ORRVILLE, OH – During the World of Outlaws Craftsman® Late Model Series fifth appearance at Wayne County Speedway, Brandon Sheppard collected his fifth Series win of the 2018 season. The Rocket1 Racing driver also became the first-ever repeat winner of the event.
Sheppard had a stand-out night at the 3/8-mile in Orrville, Ohio collecting the PFC Brakes Fast Time Award, his heat win and ultimately the $10,000-to-win Sears Craftsman Feature. Furthermore, Sheppard and his team proved to be on the rebound of some early season woes by collecting two wins and a second-place finish of the last three World of Outlaws races.
“We are happy to be back on track,” said Sheppard in Victory Lane. “We’ve been messing around with the car a little bit. We had that motor break on us and had some back luck there at Cherokee [Speedway]. We just kind of got our heads down a little bit. We all had a little talk this week and we got our confidence back and got everyone’s heads on where they need to be. Everything is clicking now and hopefully we can continue this consistency throughout the year.”
The 50-lap feature saw three different race leaders including Dave Hess, Doug Drown and Sheppard.
Hess popped to the lead early using full advantage of his luck in the redraw which placed him outside the pole. Hess led the first 20 laps until being overthrown by a hard-charging Drown. A few laps later, Hess stopped in turn four with smoke coming out of his hot rod forcing him to retire for the evening.
On lap 25 Sheppard claimed the lead from Drown never to look back. Only seven laps later, Drown climbed the wall in turn two sending him to the pits to get a new tire sending out a caution on lap 32. At the time, Sheppard had created a four-second lead over the field in just seven laps time. Despite one additional late race caution on lap 43, Sheppard was never seriously challenged for the lead.
Behind the blue No.1 was a tight battle for the remaining spots in the top five including a battle for second between Chub Frank and Mike Marlar and a battle for fourth between Chris Madden and Devin Moran.
Marlar held off the veteran driver Bear Lake, PA to finish second in the feature.
“We’re having a good time and we had a lot of fun racing tonight,” said Marlar. “That track got really racy during that feature, like seriously racy. It was fun. We had a good weekend and we’re all locked up in that points thing.”
Marlar claimed the win on Friday evening at Ransomville Speedway ultimately tightening the points race to just 16 behind point leader Madden. After Marlar’s second-place finish at Wayne County, there are now just two points between the pair.
“We try to have consistently good finishes and then race for wins every night,” added Marlar. “I have found myself backing off in bad situations just because we’re points racing. It’s not consuming us but we’re conscious of it.”
Sheppard’s consistent finishes the past three evenings at Stateline Speedway, Ransomville Speedway and Wayne County Speedway slingshot him back into a close contingent of overthrowing the point standing as he closed a 70-point deficit to just 32 points.
Series veteran Chub Frank rounded out the podium at Wayne County Speedway. After retiring from full-time World of Outlaws competition, it was a pleasure having Chub back on tour with the Series for the past three events.
“We weren’t very good back at home at Stateline Speedway so we just came up with something I wanted to try different,” said Chub. “Last night it was pretty good and we stuck with it tonight. It needs a little tweaking and we were a little soft on tires compared to Brandon [Sheppard]. I didn’t know what lap we were on so I probably saved my tires a little too much. I know we couldn’t do anything with Brandon but maybe Mike and I could of have a little better of a race.”
The World of Outlaws Craftsman Late Model Series returns to action on June 21-22-23 for the 12th annual Firecracker 100. With three times the racing and three times the party, you won’t want to miss this barnburner $30,000-to-win shootout. Purchase your tickets prior to June 17 at 11:59 PM ET and receive $5 in savings per ticket in part of our Father’s Day Flash Sale.
Abbreviated Results from Wayne County Speedway
Sears Craftsman Feature (50 Laps): 1. 1-Brandon Sheppard [$10,000]; 2. 157-Mike Marlar [$5,000]; 3. 1x-Chub Frank [$3,000]; 4. 44-Chris Madden [$2,500]; 5. 9-Devin Moran [$2,000]; 6. B1-Brent Larson [$1,700]; 7. 22-Chris Ferguson [$1,400]; 8. 14m-Morgan Bagley [$1,300]; 9. 54-David Breazeale [$1,200]; 10. 91-Tyler Erb [$1,100]; 11. 5m-Ryan Markham [$1,050]; 12. 7-Rick Eckert [$1,000]; 13. 25-Shane Clanton [$950]; 14. 12-Doug Drown [$900]; 15. 18c-Chase Junghans [$850]; 16. 14c-Corey Conley [$800]; 17. 14-J.R. Gentry [$770]; 18. 11x-Kyle Moore [$750]; 19. 44h-Dave Hess [$730]; 20. 19-Cody Scott [$700]; 21. 6-Ryan Fenech [$700]; 22. 111-Matt Lux [$700]; 23. 36-Craig Wolford [$700]; 24. 79-Brad Malcuit [$700]
Hard Charger Award: B1-Brent Larson[+11]
Qualifying: 1. 1-Brandon Sheppard, 16.67; 2. 91-Tyler Erb, 16.764; 3. 54-David Breazeale, 16.836; 4. 157-Mike Marlar, 16.856; 5. 7-Rick Eckert, 16.991; 6. 18c-Chase Junghans, 17.059; 7. 1x-Chub Frank, 17.126; 8. 9-Devin Moran, 17.133; 9. 44-Chris Madden, 17.141; 10. 14-J.R. Gentry, 17.221; 11. 44h-Dave Hess, 17.225; 12. 79-Brad Malcuit, 17.248; 13. 11x-Kyle Moore, 17.323; 14. 12-Doug Drown, 17.357; 15. 14c-Corey Conley, 17.503; 16. 111-Matt Lux, 17.508; 17. B1-Brent Larson, 17.548; 18. 25-Shane Clanton, 17.557; 19. 14m-Morgan Bagley, 17.593; 20. 5m-Ryan Markham, 17.639; 21. 19-Cody Scott, 17.648; 22. 6-Ryan Fenech, 17.671; 23. 36-Craig Wolford, 17.699; 24. 22-Chris Ferguson, 17.704; 25. 17E-Lance Elson, 17.882; 26. 72-Jim Nicely, 18.083; 27. 2-Rick Mardis, 18.207; 28. 185-DJ Miller, 18.244; 29. 240-Charlie Duncan, 18.32; 30. 1m-Ben Mott, 18.352; DQ. 24-Jerry Aber, 17.891