FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Contact: Ben Shelton (firstname.lastname@example.org) 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 .
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
BUCKEYE BARNBURNER: Larson holds off Gustin for Battle at the Border Victory
While the record book will show Larson never relinquished the lead, “The Reaper” took a few swings at the 2021 Prairie Dirt Classic and Knoxville Nationals champion. Ryan Gustin used the cushion to make a late-race charge, pulling even with Larson’s Longhorn Chassis in the closing laps.
The battle forced Larson to change his line, keeping “The Reaper” at bay until the checkered flag.
“I heard [Gustin] going into [Turn 1], and I saw him coming out of [Turn 2],” Larson said. “We kind of drag raced down the backstretch, and he tried to run in and pinch me and kind of block my slider, but I was able to have enough room to get in front of him and kind of get up on the wheel from there.
“The top of [Turns 1 and 2] was definitely better when I got up there, and I just had to not make too many mistakes once I got up there.”
The $10,000 victory came on the type of surface Larson said best suited his driving style – one he’s still fine tuning for the Late Models.
“I feel like when a track is like that is when I’m best,” he said. “When I don’t have to run the top, I don’t have to try and run the bottom, I can kind of use momentum and use the middle to be good.
“That’s kind of how [All-Tech Speedway] was, and [Fairbury Speedway] a little bit, so yeah, I think my car is good in those conditions, and I don’t have to be so precise.”
Gustin brought the crowd to their feet and made his name known with one of the closest attempts of dethroning Larson for a win, while in search of his first Series win. The Marshalltown, IA driver made an impressive run from 14th to third before a caution with 13 laps left gave him the breakthrough he needed.
“[Brandon Sheppard] gave me the outside on that restart, and I knew I had to make the best of it, otherwise he was going to find it and go up there,” Gustin said.
Gustin pounded the cushion off the restart, giving him a chance to catch Larson and try to pass him for the win. Even though he came up short, “The Reaper” knew he left everything on the racetrack.
“We gave it all we had, but we got beat by the best driver in the world as far as I’m concerned,” Gustin said. “Nothing to hang your hat on there, but I wish he wouldn’t have been here, so we could’ve gotten our first [win].”
Three-time and defending Series champion Brandon Sheppard finished third, his 19th podium finish of the season.
The New Berlin, IL driver stated he was happy with the car and feels they aren’t far from rattling off a few more wins.
“We were decent; we were just a little bit free in that Feature,” Sheppard said. “The team’s working their butts off. We’re right there on the cusp of being really good like we’ve been for a long time. We just have to get all of our ducks in a row.”
Tyler Bruening crossed the line fourth—his second top-five of the weekend. Colton Flinner, from Allison Park, PA, rounded out the top-five.
Even though Larson’s experience in a Late Model is limited, he hasn’t shown it. As “Yung Money” gets more comfortable, one can only imagine what he can accomplish in the future.
UP NEXT: The Most Powerful Late Models on the Planet finish their Northeast swing on Sunday, Aug. 22 at Eriez Speedway in Erie, PA.
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. 6-Kyle Larson [$10,000]; 2. 19R-Ryan Gustin [$6,000]; 3. 1-Brandon Sheppard [$3,500]; 4. 16-Tyler Bruening [$2,800]; 5. 48-Colton Flinner [$2,500]; 6. 99X-Boom Briggs [$2,300]; 7. 7-Ricky Weiss [$2,200]; 8. 1X-Chub Frank [$2,100]; 9. 28-Dennis Erb [$2,050]; 10. 22-Gregg Satterlee [$2,000]; 11. B1-Brent Larson [$1,600]; 12. 10-Jared Miley [$1,400]; 13. 77-Tyler Dietz [$1,200]; 14. 1Z-Logan Zarin [$1,100]; 15. 9-Levi Yetter [$1,050]; 16. 44-Chris Madden [$1,000]; 17. 76-Steve Kania [$1,000]; 18. 50-Ryan Missler [$1,000]; 19. 111V-Max Blair [$1,000]; 20. 19-Bob Dorman [$1,000]; 21. 777-Doug Drown [$1,000]; 22. 119-Chad McClellan [$1,000]; 23. 99B-Logan Jaquay [$1,000]; 24. 12B-Andy Boozel [$1,000] Hard Charger Award: 19R-Ryan Gustin[+12]
Qualifying Flight-A –1. 1-Brandon Sheppard, 16.637; 2. 111V-Max Blair, 16.651; 3. 44-Chris Madden, 16.764; 4. 10-Jared Miley, 16.951; 5. 7-Ricky Weiss, 17.062; 6. B1-Brent Larson, 17.125; 7. 99X-Boom Briggs, 17.15; 8. 22-Gregg Satterlee, 17.19; 9. 12B-Andy Boozel, 17.391; 10. 777-Doug Drown, 17.451; 11. 77-Tyler Dietz, 17.674; 12. 1Z-Logan Zarin, 17.739; 13. 99B-Logan Jaquay, 17.829; 14. 76-Steve Kania, 18.029
Qualifying Flight-B-1. 6-Kyle Larson, 16.866; 2. 16-Tyler Bruening, 16.876; 3. 28-Dennis Erb, 16.91; 4. 9-Levi Yetter, 17.233; 5. 1X-Chub Frank, 17.277; 6. 14R-Clay Ruffo, 17.361; 7. 119-Chad McClellan, 17.454; 8. 48-Colton Flinner, 17.502; 9. 50-Ryan Missler, 17.608; 10. 19-Bob Dorman, 17.972; 11. 43X-Garrett Mott, 18.093; 12. 27W-Eric Wilson, 18.253; DQ. 19R-Ryan Gustin, 17.425; DQ. 217-Howard Fraley, 18.46