Entering Friday’s Lucas Oil Series event at Atomic Speedway. In fact, the reigning World of Outlaws Craftsman Late Model Series champion and his Rocket Chassis house car team were among those on hand for Thursday’s Illini 100 practice session at Farmer City (Ill.) Raceway. But when Mother Nature washed out the WoO doubleheader, the Shinnston, W.Va.-based team headed east.
Sheppard arrived at the Ohio oval with only minutes to spare, pulling into the pit area with just enough time to unload and tag the tail of a heat race. Working his way from the back of the field, Sheppard nabbed a transfer position, giving him him the 12th starting position in the 50-lap main event. Using cautions and restarts to his advantage, Sheppard raced his way to the front of the feature field, running among the top five at the halfway mark. At the checkered flag, Sheppard was pressuring Tim McCreadie for third place.
“It was a good night overall,” Sheppard said. “We got here, unloaded, thrashed, didn't even have time to check anything over from practice in Farmer City last night. We Just rolled out for our heat race. On a regular basis, we would've been a lot more prepared for the heat races than that. I started last and (was) coming to third. I was really proud of my team and my race car, of course, because it was just phenomenal.