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 .
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SOUTH CAROLINA SEXY: Overton Wins Rock Gault Memorial at Cherokee
While “Big Sexy” saved his tires enough for the end of the race, worry still sank in the last few laps. Especially when he saw Jonathan Davenport and Chris Ferguson, who were in the top-five, go to the pits.
“I was behind [Jonathan Davenport] the whole time, and I was like he really wasn’t that sideways,” Overton said. “That worried me, so I just slowed down as much as I could and was just trying to baby it to the end.
“I lost a race over here for 10 grand coming to the checkered, so that was playing back through my mind, and I was like, slow down and don’t blow the tire off.”
Before Davenport’s tire blew, the start of the race saw Kyle Larson take the early lead with “Superman” in his tire tracks and Overton lurking behind them. When Larson eventually slipped off the bottom in Turn 1, Davenport darted under the #6 car to steal the lead and brought Overton with him.
Then, Davenport and Overton waged an epic war for the lead. Overton took several peeks to the outside of Davenport for the top spot before making his move on a Lap 48 restart.
“Big Sexy” rolled to the outside of Davenport in Turn 3, using his momentum to pull even. He flexed his muscles even more in Turn 4, propelling his Longhorn Chassis past Davenport and into the race lead.
“It was latched good on that restart, and I said man, I ain’t got nothing to lose,” Overton said. “I just blasted her in there, and I got me a good run, and as soon as I cleared him, I got back down.”
The win is Overton’s fourth World of Outlaws triumph of the season and the 17th Series win of his career. The $40,000 check adds to Overton’s list of high-paying wins in 2021, including more than $300,000 between the Dirt Late Model Dreams and Firecracker 100.
Davenport, whose chance at a podium finish ended with tire problems, finished 19th. The tire wear in the Feature surprised the Blairsville, GA driver, throwing him a curveball.
“I never really thought tire wear would be an issue after the Heat Race, so we probably cut ours up too much,” Davenport said. “I was just not really balanced enough to drive off the right front like I needed to because I tightened my car up a little bit, thinking we didn’t need to worry about tire wear issues.”
Chris Madden finished second, grabbing a podium finish in front of his home state fans. The Gray Court, SC driver stated tire wear affected his ability to make a run at Overton in the last few laps.
“We had to use a little bit of tire to get there, and we just didn’t have enough tire there at the end to put on a charge,” Madden said.
Jimmy Owens crossed the line third after starting ninth. The Newport, TN driver bided his time working through the field, knowing he’d have to save his equipment for the end.
“We just took our time early in the race because we knew we had to have a lot of tire left at the end there,” Owens said. “We had a pretty decent car; we made a whole lot of adjustments, and it was a whole lot better there for the Feature than it was in the Heat Race.”
Trent Ivey finished fourth and Larson finished fifth—his third top five with the World of Outlaws in four starts this season.
Brandon Overton’s experience at Cherokee and what to do when his tires were going away paid off, leading to the $40,000 Victory. It’s that experience that helps him add to accolades in 2021, especially when there’s big money on the line.
UP NEXT: The Most Powerful Late Models on the Planet head to Lavonia Speedway, in Lavonia, GA for its only trip to the Peach State this season.