Sheppard Gets Second Straight Lucas Oil Victory at East Bay

TAMPA, FL – Brandon Sheppard escaped with a win on Thursday Night at East Bay Raceway Park as the 29-year-old Illinois driver nearly gave away a sure-fire victory when he got into the fourth turn wall heading to the white-flag. Sheppard recovered quickly enough to hold off Earl Pearson Jr. and Kyle Bronson who were bearing down on him. It was Sheppard’s second-straight win in the Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series-sanctioned Wrisco Industries Winternationals Presented by Lucas Oil at “The Clay by the Bay.”
Pearson recorded his best series finish of the campaign. Bronson charged from his 16th starting spot for the second night in a row as he came home in third after finishing in fourth on Wednesday Night. Pearson was 0.516 seconds behind the winner and Bronson was just 0.641 seconds behind Sheppard at the finish line in a close ending.
Devin Moran crossed the line in fourth followed by Hudson O’Neal, who wound up fifth after starting 17th.
Brandon Overton took the lead at the start of the 40-lap main event, and it looked like it was going to be his night again at East Bay as he and Pearson ran 1-2 for the first 20 laps of the race. Just past the halfway mark the complexion of the race changed for Overton as he saw Brian Shirley get by both him and Pearson to take over the lead on lap 21. One lap later Sheppard took over the point as Overton started to fade.
A caution with two laps to go set up a green-white-checker finish which proved to be almost detrimental to Sheppard after the hitting the wall in turn four he stayed against the concrete for most of the front stretch, but he able to right the ship just in time.
In Lucas Oil Victory Lane for the 24th time in his career Sheppard felt relieved that the race was over. “I thought I gave that one away that was a crazy race for sure,” said Sheppard, who started eighth in the race. “I got rolling pretty good on the top there early in the race. As long as I was passing guys I was going to stay up there. I got the lead and my crew told me I was good to just stay up there so I just kept going.”
“I am just super thankful. We have had a really fast car all of Speedweeks, it’s finally starting to come together for us. I want to thank all of the fans. Hopefully, we put on a good show for them. We had a fast car there and we almost gave it away. But we ended up getting it done so that’s awesome and I am super-proud of my team. Hopefully, we can do it again tomorrow night.”
Pearson driving the Jason Papich – owned team was not close enough to Sheppard when the leader bounced off the wall on the final lap coming up just short of his first series win since 2020. “I just run around the bottom. That’s where I usually like to race. I knew he (Sheppard) would be tough on the top there. He made a little of a mistake there which he usually doesn’t do. After that he didn’t make any more mistakes on that last lap. We got close to him. There is no doubt he’s tough here. He has won a lot of races here.”
Bronson put on a show again for home-track fans taking third. “I didn’t get a good-enough restart there at the end. It was a driver mistake there. I just didn’t fire off like I should have. When he (Sheppard) made the mistake, I wasn’t there to pounce on it. That’s the way it goes we will just take it a learn from it. We will work on the car some more tomorrow and hopefully we will be a couple more spots better. I overheated the right rear tire there. I was married to the top. I grew up here, this is where I cut my teeth at racing street stocks.”
The winner’s Mark Richards Racing Rocket Chassis House Care is powered by a Durham Racing Engine is sponsored by Valvoline, Seubert Calf Ranches, Ace Metal Works, Gunter’s Honey, Petroff Towing, Keyser Manufacturing, Sallack Well Services, Integra Racing Shocks, and Rocket Pre-Owned Motors.
Completing the top ten were Max Blair, Tyler Erb, Daulton Wilson, Ashton Winger, and Brian Shirley.
Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series
Race Summary
Wrisco Industries Winternationals Presented by Lucas Oil
Thursday, February 10th, 2022
East Bay Raceway Park – Tampa, FL
Allstar Performance Time Trials
Fast Time Group A: Garrett Smith / 14.429 seconds
Fast Time Group B: Brandon Overton / 14.394 seconds (overall)
Penske Race Shocks Heat Race #1 Finish (8 Laps, Top 3 Transfer): 1. 10-Garrett Smith[1]; 2. 111V-Max Blair[2]; 3. 11-Spencer Hughes[3]; 4. 20-Jimmy Owens[6]; 5. 76B-Blair Nothdurft[5]; 6. 4G-Bob Gardner[9]; 7. 27M-Michael Lake[11]; 8. 130-Chase Osterhoff[12]; 9. 7T-Drake Troutman[8]; 10. 31-Ken Monahan[13]; 11. 94-Jason Miller[7]; 12. 0H-Dale Hollidge[4]; 13. 0J-Jake O’Neil[10]
Summit Racing Equipment Heat Race #2 Finish (8 Laps, Top 3 Transfer): 1. 46-Earl Pearson Jr[1]; 2. 9-Devin Moran[4]; 3. 18D-Daulton Wilson[3]; 4. 44B-Colten Burdette[2]; 5. 7-Ross Robinson[6]; 6. 58W-Mark Whitener[5]; 7. 0K-Freddie Carpenter[11]; 8. 18J-Chase Junghans[7]; 9. 1G-Ryan King[8]; 10. 0G-Deshawn Gingerich[10]; 11. 151-Kyle Lear[12]; 12. 16H-Clinton Hersh[9]; 13. 5*-Bryant Dickinson[13]
Simpson Race Products Heat Race #3 Finish (8 Laps, Top 3 Transfer): 1. 3S-Brian Shirley[1]; 2. 28E-Dennis Erb Jr[2]; 3. 71-Hudson O’Neal[4]; 4. 58-Garrett Alberson[3]; 5. 48-Colton Flinner[5]; 6. 93-Mason Oberkramer[6]; 7. 20B-Todd Brennan[7]; 8. 22R-Will Roland[10]; 9. 6T-Tim Dohm[9]; 10. 17SS-Brenden Smith[12]; 11. 6B-Adam Boyd[11]; 12. 71M-Pierce McCarter[8]
Ohlins Shocks Heat Race #4 Finish (8 Laps, Top 3 Transfer): 1. 76-Brandon Overton[1]; 2. 1S-Brandon Sheppard[2]; 3. 25-Shane Clanton[3]; 4. 99B-Boom Briggs[5]; 5. 6S-Blake Spencer[4]; 6. 11R-Josh Rice[7]; 7. 66C-Matt Cosner[8]; 8. 2X-John Henderson[10]; 9. 4-Kody Evans[9]; 10. 26JR-Jimmy Sharpe Jr[11]; 11. 16N-Brian Nuttall Jr[6]; 12. 3B-Billy Boyd Sr[13]; 13. J8-Jadon Frame[12]
eBay Motors Heat Race #5 Finish (8 Laps, Top 3 Transfer): 1. 89-Ashton Winger[1]; 2. 16-Tyler Bruening[2]; 3. 40B-Kyle Bronson[4]; 4. 97-Cody Overton[3]; 5. 1ST-Johnny Scott[6]; 6. 81-Jason Riggs[7]; 7. 99-Kyle Hardy[5]; 8. 2S-Stormy Scott[8]; 9. 503-Jason Miles[9]; 10. 11AC-Trevor Collins[10]; 11. 119-Chad McClellan[11]; 12. 27-Joe Denby[12]
Super Clean Heat Race #6 Finish (8 Laps, Top 3 Transfer): 1. 39-Tim McCreadie[1]; 2. 81E-Tanner English[2]; 3. 20RT-Ricky Thornton Jr[5]; 4. 212-Josh Putnam[3]; 5. 99JR-Frank Heckenast Jr[8]; 6. 33-Jeff Mathews[4]; 7. 1T-Tyler Erb[9]; 8. 2D-Dan Stone[6]; 9. 19M-Jason Hiett[7]; 10. 1Z-Logan Zarin[10]; 11. KB0-Kerry King[11]; 12. 354-Chris Nash[12]
Fast Shafts B-Main #1 Finish (10 Laps, Top 2 Transfer): 1. 44B-Colten Burdette[2]; 2. 7-Ross Robinson[4]; 3. 18J-Chase Junghans[10]; 4. 76B-Blair Nothdurft[1]; 5. 4G-Bob Gardner[3]; 6. 58W-Mark Whitener[6]; 7. 0K-Freddie Carpenter[8]; 8. 0J-Jake O’Neil[17]; 9. 27M-Michael Lake[5]; 10. 1G-Ryan King[12]; 11. 130-Chase Osterhoff[7]; 12. 151-Kyle Lear[16]; 13. 31-Ken Monahan[11]; 14. 5*-Bryant Dickinson[19]; 15. 0G-Deshawn Gingerich[14]; 16. (DNS) 7T-Drake Troutman; 17. (DNS) 94-Jason Miller; 18. (DNS) 0H-Dale Hollidge; 19. (DNS) 16H-Clinton Hersh
UNOH B-Main #2 Finish (10 Laps, Top 2 Transfer): 1. 58-Garrett Alberson[1]; 2. 99B-Boom Briggs[2]; 3. 48-Colton Flinner[3]; 4. 20B-Todd Brennan[7]; 5. 66C-Matt Cosner[8]; 6. 4-Kody Evans[12]; 7. 6T-Tim Dohm[11]; 8. 22R-Will Roland[9]; 9. 26JR-Jimmy Sharpe Jr[14]; 10. 16N-Brian Nuttall Jr[16]; 11. 17SS-Brenden Smith[13]; 12. J8-Jadon Frame[19]; 13. 6B-Adam Boyd[15]; 14. 93-Mason Oberkramer[5]; 15. 71M-Pierce McCarter[17]; 16. 2X-John Henderson[10]; 17. 11R-Josh Rice[6]; 18. 6S-Blake Spencer[4]; 19. (DNS) 3B-Billy Boyd Sr
DirtonDirt.com B-Main #3 Finish (10 Laps, Top 2 Transfer): 1. 1ST-Johnny Scott[3]; 2. 212-Josh Putnam[2]; 3. 97-Cody Overton[1]; 4. 81-Jason Riggs[5]; 5. 33-Jeff Mathews[6]; 6. 99-Kyle Hardy[7]; 7. 99JR-Frank Heckenast Jr[4]; 8. 119-Chad McClellan[15]; 9. 11AC-Trevor Collins[13]; 10. 19M-Jason Hiett[12]; 11. 503-Jason Miles[11]; 12. KB0-Kerry King[16]; 13. 1Z-Logan Zarin[14]; 14. 27-Joe Denby[17]; 15. 1T-Tyler Erb[8]; 16. 2D-Dan Stone[10]; 17. 354-Chris Nash[18]; 18. (DNS) 2S-Stormy Scott
Lucas Oil Feature Finish (40 Laps):
Race Statistics
Entrants: 75
Lap Leaders: Brandon Overton (Laps 1 – 20); Brian Shirley (Lap 21); Brandon Sheppard (Laps 22 – 40)
Wrisco Feature Winner: Brandon Sheppard
Arizona Sport Shirts Crown Jewel Cup Feature Winner: n/a
Brandon Ford TV Challenge Feature Winner: Brandon Sheppard
Margin of Victory: 0.516 seconds
Stop-Tech Cautions: Ricky Thornton Jr (Lap 3); Ross Robinson (Lap 20); Spencer Hughes (Lap 23); Jimmy Owens (Lap 38)
Series Provisionals: Tyler Erb, Stormy Scott
Fast Time Provisional: n/a
Series Emergency Provisionals: n/a
Track Provisionals: n/a
Big River Steel Podium Top 3: Brandon Sheppard, Earl Pearson Jr, Kyle Bronson
Penske Shocks Top 5: Brandon Sheppard, Earl Pearson Jr, Kyle Bronson, Devin Moran, Hudson O’Neal
Optima Batteries Hard Charger of the Race: Tyler Erb (Advanced 18 Positions)
Midwest Sheet Metal Spoiler Challenge Point Leader: Devin Moran
Hot Rod Processing Most Laps Led: Brandon Overton (20 Laps)
Sunoco Race for Gas Highest Finisher: Brandon Sheppard
O’Reilly Auto Parts Rookie of the Race: n/a
Dirty Girl Racewear Fastest Lap of the Race: Brandon Overton (Lap 3 – 16.387 seconds)
DirtonDirt.com Tough Break of the Race: Spencer Hughes
Outerwears Crew Chief of the Race: Danny White (Brandon Sheppard)
ARP Engine Builder of the Race: Durham Racing Engines
Miller Welders Chassis Builder of the Race: Rocket Chassis
Dirt Draft Fastest in Hot Laps: Brandon Overton (14.498 seconds)
Time of Race: 27 minutes 15 seconds