Shinnston, WV, November 21, 2016 –Mark Richards Racing, Inc. (MRRI), the four time World of Outlaws Craftsman late model champion team has selected two-time Dirt Track World Championship winner Brandon Sheppard of New Berlin, IL to drive the Valvoline/Seubert Calf Ranches #1 Rocket Chassis house car. Richards also welcomes new marketing partner Gunter’s Honey and two new crew members Austin Hargrove and Joel Rogers.
New driver Brandon Sheppard previously drove the #1 car full-time for MRRI during the 2012 season at just 20 years old. Since then, Sheppard has won the 2013 UMP DIRTcar Late Model National Championship, 2013 UMP DIRTcar Summer Nationals Championship, 2013 Dirt Track World Championship (w/MRRI), in 2014 Brandon won 10 A-mains while running an independent schedule. In 2015 he won the Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series (LOLMDS) Rookie of the Year, won six A-Mains and finished 6th in championship points. In 2016 Sheppard finished 5th in LOLMDS points with seven wins including the series ending Dirt Track World Championship worth $100,000.
For the first time Brandon Sheppard’s young career, the Mark Richards led team will compete for the World of Outlaws Craftsman late model (WoOLMS) championship in 2017. Similar to last year, the #1 car will run crown jewel events and major races that don’t conflict with the WoOLMS schedule.
“Brandon was one of our top choices” stated MRRI owner Mark Richards. “He did an outstanding job for us during the 2012 season, our marketing partners and I are quite comfortable with him and he has been a loyal Rocket Chassis supporter/customer for many years now. I really do consider him one of the top young talents in dirt late model racing today and we’re thrilled to have him come aboard.”
“I can’t express how excited I am to have this opportunity with Mark (Richards) and Steve (Baker) at Rocket Chassis.” Quoted new driver Brandon Sheppard. “It truly is an honor to sit in the blue #1 and I’d like to thank Mark, Steve, along with Valvoline, Seubert Calf Ranches and the other marketing partners for having the confidence in me to represent them.
Gunter’s Honey of Berryville, VA joins the team as an associate marketing partner.
2016 WoOLMS Crew Chief of the Year Danny White will return to the #1 team in 2017 along with two new crew members. Veteran full-time dirt car crew member Austin Hargrove who won a World 100 with Bart Hartman will join the team along with Joel Rogers.
MRRI list of 2017 marketing partners is as follows: Valvoline, Seubert Calf Ranches, Ace Metal Works, Sallack Well Service, Gunter’s Honey, Petroff Towing, Andy Durham Racing Engines, Keyser Mfg., Integra Racing Shocks, Hoosier Racing Tire, Sunoco Race Fuels, Sweet Mfg., Five Star Bodies, Slavic Corp, Accu-Force Shock Services, ATL Racing Fuel Cells, Aurora Rod Ends, Barnes Dry Sump Systems, Bazell Race Fuels, Beyea Custom Headers, Braswell Competition Carburetors, Brinn Transmissions, Brown & Miller Racing Solutions, Butler Built Professional Seat Systems, Dohm Cycles, Edelbrock, Hardrock Powder Coating, Howe Racing Enterprises, Jones Racing Products, Kenny’s Components, Maxima Racing Oils, MSD Ignition, Performance Bodies, Performance Rod & Custom, Peterson Fluid Systems, Powers Starters, Quick Car Racing Products, R2C Competition Series Filters, Show Trucks Unlimited, Simpson, Snap-On Tools – Paul Greenwood, SRI, Strange Oval - Kera Axle Tuning, Tel Tac Oval Track Pro, Weld Racing, Wiles Racing Driveshafts, Wilwood Brakes, Winters Performance Products and Wrisco Aluminum.
Valvoline™ is a leading worldwide producer and distributor of premium-branded automotive, commercial and industrial lubricants, and automotive chemicals. In 2016, it ranks as the #2 quick-lube chain by number of stores and #3 passenger car motor oil in the DIY market by volume brand in the United States. The brand operates and franchises more than 1,050 Valvoline Instant Oil ChangeSM centers in the United States. It also markets ValvolineTM lubricants and automotive chemicals; MaxLifeTM lubricants created for higher-mileage engines, SynPowerTM synthetic motor oil; and ZerexTM antifreeze. For more information, please visit Valvoline.com.
About Mark Richards Racing, Inc. dba Rocket Chassis
Based in Shinnston, W.V., Mark Richards Racing, Inc. dba Rocket Chassis is a dirt late model manufacturer founded in 1991 by business partners Mark Richards and Steve Baker. It's a group of talented individuals who strive to make Rocket Chassis the winningest dirt late model manufacturer in dirt oval racing. For more information on Rocket Chassis, please visit rocketchassis.com.