Sheppard opens Summer Speedweek at Volunteer Speedway With WoO Win

Top 3 finishers: Dennis Erb Jr., Brandon Sheppard, and Cade Dillard. Photos by Michael Moats

With Mother Nature threatening to douse the opening night of the 2020 Summer Speedweek at Volunteer Speedway, the racers and fans persevered and pushed forward with a great show following two thunderstorms. 

After the rain lifted, track personnel worked the track into a race condition, using the race vehicles to help prep the track’s surface. When the track took a solid pack, the racing was underway with a late start but a tacky track surface.

Brandon Overton waits out the weather.

Brandon Sheppard entered the event with a back-to-back win streak in the World of Outlaws Morton Buildings Late Model Series, and seemingly on a roll after a slow start to the season. On Friday night, he would add to the streak, winning at Volunteer Speedway.

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“It feels good to get another win, especially here at a place that I typically don’t run too well at,” said Sheppard after his first career win at Volunteer Speedway. “This track was hammer down and up on the wheel tonight, just the way I like it. We should’ve won the heat race there after we qualified so good, but I just didn’t get a good start. It made us have to work a lot harder than we wanted, but my guys didn’t give up on me.”

Dennis Erb Jr.

Sheppard started the night strong by setting quick time at 12.151 seconds. He finished behind Chase Junghans in the third heat, putting him deeper in the main event starting lineup than he would have preferred. Scott Bloomquist drew the pole position with Kyle Strickler on the outside.

When the green flag waved on the feature, Brandon Overton made a daring move as he split the front row starters to lead the first five laps. Strickler took over on lap 6, holding back the field until a mid-race caution reset the field. That restart changed the entire complexion of the race.

On the restart, Bloomquist dropped back to seventh as he slipped on the track. Strickler pushed high into turn three and bounced off the wall in turn four, giving the lead to the Brandon Overton – who had moved from fifth to first in one lap.

Overton’s charge to the front ended two laps later when he pulled off the track with mechanical issues, turning over the lead to the #28 of Dennis Erb Jr.

Erb led for the next four laps until Sheppard reeled the leader in and passed using the high-side banking to rocket down the straight and past Erb Jr.

“We definitely had to some slicing and dicing in that one,” noted Sheppard on the hectic battle at the front. “I don’t know what happened to Overton, but man, I hated to see that. I would’ve liked to race him for the lead. That was a good battle with Dennis though, he did a great job tonight. The guys at Volunteer Speedway did a great job with this race track today. It widened out a lot more in that feature and made it a lot of fun.”

Scott Bloomquist.

Sheppard would not relinquish the lead, even with two late-race restarts that potentially opened the door for challengers. His win marked the 59th career World of Outlaws Morton Buildings Late Model Series feature wins – and his third straight in the series.

The win was also his fourth WoO win of 2020, extending his mark to 13 top-five finishes and 14 top ten results in 14 appearances this season. After the race, Sheppard held a +94 points lead on Ricky Weiss for the Championship.

Race Results:

Qualifying Flight A – 1. 7-Ricky Weiss, 12.181; 2. 0m-Chris Madden, 12.295; 3. 0-Scott Bloomquist, 12.366; 4. 8-Kyle Strickler, 12.416; 5. 17m-Dale McDowell, 12.477; 6. K37-Drew Kennedy, 12.491; 7. 97-Cade Dillard, 12.593; 8. 24d-Michael Brown, 12.611; 9. 5h-Vic Hill, 12.619; 10. 97c-Michael Chilton, 12.582; 11. 329-Travis Fultz, 12.723; 12. 4g-Kody Evans, 12.787; 13. 7m-Donald Mcintosh, 12.831; 14. B1-Brent Larson, 12.85; 15. 101-Forrest Trent, 12.868; 16. 17-Logan Roberson, 13.53; 17. 20-David Bullington, 14.15

Qualifying Flight B – 1. 1-Brandon Sheppard, 12.151; 2. 76-Brandon Overton, 12.171; 3. 18-Chase Junghans, 12.244; 4. 29v-Darrell Lanigan, 12.246; 5. 28-Dennis Erb, 12.306; 6. 23-Cory Hedgecock, 12.323; 7. 28w-Jeff Wolfenbarger, 12.423; 8. 99b-Boom Briggs, 12.64; 9. 7t-Drake Troutman, 12.686; 10. 31-Tyler Millwood, 12.735; 11. 51m-Joey Moriarty, 12.754; 12. 12-Ashton Winger, 12.777; 13. 3-Steve Smith, 13.17; 14. 5-John Tweed, 13.619; 15. 23p-Ahnna Parkhurst, 13.684; DQ. 14-Terry Wolfenbarger, 13.177

Heat 1

Drydene Heat #1 – Flight (A) (10 Laps) – Top 4 Transfer – 1. 0-Scott Bloomquist [2]; 2. 7-Ricky Weiss [1]; 3. 97-Cade Dillard [4]; 4. 17m-Dale McDowell [3]; 5. 329-Travis Fultz [6]; 6. 5h-Vic Hill [5]; 7. 7m-Donald Mcintosh [7]; 8. 20-David Bullington [9]; 9. 101-Forrest Trent [8]

Drydene Heat #2 – Flight (A) (10 Laps) – Top 4 Transfer – 1. 8-Kyle Strickler [2]; 2. 24d-Michael Brown [4]; 3. 0m-Chris Madden [1]; 4. K37-Drew Kennedy [3]; 5. B1-Brent Larson [7]; 6. 97c-Michael Chilton [5]; 7. 4g-Kody Evans [6]; 8. 17-Logan Roberson [8]

Heat 2

Drydene Heat #3 – Flight (B) (10 Laps) – Top 4 Transfer – 1. 18-Chase Junghans [2]; 2. 1-Brandon Sheppard [1]; 3. 28-Dennis Erb [3]; 4. 51m-Joey Moriarty [6]; 5. 28w-Jeff Wolfenbarger [4]; 6. 7t-Drake Troutman [5]; 7. 3-Steve Smith [7]; 8. 23p-Ahnna Parkhurst [8]

Drydene Heat #4 – Flight (B) (10 Laps) – Top 4 Transfer – 1. 76-Brandon Overton [1]; 2. 23-Cory Hedgecock [3]; 3. 31-Tyler Millwood [5]; 4. 12-Ashton Winger [6]; 5. 29v-Darrell Lanigan [2]; 6. 99b-Boom Briggs [4]; 7. 14-Terry Wolfenbarger [8]; 8. 5-John Tweed [7]

Last Chance Showdown 1 (10 Laps) – Top 3 Transfer – 1. 7m-Donald Mcintosh [5]; 2. 329-Travis Fultz [1]; 3. 4g-Kody Evans [6]; 4. 97c-Michael Chilton [4]; 5. 5h-Vic Hill [3][$110]; 6. 20-David Bullington [7]; 7. B1-Brent Larson [2]; 8. 17-Logan Roberson [8]; 9. 101-Forrest Trent [9]

Last Chance Showdown 2 (10 Laps) – Top 3 Transfer – 1. 29v-Darrell Lanigan [2]; 2. 28w-Jeff Wolfenbarger [1]; 3. 7t-Drake Troutman [3]; 4. 99b-Boom Briggs [4]; 5. 3-Steve Smith [5][$110]; 6. 14-Terry Wolfenbarger [6]; 7. 23p-Ahnna Parkhurst [7]; 8. 5-John Tweed [8].

Brandon Sheppard

MORTON BUILDINGS WORLD OF OUTLAWS LATE MODEL SERIES (50 laps)

1. 1-Brandon Sheppard [7][$10,000]; 2. 28-Dennis Erb [10][$5,000]; 3. 97-Cade Dillard [9][$3,000]; 4. 12-Ashton Winger [16][$2,500]; 5. 0-Scott Bloomquist [1][$2,000]; 6. 18-Chase Junghans [3][$1,700]; 7. 23-Cory Hedgecock [5][$1,400]; 8. 0m-Chris Madden [11][$1,300]; 9. 17m-Dale McDowell [13][$1,200]; 10. 7-Ricky Weiss [6][$1,100]; 11. 29v-Darrell Lanigan [18][$1,050]; 12. 99b-Boom Briggs [23][$1,000]; 13. B1-Brent Larson [24][$950]; 14. 7m-Donald Mcintosh [17][$900]; 15. 8-Kyle Strickler [2][$850]; 16. 4g-Kody Evans [21][$800]; 17. 76-Brandon Overton [4][$770]; 18. 31-Tyler Millwood [12][$750]; 19. 24d-Michael Brown [8][$730]; 20. K37-Drew Kennedy [15][$700]; 21. 329-Travis Fultz [19][$700]; 22. 28w-Jeff Wolfenbarger [20][$700]; 23. 51m-Joey Moriarty [14][$700]; 24. 7t-Drake Troutman [22][$700].

Lap Leader(s): Overton 1-5; Strickler 6-27; Overton 28-29; Erb Jr. 30-33; Sheppard 34-50. 

Hard Charger Award: 12-Ashton Winger [+12]

About the author

Bobby Kimbrough

Bobby grew up in the heart of Illinois, becoming an avid dirt track race fan which has developed into a life long passion. Taking a break from the Midwest dirt tracks to fight evil doers in the world, he completed a full 21 year career in the Marine Corps.
Read My Articles

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