Brandon Sheppard continued his journey toward a third World of Outlaws Late Model Series title with a pair of podium appearances over the weekend.
Sheppard drove the Valvoline No. 1 Seubert Calf Ranches/ Durham Racing Engines-powered Rocket Chassis to a runner-up performance Friday at Cherokee Speedway. He wrapped up the weekend with a third-place outing Saturday at 411 Motor Speedway.
Rocket1 was one of 39 entries to kick off the doubleheader weekend at Cherokee Speedway in Gaffney, S.C. Friday. After qualifying second in his time trial group, Brandon grabbed a heat race win, sending him to the redraw where he received the second spot on the feature grid.
With $10,000 on the line, Sheppard wrestled the lead away from polesitter Ross Bailes on lap 16 and pulled away to nearly a two second advantage in the following laps. Shortly after, Sheppard was fighting lap traffic and allowed Brandon Overton to close the gap.
With Sheppard using the middle and high lines to attempt to lap a slower car, Overton used the low groove to slip ahead on lap 34. Sheppard moved down behind Overton the next lap but was never able to mount a serious charge to retake the point.
Overton took the checkers 0.734 of a second ahead of Sheppard. Chris Madden, Kyle Strickler, and Ross Bailes rounded out the Top-5 finishers.
“We had a really fast car again tonight here,” said Sheppard. “Brandon done a really good job there. I moved to the middle one lap too many down here in (turns) one and two trying to get by them lappers. That let him slip by me, and then we never got out of the bottom. It latched up down there and that was all she had.”
The following night, the tour moved to Seymour, Tennessee’s 411 Motor Speedway for another $10,000 contest. In a field of 36, Sheppard registered a second-place finish in his heat race and later drew the fifth starting position for the 50-lap main event.
Sheppard ran as high as second at times in the feature before crossing the finish line in third behind Chris Madden and Ricky Weiss to collect his 25th World of Outlaws Late Model Series podium of the season. Cory Hedgecock and Ross Bailes completed the Top-5.
“We could maneuver all over the racetrack and I was good all over,” Sheppard said of his Rocket Chassis house car. “But just past halfway I got to where I couldn’t run the bottom as good as I needed to because I got a little bit tight. I don’t think I could’ve passed (Madden), but we had a good car all night long so we’re not going to complain with third. We’ll take it and take some notes and move on.”
Brandon Sheppard holds a 294-point advantage in the latest World of Outlaws Late Model Series championship standings. To learn more about these events, please visit www.WoOLMS.com.
The 27-year-old – who splits his splits his driving duties between Rocket1 and his family-owned No. B5 – continues to add to an impressive tally of achievements in 2020. Combined, Sheppard has accumulated 28 victories, 61 Top-5 performances, and 74 Top-10 outings in his 80 starts this season.
This weekend, Brandon Sheppard returns to the seat of his family-owned No. B5 for a tripleheader with the MARS Racing Series at three Illinois quarter-mile ovals. Opening the weekend is a $5,000-to-win event at Peoria Speedway on Friday, October 9, followed by Fairbury Speedway’s FALS Frenzy with a $15,000-to-win purse Saturday. The weekend finale will take place Sunday, October 11 with a $10,000-to-win event at LaSalle Speedway.
For more information on this lucrative weekend, please visit www.MARSRacingSeries.com.
The following weekend – October 17-18 – Rocket1 Racing will resume competition with the 40th Annual Dirt Track World Championship at Portsmouth (Ohio) Raceway Park. The Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series-sanctioned contest boasts a $100,000 top prize.
Additional information can be found at www.LucasDirt.com.
Rocket1 Racing would like to thank all of their marketing partners, which include Valvoline, Seubert Calf Ranches, Rocket Chassis, Ace Metal Works, Durham Racing Engines, FiveStar RaceCar Bodies, Gunters Honey, Hoosier Racing Tire, Integra Racing Shocks, Keyser Manufacturing, Petroff Towing, Slavic Custom Racing Shirts & Decals, Sweet Manufacturing, Sunoco Race Fuels, Accu-Force Shock Service, ATL Fuel Cells, Aurora Rod Ends, Barnes Dry Sump Oil Systems, Bazell Race Fuels, Beyea Custom Headers, Brown & Miller Racing Solutions, Brinn Transmissions, Cometic Gasket, COMP Cams, CP Carrillo, Dohm Cycles, Edelbrock, Fibreworks Composites, Hardrock Powder Coating, Howe Racing Enterprises, Jones Racing Products, Kenny’s Components, Maxima Racing Oils, MSD, NGK Spark Plugs, Tel Tac, Performance Bodies, Peterson Fluid Systems, Powers Performance, Performance Rod & Custom, Quarter Master, QuickCar Racing Products, Rocket Pre-Owned Motors, Safecraft, Show Trucks Unlimited, Simpson, Stealth Carburetors, Strange Oval, Suave Talk, Total Power Valvoline Pro-V Racing, Walker Performance Filtration, Weld Racing, Wiles Driveshafts, Wilwood Brakes, Winters Performance Products, Wrisco Aluminum, Xceldyne Valvetrain, and MSR Mafia Marketing Services.