Brandon Sheppard continued his hot streak at the Wild West Shootout, scoring a second-straight win at FK Rod Ends Arizona Speedway.
Sheppard took the lead on the opening lap from pole-sitter Jimmy Mars and held off challenges from Cade Dillard before cruising in the closing laps to Wednesday’s round three win in the event.
Sheppard had nothing but great things to say about his car in victory lane, with two wins and a fourth-place finish under his belt through three nights of racing.
“It’s been phenomenal,” said Sheppard on the DirtOnDirt.com broadcast. “I had a really good car the first night, and then Sunday night was great again and it carried over to tonight, too. We qualified good, won a heat race and that’s what it takes to make life a lot easier. Starting up front, especially with as good of a competition as we have here at the Wild West Shootout. It’s really stiff competition, just like we’d have on the WoO or Lucas tours.”
Once again, the Arizona Speedway racing surface changed dramatically over the course of the 40-lap feature. Without a rabbit to chase, this left Sheppard searching around the track to find the best way to protect his lead.
“I didn’t really know exactly where I needed to be. That’s one of the downfalls leading early, especially at this place. The line changes a lot, especially with as much work as they did to the track right before the feature. The line moved around a good bit there, so I didn’t know exactly where I needed to be.”
While Dillard held the second position for most of the race, but was sidelined after collecting the outside wall on a lap 21 restart. This allowed Mars to move back into second, where he would finish the night.
“Brandon is just a hell of a driver,” said Mars. “Ricky is a good driver, Cade, all of these guys. Just to be hanging with them, that’s pretty fun. Our cars were giving us some fits here. I’ve been scratching my head for the past week.”
Ricky Weiss finished third for his second podium finish of the Wild West Shootout. He found speed around the bottom of the 1/3-mile but couldn’t gain enough momentum to complete a pass on Mars for the second spot.
“Right before that caution, we were pretty good on the bottom,” said Weiss. “I poked the door into Jimmy and I know he saw it and learned from it a little bit. He was starting to diamond one and two and get some speed going. I just couldn’t clear him after that caution.”
The Wild West Shootout will take Thursday off before returning to action Friday, with hot laps beginning at 5:00 p.m. MT (7:00 p.m. ET). For more information, visit wildwestshootout.net.
Wild West Shootout Night Three Results
1. #B5 Brandon Sheppard
2. #28M Jimmy Mars
3. #7 Ricky Weiss
4. #3S Brian Shirley
5. #18 Chase Junghans
6. #99JR Frank Heckenast
7. #32 Bobby Pierce
8. #0 Rick Eckert
9. #89 Mike Spatola
10. #42S Don Shaw
11. #20RT Ricky Thornton
12. #1ST Johnny Scott
13. #2S Stormy Scott
14. #32B Cody Laney
15. #32S Chris Simpson
16. #6T Terry Carter
17. #78S Steve Stultz
18. #97 Cade Dillard
19. #91P Jason Papich
20. #99 Clay Fisher
21. #19R Ryan Gustin
22. #74 Mitch McGrath
23. #2 Garrett Alberson
24. #37 Rob May
-Story by: Zach Evans, Speed51 Content Supervisor – Twitter: @ztevans
-Photo credit: Wild West Shootout Twitter