Brandon Sheppard caps successful week with East Bay triumph

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Brandon Sheppard won three feature at East Bay

The Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series made its sixth and final trip of SpeedWeeks to East Bay Raceway Park on Saturday night. At the end of the night, Brandon Sheppard left the Tampa facility with a payday worth $12,000 and his third Wrisco Winternationals triumph of the week.

Jonathan Davenport led the way in Group A qualifying when he turned a lap in 14.511 seconds around  the third-mile clay oval to outdo Ken Monahan, Josh Richards, Tim McCreadie, Shane Clanton and Brandon Sheppard.

Billy Moyer, Jr. set quick time in Group B time-trials and overall with a lap of 14.485 which topped Kyle Bronson, Brian Shirley, Trever Feathers, Jimmy Owens and Mason Zeigler.

Devin Moran would start the feature from the pole by virtue of his win in the first heat race of the night over Tim McCreadie and Tyler Bruening while Shane Clanton outran G.R. Smith and Chase Junghans in the second preliminary.

Josh Richards was the winner of the third heat over Brandon Sheppard and Rick Eckert.

Billy Moyer, Jr. took the checkered flag in the fourth heat ahead of Tyler Erb and Trever Feathers which placed him on the outside of the front row for the feature prior to Jimmy Owens scoring the victory over Kyle Bronson and Mike Marlar in the fifth heat.

Brian Shirley won the sixth and final heat race ahead of Mason Zeigler and David Beazeale.

Jonathan Davenport, Matt Cosner and Tanner English won the three B-mains used to set the remainder of the starting lineup for the main event.

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At the start of the 50-lap feature it was the winner of the previous night’s thriller, Mason Zeigler, was heavily damaged after spinning then collecting Marlar and Pearson.

On the next attempt at a restart a lap was completed with Moran taking the early lead ahead of Clanton and Moyer, Jr. But a yellow flag would wave just after the completion of the circuit when Marlar slowed with front end damage.

Richards and McCreadie moved around Moyer, Jr. to take the third and fourth positions respectively as Moran and Clanton continued to lead the way.

A fight ensued between Clanton, Richards and McCreadie for positions 2-4 on lap 5 with Clanton holding the spot ahead of McCreadie and Richards. Sheppard took advantage of that battle and moved in to pass Richards for fourth.

The lead of the race changed on lap 13 when Clanton worked his way inside of Moran as McCreadie, Sheppard and Richards closed in on Moran. But Moran would regroup and regain the lead by passing Clanton on lap 19.

A caution on lap 19 for G.R. Smith slowed the action. On the restart, Clanton faded back to fourth with both Sheppard and McCreadie going by. However, Clanton took third back away from Clanton one lap later with Moran continuing to show the way.

During the race’s middle stages the top-5 of Moran, Sheppard, Clanton, Richards and Shirley lined up and ran the track’s bottom groove. But Sheppard eventually moved to the top of the track in turns one and two in order to blow the loose dirt off of that part of the speedway.

Finally, the No. 1 Rocket Chassis house car found the grip it needed as he bolted by Moran to assume the lead of the race on lap 38. For the next few laps, Sheppard would continue running the high groove in turns one and two with Moran running the very bottom and challenging seeming on each lap.

A caution on lap 42 set up the final restart of the night. On the restart, Sheppard held the bottom lane and ultimately drove away from the pack to capture the victory.

Feature Finish: 1. Brandon Sheppard, 2. Devin Moran, 3. Tyler Erb, 4. Brian Shirley, 5. Shane Clanton, 6. Rick Eckert, 7. Tim McCreadie, 8. Shanon Buckingham, 9. Jonathan Davenport, 10. Billy Moyer, Jr., 11. Dennis Erb, Jr., 12. Pearson Lee Williams, 13. Chase Junghans, 14. Jimmy Owens, 15, Josh Richards, 16. Tanner English, 17. Charles Powell, Jr., 18. Tyler Breuning, 19. Trever Feathers, 20. Boom Briggs, 21. David Breazeale, 22. Billy Moyer, Sr., 23. G.R. Smith, 24. Matt Cosner, 25. Kyle Bronson, 26. Dan Stone, 27. Ken Monahan, 28. Mason Zeigler, 29. Mike Marlar, 30. Earl Pearson, Jr.

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