To say that Brandon Sheppard and the Mark Richards-owned Rocket Chassis house car team have been dominant throughout the 2019 World of Outlaws Morton Buildings Late Model Series season would perhaps be a bigger understatement than to say that there are political differences that exist in the United States today. This weekend the national touring series will make its way to the southeastern corner of the country for three events that will provide competitors with an opportunity to challenge the supremacy of the No. 1 machine as the campaign draws toward its conclusion.
In what might be one of the most astonishing statistics in all of racing this year, Sheppard has tallied a total of 18 wins in WoO Late Models sanctioned races this season while all other drivers combined have won a total of 18 series features this year. The New Berlin, Ill. driver even had one run during June and July in which he scored five consecutive main events victories on the tour.
And more, Sheppard has amassed a staggering 34 top-5 finishes in 36 WoO starts. Only once has he finished outside the top-10 in a feature race on this series in 2019.
Sheppard has collected more than $300,000 in winnings from WoO Late Models purses alone. That’s apart from his lucrative triumphs in the Dirt late Model Dream at Eldora Speedway and the Dirt Million at Mansfield Motor Speedway.
The series will contest three consecutive events in three different states during this upcoming weekend. On Thursday night the series will move to the Lavonia Speedway in Georgia for a $10,000-to-win feature followed by another on Friday at the Cherokee Speedway in Gaffney, SC. The triumvirate of events will conclude in Tennessee at the 411 Motor Speedway on Saturday.
The important thing for all the other drivers and teams going into these races is to establish that they can effectively challenge Sheppard. And there is a ray of hope in that Sheppard has not won a series race in his last three outings as Max Blair, Shane Clanton and Darrell Lanigan took checkered flags during the month of September. That three-race streak without a victory matches Sheppard’s longest WoO dry spell of 2019 so far.
For those who intend to run the full schedule on this circuit in 2020, now is the time to make a statement not only to Sheppard and his team but to themselves as well that the Rocket house car is not invincible. The three races this weekend along with two nights in November at The Dirt Track in Charlotte are all that remain for those drivers and teams to make that statement.
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