 years around this place, 70 wins is pretty special,” added Minutolo, who ranks behind only 86-time victor Mike Welch on Canandaigua's all-time stock car win list. “Definitely thank my father. Have a lot of wins here with this car and hope to come out and continue to do so. Its a fun car to drive that's for sure.”


The fun also continued for upstart Spoor as the 13-year old added his second straight win in the entry level Sportsman division. Success on Saturday behind the wheel of the no. 41S Rushco Gas Company-Friendly Ford-Cargill-Conley Farms/Bicknell ride required a little more patience as the Middlesex racer needed nine circuits to get by second-generation driver Evan Gray en route to victory.


“A little more difficult (winning) this week, guess I made it work,” uttered the soft-spoken Spoor, who led the entire 12-lap distance the week prior. This time after winning his heat he began sixth in the 6-car field as the qualifing order was reversed. “Started going in harder on the outside a little bit, got some more grip and started passing cars. The car is great, got a lot of people to thank.”



With summer quickly approaching, Legends division sponsor Maguire Ford of Canandaigua takes center stage June 15 to present a six-star card of Pepsi Big-Block Modified, Stirling Lubricants Sportsman, MighTea Boba 305 Sprint Car, Eldredge & Sons Scrap Recycling Street Stock, Lloyd's Contracting Hobby Stock and New Legends Sportsman action on the eve of Father's Day. Pit gates open at 3:30pm, spectators move into the main grandstands at 5 o'clock, hot laps start at 5:30 and qualifying heats go off the line promptly at 6:30pm.



Guided by award-winning executive producer Art Rorick, the talented LOLR TV broadcast team boasting production assistants Makenna Hansen & C.J. Miller, graphics coordinator Mark Rore, camera operators Mike Yawney, Jim & Michelle Mullen, and veteran voices Steve Ovens (PA announcer) and Doug Elkins (pit reporter) is once again on-site to provide LIVE video coverage of every event through Land of Legends TV, with LIVE streaming continuing to be offered FREE in 2024. On-line registration at for a free account is the only step to take.


Also available for download is the LOLR mobile app found at Google Play or

App Store to secure your raceday pass today.

In addition to LOLR's weekly racing being simulcast on Land of Legends Raceway TV, each show will also be broadcast live on DIRTVision and highlighted by the mighty DIRTcar Big-Block Modifieds. To watch, sign up for an annual Platinum FAST PASS with DIRTVision and experience every event either online or through the DIRTVision App.



General Admission Ticket and Pit Pass bundles continue to be offered to LOLR fans and race teams while providing a great opportunity to save money in the process. G.A. packs of 20 ($220) or 50 ($475) and Pit bundles of 20 ($700) or 50 ($1,700) must be pre-ordered to be used during the upcoming season.


Regular weekly G.A. ticket prices stay set at $15 Adults and $13 Seniors while Kids 16 yrs. and under (must be accompanied by an adult) remain FREE. Pit passes are $40. For those youngsters needing pit access, a Child Season Pit Pass is $50 for tykes under 2 yrs. and $150 each for kids 2-13. Camping is FREE at all race events.


To purchase ticket and pit pass bundles or discuss marketing opportunities available at the track in 2024, please contact LOLR Director of Marketing & Operations Tana Robinson via e-mail or cell 716-799-5669.


Check out often as the latest news and season schedule information will be posted right up to raceday.


Land of Legends Raceway is located at the Ontario County Fairgrounds, east of the city on Town Line Road (County Road 10), with easy access off either Exit 43 (Manchester, Route 21 South) or Exit 44 (Farmington, Route 332 South) of the New York State Thruway, just ½-hour southeast of Rochester.


Land of Legends Raceway Event Summary – June 8, 2024

Wilbert's Premium Auto Parts presents Saturday Spectacular

Pepsi Big-Block Modified

*Feature (30 laps): 1. 9s-Matt Sheppard ($2,000), 2. 21a-Peter Britten, 3. 6-Mat Williamson, 4. 25-Erick Rudolph, 5. 27jr-Daniel Johnson Jr., 6. 70a-Alex Payne, 7. 14j-Alan Johnson, 8. 3-Justin Haers, 9. 34-Kevin Root, 10. 7z-Zach Payne, 11. 27j-Danny Johnson, 12. 19w-Justin Wright, 13. 42p-Pat Ward, 14. 11j-James Sweeting, 15. 17-Marcus Dinkins, 16. 7s-Torrey Stoughtenger, 17. 18k-Dalton Martin, 18. 21-Derrick Podsiadlo.

Heats (8 laps)

#1: Stoughtenger, Martin, Williamson, Rudolph, A.Johnson, Sweeting, Z.Payne, D.Johnson, Podsiadlo.

#2: Britten, Wright, D.Johnson Jr, Sheppard, A.Payne, Haers, Dinkins, Root, Ward.


Stirling Lubricants Sportsman Modified

*Feature (25 laps): 1. 12g-Matt Guererri ($750), 2. 64-Tyler Corcoran, 3. 44-Dave Conant Jr., 4. 38-Zach Sobotka, 5. 51-Tim Lafler, 6. 9-Tim Baker, 7. 10-Karl Comfort, 8. 21-James Henry, 9. 20x-Kevin Ridley, 10. 7-Paul Guererri, 11. 34-Behr Grover, 12. 00-Sam Hoxie, 13. 113jr.-Frank Guererri Jr., 14. 30-Nick Root, 15. 711-Nick Ventura, 16. 35-Nick Cooper, 17. 21j-Justin Liechti, 18. 7t-Tyler Guzzardi, 19. 31k-Kennedy Payne, 20. pj54-Tommy Catalano, 21. 18h-Justin Henderson, 22. 28-Mark Potter, 23. 32c-Kasey Coffey, 24. 23b-Timmy Borden Jr., 25. 42-Colby Adamczak, 26. pj45-Timmy Catalano, 2-Mike Taylor(DNS).

Heats (8 laps)

#1: P.Guererri, Hoxie, Corcoran, Comfort, Taylor, Coffey, Grover, Adamczak, Potter.

#2: Baker, Conant, Root, M.Guererri, Sobotka, Ridley, Payne, To.Catalano, Henderson.

#3: Henry, Ventura, Liechti, Lafler, F.Guererri, Guzzardi, Cooper, Borden, Ti.Catalano.


MighTea Boba 305 Sprint

*Feature (20 laps): 1. 26j-Johnny Kolosek ($500), 2. 80-Bobby Parrow, 3. 17e-Ethan Gray, 4. 14-James Layton, 5. 21b-Blake Warner, 6. 2-Randy Years, 7. 48jr.-Darryl Ruggles, 8. 45-David Ferguson, 9. 48a-Alysha Bay, 10. 18c-Dan Craun, 11. 18-Timmy Lotz, 12. 77-Matt Rotz, 13. 29-Tori Kaplin, 14. d9-Dustin Sehn, 15. 30-Kirsten Dombroski, 16. ,99-Adam DePuy 17. 25-Cameron Moss, 18. 23-John Smith, 19. 9-Alan Buchanan, 20. 8-Dillon Paddock, 21. 33z-Sydney Wetherbee, 14x-Lance Dusett(DNS).

Heats (8 laps)

#1: Paddock, Warner, Dusett, Layton, Rotz, DePuy, Wetherbee, Smith.

#2: Gray, Years, Bay, Kaplin, Ferguson, Lotz, Sehn.

#3: Parrow, Kolosek, Buchanan, Craun, Ruggles, Dombroski, Moss.


Eldredge & Sons Scrap Recycling Street Stock

*Feature (20 laps): 1. 36-Jimmy Grant, 2. 25b-Marc Minutolo, 3. cj1-CJ Guererri, 4. 3-Patrick Hobbs, 5. 00-Mike Welch, 6. 57j-Chris Woodard, 7. 5c-Rick Crego, 8. 93-Jared Hill, 9. 12-John Burritt, 10. 63-Mike Fellows, 11. 34t-Tommy Bowen, 12. 74- Ronald “Bundy” Metcalf.

Heats (6 laps)

#1: Guererri, Peckham, Minutolo, Grant, Burritt, Hobbs, Crego, Welch, Woodard, Fellows, Metcalf, Bowen.


Lloyd's Contracting Hobby Stock

*Feature (15 laps): 1. 25b-Marc Minutolo, 2. 90-Nathan Peckham, 3. 25j-Justin Eldredge, 4. 61-Daniel Kerrick, 5. 36x-Brighton Grant, 6. 57jr.-Tyler Burnell, 7. 56-Eddie Stevens, 8. 55b-Blane Smith, 9. 22c-Craig Dingy, 10. 11-Dan Korpanty, 11. 29i-Isaiah Murphy, 12. 88-Justin Jacoby, 13. 22j-Randy Johnson, 14. 24k-Kevin Lloyd, 15. 8j-Jeff Rex, 16. 69j-Heather Auble-Gray, 17. 97-Kevin Schrader, 67-James Werner(DNS).

Heats (6 laps)

#1: Kerrick, Stevens, Jacoby, Dingy, Murphy, Werner, Schrader, Rex, Lloyd.

#2: Smith, Grant, Eldredge, Peckham, Minutolo, Burnell, Johnson, Korpanty, Auble-Gray.


Maguire Ford of Canandaigua New Legends Sportsman

*Feature (12 laps): 1. 41s-Chase Spoor, 2. 20k-Kyle Ridley, 3. 29g-Evan Gray, 4. 20-Nick Galusha, 5. 63-Dylan Woodworth, 6. 25n-Elizabeth Nugent.

Heat (6 laps)

#1: Spoor, Galusha, Woodworth, Ridley, Nugent, Gray.


NEXT EVENT: Saturday Spectacular, June 15 @ 6:30pm; Maguire Ford of Canandaigua presents Big-Block Modified/Sportsman/305 Sprint/Street Stock/Hobby Stock plus New Legends Sportsman with Sodus Microd Club Benefit.


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Along with recognizing its weekly 50/50 raffle fund beneficiaries, Land of Legends Raceway is proud to salute several sponsors and corporate partners that continue to help bring its fans the best Saturday night racing show in the Northeast. Listed alphabetically are 2024 division sponsors Eldredge & Sons Scrap Recycling, Lloyd's Contracting, Maguire Ford of Canandaigua, MighTea Boba, Pepsi Geneva Club Beverage, Stirling Lubricants; event sponsors Auto Value Parts Stores, AMS Enterprises, A-Verdi Storage Containers, Busch Light/Lake Beverage, Cargill, Disbatch Brewing Company, DC Rauscher Contractor, Empire Seneca, Ferris Mowers, Honeoye Auto Parts, Hoselton Auto Mall, Jack Howell Properties, iFreeze Storage & Distribution Center, Labatt/Wright Beverage, LSI Solutions, Maguire Ford of Canandaigua, Pepsi/Geneva Club Beverage, Phelps Cement Products, Prouty's Bar & Grill, Regional Truck & Trailer, Rushco Gas Company, Ryan Phelps Auto Sales, Seneca Meadows Landfill, Smith Drywall, Tradition Automotive Group, Wilbert's Premium Auto Parts; promotional partners Always Locked Self Storage, American Woman Designs, Auto Wash Car Wash, Baker's Exterminating, Champion Power Equipment, Close Racing Supply(CRS), Disbatch Brewing Company, Ed's Garage/Krown Undercoating of Ransomville, Elab Smokers Boutique, Elderlee, Emerson Oil Company/Castrol, Fox Pest Control, Hoosier Racing Tire, Legott's Club 86, Mac's Dairy Bar & Mini Golf, Meyer's Finger Lakes RV, Mike Emhof Motorsports, Ontario County Fairboard, On The Rocks Bar & Grill, The "Original" Red Osier Landmark Restaurant, Schultz Heating & Cooling, Speed Connection, Stop DWI NYS, Turn 5 Media, VP Racing Fuels, Weedsport Hall of Fame, Wicked Tees.