After enjoying a champagne-soaked Victory Lane ceremony, Sheppard noted that his deciding surge to the front was made possible by Richards’s advice.
“Mark kind of told me before this deal started, he said, ‘You’ve gotta be patient but you’ve gotta make the right moves when they’re needed to be made,'” said Sheppard. “I guess I made the right move when it was needed.”
With the victory, Sheppard further established himself as one of the sport’s top talents. On top of becoming just the fourth driver in DIRTcar UMP history to win the Summer Nationals and national points titles in the same season, he also won two WoO LMS A-Mains this year.
“Since the first day that he drove for us until now, he’s a whole different person,” said Richards. “He’s ready to be a championship driver. He can go out nationally now and compete.
“And what he’s done for us out there in the Midwest has been amazing,” he continued. “He’s helped turn things around for us as far as Rocket Chassis being represented out that way. We’ve got quite a few new customers from out there for next year – and it’s partially from what Brandon has done.”
Sheppard’s DTWC performance yielded a thumb’s-up from Josh Richards, who received word of his sub’s victory moments after the race ended.
“Josh texted Brandon and said he felt like a ‘proud papa,'” said Mark Richards.
Josh Richards will be back in house car for the season-ending WoO LMS events in two weeks as he attempts to finish off his third career tour championship. With a commanding 106-point lead over Darrell Lanigan, Richards can clinch the crown regardless of Lanigan’s results by finishing at least 17th in the final three scheduled races.
Coming off his conquest of the DTWC, Mark Richards is looking forward to closing the ’13 WoO LMS schedule at Charlotte, where Sheppard will also compete in his family’s No. b5.
“Truthfully, the way the year’s gone, I’d just as soon keep going,” said Richards. “It’s been the best year this race team has ever had. This weekend here at Portsmouth just put a little extra icing on the cake.”