Sheppard Takes Wrisco Industries Winternationals Finale at East Bay

Brandon Sheppard came from his 11th starting position passing race leader Devin Moran with 12 laps to go as he then pulled away to win Saturday Night’s Wrisco Industries Winternationals race at East Bay Raceway Park.  It was Sheppard’s third win of the week in the annual Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series-sanctioned event.

Moran in the Tye Twarog Longhorn finished second to Sheppard with Tyler Erb, Brian Shirley and Shane Clanton completing the top five finishers.

Moran, who started on the pole took the lead at the drop of the green flag with Clanton hot on his heels.  Moran and Clanton ran one-two for the first 12 laps of the race until Clanton passed Moran for the top spot on lap 13.  Clanton would hold the point for six circuits until Moran was able to repass the Georgia veteran to go ahead again.

Meanwhile Sheppard was patiently working his way through the field as he moved by Clanton for second  on the 21st lap.  Sheppard then started working the top groove off of turn two as he closed the gap on Moran.  But Moran kept his car glued to the bottom of the 1/3rd mile oval as he continued to hold the top spot until Sheppard was able to rapidly cut into Moran’s lead as he rocketed by him on lap 38.

Sheppard then expanded his lead in the final ten laps as he went on to record his sixth career win at East Bay and his 18th in the LOLMDS.  Sheppard also continued the trend of Saturday Night East Bay finale winners as the 27-year-old Illinois native became the 12th different winner in the last 12 years.

It was Sheppard’s sixth overall in of 2020 after a spectacular season last year where he won 28 races. “I went up there a little bit earlier in the race, and I could really get a good run down the backstretch there. But it was really tricky getting into (turn) one. I was so slow up the frontstretch on the outside. When I got to (turn) one, there was a few times there where I was right-front headed straight towards the wall and somehow it caught and turned. Man, it was a heckuva race. I can’t even believe we came from 11th.”

The track, it was really tricky tonight. It got really slow. It was totally unexpected. But it was typical East Bay: it didn’t give us the same thing twice this week. We had a different surface every night and that’s what makes it so much fun to come here. It’s a shame it’s going to be gone before long. Man, it was a lot of fun out there. I can’t thank my guys enough,” said Sheppard who will maintain the LOLMDS points lead as he will carry the Midwest Sheet Metal Spoiler into All-Tech Raceway on Sunday Night.

Moran concluded a successful week at East Bay after scoring his first-ever win at “The Clay by the Bay” on Monday Night with second-place finish in the finale. “I think this is deja vu. Brandon’s done this to me here before. Just all part of it. I don’t think anyone’s seen the racetrack like this for the feature … I don’t know what did it or why it did it, that little bit of traction strip made us stick down there (on the bottom).”

“We aren’t the biggest or brightest team, but we had a great Speedweeks, and hopefully we can cap it off tomorrow at All-Tech.

Erb, who won twice last year at East Bay is still winless in the Georgia-Florida Speedweeks but recoded a solid point finish as he rounded out the podium. “The track was a little bit crazy. You couldn’t get the top going, so just congrats to Shepp and Devin and everybody. It’s been a long week here and we got every race in.”

“I really enjoy racing here. It wasn’t the final night we were all kind of hoping for, but it was a good night for us, and we’ll go on to All-Tech.”

The winner’s Mark Richards Racing Rocket 1 House Car is powered by a Durham Racing Engine and sponsored by Valvoline, Seubert Calf Ranches, Gunters Honey, Ace Metal Works, Integra, Sunoco, Keyser and Rocket Pre-Owned Motors.

Completing the top ten were Rick Eckert, Tim McCreadie, Shanon Buckingham, Jonathan Davenport and Billy Moyer Jr.

Sheppard Takes Second Win of the Week at East Bay

Brandon Sheppard charged from his 12th starting spot to take the lead on lap 14 and then never looked back in claiming his second Wrisco Industries Winternationals victory of the week on Thursday Night at East Bay Raceway Park in the Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series-sanctioned event.

Sheppard was the fourth and final different leader of the race after Brandon Overton, Tim McCreadie and Boom Briggs each took a turn at leading the race in the first 14 circuits.  Sheppard held a 1.7 second advantage over Richards at the finish line.  Richards who was originally slated to start 20th started in the back row after a rules violation before the race.  Richards then charged to the front in the Clint Bowyer Racing IRacing Rocket to finish second behind the team he drove successfully for several seasons.

Billy Moyer Jr. in his Nutrien Ag Solutions Capital Race Car Chassis equaled his best career LOLMDS finish by finishing in third after starting in sixth.  Jimmy Owens came home in fourth with Devin Moran, the opening night winner at East Bay completing the top five drivers.

Overton who earned the PFC Brakes pole award by winning the first heat was looking to break in the winner’s circle for the first time in the Georgia-Florida Speedweeks after coming up with 3 second place finishes in the fist four races.  The 40-lap feature started off good for Overton and points leader Tim McCreadie as the pair raced side-by-side in the early stages of the race.

Overton led the first lap then McCreadie took over the race lead for two laps, but by lap four Overton was back in front in the battle of a pair of Longhorn Chassis drivers.  By lap 6 however McCreadie was back in front as Boom Briggs started to show his strength working his way to second place.  Briggs then made a power move on McCreadie on lap 10 take over the point.

Briggs then held the lead until Sheppard who had started on the outside of the sixth row for the second night in a row zipped by for the lead which he never would relinquish. Sheppard then held off a trio of drivers in the last half of the race to record his 17th career LOLMDS win and his fifth at East Bay.

Richards then moved past Moyer Jr. on lap 33 but ran out of time in his efforts to catch Sheppard.

“It’s all thanks to my guys for not giving up on me. Our qualifying efforts weren’t what they needed to be tonight, for sure, and you know, Mark Richards and Steve Baker (of Rocket Chassis), and my great crew, Dan, Austin and Joel, the guys stuck behind me the whole time. They were confident I could get up through there,” said the Illinois native.

“I’ll tell you what, I think I’m going to have gray hair by the time we leave here. … You just don’t know where to go. I knew at some point the (high-side) cushion was going to be the place to be, but the bottom, it was working for me there at the beginning of the race, and I just, you know, you don’t really know when to move. So, I just stuck with it and stuck with it and then I see 14 (Richards) on the board there, and I knew I had to get my elbows up.”

“Man, it feels good to be up here again. Hopefully, I think we may be learned a little bit about the car tonight, so hopefully we can get our qualifying efforts a little bit better tomorrow, so I don’t have to work as hard tomorrow.”

Richards will have to wait another night for his 8th career win at East Bay , but 2017 LOLMDS champ has a car capable of winning before the week is done. “We’ll certainly take it. Brandon’s been really good, and I just can’t thank those guys enough for the help (from) my dad and everybody … We’ve had a great car in the feature, we just haven’t been able to show it. “We’ve just gotta get a little bit better and starter (closer to the front) and I think we’ll be there.”

After a solid start to the week Moyer Jr. bounced back from a rough Wednesday Night finish. “First thing, congrats to the 1 and 14. The guys were on it. I didn’t have nothing for (Sheppard). I think that one caution, my right-front (tire) completely went away, and I couldn’t run that bottom like earlier in the race. Then you just gotta go up there and run like an idiot around that top and steer with the back tires, but this Capital Race Car’s awesome. I’m just tickled to death to drive it.”

“We didn’t need that one long caution. I think we’ve might’ve had a shot at second, but I didn’t have nothing for Sheppy and them guys.”

“I got my daughter and my wife watching, and all the family, my brother’s probably yelling at the TV. So, it’s nice to finally get on the screen. After last year, I didn’t know if I’d just forgot how to d

The winner’s Mark Richards Racing Rocket 1 House Car is powered by a Durham Racing Engine and sponsored by Valvoline, Seubert Calf Ranches, Gunters Honey, Ace Metal Works, Integra, Sunoco, Keyser Manufacturing and Rocket Pre-Owned Motors.

Completing the top ten were Boom Briggs, Brandon Overton, Brian Shirley, Billy Moyer and Tyler Erb.

McCreadie Reaches East Bay Victory Lane on Wednesday Night

Tim McCreadie inherited the lead with five laps to go after race leader Jonathan Davenport’s misfortune. Davenport appeared to be on his way to victory, but he hooked a rut in turn four which folded back the right front of his nosepiece causing his car to come to a halt on the frontstretch right in front of Kyle Bronson who did not have time to slow his car down.  Bronson made heavy contact with the back of Davenport’s car which eliminated both from competition.

McCreadie, who was second at the time of the race changing incident then picked up the lead as he held off Brandon Overton and Brandon Sheppard for his second series in four starts this season.  It was McCreadie’s 17tth career LOLMDS win and his fourth ever at East Bay.

Overton in the Wells Motorsports Longhorn now has three runner-up finishes in first four series events of 2020.  Sheppard who won Tuesday Nights feature finished a close third to Overton.  Tyler Erb came from the 22nd starting spot to place fourth and Brian Shirley had his first top five Lucas Oil finish  of the year.

McCreadie and Davenport made up the front row for the 40-lap main event as Davenport was trying to duplicate his mid-week win from a year ago.  Davenport would lead the first three laps of the race in a tight battle with McCreadie.  McCreadie would gain the point briefly on lap four, but a lap later Davenport forged his way back to the point.

Dennis Erb Jr. then would step up and battle with McCreadie for second as they both trailed Davenport.  Erb would grab the second spot for two laps, but McCreadie fought back as the two had a spirited race for second.

At the halfway mark Davenport was still in front, but by this time Overton had overtaken McCreadie for second after he started in fifth.  A caution on lap 23 would bunch the field up as McCreadie would charge back to second this time around Overton.  A caution on lap 28 would again set a race restart with 12 circuits left.

On the ensuing green Davenport would start to stretch his lead back out as a torrid race for second was going on between McCreadie and Overton.  With five laps go Davenport entered turn four as he hopped in the air and when he came down the right front of his nosepiece folded under his car and he could not steer it and he was forced into the frontstretch wall.  Both McCreadie and Overton dove underneath the disabled car of  Davenport’s but Bronson  had no time to react and smashed into the back of Davenport’s car.

In the final portion of the race McCreadie would go on for the win to maintain his series points standings. In Lucas Oil Victory Lane for the second time in 2020 McCreadie said “It’s such a pleasure to race with J.D. We became real close last year, and I was fully prepared to shake his hand here, because it looked like he had us just covered enough. It looks like there’s just such a bad hole off of (turn) four and the bumper drug it or something. I think the worst part about it is that you can’t see (the hole). It’s covered up with fine crumbs, so you don’t really know where it is until you get there. I hate it for them, because like I said, they’ve helped us tremendously, their whole team, and obviously our team with Gena and Donald, like you said earlier, Gena went home, and our prayers go out to her for her mother.”

“It’s exciting. I love winning, but you want to get it by passing the best. Tonight, we had some luck, and we’ll take it and go on to tomorrow.”

“The first night we started on the pole and fell back to seventh was a big shock, you know? Not that we were overconfident, but everything had come so easy (at Golden Isles), and then that night came really easy, too. Then all these guys showed us where we belonged that night, which was seventh. So, we went to work, and last night I thought we had a real big change for the feature that helped, and that transferred to today. I’m really balanced,” said the 45-year-old New York native.

“We’re tickled to be here, but we also gotta get better, because J.D.’s going to be foaming tomorrow.”

Overton like McCreadie is driving for a new team owner this year remained consistent with his start to the 2020 season.  “As long as we stay up here, these top-three runs, the wins will come. The first one’s the hardest to get. I probably didn’t have a second-place car tonight, for sure. I couldn’t get through the holes and I’d get to bouncing and the thing was kind of shutting off and blubbering … just lucky to hang on to second. I hate that for J.D. and Bronson — that didn’t look too good.”

Sheppard’s whose win on Tuesday Night as the first this season for the potent Rocket 1 House Car fought and clawed his way to third at the finish. “It was getting better the longer the race was going. When the track was faster, (the car) was a little bit snug, especially in traffic there where we were slicing and dicing. The top was the most dominant and the bottom was going away in a hurry, so we got stuck down in the bottom on about every restart, which really hurt us a lot, especially early in the race.”

“Hat’s off to my guys. I put us behind there qualifying a little bit, and we were able to manage for a second place in the heat race. But with six heat races, that still started us 12th, so we’ve gotta try and win the heat race tomorrow and get up there in the top six.”

The winner’s Donald and Gena Bradsher-owned Longhorn Chassis is powered by a Cornett Racing Engine and sponsored by Mega Plumbing of the Carolinas, Bilstein Shocks, VP Fuels, Sweeteners Plus and D&E Marine.

Completing the top ten were Jimmy Owens, Devin Moran, Shane Clanton, Mike Marlar and Mason Zeigler.

Sheppard Returns to Lucas Oil Victory Lane at East Bay

Brandon Sheppard returned to the East Bay Raceway Park victory lane on Tuesday Night during the Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series-sanctioned Wrisco Industries Winternationals. It was Sheppard’s fourth career win at the “Clay by the Bay” as he becomes the third different winner in three LOLMDS events so far in 2020.

Brandon Overton charged from his 13th starting spot to finish second, his second podium finish in three series races this season.  Tim McCreadie who started tenth raced to third at the finish.   Tim Dohm, who started on the pole finished in fourth and defending series champion Jonathan Davenport rounded out the top five drivers.

Dohm and Sheppard started on the front row and had a spirited race for the lead in the early going.  Sheppard led the first circuit before Dohm assumed the point a lap later.  Sheppard the regained the lead as he had to hold off a brief challenge from Overton to secure his 16th career series victory.

Sheppard who was in contention for the win on Monday night until he and Kyle Bronson got together was not going to be denied victory lane in the second race of the week at East Bay.  “I was surprised that he (Overton) was there.  There are a lot of tough cars here and especially when I messed up down in that one corner.  I started doing something different and I knew the top was going to go away as the race wore on.  I probably squeezed Brandon off a little bit going into one there.”

“My guys have been doing a great job on the car, but I have been slacking off and it feels good to get back to victory lane with the house car.  It is a relief for me for sure because I was beginning to wonder what I was doing out there.”

Overton in the Wells Motorsports Longhorn came from 19th to finish second on Saturday Night at Golden Isles in the season-opener and tonight again made the most of his opportunities.  “What an awesome racetrack.  I just got there a little too late when it cleaned up a little bit on the bottom.  We had a really good race car again.  Yesterday I just made the wrong adjustments on everything and I kind of figured it out tonight in our heat race. On to tomorrow.  This place is crazy.  We just have to quit burying ourselves early in the night. We kind of have been using up our stuff to get to the front.”

McCreadie the opening night winner at Golden Isles on Saturday made a nice charge to finish third earning his second podium finish in three races.  “You are forced to move out there a lot.  We made some good changes on this Mega Plumbing ride.  We made it way better in the feature.  I did get every restart on the bottom there at the end which helped.  For a lot of years all I ever thought was that winning is all that mattered and everything else wasn’t a lot of fun, so you realize you are going to leave a lot of nights unhappy.  Consistency is not a bad thing, because once you are consistent and you gain speed the wins will come.”

The winner’s Mark Richards Racing Rocket 1 House Car is powered by a Durham Racing Engine and sponsored by Valvoline, Seubert Calf Ranches. Ace Metal Works, Sallack Well Service, Sunoco Race Fuels, Keyser Manufacturing, Integra, Rocket Pre-Owned Motors and Gunters Honey.

Completing the top ten were Mike Marlar, Josh Richards, Jeff Mathews, Devin Moran and Billy Moyer.

Complete results

Moran Takes Night One of LODLMS

 

A Feature – Monday, Feb. 3

Devin Moran (9), Kyle Bronson (40B), Tyler Erb (1T), Jonathan Davemport *49), Chris Garnes (42), Billy Moyer Jr. (21), Tim McCreadie (39), Hudson O’Neal (71), Mike Marlar (157), Brandon Sheppard (1S), Jeff Mathews (33J), Billy Moyer Sr. (21M), Shane Clanton (25), Earl Pearson Jr. (1), Josh Richards (14), Donald McIntosh (7M), Dennis Erb Jr. (28E), Brian Shirley (3S), G.R. Smith (89), Shanon Buckingham (50), Tyler Bruening (16), Stormy Scott (2S), Allen Weisser (25W), Johnny Scott (1ST), Jimmy Owens (20), John Tweed (5T), Coleby Frye (F1), Brandon Overton (76), Mason Ziegler (25Z), Chase Junghans (18J)

COMPLETE RESULTS

Dixon Scores Crate Racin’ USA Victory in Saturday Action

The Friday rainout did nothing to dissuade the efforts of the teams who gathered in the East Bay Raceway Park pits for a Saturday night of racing. A field of 47 Newsom Raceway Parts Crate Racin’ USA Late Models, 28 Top Gun Sprints and 15 V-8 Warriors filled the pit area with racers who had designs on parking in Victory Lane.

The process would be a bit different for the Crate Late Models, who would qualify and run heats. Those who did not qualify for the feature through the heats would attempt a B main.

Fastest of the qualifiers on the night was the next to last driver to trip the timer. Local racer Jeff Mathews put up a blistering 15.428 for the fastest time of the week.

A complete list of preliminary results can be found at crateracinusa.com

As for the feature event, Jeremy Shaw was the man to beat throughout the early stages and Pennsylvania racer Max Blair wanted to put his name into the conversation. The two raced strong in the early going as Devin Dixon made his move to the top groove. On a restart, Dixon wasted no time in getting to the lead. While Shaw and Blair had their own little race developing, Dixon sliced through the field to win the 50-lap main.

After starting in the eighth row on Thursday, Garrett Green found himself closer to the front with a spot outside row five. He moved up when eighth starting Brandon Grubaugh could not present (Grubaugh dropped a valve on the last lap of his heat race). On the first start, the field was called back after a Bryan Eckley spin and Green inherited the sixth starting spot for the successful green flag.

When the race started, Green made immediate moves to second by the fourth turn and then swept to the lead just before the first lap was completed. Caution came out shortly after that for a spin by Billy Bridges and Nebraska racer Tim Fricke, but Green had already established himself as race leader, ahead of Matt Kurtz and AJ Maddox. Kurtz lost second, then slowed to a stop to bring out another caution as drivers from the back of the field started advancing into the top 10.  On each restart, Green was able to pull away from the field and Maddox had to defend to keep second. Justin Webster moved to the top and shot past Maddox for second on lap seven. Green again encountered lapped traffic and managed to put as many as four cars between himself and Webster.

The race went under a red flag when Kyle Connery flipped, causing heavy damage to his car. The remaining five laps would be just as hectic. Shane Butler, who had taken the initial green flag in 18th, had quietly worked into the top five and then bypassed Maddox for third. That would be as far as he could get as he pressured Webster for second in the waning laps. No one could catch the race winner as Green picked up his second East Bay win, his second series win of the year and asserted himself in the top spot in the point standings. The top three drivers in the point standings from the two nights of racing will claim the Speedweeks Mini Series bonus monies from Creative Power Systems.

No one was able to claim the Lee and Jeff Barfield Memorial Clean Sweep, which moves to $900 for the next series event. Webster, Maddox, Eckley and Joe Zuczek were heat race winners.

Michael Hart followed the crew’s advice and kept his #99 tucked in on the bottom line to roll to the V-8 feature win. The race was red flagged for a Gary Lucas flip. Lucas was unhurt, but unable to continue. Defending East Bay track champion George Handy won his heat race with the second preliminary going to Randy Shields.

The 2020 Winternationals moves into week three with the arrival of the Lucas Oil Dirt Late Model Series, which will hold a practice session on Sunday (Feb. 2) and open six nights of racing on Monday, Feb. 3

CRATE RACIN’ USA

Feature: Devin Dixon (313), Jeremy Shaw (38s), Max Blair (111), Travis Varandore (41), Keith Nosbisch (02), Drew Kennedy (K37), Jeff Mathews (33), Bruce Harvey (27), Joseph Joiner (10), Clay Harris (6), Hunter Sweet (15), Freddie Carpenter (17C), Steve Mathis Jr. (95), Cruz Skinner (11S), Nevin Gainey (17G), Pierce McCarter (71), Bo Slay (2), Jim Couch (41c), Jody Knowles (66), Todd Cooney (30), Daniel Woody (29), Walker Arthur (87), Randy Weaver (116), Jake Knowles (66k)

TOP GUN SPRINTS

Feature: Garrett Green (82), Justin Webster (21), Shane Butler (18), Danny Sams III (1*), Hayden Campbell (5), A.J. Maddox (3A), Robbie Smith (6S), Joe Zuczek (50), Luke Hill (41), Andrew Griffin (27), Harley Zimmerman (00), Tim Fricke (43MB), Bruce Durden (17), Freddie McCall (1), Bryan Eckley (12B), Nathan Barouch (13), Larry McVay (83), Johnnie Alexander (113), Scott Baldwin (4), Kyle Connery (91), Cole Nichols (N20), Billy Bridges (11B), Matt Kurtz (20), Brandon Grubaugh (G6)

V-8 WARRIORS

Feature: Michael Hart (99), Wayne Kissam (107), Kalen Maynard (2), Jon Basquin (6B), Mason Love (1M), George Handy (105), Raymond Rogers (10), Randy Shields (30), Gary Lucas (106), Raymond Vann (1), Mark Roadarmel (66), Jeff Weaver (26). DNS – Nick Brown (12), Collin Kruse (92), John Bradley (X)