Brandon Sheppard seizes Friday night win at Volunteer

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Brandon Sheppard took the lead just after halfway then drove to the win

The World of Outlaws Morton Buildings Late Model Series descended on the Volunteer Speedway on Friday night for the first of two consecutive shows at the Bulls Gap, TN facility. Defending series champion Brandon Sheppard took his fourth WoO win of the 2020 season and garnered a winner’s check valued at $10,000.

Ricky Weiss led the way in Group A qualifying by touring the 4/10 mile clay oval in 12.181 seconds to beat out Chris Madden, Scott Bloomquist, Kyle Strickler and Dale McDowell.

Brandon Sheppard proved to be fastest in Group B time-trials and overall with a lap of 12.151 seconds around the high banks. That run topped Brandon Overton, Chase Junghans, Darrell Lanigan and Dnnis Erb, Jr.

Scott Bloomquist won the first heat race of the night ahead of Ricky Weiss. Cade Dillard and Dale McDowell while Kyle Strickler took the night’s second preliminary over Chris Brown, Chris Madden and Drew Kennedy.

It was Chase Junghans who won the third heat by outrunning Brandon Sheppard, Dennis Erb, Jr. and Joey Moriarity just before Brandon Overton grabbed the fourth and final heat as he beat Cory Hedgecock, Tyler Millwood and Ashton Winger to the finish line.

Donald McIntosh and Darrell Lanigan won the two Last Chance Showdown races.

The World of Outlaws Late Model Series redraw set the first four rows of the feature starting grid as Bloomquist, Strickler, Junghans, Overton, Hedgecock, Weiss, Sheppard and Brown.

At the start of the 50-lap feature the Bloomquist car slid up the track in turn one which allowed Overton to pass by both him and Strickler to take the lead. But on lap 6, Strickler would pass back by Overton to assert himself as the race leader.

Brandon Overton(76) drives by Kyle Strickler and Scott Bloomquist

As Strickler, who was driving with a flat left front tire, continued to show the way, Bloomquist moved to the runner-up position on lap 10. Further back, Overton, Erb and Sheppard waged a fierce battle for positions 3-5. Ultimately, Erb would emerge from that fight to secure third and set off in pursuit of the race leaders.

Erb began to rise when on lap 21, he moved around Bloomquist to take second while the lead car of Strickler began to encounter slower traffic on lap 27 which allowed his pursuers to close in.

However, a lap 28 restart proved costly for Strickler and Bloomquist as they fell back in the running order. However, a major development would occur when the leading car of Overton suddenly pulled off the track and out of the race.

Overton’s misfortune moved Sheppard to the top spot on the leader board.

Dennis Erb(28) was unable to get by Brandon Sheppard on a late race restart

The No. 1 machine encountered slower traffic as the laps clicked away which allowed pursuers Erb, Dillard and Winger to close in. Two late race restarts would not be enough for anyone to mount a challenge on Sheppard as he eventually would roll under the checkered flag for the victory.

Feature Finish: 1. Brandon Sheppard, 2. Dennis Erb Jr, 3. Cade Dillard, 4. Ashton Winger, 5. Scott Bloomquist, 6. Chase Junghans, 7. Cory Hedgecock, 8. Chris Madden, 9. Dale McDowell, 10. Ricky Weiss, 11. Darrell Lanigan, 12. Boom Briggs, 13. Brent Larson, 14. Donald McIntosh, 15. Kyle Strickler, 16. Kody Evans, 17. Brandon Overton, 18. Tyler Millwood, 19. Chris Brown, 20. Drew Kennedy, 21. Travis Fultz, 22. Jeff Wolfenbarger, 23. Joey Moriarity, 24. Drake Troutman

 

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