LaSalle, IL – Brandon Sheppard became the second home-state driver in two nights to visit Lucas Oil Victory Lane with his victory at LaSalle Speedway on Saturday Night. The 23-year-old Illinois native led all 60 laps of the Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series-sanctioned, Spring Shootout.
The driver of the Best Performance Motorsports/Rocket took his first LOLMDS win of the season over Tim McCreadie, who crossed the line in second in his Sweeteners Plus/Longhorn. McCreadie and Don O’Neal had a terrific battle for second for most of the race. O’Neal came home in third as he narrowly beat current LOLMDS points leader, Jonathan Davenport to the finish line. Shannon Babb was fifth.
“The track was pretty good for most of the race. The cushion got a little treacherous, but overall it was pretty racy. Most of the guys I was coming up on were on the bottom. I stayed up top the whole race. Hats off to the track crew for working on this track all night. Thanks to Tony Izzo Jr. for putting on all of these races this weekend.”
“I had a really good car. The Rocket Chassis and Dargie Engine were on point tonight. We have been really good the last few nights. We just haven’t had things go our way. Everything is looking up for us. Last week we had a bottom radiator hose blow out on us at Atomic while we were running in second.”
“Thanks to Randall Edwards and all of the crew for what they do. Eric Brock, my car owner and everyone at Best Performance Motorsports. The traffic was pretty crazy near the end. They were all over the place. It feels amazing to win here in my home state. I wish there could be more Lucas Oil races in Illinois.”
McCreadie got around O’Neal for second on lap 26 and then tried to chase down Sheppard in traffic. McCreadie closed to within four car lengths of Sheppard in the final ten laps, but Sheppard made his way through lapped traffic in a timely fashion to get to the finish line first.
“That was really a fun race,” said McCreadie, who is in his first full year with the LOLMDS. “I could see him up there in traffic, but he made a move on a couple of cars and that was it. I just couldn’t get close enough to throw a slider on him. We’re happy with the result. We love doing this. We love coming to Illinois to race. This year I will get to go to a lot of tracks I haven’t ever been to or been too in a while.”
“There were three guys up front who like to be aggressive. But it’s amazing we never touched each other. To run that hard and not run over each other says a lot about how talented these guys are. We will take second and head to I-80 and Wheatland next week.”
O’Neal, like Sheppard and McCreadie, was looking for his first series win of the season. “We really wanted to win badly for the Peak Antifreeze and Motor Oil/ Clint Bowyer Team. We thought we had a great chance to win. We started on the pole and rolled the nose underneath the car early on, but we fought back and got a good finish.”
Completing the top ten were Chris Simpson, Brian Shirley, Dennis Erb Jr., Nick Anvelink, and Jason Feger.
In preliminary action, Brandon Sheppard set the overall Miller Welders Fast Time (Group B) amongst the 34 entrants, with a lap of 12.572 seconds. Jared Landers set the fastest time in Group A with a time of 12.577 seconds. Don O’Neal, Brandon Sheppard, and Dennis Erb Jr. won their respective heat races. Jimmy Mars and Rich Bell won their respective B-Mains.
-Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series Press Release. Photo credit: Heath Lawson
Feature Finish (60 Laps):
|FINISH||START||CAR #||DRIVER NAME||HOMETOWN||MONEY EARNED|
|1||2||B5||Brandon Sheppard||New Berlin, IL||$12,800|
|2||3||39||Tim McCreadie||Watertown, NY||$6,200|
|3||1||5||Don O’Neal||Martinsville, IN||$4,300|
|4||8||6||Jonathan Davenport||Mount Airy, NC||$3,850|
|5||9||18||Shannon Babb||Mowequa, IL||$2,250|
|6||11||32X||Chris Simpson||Oxford, IA||$1,800|
|7||5||3s||Brian Shirley||Chatham, IL||$1,500|
|8||4||28e||Dennis Erb, Jr.||Carpentersville, IL||$2,000|
|9||12||15A||Nick Anvelink||Bonduel, WI||$1,200|
|10||16||25F||Jason Feger||Bloomington, IL||$1,100|
|11||14||21||Billy Moyer||Batesville, AR||$1,075|
|12||13||777||Jared Landers||Batesville, AR||$1,750|
|13||15||15L||Darrell Lanigan||Union, KY||$1,725|
|14||10||21jr||Billy Moyer, Jr.||Batesville, AR||$1,000|
|15||23||0||Scott Bloomquist||Mooresburg, TN||$1,800|
|16||22||15F||Steve Francis||Bowling Green, KY||$1,000|
|17||18||21B||Rich Bell||Sheffield, IL||$1,000|
|18||24||1||Earl Pearson, Jr.||Jacksonville, FL||$1,000|
|19||19||20||Jimmy Owens||Newport, TN||$1,800|
|20||25||75||Colton Flinner||Allison Park, PA||$100|
|21||6||58||AJ Diemel||Elk Mound, WI||$1,000|
|22||7||10||Scott Schmitt||Tonica, IL||$1,000|
|23||17||28m||Jimmy Mars||Menomonie, WI||$1,000|
|24||20||1m||Mike Mataragas||DeKalb, IL||$1,000|
|25||21||24x||Ryan Unzicker||El Paso, IL||$1,000|