The World of Outlaws Morton Buildings Late Model Series hit the track for the last of their tour through the upper Midwest at the River Cities Speedway. At the end of the night it was Brandon Sheppard who was crowned as a WoO Late Models winner for the tenth time on Sunday night. The New Berlin, IL driver took home $10,000 from the Grand Forks, ND track in a race aired live on DirtVision.com.
Dennis Erb Jr set the fast time in Group A qualifying with a lap of 12.527 seconds to top Chase Junghans, Boom Briggs, Brandon Sheppard and Donny Schatz.
It was Chad Mahder who was quickest in Group B by turning a lap in 12.952 seconds to beat out Brad Seng, Dustin Strand, Ryan Corbett and Jeff Massingill.
Brandon Sheppard outran Dennis Erb Jr., Ashton Winger, Scott Bloomquist, Jeff Massengill and Brad Seng in the night’s first heat while Chase Junghans topped Cade Dillard, Donny Schatz, Darrell Lanigan, Dustin Strand and Joey Pederson in the second preliminary.
Mitch McGrath won the third and final heat ahead of Ricky Weiss, Boom Briggs, Cole Schill, Chad Mahder and Colton Horner.
The WoO Late Models redraw setting the starting order for the first three rows as Weiss, Sheppard, Dillard, McGrath, Erb and Junghans.
Lance Schill won the lone Last Chance Showdown used to set the remainder of the starting lineup for the feature.
Weiss jumped to the lead at the start of the 50-lap feature with Sheppard, Dillard, McGrath and Erb following in his wake. By lap 3 Sheppard began working on Weiss in an attempt to take the race lead but the No. 7 machine fought off those advances.
The top-4 of Weiss, Sheppard, Dillard and Erb began to separate themselves from the field by lap 6. On lap 12 those drivers found themselves fighting for positions in the midst of heavy traffic.
As the race approached the halfway mark, Weiss appeared to be slipping away from his pursuers. However, slower traffic continued to play a role and it allowed Sheppard and Dillard to close back in on the leader.
Sheppard began to gain even more ground on the outside as the race moved into its second half. Finally on lap 32 the No. 1 machine used the high groove to pull alongside and eventually around Weiss to take the lead. However, Weiss fought back and moved inside Sheppard in an attempt to regain that which was lost on lap 34.
Eventually, Sheppard held the top spot while Weiss fell back into the clutches of Dillard. On lap 36, Dillard took the runner-up position away from Weiss and set off after Sheppard.
With just two laps remaining, Dillard closed dramatically on the front runner. But Sheppard would hold off those advances to claim the victory.
Feature Finish: 1. Brandon Sheppard, 2. Cade Dillard, 3. Ricky Weiss, 4. Dennis Erb Jr., 5. Dustin Strand, 6. Donny Schatz, 7. Chase Junghans, 8. Darrell Lanigan, 9. Brad Seng, 10. Ashton Winger, 11. Chad Mahder, 12. Scott Bloomquist, 13. Brent Larson, 14. Jeffrey Massingill, 15. Mitch McGrath, 16. Cole Schill, 17. Lance Schill, 18. Brody Troftgruben, 19. Colton Horner, 20. Joey Pederson, 21. Jeff Hapala, 22. Boom Briggs, 23. Ryan Corbett, 24. Tom Corcoran