GIBSONTON, Fla. — Brandon Sheppard charged from 12th starting spot to take the lead on lap 14 and never looked back in claiming his second Wrisco Industries Winternationals victory of the week Thursday Night at East Bay Raceway Park.
Sheppard was the fourth and final different leader of the Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series race after Brandon Overton, Tim McCreadie and Boom Briggs each took a turn at leading the race in the first 14 circuits.
Sheppard held a 1.7-second advantage over Richards at the finish line. Richards was originally slated to start 20th but started in the tail after a rules violation before the race. Richards then charged to the front in the Clint Bowyer Racing IRacing Rocket to finish second.
Billy Moyer Jr., in his Nutrien Ag Solutions Capital Race Car Chassis equaled his best career Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series finish with a third place after starting in sixth. Jimmy Owens came home in fourth with Devin Moran, the opening night winner at East Bay Raceway Park, completing the top five.
The 40-lap feature started off good for Overton and points leader Tim McCreadie, as the pair raced side-by-side in the early stages of the race.
Overton led the first lap before McCreadie took over the race lead for two laps, but by lap four Overton was back in front of the battle of the pair of Longhorn Chassis drivers. By lap six however, McCreadie was back in front as Boom Briggs started to show his strength working his way to second place. Briggs then made a power move on McCreadie on lap ten, to take over the point.
Briggs held the lead until 12th place starter, Sheppard zipped by for the lead. Sheppard held off a trio of drivers in the last half of the race to record his 17th career Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series win, and his fifth at East Bay Raceway Park.
“I’ll tell you what, I think I’m going to have gray hair by the time we leave here, you just don’t know where to go,” Sheppard explained. “I knew at some point the cushion (high-side) was going to be the place to be, but the bottom was working for me at the beginning of the race, you don’t really know when to move. I just stuck with it and stuck with it and then I see the 14 (Richards) on the board and I knew I had to get my elbows up.”
Richards will have to wait another night for his eighth career win at East Bay Raceway Park.
“We’ll certainly take it,” he said. “Brandon’s been good and I just can’t thank those guys enough for the help, my dad and everybody. We’ve had a great car in the feature, we just haven’t been able to show it. We’ve just gotta get a little bit better and start closer to the front and I think we’ll be there.”
After a solid start to the week Moyer Jr. bounced back from a rough Wednesday night.
“First thing, congrats to the 1 and 14, they were on it,” he said.” I didn’t have anything for Sheppard. I think on that one caution, my right-front (tire) completely went away and I couldn’t run that bottom like earlier in the race. Then you just gotta go up there and run like an idiot around that top and steer with the back tires. This Capital Race Car is awesome. I’m just tickled to death to drive it. My daughter, wife, and family were all watching, my brother’s probably yelling at the TV, so it’s nice to finally get on the screen.”
Brandon Sheppard, Josh Richards, Billy Moyer Jr., Jimmy Owens, Devin Moran, Boom Briggs, Brandon Overton, Brian Shirley, Billy Moyer Sr., Tyler Erb, Kyle Bronson, G.R. Smith, Hudson O’Neal, Shane Clanton, Earl Pearson Jr., Jonathan Davenport, Mike Marlar, Shanon Buckingham, Tyler Bruening, Matt Cosner, David Breazeale, Tanner English, Coleby Frye, Mason Zeigler, Chase Junghans, Tim McCreadie, Jesse Stovall, Dennis Erb Jr., Stormy Scott, Jadon Frame.