FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Contact: Ben Shelton ( 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 . 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 as well as their social media channels at,, and . Official Internet Home of The Midsouth Racing Scene

MIDDLETOWN SHOWDOWN: Sheppard inches Blair for fifth win of the season at Orange County
It's the New Berlin, IL driver's 74th career World of Outlaws Victory, tying him for second all-time

MIDDLETOWN, NY – August 20, 2021 – A few inches and a bit of luck separated three-time and defending World of Outlaws Morton Buildings Late Model champion Brandon Sheppard from another step in Series history Thursday night at Orange County Speedway.
The New Berlin, IL driver and Centerville, PA’s Max Blair waged an epic battle in the closing laps, resulting in the two exiting Turn 4 for the final time side-by-side. Blair had thrown his Viper Motorsports car underneath Sheppard in the final corner to pull even with him, but the blue Rocket1 Racing machine had the better momentum up top, propelling him ahead of Blair at the finish line by inches.

The victory was Sheppard’s fifth of the season and 74th Series win of his career – tying him with Darrell Lanigan for second on the all-time wins list.

It’s also a victory that wouldn’t have happened if the race went any longer.  

“The last couple of laps, I started laying over more, and I kept getting looser and looser, and I didn’t know why,” Sheppard said. “I took the checkered flag and getting into [Turn 1], my right rear tire went down.

“We got lucky there for sure; if it had been 41 laps or another caution, we wouldn’t have won that race.” 

Another factor in the race was Sheppard’s tire choice. He picked a different compound than some of his challengers, putting him at a disadvantage on shorter runs. 

“I felt like I was better on the longer runs, which I should’ve been because I was on a little bit harder of a tire than what [Blair] was,” Sheppard said. “He was softer than me, and I couldn’t run on the bottom of the track like I wanted to.” 

Sheppard is now only four wins away from matching Josh Richards at the top of the win list (78). 
He also extended his points lead to 128 over Chris Madden, who finished 13th. The Gray Court, SC driver was running third when he lost oil pressure, sidelining him for the last two laps. 

Even though Blair settled for second, he still wore a smile. He stated he was happy to run up front with some of the top drivers on tour.  

“I think I had a really good racecar, but Brandon Sheppard’s a really, really good racecar driver,” Blair said. “On that last lap, I thought I had him getting into [Turn 3], and he just carried so much momentum off [Turn 4] that I just couldn’t quite beat him back to the line.

“You don’t get too many opportunities to run against [Chris Madden] and [Brandon Sheppard] like that, so I’ll take that all day long; that was fun.” 

After switching to a backup car before the Feature, Tyler Bruening, the top rookie, finished third.

The Decorah, IA driver had motor trouble at the end of his Drydene Heat Race, forcing him to battle from the back of the field to reach the podium. 

“The car was dynamite tonight,” Bruening said. “I like these big racetracks; it just suits my driving style a little more, and they’re a lot of fun for me.” 

“You got to have a good race car to come from dead last to run third with these guys.”

NASCAR Truck and Super DIRTcar Series regular Stewart Friesen crossed the line fourth in his second appearance with the World of Outlaws Late Models. The Niagara-on-the-Lake, ON driver thought he may have used up his stuff trying to get to the front. 

“I think I just burned the tires up trying to get there, and then toward the end, I was just kind of skating,” Friesen said. “A good run for us. We’re still learning these cars. There’s just so much to them. I still don’t think it’s where it needs to be, but it’s pretty cool to run with these guys and be out here.” 

Pennsylvania’s Dan Stone finished fifth, his second top-five with the Series in 2021. 

A little luck doesn’t hurt when you’re trying to reach Victory Lane, even if you’ve been there as often as Brandon Sheppard. Thursday’s win isn’t something the “Rocket Shepp” is taking for granted. 

“The good Lord was watching after us [Thursday],” Sheppard said. 

UP NEXT: The Most Powerful Late Models on the Planet head to Pennsylvania for a stop at the iconic Williams Grove Speedway on Friday, Aug. 20.

If you can’t make it to the track, you can watch all the action live on DIRTVision – either online or through the DIRTVision App.

Morton Buildings Feature (40 Laps)-1. 1-Brandon Sheppard [1][$10,000]; 2. 111V-Max Blair [5][$6,000]; 3. 16-Tyler Bruening [13][$3,500]; 4. 44F-Stewart Friesen [9][$2,800]; 5. 2-Dan Stone [14][$2,500]; 6. 8-Kyle Strickler [4][$2,300]; 7. B1-Brent Larson [11][$2,200]; 8. 99M-Max McLaughlin [19][$2,100]; 9. 24Y-Dylan Yoder [18][$2,050]; 10. 119B-Bryan Bernheisel [10][$2,000]; 11. 28-Dennis Erb Jr [6][$1,600]; 12. 171-Jimmy Bernheisel [12][$1,400]; 13. 44-Chris Madden [3][$1,200]; 14. 99B-Boom Briggs [8][$1,100]; 15. 7-Ricky Weiss [7][$1,050]; 16. 7R-Ross Robinson [16][$1,000]; 17. 93-Pancho Lawler [22][$1,000]; 18. 4S-Danny Snyder [17][$1,000]; 19. 0-Rick Eckert [2][$1,000]; 20. 24-Jon Rohacevich [15][$1,000]; 21. 7A-Amanda Robinson [21][$1,000]; 22. 19R-Ryan Gustin [20][$1,000] Hard Charger:99M-Max McLaughlin[+11]

Qualifying –1. 119B-Bryan Bernheisel, 20.072; 2. 19R-Ryan Gustin, 20.16; 3. 8-Kyle Strickler, 20.299; 4. 44-Chris Madden, 20.437; 5. 0-Rick Eckert, 20.447; 6. 7A-Amanda Robinson, 20.46; 7. 1-Brandon Sheppard, 20.466; 8. 99B-Boom Briggs, 20.476; 9. 44F-Stewart Friesen, 20.529; 10. 7R-Ross Robinson, 20.55; 11. 111V-Max Blair, 20.698; 12. 28-Dennis Erb Jr, 20.813; 13. 7-Ricky Weiss, 20.835; 14. B1-Brent Larson, 20.901; 15. 171-Jimmy Bernheisel, 21.053; 16. 99M-Max McLaughlin, 21.081; 17. 2-Dan Stone, 21.11; 18. 24Y-Dylan Yoder, 21.171; 19. 93-Pancho Lawler, 21.35; 20. 4S-Danny Snyder, 22.258; 21. 24-Jon Rohacevich, 22.33; 22. 16-Tyler Bruening, NT