Brandon Sheppard

Sheppard Romps from Nineteenth to Win at Knoxville


Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series

Sheppard Romps from Nineteenth to Win at Knoxville

KNOXVILLE, IOWA (September 14, 2018) – From nineteenth on the grid, Brandon Sheppard charged through the field to win Friday night’s portion of the Lucas Oil Late Model Knoxville Nationals presented by Casey’s General Store.

Sheppard used a late-race restart to take the top spot from Frank Heckenast Jr. and then sprinted away for his fifth Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series victory of 2018 and his first-ever win at Knoxville.

Heckenast led from the onset of the 25-lap main event as he looked for his third victory of the season. A restart with six laps remaining was the ticket for Sheppard, who had climbed through the field for the second night in a row. Sheppard dove to the inside of the race track entering turn one and powered by Heckenast down the back straightaway to grab the lead from his fellow Illini driver.

Sheppard pulled away in the closing laps to clinch the $7,000 victory. Heckenast finished second followed by Don O’Neal in third. Jonathan Davenport came home in fourth after running as high as second in the race. Tim McCreadie, who started tenth, rounded out the top five.

“I can’t believe it,” said the 25-year-old in Lucas Oil Victory Lane. “My crew has been working so hard this week. We have had a really fast car the whole time. We qualified good the last two nights, but we started so deep in the heat races. The earlier heat races it’s hard to pass, but the later heats it’s a lot better once the track slicks off. The feature tonight I hope it’s a lot like tomorrow night, because it’s a lot of fun. This is the Knoxville I love coming to.”

“My car was a little tight there for a while, but I made up good time on the bottom. I had a good restart one time and I hit one-and-two just right and I went around a couple of guys. I got to third and then I was hoping on the restart to start on the bottom. I learned from Josh [Richards] here in 2013 about getting the lead. When Frankie [Heckenast] entered turn one on that last restart he drifted up high and that just opened the door on the bottom for me.”

Heckenast, who was seeking his first career Lucas Oil win, held on for the second spot at the finish. “We had a really car tonight. We have been good all weekend. We had a fifth here last night. We are kind of parked over there by ourselves. We were really close tonight. I can’t thank everyone enough. I gave the race away on the restart. On the restarts they would get such a run on me into one. I thought I could hang out there on the top and get a run off of two, but Brandon obviously had a lot of traction. His car was good. I guess if we are going to have one taken away I would rather have it tonight than tomorrow night.”

O’Neal, who won the main event at Knoxville in 2011, finished in third to earn the fourth-starting spot for Saturday night’s finale. “All-in-all it was good run for us tonight. We had a good race there at the end with Davenport and we were able to get by him. We are getting better this week, we just need to get a little better for tomorrow night. We would have liked to have won tonight, but tomorrow night is what really counts.”

Sheppard’s, Mark Richards Racing Rocket Chassis House Car is powered by a Durham Racing Engine and sponsored by: Valvoline, Seubert Calf Ranches, Gunter’s Honey, Ace Metal Works, Sallack Well Service, Sunoco Race Fuels, Keyser and Integra.

Completing the top ten were Jimmy Mars, Tyler Bruening, Jimmy Owens, Chad Simpson and Kyle Bronson.

Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series
Race Summary
Thursday, September 14, 2018
15th Annual Lucas Oil Late Model Knoxville Nationals – presented by Casey’s General Stores
Knoxville Raceway – Knoxville, IA

Miller Welders Time Trials
Fast Time Group A: Chad Simpson / 18.130 seconds
Fast Time Group B: Scott Bloomquist / 17.875 seconds (overall)

Eibach Springs Heat Race #1 Finish (12 Laps, Top 3 Transfer): Matt Furman, Tyler Bruening, Chad Simpson, Earl Pearson, Jr., Brent Larson, Mike Mataragas, Scott James , Brian Birkhofer, Chase Junghans

FK Rod Ends Heat Race #2 Finish (12 Laps, Top 3 Transfer): Billy Moyer, Jonathan Davenport, Brian Shirley, Brandon Sheppard, Shannon Babb, Shane Clanton, Jason Feger, Jonathan Brauns, Rob Toland

Simpson Performance Products Heat Race #3 Finish (12 Laps, Top 3 Transfer): Scott Ward, Jeremiah Hurst, Jesse Stovall, Dennis Erb, Jr., Josh Richards, Brandon Overton, Mason Zeigler, Jared Landers, Mike Fryer, Dave Eckrich

QA1 Heat Race #4 Finish (12 Laps, Top 3 Transfer): Scott Bloomquist, Austin Rettig, Tim McCreadie, Morgan Bagley, Kyle Bronson, Spencer Diercks, Justin Zeitner, JC Wyman, Nick Marolf, Junior Coover

Lucas Oil Heat Race #5 Finish (12 Laps, Top 3 Transfer): Bobby Pierce, Jimmy Mars, Frank Heckenast, Jr., Chris Simpson, Tyler Erb, Gregg Satterlee, Darrell Lanigan, Jake Neal, Al Humphrey

Casey’s General Store Heat Race #6 Finish (12 Laps, Top 3 Transfer): Don O'Neal, Jimmy Owens, Justin Duty, Ricky Thornton Jr., Chris Spieker, Zach McMillan, Joey Moriarty, Brian Harris, Lyle Zanker

FAST Shafts C-Main Finish (12 Laps, Top 4 Transfer to B-Main): Darrell Lanigan, Jason Feger, Jared Landers, Jake Neal, Brian Birkhofer, Scott James , Mason Zeigler, Joey Moriarty, Rob Toland, Nick Marolf, Brian Harris, Dave Eckrich, Mike Fryer, JC Wyman, Al Humphrey, Justin Zeitner, Jonathan Brauns, Lyle Zanker, Chase Junghans, Junior Coover

Penske Racing Shocks B-Main Finish (15 Laps, Top 6 Transfer to A-Main): Brandon Sheppard, Tyler Erb, Kyle Bronson, Josh Richards, Shannon Babb, Shane Clanton, Ricky Thornton Jr., Spencer Diercks, Dennis Erb, Jr., Earl Pearson, Jr., Brandon Overton, Darrell Lanigan, Gregg Satterlee, Chris Spieker, Jason Feger, Mike Mataragas, Morgan Bagley, Jake Neal, Brent Larson, Jared Landers, Zach McMillan, Chris Simpson

Lucas Oil Feature Finish (25 Laps):
1 19 1S Brandon Sheppard New Berlin, IL $7,000
2 2 99JR Frank Heckenast, Jr. Frankfort, IL $4,000
3 4 5 Don O'Neal Martinsville, IN $3,000
4 3 49 Jonathan Davenport Blairsville, GA $2,000
5 10 39 Tim McCreadie Watertown, NY $1,500
6 12 28m Jimmy Mars Menomonie, WI $1,000
7 1 16T Tyler Bruening Decorah, IA $900
8 6 20 Jimmy Owens Newport, TN $800
9 7 25s Chad Simpson Mt. Vernon, IA $700
10 21 40B Kyle Bronson ® Brandon, FL $600
11 18 32 Bobby Pierce Oakwood, IL $580
12 20 91 Tyler Erb New Waverly, TX $560
13 15 3s Brian Shirley Chatham, IL $540
14 23 18 Shannon Babb Mowequa, IL $520
15 11 58H Jeremiah Hurst Dubuque, IA $500
16 9 21 Billy Moyer Batesville, AR $490
17 13 51 Matt Furman Portland, OR $480
18 14 15d Justin Duty Portland, OR $470
19 16 94 Austin Rettig Sikeston, MO $460
20 5 00s Jesse Stovall Billings, MO $450
21 24 25C Shane Clanton Zebulon, GA $440
22 17 37 Scott Ward Hayti, SD $430
23 22 1R Josh Richards Shinnston, WV $410
24 8 0 Scott Bloomquist Mooresburg, TN $400

Race Statistics
Entrants: 57
Lap Leaders: Frank Heckenast Jr. (Laps 1 – 19); Brandon Sheppard (Laps 20 – 25)
Wrisco Feature Winner: Brandon Sheppard
Margin of Victory: 0.909 seconds
Cautions: Austin Rettig (Lap 1); Jesse Stovall (Lap 18); Matt Furman (Lap 19)
Optima Batteries Hard Charger of the Race: Brandon Sheppard (Advanced 18 Positions)
Midwest Sheet Metal Spoiler Challenge Point Leader: Jonathan Davenport
Allstar Performance Power Move of the Race: Brandon Sheppard
Sunoco Race for Gas Highest Finisher: Brandon Sheppard
Hot Rod Processing Rookie of the Race: Kyle Bronson
COMP Cams Engine Builder of the Race: Durham Racing Engines
Ohlins Shocks Chassis Builder of the Race: Rocket Chassis
Outerwears Crew Chief of the Race: Austin Hargrove (Brandon Sheppard)
Fastest Lap of the Race: Frank Heckenast Jr. (Lap #2 – 19.143 seconds)
STEEL-IT Most Laps Led: Frank Heckenast (19 Laps)
Dirty Girl Racewear Farthest Traveler: Justin Duty
PFC Brakes Pole Award: Tyler Bruening
Time of Race: 21 minutes 04 seconds

Submitted By: Jeremy Shields

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Race Stats

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  • Wins5
  • Top 534
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Longhorn Chassis
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University of Northern Ohio
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VP Race Fuels
Sheppard Salvage  Auto Sales
Allgaier Performance Parts
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Ultra Shield Race Products
Simpson Race Products
FK Rod Ends
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Off Axis Paint
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