SHINNSTON, WV (04/23/18) – Brandon Sheppard, Rocket1 Racing and the The World of Outlaws Craftsman® Late Model Series (WoOCraftLMS) returned to action Friday evening at Whynot Motorsports Park for the inaugural two night Queen City Shootout. This was the Series' first race in 62 days due to several cancellations for weather, but Mother Nature finally showed some mercy and allowed the entire race weekend to be completed.
On Friday, April 20th, day one of the Queen City Shootout, the New Berlin, IL driver qualified 21st overall. His qualifying effort started him 5th in heat four. Brandon advanced two positions during the heat race to obtain the transfer position for the $10,000-to-win feature.
In the first lap of the race, starting 12th, Sheppard gained four positions. By lap 13, Brandon surged to second and began chasing down the leader. Known for his patient approach to taking over the lead position, Sheppard made the pass for the top spot on lap 41 when his opening arose. After claiming the lead on lap 41, Sheppard never looked back and won the opening night of the Queen City Shootout in his Valvoline Seubert Calf Ranches Rocket Chassis XR1#Rocket1. His second WoOCraftLMS win of 2018.
“That was definitely not an easy one there.” said Sheppard. “The track was really tricky tonight. The line kept changing all over the place. I could roll the middle there pretty good for a little bit, and then I could go to the bottom, and then I could move up, and then the middle got dirty there. We had a good car early, I think we just ran the wrong line in qualifying.”
“Well, I’m pretty sure it was hard to lead that race in the first half since like I said, the line was moving around all over the place,” continued Sheppard. “You know I could see where the leader was messing up a little bit. I found a little bit of a line there coming off of [turn] two, to where I could get up underneath him if he moved up again, and that’s what happened. Everything just worked out for us. We were really fortunate to be in a position to take the lead there.”
The following night was the final race of the inaugural Queen City Shootout WoOCraftLMS event at Whynot. Sheppard started the 50 lap finale in 11th place and picked off six positions en-route to a 5th place finish, his 12th top five of the year.
Rocket1 Racing and Brandon Sheppard will travel to Maryville, TN this weekend for the WoOCraftLMS sanctioned events April 27 and 28 at Smoky Mountain Speedway. The following weekend, the team will continue to race down south from May 3rd to May 5th at Lavonia Speedway, Cherokee Speeway and Senoia Raceway.