Rocket1 Racing invaded Volusia Speedway Park in Barberville, Fla. last week to close out their 2021 Florida Speedweeks with the 50th Annual DIRTcar Nationals.
Brandon Sheppard came away with a trio of Top-10 finishes in the Valvoline No. 1 Seubert Calf Ranches/ Durham Racing Engines-powered Rocket Chassis.
Sheppard was one of 51 entries to converge at Volusia Speedway Park on Monday. Kicking off the 50th Annual DIRTcar Nationals, Brandon raced to a runner-up finish in his heat race to earn the seventh spot on the starting grid for the $7,000-to-win feature. Moving up one spot in the 30-lapper, Sheppard recorded a sixth-place finish.
The following night for another $7,000-to-win program, Brandon grabbed a heat race victory to earn a spot in the redraw. Starting in the second position for the feature, Sheppard was unable to gain any ground in the 30-lap affair, dropping to a fourth-place finish behind Bobby Pierce, Devin Moran, and Hudson O’Neal. Darrell Lanigan rounded out the Top-5 finishers.
Starting Wednesday, the remainder of the weekend shifted to the World of Outlaws Late Model Series sanction. Brandon started the night with a runner-up finish in his heat race, locking him into the 11th starting position for the $10,000-to-win A-Main.
Sheppard had worked his way forward in the 40-lapper, battling for the fifth spot, when contact with another competitor resulted in a flat left-rear tire. Forced to pit for a new Hoosier Racing Tire with just two laps remaining, Sheppard ended up 20th in the final rundown.
On Thursday, Brandon fell one spot shy of a transfer position in his heat race, sending him to a B-Main. Sheppard went on to finish second in his B-Main, earning him the 23rd starting spot on the feature grid. With $10,000 on the line, Brandon rallied from 23rd to sixth, but his hopes of finishing higher were dashed by engine trouble that left him running on seven cylinders for the race’s final 10 laps.
Friday’s program saw Brandon grab the fourth and final transfer spot in his heat race to lock into the 13th starting position for the $10,000-to-win feature. Brandon ran as high as eighth in the 40-lap affair before settling to an 11th place outing at the checkers.
Heavy morning showers creating a high-water table and saturated grounds at Volusia Speedway Park, along with persistent rain throughout the day, forced World of Outlaws Morton Buildings Late Model Series, and track officials to cancel Saturday’s 50th Annual DIRTcar Nationals finale.
Rocket1 will return to action with the WoO Late Model Series at Duck River Raceway Park in Wheel, Tenn. on March 5 for $10,000-to-win, and Smoky Mountain Speedway in Maryville, Tenn. on March 6 for $12,000-to-win.
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.