64 Speedway Central Mississippi Speedway Clayhill Motorsports Park Columbus Speedway I-30 Speedway Jackson Motor Speedway Malden Speedway Milan Speedway Moulton Speedway North Alabama Speedway North Mississippi Speedway Riverside Speedway St. Francois County Speedway Volunteer Speedway Whynot Motorsports Park
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Sheppard drove the Valvoline No. 1 Seubert Calf Ranches/ Durham Racing Engines-powered Rocket Chassis to a runner-up performance Friday at Cherokee Speedway. He wrapped up the weekend with a third-place outing Saturday at 411 Motor Speedway.
Rocket1 was one of 39 entries to kick off the doubleheader weekend at Cherokee Speedway in Gaffney, S.C. Friday. After qualifying second in his time trial group, Brandon grabbed a heat race win, sending him to the redraw where he received the second spot on the feature grid.
With $10,000 on the line, Sheppard wrestled the lead away from polesitter Ross Bailes on lap 16 and pulled away to nearly a two second advantage in the following laps. Shortly after, Sheppard was fighting lap traffic and allowed Brandon Overton to close the gap.
With Sheppard using the middle and high lines to attempt to lap a slower car, Overton used the low groove to slip ahead on lap 34. Sheppard moved down behind Overton the next lap but was never able to mount a serious charge to retake the point.
Overton took the checkers 0.734 of a second ahead of Sheppard. Chris Madden, Kyle Strickler, and Ross Bailes rounded out the Top-5 finishers.
“We had a really fast car again tonight here,” said Sheppard. “Brandon done a really good job there. I moved to the middle one lap too many down here in (turns) one and two trying to get by them lappers. That let him slip by me, and then we never got out of the bottom. It latched up down there and that was all she had.”
The following night, the tour moved to Seymour, Tennessee’s 411 Motor Speedway for another $10,000 contest. In a field of 36, Sheppard registered a second-place finish in his heat race and later drew the fifth starting position for the 50-lap main event.
Sheppard ran as high as second at times in the feature before crossing the finish line in third behind Chris Madden and Ricky Weiss to collect his 25th World of Outlaws Late Model Series podium of the season. Cory Hedgecock and Ross Bailes completed the Top-5.
“We could maneuver all over the racetrack and I was good all over," Sheppard said of his Rocket Chassis house car. "But just past halfway I got to where I couldn’t run the bottom as good as I needed to because I got a little bit tight. I don’t think I could’ve passed (Madden), but we had a good car all night long so we’re not going to complain with third. We’ll take it and take some notes and move on.”
Brandon Sheppard holds a 294-point advantage in the latest World of Outlaws Late Model Series championship standings. To learn more about these events, please visit www.WoOLMS.com.
The 27-year-old - who splits his splits his driving duties between Rocket1 and his family-owned No. B5 - continues to add to an impressive tally of achievements in 2020. Combined, Sheppard has accumulated 28 victories, 61 Top-5 performances, and 74 Top-10 outings in his 80 starts this season.
This weekend, Brandon Sheppard returns to the seat of his family-owned No. B5 for a tripleheader with the MARS Racing Series at three Illinois quarter-mile ovals. Opening the weekend is a $5,000-to-win event at Peoria Speedway on Friday, October 9, followed by Fairbury Speedway’s FALS Frenzy with a $15,000-to-win purse Saturday. The weekend finale will take place Sunday, October 11 with a $10,000-to-win event at LaSalle Speedway.
For more information on this lucrative weekend, please visit www.MARSRacingSeries.com.
The following weekend – October 17-18 – Rocket1 Racing will resume competition with the 40th Annual Dirt Track World Championship at Portsmouth (Ohio) Raceway Park. The Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series-sanctioned contest boasts a $100,000 top prize.
Additional information can be found at www.LucasDirt.com.
Rocket1 Racing would like to thank all of their marketing partners, which include Valvoline, Seubert Calf Ranches, Rocket Chassis, Ace Metal Works, Durham Racing Engines, FiveStar RaceCar Bodies, Gunters Honey, Hoosier Racing Tire, Integra Racing Shocks, Keyser Manufacturing, Petroff Towing, Slavic Custom Racing Shirts & Decals, Sweet Manufacturing, Sunoco Race Fuels, Accu-Force Shock Service, ATL Fuel Cells, Aurora Rod Ends, Barnes Dry Sump Oil Systems, Bazell Race Fuels, Beyea Custom Headers, Brown & Miller Racing Solutions, Brinn Transmissions, Cometic Gasket, COMP Cams, CP Carrillo, Dohm Cycles, Edelbrock, Fibreworks Composites, Hardrock Powder Coating, Howe Racing Enterprises, Jones Racing Products, Kenny’s Components, Maxima Racing Oils, MSD, NGK Spark Plugs, Tel Tac, Performance Bodies, Peterson Fluid Systems, Powers Performance, Performance Rod & Custom, Quarter Master, QuickCar Racing Products, Rocket Pre-Owned Motors, Safecraft, Show Trucks Unlimited, Simpson, Stealth Carburetors, Strange Oval, Suave Talk, Total Power Valvoline Pro-V Racing, Walker Performance Filtration, Weld Racing, Wiles Driveshafts, Wilwood Brakes, Winters Performance Products, Wrisco Aluminum, Xceldyne Valvetrain, and MSR Mafia Marketing Services.
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Overton drove the Wells Motorsports No. 76 Crossfit Overton/ Allstar Concrete/ Longhorn Chassis by Wells/ Clements Racing Engine-powered Super Late Model to a $10,000 triumph at Cherokee Speedway in Gaffney, S.C.
“We’ve done so good this year,” said Overton. “At the end of the day, I’m just grateful to keep getting opportunities to drive top-notch race cars for good people. I’m having fun and it’s all coming together.”
Overton rode in third behind Ross Bailes and Brandon Sheppard for the first half of the 50-lapper. He slipped to fourth when Chris Madden drove by him on lap 23. Rallying back around Madden one circuit later, then disposing of Bailes on lap 25, Overton begun to track down Sheppard for the top spot.
Cutting Sheppard’s more than two-second lead down to nothing, Overton blasted past Sheppard amid lapped-traffic on lap 34 to take the top spot. Brandon led the remaining distance to secure his second straight Mike Duvall Memorial victory over Sheppard, Madden, Kyle Strickler, and Bailes.
"That's the bad thing about leading. You're just kind of a sitting duck,” Overton said of his race-winning pass of Sheppard. “I just told myself I just needed to keep him him in sight and take care of my tires as much as I could. When Madden passed me I kind of panicked and knew I had to get back around him.”
The following night at 411 Motor Speedway (Seymour, Tenn.), Brandon followed up the fourth fastest time in his qualifying group with the fourth and final transfer spot in his heat race. Starting the $10,000-to-win A-Main in 15th, Overton gained six spots in the 50-lap affair to register a ninth place outing.
The upcoming weekend – October 9-11 – has Brandon slated to enter a trio of events. On Friday night he’ll compete in the 17th Annual FK Rod Ends Tarheel 50 at Tri-County Racetrack in Brasstown, N.C. Following that he’ll enter a pair of Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series events. On Saturday night he’ll chase a $12,000 payday in the annual Dixie Shootout before pursuing a $10,000 winner’s check on Sunday evening at Rome Speedway.
Brandon Overton would like to thank all of his marketing partners, which include Crossfit Overton, Wells Motorsports, Allstar Concrete, Longhorn Chassis by Wells, Big Dog Stump and Tree, RW Powell Construction, Convenient Lube, Big Blue Smoke House, Doug Campbell Body Shop, Clements Racing Engines, Penske Shocks, Hoosier by Brian, Top Notch Kustom Koncepts, Steering Buddy, Impact Race Gear, Swift Springs, Penn Grade Oil, Quarter Master, Earnhardt Technologies Group, Wilwood, All-Star Performance, Wehrs Machine, Schoenfeld, Winters Performance, Performance Bodies, Peterson Fluid Systems, Sunoco Race Fuels, Fast Shafts, AFCO Racing Products, COMP Cams, Quickcar Products, and MSR Mafia Marketing Services.
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Thornton Earns First Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series Win
ADEL, Iowa (10/06/20) – Ricky Thornton Jr. soared to his first-career Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series victory in Saturday’s Pittsburgher 100 at Pittsburgh’s Pennsylvania Motor Speedway.
Thornton escaped a rash of flat tires that plagued several of his competitors to put the SSI Motorsports No. 20RT Dyno One Inc./ Excel Floor Covering/ Sub-Surface of Indiana/ Longhorn Chassis/ Clements Racing Engine Super Late Model in Victory Lane.
The 30-year-olds breakthrough triumph net him a $20,000 payday.
“It’s really exciting,” said Thornton, an open-wheel modified ace whose first career national touring series victory in full-fender competition came earlier this year when he claimed a $20,000 World of Outlaws Morton Buildings Late Model Series feature at Jackson (Minn.) Motorplex. “We’ve been close to winning one of these Lucas races. Everything finally worked out.”
With 35 entries registered for the event, Thornton timed in fifth in his qualifying group before grabbing the fourth and final transfer spot in his heat race. Starting the 100-lap finale in 14th, Ricky marched forward 13 positions on his way to victory.
Methodically working his way through the field, Thornton reached the Top-5 just after the halfway point. Thornton made his final pass on lap 76 when he claimed third place from Hudson O’Neal. He inherited the top spot on lap 82 when the top two drivers in the race, Devin Moran and Tim McCreadie both suffered flat tires.
From there, Thornton dominated the remaining distance and crossed the finish line by a commanding margin of 3.122 seconds ahead of Josh Richards, Early Pearson Jr., Stormy Scott, and Michael Norris.
“Once we finally got spread out I was good enough where I could get under a guy and then get next to ‘em down the straightaway,” he added. “Then I could race ‘em into the corner where it wouldn’t just allow them to get right back down on the bottom.”
“We had a really good car early, so I was kind of worried we weren’t gonna be very good at the end, that I was gonna be too tight,” Thornton said. “But I think as everybody else’s tires kind of went away, we never really slowed down. I think that helped us a ton. We went hard on tires and really there wasn’t any of us who did it.”
For complete results from the weekend, please visit www.LucasDirt.com.
This weekend – October 7-10 – Ricky has his sights set on the Race for Hope 71 at Batesville Motor Speedway in Locust Grove, Ark. The week-long event culminates with a $12,000-to-win/ $1,500-to-start, IMCA Modified finale on Saturday night.
For more details on this mega event, please visit www.BatesvilleMotorSpeedway.com.
Ricky Thornton Jr. would like to thank all of his marketing partners, which include: Dyno One Inc., Excel Floor Covering, Certified Inspection Service Co. Inc., D&E Outside Services, Deines-Nitz Soultions & Powdercoating, West Side Tractor Sales Co., SSI Motorsports, Shelby Materials, Slicker Graphics, Lethal Chassis, Dylan Earven Foundation, Tire Demon, Hoker Trucking, Tanner Racing, High Performance Lubricants, Sub-Surface of Indiana, Midwest Sheet Metal, Dirtvision, Simpson Race Products, JE Pistons, Edelbrock, MSD, iRacing, E-Z-GO, Powers Performance, COMP Cams, Quarter Master, Cometic Gasket, Drydene, Winters Performance Products, Snap-on by Ryan Marsh, NGK Spark Plugs, Schoenfeld Headers, NAPA, Swift Springs, Penske Racing Shocks, Winning Edge Carburetion, Longhorn Chassis, Clements Racing Engines, Dynamic Drivelines, Superior Fuel Cells, Finish Line Body & Parts, Wehrs Machine, Dirt Defender, EMD Wraps, CPD racing Shocks, Bassett, Integra Racing Shocks, and MSR Mafia Marketing Services.
Visit the team’s official website at www.TwentyRT.com often for the latest team information. You can also stay connected with Ricky Thornton Jr. on social media at https://www.facebook.com/rickythorntonjrracing on Facebook, and on Twitter at https://twitter.com/RThornton20rt.
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Contact: Shawn Miller
Hagar Wins Short Track Nationals Opener Before Posting Career-Best Second-Place Result During Finale
Inside Line Promotions - LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (Oct. 6, 2020) - Derek Hagar captured the Short Track Nationals preliminary night for the second straight year last Friday at I-30 Speedway.
He followed that up by producing a career-best runner-up result during the finale of the 33rd annual COMP Cams Short Track Nationals presented by Hoosier Tires on Saturday at I-30 Speedway.
"I think next year is going to be even better," he said. "We're building a lot of momentum not just for the Short Track Nationals but next season as a whole. We're getting a cushion to work with to update our program to get not only a second motor but hopefully a third."
Hagar was one of 75-plus drivers to tackle the two-day Lucas Oil ASCS National Tour event. He kicked off the action on Friday by maneuvering from fourth to second place in both a heat race and a qualifier. That gave him the most points and the pole position for the 25-lap main event.
"We had a decent pill draw that put us on the second row outside in the sixth heat race," he said. "We were able to get up to second and hold onto second. For the qualifier we had a good run and I felt faster than Blake Hahn. Right when I got past him for the lead we had a red flag. He took my line on the restart so we settled for second. That gave us enough points to be on the pole for the feature. You had to be on top of your race car because if you weren't it'd take control. The cushion was pretty gnarly on the entry of both corners. It took forever to get the feature started. Once we got going I wasn't challenged too much. I found a line on the bottom of turns three and four that worked good for me."
Hagar led the distance for his eighth victory of the season and his first ASCS National Tour triumph since September 2014.
"It's been awhile," he said. "We know our team is good and we can compete with the best of them. We just don't have the opportunity to go out and do it a lot. It does make us feel good to be competitive and win races when we compete with the ASCS National Tour drivers."
The strong weekend continued on Saturday as Hagar won a heat race from the pole and a qualifier from third. He placed third in the dash to line up on the inside of the second row for the A Main.
"We got a good start and led every lap of the heat race," he said. "We won the qualifier and that put us second in points. I drew the No. 3 for the dash and finished third. We felt a little bit of rubber go down. We anticipated it would get locked down for the feature. We were way too free the whole race. I was just holding on. I got up to second late in the race. It was a good run, but it was disheartening knowing we had a fast car all weekend."
Hagar's runner-up result was his 11th podium of the season and his third second-place showing.
He plans on returning to action this Friday and Saturday at Riverside International Speedway in West Memphis, Ark., with the USCS Series.
QUICK RESULTS -
Oct. 2 - I-30 Speedway in Little Rock, Ark. - Heat race: 2 (4); Qualifier: 2 (4); Feature: 1 (1).
Oct. 3 - I-30 Speedway in Little Rock, Ark. - Heat race: 1 (1); Qualifier: 1 (3); Dash: 3 (3); Feature: 2 (3).
SEASON STATS -
20 races, 8 wins, 13 top fives, 17 top 10s, 17 top 15s, 20 top 20s
UP NEXT -
Friday and Saturday at Riverside International Speedway in West Memphis, Ark., with the USCS Series
MEDIA LINKS -
SPONSOR SPOTLIGHT - FK Rod Ends
From the wilds of Baja, Mexico, to the "Good Ole Boys" of NASCAR, from mowers to fitness equipment, FK Rod Ends is there with an evolving program designed to supply rod end products to users everywhere. For more information, visit http://www.FKRodEnds.com.
"Maria and the crew at FK Rod Ends are awesome to work with," Hagar said. "They take pride in their products and that's why we choose to run FK Rod Ends."
Hagar would like to thank B&D Towing and Recovery, J&J Auto Racing, Dynotech Performance, Summit Truck Group, Fragola Performance Systems, Killer Coatings, Petra Construction, Administrative Consulting Services, Hedger Brothers Ready Mix, Xtreme Race Graphics, Southern Collision Centre, Jeff's Heating and Cooling, ButlerBuilt Professional Seat Systems, Weld Wheels, DHR Suspension, Hinchman Racewear, Wix Filters, Wings Unlimited, Valvoline and Ti64 for their continued support.
Contact: Shawn Miller
West Jr. Soaks Up Heat Race Win and Experience at First Short Track Nationals
Inside Line Promotions - LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (Oct. 6, 2020) - Jeffrey West Jr. earned his second career Lucas Oil ASCS National Tour heat race victory on Saturday to kick off the 33rd annual COMP Cams Short Track Nationals presented by Hoosier Tires finale at I-30 Speedway.
West Jr. maintained the top spot from his pole position, which marked his third heat race win during his rookie season in a 360ci winged sprint car.
"The heat race win was awesome," he said. "We had the car dialed in perfectly for that. I could drive it how I wanted to. That was a big statement to show that we're there to compete and we can hang with the big boys, especially for my first year in a 360. That was huge even though it's just a heat race."
A sixth-place finish in a qualifier was followed by an 11th -place result in a B Main.
"In the qualifier we started third and I stayed in third the first five laps," he said. "Then we had a caution halfway. I guess the air pressure bled off too much. The handling went away after that and we faded toward the end. And then in the B Main the track was really slick and on the edge of fixing to rubber up. It ended up rubbering up in the middle of that B Main. The car wasn't exactly right for that so that was the main deal. Overall, I was still happy."
The two-day event, which featured more than 75 drivers, began on Friday with West Jr. finishing third in a heat race. He then advanced from eighth to sixth place in a qualifier, which lined him up on the outside of the second row for a B Main.
"I was able to finish third and hold our position in the heat race," he said. "The track was hammer-down fast. It made it difficult to pass because everyone is pretty much wide open. I was happy to finish third, racing against the best in the country. The car was decent in the qualifier. As the track faded off a little bit we lost a little with the setup. Then in the B Main I hit a big hole in turn one on the start. That sent me flying off the track. I had to restart back in 16th or 17th. I think if that wouldn't have happened that race goes a little different and maybe I could have passed someone to get into a transfer. Overall, I was happy with Friday."
West Jr. rallied from the back of the pack following the early incident to post a ninth-place finish.
Another bit of bright news coming out of the event, which was also sanctioned by the ASCS Mid-South Region, is that West Jr. finished third in the ASCS Mid-South Region championship standings and he won the Rookie of the Year Award.
He plans to take that momentum into a two-day USCS Series event at Riverside International Speedway in West Memphis, Ark., this Friday and Saturday.
"I feel really good going into this weekend," he said. "We've been fast there all year. We've raced there a bit so I feel confident."
QUICK RESULTS -
Oct. 2 - I-30 Speedway in Little Rock, Ark. - Heat race: 3 (3); Qualifier: 6 (8); B Main: 9 (4).
Oct. 3 - I-30 Speedway in Little Rock, Ark. - Heat race: 1 (1); Qualifier: 6 (3); B Main: 11 (7).
SEASON STATS -
12 races, 0 wins, 0 top fives, 3 top 10s, 7 top 15s, 9 top 20s
UP NEXT -
Friday and Saturday at Riverside International Speedway in West Memphis, Ark., with the USCS Series
MEDIA LINKS -
SPONSOR SPOTLIGHT - Haley Electric
Haley Electric provides electrical work on residential and commercial properties throughout Memphis, Tenn., and the surrounding area. For more information, visit https://rhaleyelectrictn.com/.
"I'm happy to have Haley Electric on board," West Jr. said. "They provide one of the best commercial and residential services in the Mid-South."
West Jr. would like to thank Mainline Safety and Supply, Inc., Flashe Graphics, Rick's Powder Coating and Jeff and Kim West for their continued support.
INSIDE LINE PROMOTIONS -
Inside Line Promotions specializes in affordable public relations and media management for motor sports drivers, teams, sponsors, tracks, series, events, organizations and manufacturers. ILP Founder Shawn Miller leverages professional journalism with new media technologies and social networking to improve your exposure and the return on investment for your sponsors.
To meet the media relations needs of your program by joining Team ILP, contact Shawn at 541-510-3663 or Shawn@InsideLinePromotions.com . For more information on Inside Line Promotions, visit http://www.InsideLinePromotions.com.
ROAD TO WORLD FINALS: Jason Johnson Racing In Contention For First Team Championship
PORT ROYAL, PA — Oct. 6, 2020 — Jason Johnson always had the goal of turning Jason Johnson Racing into a championship caliber team.
That goal has become a reality this year with JJR taking the points lead in the World of Outlaws NOS Energy Drink Sprint Car Series team championship with seven races remaining.
“For us to be in the hunt right now is pretty special,” said Philip Dietz, crew chief of the JJR #41 and cousin of the late Jason Johnson.
JJR currently holds an eight-point lead over Kasey Kahne Racing in the team championship battle, heading into the Oct. 9-10 Nittany Showdown at Port Royal Speedway. A title win this year would be the first for the Missouri-based team.
Their driver David Gravel, of Watertown, CT, has yet to win at the half-mile track, but he’s been on one of the best streaks in the Series. Gravel has collected 30 top-10 finishes in his last 31 races, which includes five of his six wins this season. He isn’t in contention for the driver championship due to missing two races to run an ARCA Series race and a NASCAR Truck Series race, but with Parker Price-Miller filling in for him in those two events – finishing 14th and ninth – JJR has been able to challenge the likes of KKR, Shark Racing and Tony Stewart/Curb-Agajanian Racing for the team championship title.
“Obviously, if I can help JJR propel and win a championship is something really cool for me,” Gravel said. “I’m kind of torn as how the season has gone. I’m going to try my best. I try my best every night and see where it ends up. There’s still a lot of racing to go. We’re racing every weekend until the World Finals pretty much, so a lot could happen.”
Gravel and his team have been on a hot streak in the last 10 events, collecting wins at Lernerville Speedway and Williams Grove Speedway and earning seven podiums in that time.
Their recent string of success is due to a combination of Gravel’s experience and recent changes the team has made to the Mesilla Valley Transportation #41 machine, according to Dietz. And the seven remaining events will provide a good opportunity for them to keep that streak going. Gravel will look to win the Jason Johnson Classic at Lake Ozark Speedway – scheduled for Oct. 17 – for the second year in a row and will try to sweep the World Finals – Nov. 5-7 – for the second consecutive year, as well.
Whether they’re competing for a championship or not, wins will be the prime motivation each race. However, points will still be on the back of their minds.
“We think about it,” Dietz said about considering the team’s points situation. “We don’t dwell on it. We go out and try to be the best we can each night. At the end of the season, the best car wins. It sure would be cool for our team. It’s cool to just be in the hunt. (Reigning champion) Brad (Sweet) and (Logan) Schuchart, they’ve both been really good this year. We’ll just keep plugging away. Hopefully we can be there at the end.”
Click here to get tickets to the Oct. 9-10 Nittany Showdown at Port Royal Speedway.
If you can’t make it to the track, you can watch all of the action live on DIRTVision.
Oct. 9-10 – Nittany Showdown at Port Royal Speedway – Tickets
Oct. 16 – Lakeside Speedway – Tickets
Oct. 17 – Jason Johnson Classic at Lake Ozark Speedway – Tickets
Oct. 24 – Kokomo Speedway – Tickets
Nov. 5-7 – Can-Am World Finals at The Dirt Track at Charlotte