Sheppard Doubles Down In Texas

Brandon Sheppard in victory lane at RPM Speedway. (USMTS photo)
Brandon Sheppard in victory lane at RPM Speedway. (USMTS photo)

CRANDALL, Texas — Brandon Sheppard capped a perfect weekend as the Summit USMTS National Championship fueled by Casey’s concluded the season Saturday at RPM Speedway with the final night of the third annual Summit Southern Nationals.

Sheppard, the World of Outlaws Late Model Series champion, sped to his second win of the weekend and kept it flawless by also winning his qualifying heat race for a second straight night.

Saturday’s 50-lapper started just like it did the previous night with Terry Phillips starting on the pole and squirting out to take control when the green flag dropped while Sheppard quickly snatched second place from Bo Day.

With Phillips working the middle of the quarter-mile oval, Sheppard hugged the low line and kept the pressure on the veteran racer for the first quarter of the contest before making his move for the lead.

Sheppard edged in front to lead lap 11 and the 27-year-old from New Berlin, Illinois, never trailed again.

“The track was awesome once again tonight and my car was great,” Sheppard said. “I could run top, middle, bottom—wherever I needed to—and I was able to rotate it in the middle of the corner and come off low. That’s where I was a little bit better than Phillips there.”

Meanwhile, Tyler Davis got around Phillips halfway through the race in heavy lapped traffic and recorded his best USMTS finish in 40 tries this year with a runner-up effort.
Phillips, who dropped out due to mechanical woes while leading on Friday, held it together to see the checkered flag and settled for third at the finish line ahead of Jake Gallardo, who advanced 10 spots to grab fourth.

A testament to the level of competition on hand Saturday, Rodney Sanders and Dereck Ramirez—the top two in USMTS points—both had to take provisional starting spots to join the main event field.

While Sanders struggled for the third straight night to finish 13th, Ramirez clawed his way from 26th on the grid to finish fifth at the completion of 50 laps.

The finish:

Brandon Sheppard, Tyler Davis, Terry Phillips, Jake Gallardo, Dereck Ramirez, Lucas Lee, Carlos Ahumada Jr., Tanner Mullens, Clyde Dunn Jr., Fito Gallardo, Dustin Hyde, Joe Duvall, Rodney Sanders, Kale Westover, Brandon Givens, Manuel Williams II, Skip O’Neal, A.J. Vasquez, Cody Leonard, Bo Day, James McCreery, Jason Hughes, Chris Henigan, Jason Ingalls, Max Eddie Thomas, Kevin Rowland