Top-10 finish in North-South prelim at Florence
Weekend action found Rocket1 Racing battling through a challenging return to Florence Speedway with their Valvoline / Seubert Calf Ranches No. 1 Ace Metal Works / XR1 Rocket Chassis / Durham Racing Engine Super Late Model.
After seeing Thursday’s programed washed away Sheppard finished ninth in Friday’s prelim program before registering a 15th-place finish in Saturday night’s Sunoco Race Fuels North-South 100 finale.
“Florence Speedway is a challenging place to get around, and me and the team just don’t have many laps around that place over the past several years. We gave it all we had all weekend, but just didn’t have the finishes we were looking for. We definitely learned a lot for the next time we go back there,” Sheppard said. “We’re gearing up for another track this coming week (Batesville Motor Speedway) that neither of us have many laps at. Rocket1 Racing hasn’t been there since 2003, and I’ve only been there at the 2015 Topless 100. We’re ready for the challenge though and look forward to seeing a lot of fans we haven’t seen in a while.”
Brandon Sheppard and the Rocket1 Racing crew returned to action with the Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series (LOLMDS) on Thursday evening at Florence Speedway (Union, Ky.) as the 40th annual North-South 100 weekend kicked off with prelims.
Shortly after qualifying third-fastest in his time trial group, wet weather and an unfavorable forecast cancelled the remainder of Thursday’s program.
On Friday, Brandon’s fifth-place finish in his heat race pinned him on the seventh row for his preliminary feature. With $5,000 on the line, Sheppard gained four spots in the 25-lapper to finish ninth.
Rolling off from the second row of his heat race on Saturday afternoon, Sheppard secured his spot into the $75,000-to-win Sunoco Race Fuels North-South 100 with a second-place finish. Starting 12th, Brandon was only able to manage a 15th-place finish the finale.
With another weekend of LOLMDS action complete, Brandon continues to sit second in the latest series’ standings.
For more information on the event as well as the latest series standings, please visit www.LucasDirt.com .
The team now turns their attention to the 30th annual COMP Cams Topless 100 presented by Nutrien Ag Solutions at Mooney Starr’s Batesville Motor Speedway (Locust Grove, Ark.). The program, which spans Friday and Saturday, concludes with a $50,000-to-win program on Saturday night.
Sheppard last raced at the 3/8-mile oval in 2015 in his family-owned No. B5 and finished fifth in the feature. The last appearance by Rocket1 Racing at the high-speed facility came in 2003 with chauffer Steve Francis. The team finished 10th in the night’s 100-lap finale.
For more information on the crown jewel weekend, please visit www.BatesvilleMotorSpeedway.com.