FARMER CITY, IL– During night one of the two day show at Farmer City Raceway for the World of Outlaws Craftsman® Late Model Series Illini 100 event, Brandon Sheppard held on to the lead from green-to-checkers. That’s also how the feature played out with no cautions during the 75-lap event.
Sheppard has had his eyes set on Farmer City Raceway since the start of the season and the results from tonight’s event puts the cherry on top for the young driver. Not only did he defeat the stacked field during the feature, he also set the fastest lap on the track during qualifying, placed second in his heat race and pulled the pole position during the redraw.
Earlier in the day Sheppard said, “It would mean a lot to me and this team if we won tonight. We only have one Outlaw race on the year and there has been a different winner at every track this year so to be the first repeat winner would be awesome.”
Sheppard is now the first repeat driver of the 2017 season with six different drivers appearing in Victory Lane during the first six races of the season. Billy Moyer was trying to continue the trend by becoming the seventh different driver to win as he tirelessly tried to reel in Sheppard for 70 laps of the Feature. Moyer has three Illini 100 wins in the bank but he couldn’t pull it off for the fourth time as he continued to get hung up by lap traffic. Brian Shirley used the lap traffic to his advantage as he was able to pass Moyer to claim the second position within the last five laps.
“We had a pretty good car but honestly we just really needed a caution,” said Shirley. “I think if we would of had a caution we would of had a good chance to win but at the end of the day you can always say what ifs but we’ll take it. I feel like we’ve had a lot of bad luck as well as some good runs and have been pretty fast so maybe it will help us build momentum. Like with Brandon [Sheppard] and [his team], momentum builds success, so if we can keep running good then hopefully a win will come.”
Gaining momentum and remaining consistent seems to come naturally for the Rocket1 team as they continue to remain in the lead of the Series Points Standings ever since the conclusion of DIRTcar Nationals at Volusia Speedway Park.
“We have a good balance that I’m comfortable with which is why we can be so consistent and run at different tracks and still be fast,” said Sheppard. “It also makes like a little easier when you start on the pole. I honestly can’t be more happy with how we are running lately. I just go out there and do the best I can every day.”
Sheppard and Shirley weren’t the only Illinois-natives making moves on their home turf. Shannon Babb and Bobby Pierce found their way through the field fairly easily as Babb passed nine cars to claim a top-five finish from a 14th start and Pierce passed thirteen cars to finish sixth from a 19th start.
The World of Outlaws Craftsman Late Model Series returns to Farmer City Raceway tomorrow, April 2, for a 25-lap $8,000-to-win event. Tickets for the event are available at the gate.
Feature: 1. 1- Brandon Sheppard; 2. 3s- Brian Shirley; 3. 21- Billy Moyer; 4. 9- Devin Moran; 5. 18b- Shannon Babb; 6. 32P- Bobby Pierce; 7. 25- Shane Clanton; 8. 44- Chris Madden; 9. 91- Tyler Erb; 10. 32- Chris Simpson; 11. 99jr- Frank Heckenast Jr; 12. 18c- Chase Junghans; 13. 18- Eric Wells; 14. 1*- Chub Frank; 15. 21j- Billy Moyer Jr; 16. 14m- Morgan Bagley; 17. 7- Rick Eckert; 18. 93- Donald Bradsher; 19. 24- Ryan Unzicker; 20. 2c- Joey Coulter; 21. 1mm- Mike Mataragas; 22. 7R- Kent Robinson; 23. B12- Kevin Weaver; 24. 21B- Rich Bell; 25. 15- Kolby Vanderbergh
-World of Outlaws Press Release
-Photo Credit: World of Outlaws