FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Contact: Ben Shelton (email@example.com) August 3, 2021 Top-5 Run in Prairie Dirt Classic for Rocket1 Racing Four Nights of WoO Wisconsin Action on Tap this Week SHINNSTON, W.Va. (08/03/21) – Brandon Sheppard and Rocket1 Racing rolled into the famed Fairbury Speedway over the weekend for the 31st edition of the Prairie Dirt Classic. Saturday night’s $50,000-to-win finale found Sheppard recording a fifth-place finish in his Valvoline No. 1 Seubert Calf Ranches/ Durham Racing Engines-powered XR1 Rocket Chassis Super Late Model. “Really late in the race when my car came to me, I was a few spots too far back,” Sheppard said. “We just had to make the most out of it and made a few passes on the restarts and just came up short. It’s disappointing because we had a better car than where we finished. We’ll head to Wisconsin this week to go after some more big checks. Thanks as always goes out to all of our marketing partners and supporters.” Taking part in one the biggest weekends of the year with the World of Outlaws (WoO) Morton Buildings Late Model Series, Rocket1Racing and Brandon Sheppard invaded Fairbury Speedway (Fairbury, Ill.) on Friday afternoon for the 31st annual Prairie Dirt Classic. With the massive 74-car field split into two separate groups for time trials, Sheppard recorded the 11th fastest time in his group. Starting his $3,000-to-win preliminary feature in sixth, Brandon improved three spots in the 25-lapper to register a third-place finish. With his third-place finish in preliminary action on Friday placing him 11th on the starting grid for Saturday night’s $50,000-to-win Prairie Dirt Classic, Sheppard advanced six spots in the 100-lap affair to finish fifth. He followed Kyle Larson, Bobby Pierce, Shannon Babb, and Chris Madden across the line. Brandon now sits 86 points ahead of Chris Madden atop the World of Outlaws point standings. For complete results from these events, please visit www.WorldofOutlaws.com . The upcoming week has the team set for four nights of WoO action in Wisconsin. The week opens on Tuesday evening at Outagamie Speedway with a $10,000-to-win event, which is co-sanctioned with the Dirt Kings tour. On Thursday evening three rounds of WoO action kicks off at Cedar Lake Speedway with a $6,000-to-win affair. On Friday and Saturday the 2021 USA Nationals take center stage with double heat races on Friday evening followed by B-mains and the $50,000-to-win finale on Saturday night. 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. For the latest information on Rocket1Racing please visit the team website at www.Rocket1Racing.com as well as their social media channels at www.facebook.com/Rocket1Racing, www.twitter.com/Rocket1_Racing, and www.instagram.com/rocket1racing .
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LOCKED-IN: Rico Wins Hard Knox as Macri, Stewart & Zearfoss Earn Transfers to Saturday Finale
Jac Haudenschild Nearly Qualifies for A-Main in Final Knoxville Nationals
KNOXVILLE, IA - August 13, 2021 - The Hard Knox portion of the NOS Energy Drink Knoxville Nationals pres. by Casey's continues to be one of the most magical nights in sprint car racing, and that was proven once again on Friday night.
With 69 entries fighting for four coveted lock-in positions, the intensity was through the roof. A loaded program of split Qualifying, six Heat Races, two B-Mains, and a 25-lap A-Main greeted fans ahead of Saturday's sold-out finale.
Nostalgia was floating through the air when "GO JAC GO!" chants broke out as the legendary Jac Haudenschild put the Pennzoil #22 on the pole position of the A-Main in his final preliminary at Iowa's Knoxville Raceway.
The Wild Child led five laps, but ultimately this night belonged to Rico Abreu. The St. Helena, CA racer was dominant in every phase of the game as he ran away to a comfortable 4.645-second victory and locked-in for his sixth consecutive Knoxville Nationals A-Main.
"Everything happens for a reason." Abreu, who was one point away from locking in last night, acknowledged. "There's a reason I qualified 30th last night and there's a reason I missed the lock-in. I'll take this. I wasn't worried one bit about it."
Earning the outside pole of the A-Main after going QuickTime in Flight B and transferring through his Heat Race, the #24 was a lethal weapon all night long on the black zook clay.
He settled into second on the start as Jac Haudenschild led the opening five laps, but then made his move on Lap 6 and never looked back. He climbed up top to celebrate his third Knoxville Raceway victory and echoes of "RICO! RICO! RICO!" were shouted throughout Marion County.
"I just want to win races, man," Abreu added. "I don't do these championships or points, I just want to win. I knew last night being top five with those guys that we would be fine tonight. Also, I really think I've just matured in life as I've gotten older. I know how to react to these results and everything that happens in our sport. I think that has made me a sharper racer, too."
Outside of Rico, the story of the night was 63-year-old Jac Haudenschild. In his 39th and final Knoxville Nationals attempt, he earned the pole position of Hard Knox and started pole with a chance to transfer to Saturday's A-Main. He held a lock-in position for 22 of 25 laps before ultimately fading to run sixth aboard the iconic Pennzoil #22.
"I just made too many mistakes, and with these guys, you can't make any," Haudenschild offered. "We definitely learned a lot, though, and I feel better as well heading into tomorrow."
Along with Abreu, additional lock-in positions to Saturday's Knoxville Nationals A-Main went to Anthony Macri, Shane Stewart, and Brock Zearfoss.
For Macri, who was at a loss for words, he earned his first-career A-Main appearance at The Granddaddy of 'Em All. The 22-year-old Dillsburg, PA native was in shock even at the post-race press conference.
"I really don't even know what to think," Macri said. "For a kid like me to put it in the Knoxville Nationals, that's just unreal. I still can't believe it. I'm struggling for words."
Following Macri to the line and finishing third was Bixby, OK's Shane Stewart in only his fourth Sprint Car race of 2021. The now track owner of Port City Raceway has qualified for his 20th career Knoxville Nationals, this time with the Team Trackhouse #71 prepared by Bernie Stuebgen of Indy Race Parts.
"I knew this would be tough," Stewart admitted. "Bernie is part-time. and this is my fourth race of the entire year. Guys like Kyle Larson come out and make it look like the easiest thing in the world, but let me tell you it's not. I don't know how many races I have left in me, so moments like this are special."
Earning the fourth and final lock-in to Saturday's Knoxville Nationals finale was Brock Zearfoss aboard the #3Z.
"This is everything for a team, just making the Nationals," Zearfoss noted. "Moral wise, confidence wise, this can change seasons. Our team has been through a bit of a rough patch, the whole year actually. This is really rewarding finding speed here."
Those four, Abreu, Macri, Stewart, and Zearfoss, will start Saturday's 50-lap finale from rows 11-12. Along with the $4,000 they made tonight, tomorrow's A-Main pays a world-best $10,000-to-start.
Closing out the top-ten on Friday night was Scott Bogucki in fifth, Jac Haudenschild in sixth, Shane Golobic in seventh, Bill Balog in eighth, Kyle Reinhardt in ninth, and Lynton Jeffrey in tenth.
The 60th NOS Energy Drink Knoxville Nationals pres. by Casey's will conclude tomorrow, Saturday, August 14 with championship night. On the docket is an E-Main, D-Main, C-Main, Last Chance Showdown, and 50-lap, potentially $200,000/Win Feature.
NOS Energy Drink Feature (25 Laps) - 1. 24R-Rico Abreu ; 2. 39M-Anthony Macri ; 3. 71-Shane Stewart ; 4. 3Z-Brock Zearfoss ; 5. 25-Scott Bogucki ; 6. 22-Jac Haudenschild ; 7. 17W-Shane Golobic ; 8. 17B-Bill Balog ; 9. 91-Kyle Reinhardt ; 10. 83J-Lynton Jeffrey ; 11. 49J-Josh Schneiderman ; 12. 56N-Davey Heskin ; 13. 39-Daryn Pittman ; 14. 70-Sammy Swindell ; 15. 2C-Wayne Johnson ; 16. 55-Hunter Schuerenberg ; 17. 11N-Harli White ; 18. 28-Tim Shaffer ; 19. 11-Roger Crockett ; 20. 20-AJ Moeller ; 21. 27-Carson McCarl ; 22. 55M-McKenna Haase ; 23. 3-Ayrton Gennetten ; 24. 40-Clint Garner . Lap Leaders:Jac Haudenschild 1-5, Rico Abreu 6-25. KSE Hard Charger Award: 71-Shane Stewart[+8]