Top-5 finish in Knoxville Nationals finale
Brandon Sheppard piloted the Rocket1 Racing / Valvoline / Seubert Calf Ranches No. 1 Ace Metal Works / XR1 Rocket Chassis / Durham Racing Engine Super Late Model to a podium finish in Sunday’s finale of the 18th annual Lucas Oil Late Model Knoxville Nationals.
With the finish, Sheppard also made up ground in his pursuit of the 2022 Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series (LOLMDS) championship.
“It feels good to run well in this race. I have had a lot of good runs here, so I expected to run good to a certain extent. We had a good car there. Man, I wish it was more laps now because I think we were getting better there at the end,” Sheppard said. “It was unfortunate for Timmy [McCreadie] to get knocked out of the feature, but we all have bad luck sometimes, that’s part of the game. He still has a pretty good lead on us, so we still have alot of work to do, but this team is in dig mode, and we’re looking forward to Brownstown (Speedway).”
Rocket1 Racing and Brandon Sheppard opened his slate of racing with a visit to Fairbury (Ill.) Speedway on Tuesday afternoon for the Castrol FloRacing Night in America event as the miniseries returned to action following the summer break.
With a talent-laden field of 42 Late Models entered for the third annual One for the Road, Brandon’s third-place finish in his heat race positioned him on the fifth row for the $22,022-to-win A-Main. After shuffling a few spots early, Sheppard raced to a ninth-place in the 50-lap affair.
Returning with the Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series (LOLMDS) on Wednesday, Sheppard entered his Rocket1 Racing No. 1 Late Model into battle at Knoxville Raceway (Knoxville, Iowa) for the 18th annual Knoxville Nationals weekend.
Earning the 10th-starting position for the preliminary feature via a third-place performance in his heat race, Brandon gained six spots in the 25-lapper to register a fourth-place finish. He followed Shane Clanton, Earl Pearson Jr., and Jonathan Davenport to the checkers with Kyle Strickler coming in fifth.
For another $7,000-to-win prelim on Friday, Sheppard had to race his way into the A-Main through his B-Main after finishing fifth in his heat. Following a runner-up performance in his consolation race, Brandon jumped up six spots in the feature to cross the line in 14th.
With passing points for prelims aligning Brandon on the sixth row for Sunday’s rain-delayed $50,000-to-win Knoxville Nationals finale, Sheppard advanced forward eight spots in the 50-lapper to place third. He trailed Jonathan Davenport and Tyler Bruening to the checkers with Ricky Thornton Jr. and Earl Pearson completing the Top-5 finishers.
Brandon continues to second in the latest LOLMDS point standings but nearly cut 100 points off Tim McCreadie’s lead with Sunday’s performance.
Full results from the weekend as well as the latest standings are available at www.LucasDirt.com .
The team now turns their attention to Brownstown (Ind.) Speedway this weekend and the 2022 edition of the storied Jackson 100. The Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series weekend opens on Friday with a $10,000-to-win program and continues with a $20,000-to-win finale on Saturday.
For more information on the weekend’s slate, please visit www.BrownstownSpeedway.com.