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Brandon Sheppard Wins Monday Make-Up at East Bay


Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series

Brandon Sheppard Wins Monday Make-Up at East Bay

TAMPA, Fla. (February 8, 2024) – Brandon Sheppard became the fourth and final leader of an exciting 30-lap feature on Thursday night at East Bay Raceway Park. The New Berlin, Illinois native went to the Wieland Winternationals winner’s circle for the tenth time at the “Clay by the Bay.”

The race was originally scheduled for Monday night but was postponed to three segments during the week after rain wiped out the Monday program.

Sheppard battled with his fellow Illini state driver from lap 18 on until Sheppard was able to open some distance between himself and Brian Shirley. Shirley took second and Devin Moran rounded out the Big River Steel Podium in third. Tyler Erb was fourth and Ross Robinson rounded out the top five drivers.

Former Dirt Track World Champion, Garrett Smith paced the first two laps of the race until Moran took over the point. Moran then held the top spot until Shirley got by him using the bottom groove by the halfway mark. Shirley would lead on two different occasions during the race as he finally relinquished the lead to Sheppard for good on lap 20. Sheppard went on to win by 1.491 seconds.

In Lucas Oil Victory Lane for the 32nd time in his career, Sheppard became the sixth different winner this year and claimed his first victory of 2024.

“Man, you just never know, the competition is so tough right now, all these guys do such a good job, and the racetrack is so much different each night. Hats off to everyone here at East Bay for giving us such a good racetrack again here tonight. When you have highs and lows like this it takes a lot of good people being together to be able to stick it through. Man, I hate it that I had to pass my old buddy, Shirley for the win. I know he’s needed a good run this week too. It feels really good.”

Sheppard who started ninth surged the lead for good on lap 20 after a back-and-forth battle between himself and Shirley. “Honestly after the first feature tonight I knew we had a really good car and things just didn’t fall my way. I think we started 11th and came all the way sixth. We raced with this car last night, but in the first feature we ran a different car and the guys wanted to run it in this feature, but I wanted to give this old girl a chance. It is one of our older cars from last year.”

Shirley, who has never won a Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series event, nor a Georgia-Florida Speedweeks race came agonizingly close to ending those streaks. “That hole was there in one for the entire 40 laps in the first feature and 30 laps that race. I just hit it the wrong way with about five or six to go there. I tried my best to crowd him [Sheppard] to try and get by him. It just wasn’t good enough. That one stings, you only have two mores tries here this week. I would definitely like to put my name in the record books here.”

Moran, who led multiple laps until the halfway mark yielded the lead to Shirley on lap 15 and fell to third behind both Shirley and Sheppard. “I felt really good when I could run the top down in three and four and bottom on the other end of the track. The car was really good underneath me and I kind of migrated to the bottom and I just couldn’t run the bottom like those guys. We’ve been making progress on it, and we just need to keep on working on it and we will see what we can do for tomorrow and Saturday. It obviously had a lot more character that people wanted, but I know Al [Varnadore] will get it smoothed back out for tomorrow.”

The winner’s Sheppard-Riggs Racing, Longhorn Chassis is powered by a Durham Racing Engine and sponsored by Hoist IV level Hydration, Realtree Outdoors, Coltman Farms, Valvoline, I-Beam Sliding Doors, UNOH, Mesilla Valley Transportation, Paulson-Stussy Construction, and Bilstein Shocks.

Completing the top ten were Tyler Erb, Daulton Wilson, Jason Riggs, Ethan Dotson, and Tanner English.

Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series
Race Summary
48th Annual Wieland Winternationals | Night 1 Make-Up
Monday, February 5, 2024
East Bay Raceway Park – Tampa, FL

Allstar Performance Time Trials
Fast Time Group A: Jason Riggs | 15.607 seconds
Fast Time Group B: Ross Bailes | 14.698 seconds (overall)

Penske Shocks Heat Race #1 Finish (8 Laps, Top 3 Transfer): 1. 10-Garrett Smith[3]; 2. 81-Jason Riggs[1]; 3. 71C-RJ Conley[5]; 4. 7T-Drake Troutman[4]; 5. 14X-Wil Herrington[9]; 6. 8-Dillon McCowan[2]; 7. 2*-Logan Hitt[8]; 8. 20B-Todd Brennan[7]; 9. 33-Jeff Mathews[11]; 10. 69-Brandon Thirlby[6]; 11. 07-Brian Ledbetter[10]

Summit Racing Products Heat Race #2 Finish (8Laps, Top 3 Transfer): 1. 99-Devin Moran[2]; 2. B5-Brandon Sheppard[5]; 3. 49-Jonathan Davenport[3]; 4. 71R-Rod Conley[4]; 5. 66C-Matt Cosner[7]; 6. 15-Blake McClain[10]; 7. 29-Larry Grube[9]; 8. 15K-Jensen Ford[6]; 9. 81F-Jadon Frame[1]; 10. 25-Tony Jackson Jr[8]

Earnhardt Technologies Heat Race #3 Finish (8 Laps, Top 3 Transfer): 1. 3S-Brian Shirley[4]; 2. 7-Ross Robinson[3]; 3. 28-Dennis Erb Jr[5]; 4. 1Z-Logan Zarin[1]; 5. 4-Amanda Robinson[7]; 6. 27-Michael Lake[2]; 7. 9-Levi Yetter[8]; 8. 21-Kenny Howell[6]; 9. 4S-Danny Snyder[9]; 10. (DNS) 75-Daniel Adam

Simpson Race Products Heat Race #4 Finish (8 Laps, Top 3 Transfer): 1. 1T-Tyler Erb[8]; 2. 76N-Blair Nothdurft[2]; 3. 6H-Ross Bailes[1]; 4. 111-Max Blair[3]; 5. 39-Tim McCreadie[5]; 6. 6-Clay Harris[4]; 7. 4G-Bob Gardner[9]; 8. 82B-Jason Milam[7]; 9. 17SS-Brenden Smith[6]; 10. 51-Dean Carpenter[10]; 11. (DNS) 99B-Boom Briggs

Lucas Oil Heat Race #5 Finish (8 Laps, Top 3 Transfer): 1. 174-Ethan Dotson[3]; 2. 18D-Daulton Wilson[1]; 3. 96V-Tanner English[2]; 4. 12-Ashton Winger[7]; 5. 187-David McCoy[6]; 6. 6T-Tim Dohm[8]; 7. 3-Brennon Willard[5]; 8. S21-Seth Daniels[4]; 9. 81J-Jack Riggs[9]; 10. 12R-Ryan Payne[11]; 11. (DNS) 18-Chase Junghans

Lucas Oil Heat Race #6 Finish (8 Laps, Top 3 Transfer): 1. 1-Hudson O'Neal[2]; 2. 19M-Spencer Hughes[1]; 3. 58-Garrett Alberson[7]; 4. 40B-Kyle Bronson[5]; 5. 25B-Mike Benedum[4]; 6. 214-Haiden Cowan[3]; 7. 11C-Trevor Collins[9]; 8. 31-Tyler Millwood[6]; 9. 47W-Brandon Weigle[8]; 10. (DNS) 46-Earl Pearson Jr

Fast Shafts B-Main Race #1 Finish (10 Laps, Top 2 Transfer): 1. 14X-Wil Herrington[3]; 2. 66C-Matt Cosner[4]; 3. 71R-Rod Conley[2]; 4. 8-Dillon McCowan[5]; 5. 2*-Logan Hitt[7]; 6. 15-Blake McClain[6]; 7. 07-Brian Ledbetter[15]; 8. 33-Jeff Mathews[11]; 9. 29-Larry Grube[8]; 10. 7T-Drake Troutman[1]; 11. 20B-Todd Brennan[9]; 12. (DNS) 15K-Jensen Ford; 13. (DNS) 81F-Jadon Frame; 14. (DNS) 69-Brandon Thirlby; 15. (DNS) 25-Tony Jackson Jr

UNOH B-Main Race #2 Finish (10 Laps, Top 2 Transfer): 1. 111-Max Blair[2]; 2. 1Z-Logan Zarin[1]; 3. 27-Michael Lake[5]; 4. 6-Clay Harris[6]; 5. 39-Tim McCreadie[4]; 6. 4-Amanda Robinson[3]; 7. 4S-Danny Snyder[11]; 8. 17SS-Brenden Smith[12]; 9. 4G-Bob Gardner[8]; 10. 9-Levi Yetter[7]; 11. 21-Kenny Howell[9]; 12. 82B-Jason Milam[10]; 13. (DNS) 51-Dean Carpenter; 14. (DNS) 75-Daniel Adam; 15. (DNS) 99B-Boom Briggs

MyRacePass B-Main Race #3 Finish (10 Laps, Top 2 Transfer): 1. 40B-Kyle Bronson[2]; 2. 12-Ashton Winger[1]; 3. 187-David McCoy[3]; 4. 6T-Tim Dohm[5]; 5. 11C-Trevor Collins[8]; 6. 31-Tyler Millwood[10]; 7. 81J-Jack Riggs[11]; 8. 3-Brennon Willard[7]; 9. 214-Haiden Cowan[6]; 10. 25B-Mike Benedum[4]; 11. S21-Seth Daniels[9]; 12. 47W-Brandon Weigle[12]; 13. (DNS) 12R-Ryan Payne; 14. (DNS) 18-Chase Junghans; 15. (DNS) 46-Earl Pearson Jr

48th Annual Wieland Winternationals | Night 1 Feature Finish (30 Laps):
Feature Finish

Race Statistics
Entrants: 63
Victory Fuel Pole Sitter: Garrett Smith
Lap Leaders: Garrett Smith (Laps 1-2); Devin Moran (Laps 3-14); Brian Shirley (Laps 15-17); Brandon Sheppard (Lap 18); Brian Shirley (Lap 19); Brandon Sheppard (Laps 20-30)
Wieland Feature Winner: Brandon Sheppard
Arizona Sport Shirts Crown Jewel Cup Feature Winner: n/a
Brandon Ford TV Challenge Feature Winner: n/a
Margin of Victory: 1.491 seconds
Dave Warren Powersports Cautions: Ashton Winger (Initial Start); Wil Herrington (Restart); Garrett Smith (Lap 17)
Series Provisionals: n/a
Fast Time Provisional: n/a
Series Emergency Provisionals: n/a
Track Provisional: n/a
Big River Steel Podium Top 3: Brandon Sheppard, Brian Shirley, Devin Moran
Penske Shocks Top 5: Brandon Sheppard, Brian Shirley, Devin Moran, Hudson O’Neal, Ross Robinson
Todd Steel Buildings Hard Charger of the Race: Ashton Winger (Advanced 13 Positions)
Wilwood Brakes Lucky 7th Place Feature: Daulton Wilson
Deatherage Opticians Lucky 13th Place Feature: Wil Herrington
MD3 Most Laps Led: Brandon Sheppard (12 Laps)
Sunoco Race for Gas Highest Finisher: Hudson O’Neal
Midwest Sheet Metal Spoiler Challenge Point Leader: Ricky Thornton, Jr.
O’Reilly Auto Parts Rookie of the Race: n/a
Coltman Farms Fastest Lap of the Race: Devin Moran (Lap 2 – 15.006 seconds)
Slicker Graphics Slickest Move of the Race: Brandon Sheppard
Miller Welders Hard Luck Award: Wil Herrington
Outerwears Crew Chief of the Race: Randall Edwards (Brandon Sheppard)
ARP Engine Builder of the Race: Durham Racing Engines
Miller Welders Chassis Builder of the Race: Longhorn Chassis
Dirt Draft Fastest in Hot Laps: n/a
Time of Race: 14 minutes 44 seconds

Submitted By: Jeremy Shields

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