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Shirley had already clinched the $25,000 title heading into the finale at Merritt Speedway on Saturday with a 130-point lead over Frank Heckenast Jr. He maintained his advantage with a seventh-place finish in the feature, one spot ahead of Heckenast.
“I’m just proud of my team, proud of everybody that’s a part of this deal. I just can’t thank those guys enough for the support we get. We’ll just keep going until we can’t go anymore,” said Shirley.
After qualifying first in his group and claiming a heat race victory, Shirley drew the second starting position for the $5,000-to-win A-Main. Shirley battled for a podium spot early in the 40-lapper before fading to a sixth-place finish.
The DIRTcar Summer Nationals made their first-ever appearance at Butler Motor Speedway in Quincy, Mich. on Wednesday. Shirley once again topped the speed charts in qualifying and notched a heat race win.
Receiving the pole position for the 30-lap main event by virtue of the redraw, Shirley jumped out to a commanding lead at the drop of the green flag. Holding the top spot through two restarts, Brian led flag-to-flag, crossing the finish line 1.467 seconds ahead for a $5,000 payday. Drake Troutman, Rusty Schlenk, Garrett Wiles, and Jason Feger completed the Top-5.
“This is the car we wrecked at Lincoln,” Shirley said of the car he drove into Butler Victory Lane. “After how we did last night, I was like ‘we’ve got to figure out what to do to get this car back together. There’s something about this car that just works. Maybe it ain’t nothing at all and it’s just psychological in my mind. But there’s one thing about it, it seems to work and seems to fit me pretty good. Whatever makes it as good as it is, I don’t know, but I like it.”
The action shifted to Thunderbird Raceway in Muskegon, Mich. on Thursday for another $5,000-to-win program. Shirley finished second in his heat race to lock into the fifth starting position for the 40-lap feature. Brian ran as high as second at times before settling to a fourth-place finish behind Heckenast, Ryan Gustin, and Dona Marcoullier. Brandon Thirlby rounded out the Top-5 finishers.
A Tri-City Motor Speedway in Auburn, Mich. on Friday, Brian recorded a third-place finish in his heat race, earning him the tenth spot on the feature grid. Shirley advanced five positions in the $10,000-to-win race to place fifth behind Dona Marcoullier, Schlenk, Gustin, and Heckenast.
Wrapping up the 2020 edition of the DIRTcar Summer Nationals at Merritt Speedway in Lake City, Mich. on Saturday, Shirley qualified first in his group but slipped to a third-place finish in his heat race. Starting the $10,000-to-win finale in ninth, Brian moved forward two spots to finish seventh.
Despite his impressive stats on the tour, Shirley was disappointed the finale didn’t go better. "We hadn't been here for a long time and really didn't know how it would go," said Shirley. "It would've been better to end on a little higher note, but all in all, to get it done and be able to go home with another championship, I'm definitely happy with it."
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Sheppard drove the Valvoline No. 1 Seubert Calf Ranches/ Durham Racing Engines-powered Rocket Chassis House Car to dominating performances at Lincoln Speedway on Thursday and Williams Grove Speedway on Friday.
Rocket1 was one of 38 entries to kick off the WoO Pennsylvania swing at Lincoln Speedway in Abbottstown, Pa. Thursday. After winning his heat race, Sheppard drew the second starting spot Billy Vacek and Huey Wilcoxon Memorial main event.
Controlling all 50 laps of $12,000-to-win feature, Brandon charged to his 12th WoO win of the season. Rick Eckert, Ricky Weiss, Cade Dillard, and Chase Junghans rounded out the Top-5 finishers.
“This was a really fun track, Lincoln Speedway puts one heck of a race,” Sheppard commented in victory lane. “I could race every day of the week right now if they’d let me. This thing is so much fun to drive. We’ve just been so good, it’s hard to miss any of these races. I’m glad to be back out here on tour, especially at new places like this. I had never been here before, so I like checking new tracks off my list.”
In a field of 39 WoO Late Models at Williams Grove Speedway in Mechanicsburg, Pa Friday, Brandon once again picked up a heat race victory and drew the second slot for the 40-lap feature.
Taking full advantage of his outside front-row starting position, Sheppard overtook polesitter Cade Dillard on the opening lap and went on to claim another dominating flag-to-flag victory. Crossing the finish line ahead of Gregg Satterlee, Rick Eckert, Mason Zeigler, and Gene Knaub, Brandon earned $10,000 for his 68th career WoO victory.
“I really love this race track,” Sheppard fondly noted after his second win of 2020 at Williams Grove. “This is just such a legendary place. I always dreamed of coming here as a kid, so to come here and race this Rocket house car and win the way we do, it’s special to me. This car has just been phenomenal, I can’t thank all my guys and our sponsors enough. This ride has been unbelievable. We’re gonna ride this streak out as long as we can.”
At Eriez Speedway on Saturday, 34 competitors registered for the final night of the WoO Pennsylvania swing. Brandon set QuickTime in qualifying group before charging to another heat race win, sending him to the redraw. Drawing the fourth starting spot for the $10,000 feature, Sheppard ran as high as second at times in the 50-lapper before crossing the finish line in third behind Dennis Erb Jr. and Boom Briggs. Ashton Winger and Alex Ferree completed the Top-5.
Rocket1 Racing continues to lead the latest World of Outlaws Morton Buildings Late Model Series Championship Standings. To view the latest standings, complete results, and learn more about upcoming events, please visit www.WoOLMS.com.
This weekend - August 27-29 - Rocket1 will return to the Keystone state for a tripleheader with the Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series at Port Royal Speedway. The weekend consists of three complete programs at the half-mile oval, Thursday, Friday, and Saturday, paying $10,000, $12,000, and $15,000 respectively. To learn more about these events, please visit 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.
Contact: Shawn Miller
Inside Line Promotions
Shawn@InsideLinePromotions.com | (541) 510-3663
Hagar Records USCS Series Victory at Riverside International Speedway
Inside Line Promotions - WEST MEMPHIS, Ark. (Aug. 25, 2020) - Derek Hagar continued his successful 2020 campaign by capturing his fifth triumph of the season last Saturday at Riverside International Speedway.
"First off, we were battling brake issues from hot laps through the heat race," he said. "The brakes kept locking up. They locked up on Lap 1 of the heat. After that we had a caution and I didn't touch them again. I wasn't able to use the brakes to my advantage. I rode around in third and then the guy in second made a mistake and we got by him."
Hagar's run from fourth to second place in a heat race put him a good spot going into the USCS Series main event. He lined up on the outside of the second row.
"We got the brakes fixed and we ran fourth most of the race," he said. "We had a red flag with 17 laps to go. Then I found a line that worked real good for me. I got up to third and lapped traffic played a role. It held second up and I was able to do a slide job on a couple of lapped cars and second at the same time. Then I was able to chase the leader down. With four or five laps to go we got to racing each other pretty hard, sliding each other back and forth. Coming to the white flag he slid me back in turns one and two. I got on the brakes and turned underneath him. He hit the cushion pretty hard and biked up. That sealed the deal for me."
Hagar's victory was his fifth of the season in only 11 starts.
"We haven't got to race a whole lot," he said. "It feels good we can go out there and compete with these guys. This new motor should be three for three. We've won two of the three races with it. Every time we hit the track we're a contender."
Hagar plans on taking this weekend off before resuming competition Sept. 5-6 at Lake Ozark Speedway in Eldon, Mo., with the ASCS Warrior Region.
QUICK RESULTS -
Aug. 22 - Riverside International Speedway in West Memphis, Ark. - Heat race: 2 (4); Feature: 1 (4).
SEASON STATS -
11 races, 5 wins, 7 top fives, 9 top 10s, 9 top 15s, 11 top 20s
UP NEXT -
Sept. 5-6 at Lake Ozark Speedway in Eldon, Mo., with the ASCS Warrior Region
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 Dynotech Performance, B&D Towing and Recovery, J&J Auto Racing, Summit Truck Group, Fragola Performance Systems, Killer Coatings, Petra Construction, Administrative Consulting Services, Hedger Brothers Ready Mix, Xtreme Race Graphics, Southern Collision Centre, Hedger Brothers Ready Mix, 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.
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.