Sheppard Romps From 21st At East Bay

TAMPA, FL – Brandon Sheppard charged from the 21st starting spot to win Thursday night’s Wrisco Industries 42nd Annual Winternationals – presented by E3 Spark Plugs at East Bay Raceway Park.

Sheppard won the Winternationals opener on Monday night. Tonight, he took the lead from Tyler Erb on lap 22 and then held off Hall-of-Famer Scott Bloomquist for the win. Trailing Sheppard and Bloomquist to the finish line were Devin Moran, Josh Richards, and Tyler Erb.

Jimmy Owens led the first two laps of the 40-lap main event before Kyle Bronson took the top spot. Bronson led one circuit until ninth-place starter Tyler Erb surged by him for the lead of the race. Erb then held the point until Sheppard’s charge from the inside of row 11 was complete, taking the lead which he never relinquished.

“I was very concerned those last nine laps,” said the winner in Lucas Oil Victory Lane. “I was having trouble seeing my signal guys. I didn’t really know how close they were to me. I swear I kept hearing a rattling in my left rear. I don’t what that was about. We worked hard to get up there. It was gritty out there on the surface. We qualified a little better than we have been. We got in that wreck in the heat and then we broke a driveshaft and knocked the rear end out of it before having to come out of the B-Main, it was long night for sure.”

“My team just never quit on me. Thanks to Mark Richards, Steve Baker, everybody at Rocket Chassis, my crew, Dan, Austin, J.T., Brian, and everyone else. Thanks to my dad and grandpa back home. This race is for my grandpa, he had pretty serious neck surgery this morning. Thanks to them for giving me a racing career to begin with. My girlfriend, son, daughter, and everybody who was watching back home.”

Bloomquist started on the pole in his New Direction Ag sponsored car and never led a lap, but heavily pressured Sheppard to the very end. “It was little bit of tire management at the end. We put a little pressure on him. We dived down to the inside a couple of times. I got loose in one of the corners and he was able to get away from me enough. I said to myself you better not push your luck here. The car was good but we have a couple more things to work on. We have done a lot of testing here this week. The points get back going tomorrow night so hopefully we can have a good run. We should be on our game for the next three races.”

Moran in his Tye Twarog-owned, Tommy Pope Construction, Rocket battled from eleventh to take his second podium finish of the week. “This track was really crazy tonight. I really wasn’t expecting to do what it did. But we adapted, and we crept up through there. We struggled a little bit last night, but the start to the week was good. I don’t know what to do but we have got to where we can beat that blue and white number one car.”

Sheppard’s winning Mark Richards Racing entry is powered by a Durham Racing Engine and sponsored by: Valvoline, Seubert Calf Ranches, Gunter’s Honey, Petroff Towing, Ace Metal Works, Sallack Well Service and Sunoco Race Fuels.

Completing the top ten were Brandon Overton, Jimmy Owens, Earl Pearson Jr., Chub Frank, and Bobby Pierce.

Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series
Race Summary
Thursday, February 8, 2018
Wrisco Industries Winternationals – presented by E3 Spark Plugs
East Bay Raceway Park – Tampa, FL

Miller Welders Fast Time Group A: Boom Briggs / 14.547seconds
Miller Welders Fast Time Group B: Kyle Bronson / 14.501seconds

Eibach Springs Heat Race #1 Finish (10 Laps, Top 3 Transfer): Scott Bloomquist, Brandon Overton, Boom Briggs, Hudson O’Neal, Austin Hubbard, Jonathan Davenport, Mason Zeigler, Shanon Buckingham, Matt Cosner

FK Rod Ends Heat Race #2 Finish (10 Laps, Top 3 Transfer): Jimmy Owens, Tyler Erb, Don O’Neal, Greg Oakes, Rance Garlock, Travis Stemler, Brandon Sheppard, Tim Dohm, Blake Spencer-DNS

Simpson Performance Products Heat Race #3 Finish (10 Laps, Top 3 Transfer): Kyle Bronson, Brian Shirley, Darrell Lanigan, Craig Wolford, Mike Benedum, Jonathan Rowan, Brent Larson, Rusty Schlenk, Bob Geiger

QA1 Heat Race #4 Finish (10 Laps, Top 3 Transfer): Kyle Bronson, Brian Shirley, Darrell Lanigan, Craig Wolford, Mike Benedum, Jonathan Rowan, Brent Larson, Rusty Schlenk, Bob Geiger

Wrisco Industries Heat Race #5 Finish (10 Laps, Top 3 Transfer): Billy Moyer, Jr., Jason Jameson, Morgan Bagley, Shane Tankersley, Michael Maresca, Corey Conley, Joey Moriarty, Ryan King, Byron Meeks-DNS
E3 Spark Plugs Heat Race #6 Finish (10 Laps, Top 3 Transfer): Josh Richards, Dennis Erb, Jr., Dustin Mitchell, Jeff Mathews, Chub Frank, Nick Davis, Bob Gardner, Chase Junghans-DNS

Penske Racing Shocks B-Main #1 Finish (12 Laps, Top 2 Transfer): Jonathan Davenport, Brandon Sheppard, Hudson O’Neal, Bobby Pierce, Austin Hubbard, Doug Drown, Greg Oakes, Travis Stemler, Freddie Carpenter, Rance Garlock, Matt Cosner, Coleby Frye, Tim Dohm , Mason Zeigler, Earl Pearson, Jr., Shanon Buckingham, Blake Spencer-DNS, Tim McCreadie-DNS

Fast Shafts B-Main #2 Finish (12 Laps, Top 2 Transfer): Michael Maresca, Chub Frank, Brent Larson, Jeff Mathews, Bob Gardner, Joey Moriarty, Ryan King, Nick Davis, Craig Wolford, Rusty Schlenk, Mike Benedum, Shane Tankersley, Bob Geiger, Corey Conley , Jonathan Rowan-DNS, Byron Meeks-DNS, Chase Junghans-DNS

DirtOnDirt.com Strawberry Dash Finish (8 Laps): Austin Hubbard, Doug Drown, Nick Davis, Brent Larson, Travis Stemler, Craig Wolford, Rusty Schlenk, Ryan King, Matt Cosner, Joey Moriarty, Bob Gardner, Freddie Carpenter, Jeff Mathews

Feature Finish (40 Laps):

FINISH START CAR # DRIVER NAME HOMETOWN EARNINGS
1 21 1s Brandon Sheppard New Berlin, IL $7,000
2 1 0 Scott Bloomquist Mooresburg, TN $3,500
3 11 9 Devin Moran Dresden, OH $2,000
4 6 1R Josh Richards Shinnston, WV $1,500
5 9 91 Tyler Erb New Waverly, TX $1,400
6 7 116 Brandon Overton Evans, GA $1,300
7 3 20 Jimmy Owens Newport, TN $1,200
8 23 1 Earl Pearson, Jr. Jacksonville, FL $1,100
9 22 1* Chub Frank Bear Lake, PA $1,000
10 25 32 Bobby Pierce Oakwood, IL $950
11 2 40B Kyle Bronson Brandon, FL $1,000
12 16 14m Morgan Bagley Gladewater, TX $850
13 14 14 Darrell Lanigan Union, KY $800
14 20 7MM Michael Maresca Hannawa Fallls, NY $750
15 12 28 Dennis Erb, Jr. Carpentersville, IL $725
16 17 C8 Timothy Culp Prattsville, AR $700
17 8 22* Brian Shirley Chatham, IL $700
18 4 21JR Billy Moyer, Jr. Batesville, AR $700
19 5 22 Gregg Satterlee Indiana, PA $650
20 15 5 Don O’Neal Martinsville, IN $625
21 26 11 Austin Hubbard Bridgeville, DE $625
22 19 49 Jonathan Davenport Blairsville, GA $600
23 10 12J Jason Jameson Lawrenceburg, IN $600
24 24 71 Hudson O’Neal Martinsville, IN $600
25 13 99B Boom Briggs Bear Lake, PA $600
26 18 d8 Dustin Mitchell Selma, NC $600

Race Statistics
Entrants: 53
Lap Leaders: Jimmy Owens (Laps 1 – 2); Kyle Bronson (Laps 3 – 4); Tyler Erb (Laps 5 – 21); Brandon Sheppard (Laps 22 – 40)
Cautions: Boom Briggs (Lap 3); Jason Jameson (Lap 3); Jonathan Davenport (Lap 10); Don O’Neal (Lap 15); Billy Moyer Jr. (Lap 23); Debris (Lap 32)
Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series Provisionals: Earl Pearson Jr., Hudson O’Neal
Wrisco Aluminum Fast Time Provisional: Bobby Pierce
Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series Emergency Provisionals: N/A
Wrisco Feature Winner: Brandon Sheppard
Optima Batteries Hard Charger of the Race: Brandon Sheppard (Started: 21st; Finished: 1st; Advanced 20 Positions)
Midwest Sheet Metal Spoiler Challenge Point Leader: Josh Richards
Allstar Performance Power Move of the Race: Chub Frank
Sunoco Race for Gas Highest Finisher: Brandon Sheppard
Hot Rod Processing Rookie of the Race: N/A
COMP Cams Engine Builder of the Race: Durham Racing Engines
Ohlins Shocks Chassis Builder of the Race: Rocket Chassis
Outerwears Crew Chief of the Race: Danny White (Brandon Sheppard)
Fastest Lap of the Race: Earl Pearson Jr. (Lap #37 – 15.8905 seconds)
Most Laps Led: Brandon Sheppard (19 Laps)
Dirty Girl Racewear Farthest Traveler: Joey Moriarty
PFC Brakes Pole Award: Scott Bloomquist
Time of Race: 35 minutes 17 seconds