Fast-Rising Teenage Star Sweeps Program In Front Of Home-State Fans
BELLEVILLE, IL – Sept. 14, 2012 – Brandon Sheppard earned his first-ever World of Outlaws Late Model Series A-Main victory with a picture-perfect performance on Friday night at Belle-Clair Speedway.
Racing in front of his home-state fans, the fast-rising 19-year-old star from New Berlin, Ill., emerged triumphant in the ‘Photobilly 50’ to complete a sweep of the national tour’s inaugural program at the one-fifth-mile fairgrounds bullring.
Sheppard established a new track record in time trials, led every lap of his heat race and paced the evening’s headliner from start-to-finish behind the wheel of Mark Richards’s high-profile Rocket Chassis house car. He even ‘won’ hot laps, turning the quickest circuit of the program’s practice session to signal his ultimate supremacy.
“This is just an amazing feeling,” said Sheppard, who pocketed $12,550 for the biggest win of his young career. “It’s a huge confidence booster for me to get my first (World of Outlaws) win off my back. We had a close one a couple weeks ago (on Aug. 18 at Merritt Raceway in Lake City, Mich.) when Josh (Richards) won and we ran second, so it feels really good to know that I can do it.”
Sheppard, who started from outside of the front row, outgunned polesitter Brian Shirley of Chatham, Ill., for the lead at the initial green flag and never looked back. But he had to survive five caution flags and a late-race threat from dirt Late Model legend Billy Moyer of Batesville, Ark., to preserve the victory.
Moyer, who turns 55 next month, moved his Victory Circle machine into the runner-up spot on lap 25 when Shannon Babb of Moweaqua, Ill., was penalized two positions, to fourth place, by WoO LMS officials for firing early on a restart. The three-time WoO LMS champion fought off a brief challenge from Babb following a lap-39 caution period and drew close to Sheppard on the final lap but settled for a second-place finish, 0.675 of a second behind the winner.
Babb, 38, faded after crunching the right-rear corner of his Victory Circle car against the outside wall on lap 42, leaving him over three seconds behind Moyer in third place at the checkered flag. He started the race on a roll – advancing from the sixth starting spot to second in just 11 laps – but never seriously challenged Sheppard before absorbing his mid-race penalty.
WoO LMS points leader Darrell Lanigan of Union, Ky., finished fourth in his Rocket mount, breaking into the top five late in the distance after starting 14 th. Kyle Logue of Cisco, Ill., registered a career-best WoO LMS finish of fifth in his Pierce car after overtaking Clint Smith of Senoia, Ga., on the last circuit.
Sheppard credited his success to his previous experience at the tricky Belle-Clair oval – specifically, his run to a third-place finish with the Rocket No. 1 in the track’s DIRTcar Summer Nationals event on June 25.
“I think a big advantage for us over these Outlaw guys was that we were able to come here for the Summer Nationals,” said Sheppard, noting that none of the WoO LMS regulars had ever raced a dirt Late Model at Belle-Clair before Friday night’s show. “We got a little bit of an idea (of how to set the car up). Especially for feature time, we had a pretty good idea of where we needed to be at.”
Sheppard ended up with a virtually flawless car that he was able to expertly steer around the track’s cushion. But he did have some anxious moments in the final laps when he found himself stuck in heavy lapped traffic, which allowed Moyer to close in.
“I knew there weren’t no slouches behind me,” said Sheppard, “so I knew every lap the lapped cars were holding me up, that was time I was losing. I was just thankful to see the white flag come out because I could hear (Moyer) getting on me.”
Sheppard became the 47th driver to win a WoO LMS A-Main since 2004. He’s the tour’s fourth first-time winner this season and the third-youngest driver in history to win on the circuit, behind Josh Richards (17 years old when he won his first race in 2005) and Austin Hubbard (age 18 in ’10).
In addition, Sheppard is the third driver to put Mark Richards’s blue dirt Late Model in Victory Lane on the WoO LMS, joining Bart Hartman and Richards’s son Josh. Sheppard was tapped in May to replace Josh in the seat of the championship-winning No. 1 after the younger Richards decided to leave the World of Outlaws trail to pursue a NASCAR career on the Nationwide Series.
With Sheppard’s triumph, the elder Richards had reason to feel good about his driver choice.
“Brandon’s a great kid,” said Mark Richards. “We couldn’t ask for a better guy to be in here driving for Josh while Josh is off doing what he wants to do with the Nationwide deal.
“We came out and ran the Summer Nationals with Brandon and came here for a race. We got to learn Brandon a little bit and he got to learn us a little bit, and it paid off tonight.”
Sheppard broke through for his first WoO LMS win in his 16th career A-Main start. He has started 11 A-Mains this season, including his last five in the Rocket Chassis house car.
Clint Smith was the race’s sixth-place finisher after climbing as high as fourth from the 12th starting spot. Tim Fuller of Watertown, N.Y., placed seventh; Tim McCreadie of Watertown, N.Y., was eighth after using a provisional to start 24th; Shane Clanton of Fayetteville, Ga., salvaged a ninth-place finish after a turn-three tangle with Shirley on lap 10 – as they were battling for third – forced him to the rear of the field; and defending WoO LMS champion Rick Eckert of York, Pa., was 10th after relying on a provisional to start 23rd because a broken driveshaft knocked him from the lead in his heat race.
A banner field of 52 dirt Late Models were signed in for the ‘Photobilly 50,’ which was run in memory of late Belle-Clair Speedway photographer Charlie Haffer Jr. (aka ‘Photobilly’), who lost his life on Aug. 7 at the age of 44 in a tragic Iowa highway accident while traveling to a race.
Sheppard’s lap of 11.195 seconds in Ohlins Shocks Time Trials topped the previous track record held by Rodney Melvin of Logan, Ill. It was Sheppard’s first-ever fast-time honor on the WoO LMS.
Heat winners were Sheppard, Brent Kreke of O’Fallon, Ill., Clanton, Shirley, Babb and Moyer. The B-Mains were captured by Billy Moyer Jr. of Batesville, Ark., and Matt Taylor of Springfield, Ill.
The WoO LMS will complete its St. Louis-area doubleheader on Saturday night (Sept. 15) with the running of the 55-lap Pepsi Nationals at Federated Auto Parts Raceway at I-55 in Pevely, Mo.
For more information on the WoO LMS, visit www.worldofoutlaws.com.
Results of WoO Late Model Series ‘Photobilly 50’ at Belle-Clair Speedway (Finishing Position/Start/Driver/Laps Completed/Money Won):
1. (2) Brandon Sheppard/50 $12,550
2. (3) Billy Moyer/50 $5,150
3. (6) Shannon Babb/50 $3,050
4. (14) Darrell Lanigan/50 $3,150
5. (7) Kyle Logue/50 $2,000
6. (12) Clint Smith/50 $2,250
7. (9) Tim Fuller/50 $1,950
8. (24) Tim McCreadie/50 $1,950
9. (5) Shane Clanton/50 $1,750
10. (23) Rick Eckert/50 $1,750
11. (11) Bub McCool/50 $1,900
12. (20) Matt Taylor/50 $1,000
13. (19) Billy Moyer Jr./50 $1,100
14. (15) Ryan Unzicker/50 $1,550
15. (18) Chub Frank/50 $1,550
16. (25) Vic Coffey/50 $550
17. (10) Dennis Erb Jr./50 $1,000
18. (8) Bobby Pierce/50 $1,050
19. (13) Brian Diveley/49 $1,000
20. (21) Mike Spatola/49 $1,000
21. (17) Mark Voigt/38 $1,000
22. (16) Ryan Little/38 $1,000
23. (1) Brian Shirley/24 $1,000
24. (22) Ed Dixon/24 $1,025
25. (4) Brent Kreke/9 $1,000
* Earnings include Winners Circle program and cash contingency award bonuses
Time of Race: 33 Mins., 43.538 Secs.
Margin of Victory: 0.675 Secs.
Yellow Flags: 5 (Laps 10, 10, 25, 25, 39)
Lap Leaders: Sheppard (1-50)
Provisional Starters: Eckert, McCreadie (WoO points); Coffey (WoO emergency)
Rookie of the Race: McCool ($250)
WoO LMS ‘Bonus Bucks’ Winner: Sheppard ($500)
‘Gut It Out Award’: Unzicker ($500)
Ohlins Shocks Time Trial Results (Position/No./Driver/Hometown/Best Lap):
1. 1-Brandon Sheppard/New Berlin, IL 11.195 (NTR)
2. 32P-Bobby Pierce/Oakwood, IL 11.374
3. 24U-Ryan Unzicker/El Paso, IL 11.472
4. 25F-Jason Feger/Bloomington, IL 11.483
5. 18-Shannon Babb/Moweaqua, IL 11.566
6. 21-Billy Moyer/Batesville, AR 11.576
7. 24-Rick Eckert/York, PA 11.578
8. 13-Brent Kreke/O’Fallon, IL 11.674
9. 25-Shane Clanton/Fayetteville, GA 11.703
10. 3s-Brian Shirley/Chatham, IL 11.704
11. 30-Mark Voigt/Marine, IL 11.726
12. 53-Nick Lyons/Centralia, IL 11.737
13. 21K-Kyle Logue/Cisco, IL 11.739
14. 89-Mike Spatola/Manhattan, IL 11.744
15. 21Jr-Billy Moyer Jr./Batesville, AR 11.746
16. 32c-Vic Coffety/Caledonia, NY 11.753
17. 50-Ed Dixon/Washington, MO 11.771
18. 1*-Chub Frank/Bear Lake, PA 11.783
19. 6K-Michael Kloos/Trenton, IL 11.816
20. 1s-Jack Sullivan/Greenbrier, AR 11.827
21. 27-Rodney Melvin/Logan, IL 11.842
22. 28e-Dennis Erb Jr./Carpentersville, IL 11.843
23. 57J-Bub McCool/Vicksburg, MS 11.848
24. 7R-Kent Robinson/Bloomington, IL 11.866
25. 39-Tim McCreadie/Watertown, NY 11.867
26. 29-Darrell Lanigan/Union, KY 11.869
27. 19-Tim Fuller/Watertown, NY 11.874
28. 38L-Ryan Little/Pleasant Plains, IL 11.883
29. 24T-Matt Taylor/Springfield, IL 11.893
30. 44-Clint Smith/Senoia, GA 11.916
31. 11d-Brian Diveley/Springfield, IL 11.938
32. 16-Rusty Griffaw/Festus, MO 11.944
33. 45-C.J. Simpson/O’Fallon, IL 12.042
34. 55-Duane Treadwell/LaGrange, GA 12.077
35. 28b-John Beck/Springfield, IL 12.078
36. 27M-Mike Schulte/Summerfield, IL 12.130
37. 84F-Corey Ford/Belleville, IL 12.191
38. 11-Pat Doar/New Richmond, WI 12.203
39. 10-Daryn Klein/Collinsville, IL 12.205
40. T4-Adam Tischhauser/Greenville, IL 12.242
41. 66-Jim Gibson/O’Fallon, IL 12.257
42. 28x-Rodney Standerfer/Germantown, IL 12.334
43. 16H-Mike Hammerle/St. Charles, MO 12.378
44. 2M-Scott Mueller/Hendersonville, TN 12.449
45. 12T-David Thornton/Trenton, IL 12.462
46. 9d7-Brian Heizer/Mascoutah, IL 12.470
47. 22-Jill George/Cedar Falls, IA 12.645
48. 7z-Matt Zimmerly/Desoto, MO 12.673
49. 8G-Bob Geaschel/Caseyville, IL 12.834
50. 32-Vince Grondzki/Belleville, IL 12.939
51. 4-Brian Dawson/Mascoutah, IL 13.221
52. 33-Wendell Wallace/Batesville, AR 12.030 (DQ)
Heat No. 1 (10 laps – Top 3 Transfer): Sheppard, Logue, Diveley, McCreadie, Hammerle, Ford, Geaschel, Kloos, Eckert
Heat No. 2 (10 laps – Top 3 Transfer): Kreke, Pierce, Lanigan, Spatola, Griffaw, Sullivan, Doar, Grondzki, Mueller
Heat No. 3 (10 laps – Top 3 Transfer): Clanton, Fuller, Unzicker, Klein, Moyer Jr., Simpson, Thornton, Dawson, Melvin
Heat No. 4 (10 laps – Top 3 Transfer): Shirley, Erb, Little, Wallace, Treadwell, Tischhauser, Feger, Coffey, Heizer
Heat No. 5 (10 laps – Top 3 Transfer): Babb, McCool, Voigt, Dixon, Taylor, Beck, George, Gibson
Heat No. 6 (10 laps – Top 3 Transfer): Moyer, C. Smith, Frank, Standerfer, K. Robinson, Zimmerly, Schulte, Lyons
B-Main No. 1 (12 laps – Top 2 Transfer): Moyer Jr., Spatola, McCreadie, Hammerle, Griffaw, Klein, Sullivan, Kloos, Ford, Thornton, Geaschel, Simpson, Mueller, Dawson, Doar, Eckert (DNS) Grondzki, Melvin
B-Main No. 2 (12 laps – Top 2 Transfer): Taylor, Wallace, Dixon, Feger, Schulte, Coffey, Zimmerly, George, Tischhauser, Beck, Heizder, Gibson, Standerfer, Robinson, Treadwell (DNS) Lyons
World of Outlaws Late Model Series Contingency Award Winners:
Arizona Sport Shirts ($100 product certificate to 23rd-place finisher in A-Main or next highest w/decal): Tim McCreadie
Armor All (one case of product to highest-finishing non-WoO team in A-Main or next highest w/decal): Billy Moyer
Cometic Gasket ($50 cash to 12th-place finisher in A-Main or next highest w/decal): Billy Moyer Jr.
Comp Cams ($50 cash to 10th-place finisher in A-Main or next highest w/decal): Bub McCool
Comp Cams ($50 product certificate to A-Main winner or next highest w/decal): Brandon Sheppard
Dominator ($50 cash to 6th-place finisher in A-Main or next highest w/decal): Tim McCreadie
Eibach Springs (one free spring to each B-Main winner or next highest w/decal): Mike Spatola/Wendell Wallace
Gravely ($50 cash to 7th-place finisher in A-Main or next highest w/decal): Bub McCool
JE Pistons ($50 cash to 16th-place finisher in A-Main or next highest w/decal): Vic Coffey
JE Pistons (one compete set of JE Pro Seal rings to 11th-place finisher or next highest w/decal – $285 value): Bub McCool
JE Pistons (one complete set of JE Pro Seal rings to 21st-place finisher or next highest w/decal – $285 value): Mark Voigt
Klotz Synthetic Lubricants ($50 cash to 17th-place finisher or next highest finisher): Bobby Pierce
MSD Ignition ($50 cash to A-Main winner or next highest w/decal): Brandon Sheppard
MSD Ignition ($25 cash to 24th-place finisher in A-Main or next highest w/decal): Ed Dixon
Ohlins Pole Award ($50 cash to fast qualifier or next highest w/decal): Shannon Babb
Quartermaster ($100 product certificate to A-Main winner or next highest w/decal): Clint Smith
Quartermaster ($50 product certificate to 5th-place finisher in A-Main or next highest w/decal): Tim Fuller
Quartermaster ($25 product certificate to 15th-place finisher in A-Main or next highest w/decal): Chub Frank
Roush-Yates Performance Products ($50 cash to 4th-place finisher in A-Main or next highest w/decal): Chub Frank
Roush-Yates Performance Products (carburetor repair kit to 18th-place finish in A-Main or next highest w/decal – $100 value): none
Roush-Yates Lap Leader Award (one pair of Wiley X Sunglasses to driver who leads most laps in A-Main): Brandon Sheppard
STP ($50 cash to 2nd-place finisher in A-Main or next highest w/decal): Billy Moyer
SuperFlow ($50 cash to 14th-place finisher in A-Main or next highest w/decal): Ryan Unzicker
VP Racing Fuels ($50 cash to 9th-place finisher in A-Main or next highest w/decal): Shane Clanton
VP Racing Fuels ‘Nice Jugs Award’ (one VP 5-gallon container to fastest qualifier who misses A-Main or next highest with decal – $30 value): Nick Lyons
WIX Filters ($50 cash to 13th-place finisher in A-Main or next highest w/decal): Billy Moyer Jr.
Wrisco Aluminum (three sheets of aluminum to A-Main winner if decal displayed – $200 value): Brandon Sheppard
XS Power ($50 cash to 3rd-place finisher in A-Main or next highest w/decal): Bub McCool
XS Power ($60 product certificate to 8th-place finisher in A-Main or next highest w/decal): Bub McCool
XS ‘Power Move of the Race’ ($60 product certificate): Tim McCreadie
2012 World of Outlaws Late Model Series Point Standings as of Sept. 14 – 34 A-Mains completed (rank/driver/points/deficit to leader):
1. Darrell Lanigan 4764
2. Rick Eckert 4580 (-184)
3. Shane Clanton 4384 (-380)
4. Tim McCreadie 4382 (-382)
5. Chub Frank 4314 (-450)
6. Bub McCool 4238 (-526)
7. Clint Smith 4230 (-534)
8. Vic Coffey 4116 (-648)
9. Tim Fuller 4008 (-756)
10. Pat Doar 3898 (-866)
11. Kent Robinson 3836 (-928)
12. Jack Sullivan 3350 (-1414)
13. John Lobb 2422 (-2342)
14. Jill George 2270 (-2494)
15. Mike Marlar 1966 (-2798)
The World of Outlaws Late Model Series is brought to fans across the country by many important sponsors and partners, including Arizona Sport Shirts (Official Apparel Company), Armor All (Official Car Care Products), Gravely Tractors (Official Lawn Equipment), Hoosier Racing Tires (Official Racing Tires), STP (Official Fuel Treatment), Vicci (Official Uniform), VP Racing Fuel (Official Racing Fuel), DirtonDirt.com (Hard Charger Award) and McCarthy’s One Hour Heating & Air Conditioning (Raye Vest Memorial Pill Draw Award); in addition to contingency sponsors Butlerbuilt, Cometic Gasket, Comp Cams, Dominator Race Products, Eibach Springs, JE Pistons, Klotz Synthetic Lubricants, MSD Ignition, Ohlins Shocks, QuarterMaster, Roush Yates Performance Parts, Superflow Dynos, Wix Filter, Wrisco Aluminum and XS Power Racing Batteries; along with manufacturer sponsors Integra Shocks, GRT Chassis, Jake’s Carts, Longacre, Racing Electronics, Rocket Chassis, TNT Rescue, and Warrior Chassis.