Shinnston, WV, March 6, 2017 – Brandon Sheppard and Rocket1 Racing blasted off to a successful start of the 2017 Georgia/Florida speed weeks. After their early success, Sheppard and the Rocket1 Racing team will take a few weeks off to prepare for five touring series events in March.
Speed weeks for the Rocket1 team began at Bubba Raceway Park (BRP), January 26th – 29th in the Sallack Well Service/Valvoline/Rocket Chassis XR1 Ford Mustang crate dirt late model owned by valued Rocket 1 Racing partner Marc Sallack. In their first race together on Jan. 26th, Sheppard and crew qualified 1st and finished 1st. In the following events at BRP, Sheppard finished 3rd on Jan. 27th and a 2nd on Jan. 29th.
The Valvoline/Seubert Calf Ranches/Rocket Chassis XR1 #Rocket1 Ford Mustang’s 2017 campaign started with the Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series (LOLMDS) Feb. 10th and 11th at Golden Isles Speedway. Sheppard finished 4th, Feb. 10th and 13th, Feb. 11th
Eastbay Raceway Park was the site of the next three LOLMDS events (Feb. 13th – 15th). In only his third start in the Rocket1, Brandon claimed his first win at Eastbay Raceway Park on Feb. 13th. Sheppard finished 26th on Feb. 14th (mechanical problems). The Feb. 15th event was cancelled due to rain.
After Eastbay, the Rocket1 team competed at Screven Motor Speedway on Feb. 17th to kick-off the World of Outlaws Craftsman Late Model Series (WoOCraftLMS) 2017 season. Sheppard earned a 5th place finish on Feb. 17th and a 4th place finish on Feb. 18th. Brandon left Screven 4th in WoOCraftLMS points.
Following Screven, the team competed again at BRP on Feb. 19th. In what fans and industry people say was the best race of speed weeks, Brandon overtook Scott Bloomquist on the last lap to win the LOLMDS event. Bloomquist held the lead until a caution came out with two laps to go. On the final lap, Sheppard applied pressure to the leader Scott Bloomquist in turn three. Brandon passed Scott in turn four in dramatic fashion to win his third race of speed weeks and 2nd at BRP in 2017.
Volusia Speedway Park (VSP) was the fifth and final track of speed weeks from Feb. 20th-25th. Sheppard finished 9th in the Feb. 20th event and won the Feb. 21st event from the 4th starting spot. The Feb. 22nd and 23rd races were casualties of rain and had to be cancelled. In the final two events at VSP, Sheppard and the Rocket1 team finished 6th in the 24th race and finished 14th in the final event on Feb. 25th. Sheppard’s performance at Screven and VSP earned him the points lead in WoOCraftLMS.
“I can’t believe we’ve already won four races and are leading the Outlaws points.” Sheppard said, describing how well the Rocket1 Racing team has performed so far in 2017. “The fact that we’ve won at tracks I didn’t run well at before has me excited for the rest of the season. My team members Danny White (crew chief), Austin Hargrove and Joel Rogers all work exceptionally hard to give me a fast Rocket Chassis XR1. We get along and communicate so well, it seems like we’ve been together a lot longer than just a few months. I owe a tremendous amount of thanks to Steve Baker and Mark Richards for this opportunity.”
Brandon Sheppard and Rocket1 Racing’s upcoming March events includes;
3/17 at Atomic Speedway (LOLMDS – Chillicothe, OH)
3/18 at Brownstown Speedway (LOLMDS – Brownstown, IN)
3/24 at Whynot Speedway (WoOCraftLMS – Meridian, MS)
3/25 at I-30 Speedway (WoOCraftLMS – Little Rock, AR)
3/26 at Lonestar Speedway (WoOCraftLMS – Kilgore, TX )
3/30-4/1 at Farmer City Raceway (WoOCraftLMS – Farmer City, IL).
Brandon Sheppard/Rocket1 Racing Facts from Florida/Georgia Speedweeks (excludes Jan. 26-29, data provided by dirtondirt.com)
.264: Winning margin in seconds for Brandon Sheppard in his last lap pass of Scott Bloomquist Feb. 19 at Bubba Raceway Park
3: Multiple feature winners: Chris Madden, Josh Richards and Brandon Sheppard
3: Victories for Brandon Sheppard (at three tracks), the most of any driver
6: Top five finishes, tied for the most among all drivers
50: Lap on which Brandon Sheppard overtook Scott Bloomquist for a $10,000 Bubba Raceway Park victory on Feb. 19
38: Laps led.
6.33: Average starting spot of each win
6: Top five finishes
8: Top ten finishes
1: World of Outlaws Craftsman Late Model Series points position
2: Years in a row that the driver leading World of Outlaws Craftsman Late Model Series points went on to win the points championship
Rocket1 Racing’s 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.