Brandon Sheppard made a clean sweep of the World of Outlaws (WoO) Morton Buildings Late Model Series “Inside Out” weekend at Davenport (IA) Speedway.
In thrilling fashion, Sheppard drove the Valvoline No. 1 Seubert Calf Ranches/ Durham Racing Engines-powered Rocket Chassis to a margin of victory just .007 seconds over Ricky Thornton Jr. on Friday night at Davenport’s 1/4-mile oval. On Saturday, Sheppard conquered the 1/2-mile oval to complete a weekend sweep of the doubleheader.
Sheppard qualified second in his group and picked up a 10-lap heat race win to notch his spot in the redraw. Starting the 30-lapper in fourth, Brandon had made his way into second and begun to track down race-leader, Bobby Pierce by the halfway point.
Catching Pierce with some assistance from lapped traffic, Sheppard and Ryan Unzicker, took him three-wide down the backstretch. Sheppard had come out ahead, snatching the lead away on the bottom side and the driving away into lapped traffic when the caution flew on lap 18.
On the restart, Thornton Jr. overtook Sheppard on the outside for the top spot. From there, the duo ran side-by-side, door-to-door, and wheel-to-wheel for a near-perfect six laps, unofficially swapping the lead countless times.
Thornton Jr. had distanced himself on lap 26, but the Rocket1 Racing Valvoline No. 1 wasn’t done yet. Sheppard crossed Thornton Jr. to take the point at the white flag. Thornton Jr. didn’t back down and regained control in Turn 1. The duo touched out of Turn 2 and crisscrossed down the backstretch. From there, the two ran door-to-door through the final turns to the checkered flag. In one of the closest finishes in WoO history, it was Sheppard who came out on top for the win.
“I can’t thank all of my guys enough — Mark, Dan, Austin, Joel — for sticking behind me,” Sheppard stated. “We’ve definitely been struggling lately, but at the same time, our feature stuff has been great still. It just all goes back to qualifying. We got it together tonight and qualified front row of a heat race, that’s what we needed to do get in a position at the front of the feature.”
After another convincing heat race win on Saturday, Sheppard drew fourth in the feature redraw to start the 40-lap event from the outside of row two. Sheppard made his move on the high side to take the lead on lap five and never looked back.
Surviving a string of caution periods, Sheppard was in command of the entire race. In the end, Brandon drove away from the field to a 2.086-second advantage as he crossed the finish line for his 58th career WoO victory and his seventh overall win of 2020 for Rocket1 Racing.
“It feels so great to be back in victory lane,” Sheppard said. “We got our confidence back [Friday] night, it was a tough fought battle, but we did it. Tonight, everybody’s confidence was higher. We qualified good, won the heat race, and that was the key to getting another win. I can’t thank Mark, Dan, Austin, Joel, and all the guys back at the shop enough; this car has been a dream to drive.”
Sheppard extended his lead in the WoO Morton Buildings Late Model Series Championship standings. For more results from these events and complete series standings, please visit www.WoOLMS.com.
This upcoming weekend – June 4-6 – will find Rocket1 Racing returning to the legendary Eldora Speedway in Rossburg, Ohio. The Dirt Late Model Stream Invitational will kick off with preliminary programs on Thursday and Friday headlined by 30-lap, $10,000-to-win events. Saturday’s finale will culminate with a $50,000-to-win feature. Additional information on the event is available at www.EldoraSpeedway.com.
Truckers are our unsung heroes, leaving their homes and families every day to deliver supplies that American’s need and count on. These men and women are driving long hours, and facing challenges on the road due to restaurant and rest stop closures. Valvoline is saying Thank You to truckers by delivering care packages to drivers across the country. You can say Thank You, too, by simply posting a #ThanksToTruckers message on your social media.
For the latest information on Rocket1Racing please visit the team website at www.Rocket1Racing.com as well as their social media channels at www.facebook.com/Rocket1Racing, www.twitter.com/Rocket1_Racing, and www.instagram.com/rocket1racing.