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Sheppard Seals the Deal at Oshkosh SpeedZone Raceway

Sheppard’s 12th win of the 2017 season

OSHKOSH, WI. – Aug. 1, 2017- The World of Outlaws Craftsman® Late Model Series took the track at Oshkosh SpeedZone Raceway for the first time ever on Tuesday night. Brandon Sheppard sealed the deal for his 12th win of the season by leading all 50-laps of the feature event at the third-mile.

“It seemed like we were in a mad-dash to get ready all night tonight,” said Sheppard. “I don’t know what was up but we pulled through like we always do. There’s a lot of hard work coming out of this team and if we can keep that up hopefully we can keep this run going.”

Sheppard has won the last three Series events including Fayette County Speedway, the Prairie Dirt Classic at Fairbury American Legion Speedway and Oshkosh SpeedZone Raceway. With 12 Series victories so far this season, Sheppard sits only six wins away from reaching the most wins in one season. The record was set in 2016 by his predecessor in the Rocket1, Josh Richards, with 18 wins in one season.

“I’ve driven four different XR1’s this year and every single one has a win on it,” said Sheppard. “Just goes to show how good of a piece Mark [Richards] and Steve [Baker] are building. Hopefully we can just keep getting top-three finishes and everything else will just work itself out.”

Don O’Neal worked tirelessly all 50-laps trying to close the gap on the race-long leader. Sheppard and O’Neal started side-by-side on the front row of the feature but Sheppard took control of the lead early.

On lap 10 Sheppard’s strong lead began to dwindle as he started to approach the tail of the field. With no cautions in the 50-lap event, O’Neal’s biggest aid was lap traffic slowing Sheppard down. By lap 16 the gap between the pair was cut to only .222-seconds before Sheppard was able to pull away from the No. 5 for good. By the time the checkers fell, O’Neal came up short by more than a 5 second margin.

“I think we made some gains on this Peak car tonight and hopefully some things will come,” said O’Neal. “I think we just need to get a little better to be able to run with the No. 1 car there at the end of the race. I thought we had something going but when it came time to be really good we just needed to be a little better.”

While O’Neal was focused on Sheppard, Frank Heckenast Jr. was making moves on Eric Wells who had passed the No. 99jr for third on lap six. Heckenast Jr. was able to reclaim the position on lap 32 and began gaining ground towards O’Neal in second.

Unfortunately, Heckenast Jr. ran out of laps to fully make the pass for second and finished at O’Neal’s bumper under the checker flag.

“Running third behind Sheppard and O’Neal right now is a really good deal, I mean, they’re two of the best so we will take it there,” said Heckenast Jr. “He opened the door for me there with the lap traffic but both of our guys just put new bodies on at my shop the last two days so I wasn’t going to rip them off there in that last corner.”

“Yea I squeezed him down there between one and two and had him pinched off pretty good, so hats off to him for not getting into me,” said O’Neal.

Heckenast’s third place run marks his best finish of the season so far.

“I want to thank my guys,” said Heckenast Jr. “It’s just me and Axle [Wicker] this week. I can’t say enough about that kid. He does a really good job. We’re just a family owned team out here having fun and maybe we will be up there by Sheppard one day.”

The World of Outlaws Craftsman® Late Model Series heads to Shawano Speedway on Aug. 2 for the second of five nights of racing in the state of Wisconsin.

Additional Race Notes:

Morgan Bagley almost tied his best run of the season by finishing one spot shy of third.

Bagley had a rough beginning to his day at Oshkosh SpeedZone as he cut his left rear tire on the first lap of his heat race. With a new tire in place, he was able to return to the track but unable to make up enough ground to secure a transfer position into the feature.

Bagley would go on to win the first of two Last Chance Showdowns which placed him near the back of the 50-lap event in 18th. Steadily throughout the feature, Bagley was able to pass cars both high and low impressively finishing fourth by the final lap.

Oshkosh SpeedZone Raceway Results:

Craftsman Club Feature: 1. 1- Brandon Sheppard[1]; 2. 5- Don O’Neal[2]; 3. 99jr- Frank Heckenast Jr[3]; 4. 14m- Morgan Bagley[18]; 5. 157- Mike Marlar[7]; 6. 44- Chris Madden[5]; 7. 9- Devin Moran[9]; 8. 18- Eric Wells[4]; 9. 7- Rick Eckert[6]; 10. 28- Jimmy Mars[15]; 11. 32- Chris Simpson[10]; 12. 15- Nick Anvelink[21]; 13. 25- Shane Clanton[19]; 14. 14- Darrell Lanigan[17]; 15. 1*- Chub Frank[16]; 16. 91- Tyler Erb[8]; 17. 18c- Chase Junghans[23]; 18. 1P- Earl Pearson Jr[14]; 19. 21- Billy Moyer[12]; 20. B1- Brent Larson[13]; 21. 40B- Kyle Bronson[20]; 22. 3s- Brian Shirley[22]; 23. 25F- Jason Feger[24]; 24. 58- A.J. Diemel[11]

Last Chance Showdown 1: 1. 14- Darrell Lanigan[1]; 2. 25- Shane Clanton[2]; 3. 15- Nick Anvelink[3]; 4. 28e- Dennis Erb Jr[5]; 5. 10- Paul Parker[6]; 6. 15D- Justin Duty[7]; 7. 1d- Doug Blashe[10]; 8. D7- Jim Letizia[9]; 9. 74- Mitch McGrath[4]; 10. 18c- Chase Junghans[DNS]

Last Chance Showdown 2: 1. 14m- Morgan Bagley[1]; 2. 40B- Kyle Bronson[3]; 3. 3s- Brian Shirley[2]; 4. 16T- Tyler Bruening[5]; 5. 51- Matthew Furman[6]; 6. 25F- Jason Feger[7]; 7. 25s- Jared Siefert[4]; 8. 66- Ron Berna[9]; 9. 31- Paul Stubber[8]; 10. 3- Brett Swedberg[DNS]

Heat 1: 1. 44- Chris Madden[1]; 2. 91- Tyler Erb[2]; 3. 9- Devin Moran[5]; 4. B1- Brent Larson[3]; 5. 14- Darrell Lanigan[6]; 6. 15- Nick Anvelink[4]; 7. 28e- Dennis Erb Jr[7]; 8. 15D- Justin Duty[8]; 9. D7- Jim Letizia[9]

Heat 2: 1. 1- Brandon Sheppard[1]; 2. 7- Rick Eckert[2]; 3. 32- Chris Simpson[3]; 4. 1P- Earl Pearson Jr[4]; 5. 25- Shane Clanton[5]; 6. 74- Mitch McGrath[7]; 7. 10- Paul Parker[8]; 8. 18c- Chase Junghans[6]; 9. 1d- Doug Blashe[9]

Heat 3: 1. 5- Don O’Neal[1]; 2. 18- Eric Wells[2]; 3. 58- A.J. Diemel[4]; 4. 28- Jimmy Mars[8]; 5. 14m- Morgan Bagley[4]; 6. 40B- Kyle Bronson[6]; 7. 16T- Tyler Bruening[7]; 8. 25F- Jason Feger[5]; 9. 66- Ron Berna[DNS]

Heat 4: 1. 157- Mike Marlar[1]; 2. 99jr- Frank Heckenast Jr[2]; 3. 21- Billy Moyer[3]; 4. 1*- Chub Frank[4]; 5. 3s- Brian Shirley[5]; 6. 25s- Jared Siefert[9]; 7. 51- Matthew Furman[7]; 8. 31- Paul Stubber[8]; 9. 3- Brett Swedberg[6]

Qualifying Group A: 1. 44- Chris Madden, 15.612; 2. 1 -Brandon Sheppard, 15.791; 3. 91- Tyler Erb, 15.843; 4. 7- Rick Eckert, 15.958; 5. B1- Brent Larson, 16.006; 6. 32- Chris Simpson, 16.008; 7. 15- Nick Anvelink, 16.062; 8. 1P- Earl Pearson Jr, 16.109; 9. 9- Devin Moran, 16.187; 10. 25- Shane Clanton, 16.216; 11. 14- Darrell Lanigan, 16.229; 12. 18c- Chase Junghans, 16.501; 13. 28e- Dennis Erb Jr, 16.537; 14. 74- Mitch McGrath, 16.633; 15. 15D- Justin Duty, 16.81; 16. 10- Paul Parker, 16.982; 17. D7- Jim Letizia, 17.078; 18. 1d- Doug Blashe, 17.122

Qualifying Group B: 1. 5- Don O’Neal, 15.819; 2. 157- Mike Marlar, 16.065; 3. 18- Eric Wells, 16.11; 4. 99jr- Frank Heckenast Jr, 16.199; 5. 58- A.J. Diemel, 16.213; 6. 21- Billy Moyer, 16.226; 7. 14m- Morgan Bagley, 16.266; 8. 1*- Chub Frank, 16.366; 9. 25F- Jason Feger, 16.37; 10. 3s- Brian Shirley, 16.388; 11. 40B- Kyle Bronson, 16.39; 12. 3- Brett Swedberg, 16.431; 13. 16T- Tyler Bruening, 16.567; 14. 51- Matthew Furman, 16.575; 15. 28- Jimmy Mars, 16.753; 16. 31- Paul Stubber, 16.974; 17. 66- Ron Berna, 17.253; 18. 25s- Jared Siefert, 17.285

CONTINGENCY WINNERS: Craftsman/Sears ($200 Cash): Brandon Sheppard, Frank Heckenast Jr, Morgan Bagley, Chris Madden,Devin Moran; Craftsman/Sears ($100 Cash): Don O’Neal; Comp Cams ($50 product certificate): Brandon Sheppard; MSD Ignition ($50 Cash): Brandon Sheppard; Quarter Master ($100 Product Certificate): Brandon Sheppard; Wrisco (Three Sheets of aluminum): Brandon Sheppard;  Penske Racing Shocks ($50 Product Certificate): Don O’Neal; JE Pistons ($50 Cash): Chris Madden; VP Racing Fuels ($50 Cash): Rick Eckert; Edelbrock ($50 Cash): Shane Clanton; Comp Cams ($50 Cash): Shane Clanton; Extended Stay America ($50 Cash): Shane Clanton; Cometic ($50 Cash): Nick Anvelink; JRI Shocks ($50 Cash):Chub Frank; Superflow Dyno’s ($50 Cash): Chub Frank; Quartermaster ($25 Product Certificate): Chub Frank; JE Pistons (One set of piston rings): Chase Junghans.; Quartermaster ($50 Product Certificate): A.J. Diemel; Arizona Sport Shirts ($100 Product Certificate): Frank Heckenast; JE Pistons (One set of piston rings): A.J. Diemel; MSD Ignition ($25 Cash): A.J. Diemel; QA-1 ($50 Cash): Tyler Erb; Rookie Bonus: Devin Moran; Bonus Bucks: Chris Simpson

SEASON WINNERS: 
Brandon Sheppard- 12 (Whynot Motorsports Park on March 24, Farmer City Raceway on April 1, Fayetteville Motor Speedway on May 6, Wayne County Speedway on May 27, Senoia Raceway on June 3, Lernerville Speedway on June 25, Federated Auto Part Raceway at I-55 on July 1, Hibbing Raceway on July 13, Fayette County Speedway on July 26, Oshkosh SpeedZone Raceway on Aug 1)
Shane Clanton- 4 (Volusia Speedway Park on Feb. 24, Cherokee Speedway on May 6, Tazewell Speedway on June 3, River Cities Speedway on June 14)
Chris Madden– 3 (Screven Motorsports Complex on Feb. 18, Deer Creek Speedway on July 8, Ogilvie Raceway on July 12)
Brandon Overton- 2 (Smoky Mountain Speedway on May 13, Lernerville Speedway on June 24)
Rick Eckert– 1 (Screven Motorsports Complex on Feb. 17)
Don O’Neal- 1 (Volusia Speedway Park on Feb. 25)
Timothy Culp- 1 (LoneStar Speedway on March 26)
Brian Shirley-1 (Farmer City Raceway on April 2)
Mike Marlar- 1 (Duck River Raceway Park on May 14)
Devin Moran-1 (Atomic Speedway on May 26)
Max Blair- 1 (McKean County Raceway on June 20)

Unofficial World of Outlaws Craftsman Late Model Series Championship Standings:

Pos. Car # Driver Points Trail By
1 1 Brandon Sheppard 3892 0
2 44 Chris Madden 3622 270
3 25 Shane Clanton 3594 298
4 91 Tyler Erb 3592 300
5 9 Devin Moran 3544 348
6 7 Rick Eckert 3518 374
7 18 Eric Wells 3468 424
8 1* Chub Frank 3444 448
9 99JR Frank Heckenast Jr. 3384 508
10 14M Morgan Bagley 3346 546
11 2C Joey Coulter 2856 1036
12 3S Brian Shirley 2286 1606
13 18C Chase Junghans 1974 1918
14 157 Mike Marlar 1670 2222
15 93 Donald Bradsher 1486 2406
16 40B Kyle Bronson 1212 2680
17 21JR Billy Moyer Jr. 1124 2768
18 116 Brandon Overton 1110 2782
19 32 Bobby Pierce 1042 2850
20 4-D’s Chad Hollenbeck 848 3044
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