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Daily Dirt 10/03/2022 02:54:52

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April 6
Farmer City Raceway,
Farmer City, IL
Sanction: World of Outlaws Morton Buildings Late Model Series (Illini 100 presented by Douglas Dodge) - $15,000
Information provided by: Alli Collis (last updated April 7, 6:02 pm)
Sheppard captures third career win in Illini finale
Illini 100 presented by Douglas Dodge
  1. Brandon Sheppard
  2. Jimmy Mars
  3. Bobby Pierce
  4. Dennis Erb Jr.
  5. Darrell Lanigan
  6. Frank Heckenast Jr.
  7. Chris Madden
  8. Kent Robinson
  9. Chase Junghans
  10. Kevin Weaver
  11. Allen Weisser
  12. Bob Gardner
  13. Kyle Hardy
  14. Ricky Weiss
  15. Scott James
  16. Shane Clanton
  17. Tanner English
  18. Boom Briggs
  19. Brian Shirley
  20. Billy Moyer
  21. Brent Larson
  22. Ryan Unzicker
  23. Scott Schmitt
  24. Cade Dillard
  25. Shannon Babb
  26. Blake Spencer
presented by
Jim DenHamer
Brandon Sheppard celebrates his Illini 100 victory with his son.
What won the race: Overtaking Tanner English on the 33rd lap, fourth-starting Brandon Sheppard of New Berlin, Ill., pulled away to capture a $15,000 World of Outlaws Morton Buildings Late Model Series victory in Farmer City Raceway's Illini 100. The WoO points leader's victory in the 75-lap feature was his sixth on the series in 2019.
On the move: Bobby Pierce of Oakwood, Ill., started 16th and finished third; Darrell Lanigan of Union, Ky., started 19th and ran fifth.
Winner's sponsors: Sheppard's Rocket Chassis has a Durham Racing Engine and sponsorship from Valvoline, Seubert Calf Ranches, Rocket Chassis, Ace Metal Works, Gunter’s Honey, Hoosier Racing Tire, Integra Racing Shocks, Keyser Manufacturing Co., Petroff Towing, Slavic Shirts & Decals, Sunoco Race Fuels and Sallack Well Services.
Points chase: After Farmer City: 1. Brandon Sheppard (1,172); 2. Darrell Lanigan (1,114); T3. Chris Madden (1,102); T3. Chase Junghans (1,102); 5. Shane Clanton (1,082); 6. Ricky Weiss (1,074); 7. Brian Shirley (1,056); 8. Dennis Erb Jr. (1,048); 9. Kyle Hardy (1,002); 10. Boom Briggs (916); 11. Brent Larson (914); 12. Cade Dillard (904); 13. Blake Spencer (782).
Current weather: Clear, 58°F
Car count: 35
Fast qualifier: Tanner English
Time: 12.283 seconds
Polesitter: Ricky Weiss
Heat race winners: Tanner English, Brandon Sheppard, Ricky Weiss, Frank Heckenast Jr.
Consolation race winners: Shannon Babb, Ryan Unzicker
Provisional starters: Chase Junghans, Brent Larson, Boom Briggs, Blake Spencer
Next series race: July 13, Ogilvie Raceway (Ogilvie, MN) $10,000
Editor's note: Fixes finishing order 15-17.
By Alli Collis
DirtonDirt.com staff writer

FARMER CITY, Ill. (April 6) — Brandon Sheppard’s early season hot streak continued Saturday at Farmer City Raceway, with the New Berlin, Ill., driver scoring a $15,000 World of Outlaws Morton Buildings Late Model Series victory in the 12th annual Illini 100 presented by Douglas Dodge.

Overtaking Tanner English of Benton, Ky., on the 33rd of 75 laps, the fourth-starting Sheppard led the rest of the way, pulling away in the final circuits to capture his series-leading sixth World of Outlaws triumph of the 2019 season and third career Illini 100 victory.

“I feel amazing,” Sheppard said of his early season success. “It’s one of them deals where I’m just kind of riding the wave as long as I can. I know it’s going to come to an end at some point but it’s hard to say right now. Our car’s been consistent everywhere we go and that’s what it takes. As long as we can stay in the top three every night, the wins are going to come. Luckily for me, stuff’s playing in my favor.”

Swapping position with polesitter Ricky Weiss of Headingly, Manitoba, in the early running, Sheppard moved into second on a lap-21 restart. Charging around the high side, Sheppard shot past English as the pair worked their way down the backstretch, edging ahead at the line to assume the point on the 33rd circuit. Despite the race’s string of cautions, Sheppard would never be seriously challenged for the lead through the remainder of the distance.

“Tonight, me and Ricky (Weiss) and (Tanner) English had a really good race going,” Sheppard said. “We were slicing and dicing up there for a while. We kind of got a run there on the outside and showed Tanner, whoever was spotting for Tanner, that the top was pretty good there. Then Tanner went to the top and slowed Weiss down a little bit, then went back to the bottom and that allowed me to go back to the top. I feel like I made the right moves and the car was just phenomenal like it has been all year.”

Running in second early worked to Sheppard’s advantage, as the Rocket house car driver was able to maneuver around the track to find the fastest line. When English moved out of the high groove, Sheppard shot back to the top side of the track and powered to the front of the field.

“The way our car is right now, clean air is huge,” Sheppard said. “In clean air, we can roll. In my mind I was like, ‘I need to get the lead early so that I can clear my head and get the right line ran in and figured out.’ It’s hard, running second there, when the guy in the lead is in the right line and you’re chasing, trying to find a different line. You kind of find some other lines. That was my goal when I was running second, or even third, to try to move around, search around, and see where I could find speed.”

Fifth-starting Jimmy Mars of Menomonie, Wis., finished runner-up, with Bobby Pierce of Oakwood, Ill., charging from the 16th starting spot to run third. Seventh-starting Dennis Erb Jr. of Carpentersville, Ill., finished fourth, with Darrell Lanigan of Union, Ky., advancing from the 19th starting spot to round out the top five.

“It was a good night,” Mars said. “I’d get my momentum going and kind of felt like I had a groove going and then they’d have a caution. I’d just get kind of screwed up there a little bit. But that was just me knocking the rust off more than anything. Overall, the car felt good. If there would have been a good driver in it, it might of had a chance of winning.”

Making his first start since January’s off-season action in Arizona, Mars, the 2012 Illini 100 winner, said he felt like he was able to close the distance between himself and Sheppard in the middle stages of the race. But in the final circuits, Sheppard was in a league of his own.

“I found the middle pretty good in (turns) one and two and thought I was gaining on (Sheppard) a little bit,” Mars said. “But he got moved around where he needed to be and he was probably better right then. But it was good. The second night out here after Arizona. I feel like it’s been pretty good.”

After starting outside the eighth row, Pierce worked his way through the field to run among the top five on lap 50. Battling Mars and Scott James of Bright, Ind., Pierce avoided disaster when slight contact on a lap-64 restart resulted in James spinning in turns three and four. After a quiet performance in Friday’s weekend opener, Pierce was happy with his podium finish.

“Surprisingly that middle in (turns) one and two actually kind of smoothed out a little bit and in (turns) three and four, we blew all that moisture up into the middle of the racetrack, so the middle of three and four came in,” Pierce said. “It kind of made it hard to run the top. But how the weekend started, I feel like we did a complete 180, because we were way out in left field. I’m pretty happy with a third place even though I felt like we could have possibly had something for Brandon.”

Notes: Sheppard’s previous Illini 100 victories came in 2015 and 2017. … Blake Spencer spun to draw the first of many cautions on lap four. … A yellow flag flew on lap 20 when Cade Dillard spun in turn four. … Kyle Hardy slowed with a flat tire to draw a caution on lap 21; after charging from 17th to run in 10th, Shannon Babb retired under the yellow. … Boom Briggs spun in turns one and two to draw a caution on lap 26. … Briggs spun to draw another caution on lap 29. … A yellow flag waved on lap 30 for a turn-two tangle involving Scott Schmitt, Brent Larson, Allen Weisser and Dillard. … Ryan Unzicker slowed to draw a caution on lap 35. … Billy Moyer spun in turn two, collecting Briggs and Weisser to draw a caution on lap 37. … Briggs drew another caution on lap 50 when he got into an infield tire. …. Chase Junghans slowed in the top of turns one and two to draw a caution on lap 56. … Ricky Weiss slowed to draw a caution on lap 64. … Second-running Scott James spun on the ensuing restart, collecting several cars, including early race leader Tanner English. The race was stopped by a red flag as cars were towed off the track.

Preliminary reports:

Feature lineup

Row 1: Ricky Weiss, Tanner English
Row 2: Frank Heckenast Jr., Brandon Sheppard
Row 3: Jimmy Mars, Billy Moyer
Row 4: Dennis Erb Jr., Scott Schmitt
Row 5: Bob Gardner, Shane Clanton
Row 6: Scott James, Kevin Weaver
Row 7: Cade Dillard, Kyle Hardy
Row 8: Chris Madden, Bobby Pierce
Row 9: Shannon Babb, Ryan Unzicker
Row 10: Darrell Lanigan, Kent Robinson
Row 11: Brian Shirley, Allen Weisser
Row 12: Chase Junghans, Brent Larson
Row 13: Boom Briggs, Blake Spencer

Consolation results

First consolation finish (top three transfer): Shannon Babb, Darrell Lanigan, Brian Shirley, Jason Feger, Spencer Diercks, Mike Spatola, Boom Briggs, Brent Larson, Allen Murray, Chris Simpson.

Second consolation finish (top three transfer): Ryan Unzicker, Kent Robinson, Allen Weisser, Chase Junghans, Jay Morris, Blake Spencer, Jeff Curl, Lyle Zanker. Scratched: Jose Parga.

Consolation lineups

(10 laps; top three transfer)
First consolation
Row 1: Chris Simpson, Darrell Lanigan
Row 2: Shannon Babb, Brian Shirley
Row 3: Allen Murray, Jason Feger
Row 4: Spencer Diercks, Mike Spatola
Row 5: Boom Briggs, Brent Larson
Second consolation
Row 1: Jay Morris, Ryan Unzicker
Row 2: Allen Weisser, Blake Spencer
Row 3: Chase Junghans, Kent Robinson
Row 4: Jeff Curl, Jose Parga
Row 5: Lyle Zanker

Heat race results

First heat finish (top four transfer): Tanner English, Billy Moyer, Bob Gardner, Cade Dillard, Chris Simpson, Shannon Babb, Allen Murray, Spencer Diercks, Boom Briggs.

Second heat finish (top four transfer): Brandon Sheppard, Scott Schmitt, Shane Clanton, Kyle Hardy, Darrell Lanigan, Brian Shirley, Jason Feger, Mike Spatola, Brent Larson.

Third heat finish (top four transfer): Ricky Weiss, Dennis Erb Jr., Scott James, Chris Madden, Jay Morris, Allen Weisser, Chase Junghans, Jeff Curl, Lyle Zanker.

Fourth heat finish (top four transfer): Frank Heckenast Jr., Jimmy Mars, Kevin Weaver, Bobby Pierce, Ryan Unzicker, Blake Spencer, Kent Robinson, Jose Parga.

Heat race lineups

(10 laps; top four transfer)
First heat
Row 1: Tanner English, Bob Gardner
Row 2: Billy Moyer, Shannon Babb
Row 3: Spencer Diercks, Boom Briggs
Row 4: Allen Murray, Chris Simpson
Row 5: Cade Dillard
Second heat
Row 1: Brandon Sheppard, Scott Schmitt
Row 2: Kyle Hardy, Shane Clanton
Row 3: Brian Shirley, Jason Feger
Row 4: Darrell Lanigan, Brent Larson
Row 5: Mike Spatola
Third heat
Row 1: Dennis Erb Jr., Ricky Weiss
Row 2: Scott James, Chris Madden
Row 3: Jay Morris, Allen Weisser
Row 4: Chase Junghans, Jeff Curl
Row 5: Lyle Zanker
Fourth heat
Row 1: Jimmy Mars, Frank Heckenast Jr.
Row 2: Kevin Weaver, Kent Robinson
Row 3: Bobby Pierce, Jose Parga
Row 4: Ryan Unzicker, Blake Spencer

Qualifying

Piloting a Tommy Pope-owned entry, Tanner English of Benton, Ky., clocked the overall fast time for Saturday’s Illini 100 finale. Tripping the clock with a time of 12.283 seconds, English will start on the front row of the first heat race.

Quickest in his respective time trial group, Dennis Erb Jr. of Carpentersville, Ill., will start on the pole of the third heat. Other heat race polesitters will be Brandon Sheppard of New Berlin, Ill., and Jimmy Mars of Menomonie, Wis.

Pre-race notes

The sun is shining and the Farmer City pits that were left muddy by Thursday’s rain have dried up nicely for Saturday’s show. … Nine of the top 10 finishers in Friday’s Illini 100 opener were World of Outlaws regulars. … Of the seven previous Illini 100 winners, Josh Richards of Shinnston, W.Va., is the only driver not on hand for Saturday’s finale. He’ll enter tonight’s Lucas Oil Series event at North Georgia Speedway in Chatsworth. … Billy Moyer of Batesville, Ark., tops the Illini 100 all-time win list with three victories. He was also the winner of July’s DIRTcar Summer Nationals stop at Farmer City. … Failing to qualify for Friday’s show after sustaining damage in his consolation, Shannon Babb of Moweaqua, Ill., and team changed the engine in his No. 18 on Saturday afternoon. … Suffering engine problems in Friday’s show, Myles Moos of Lincoln, Ill., will not race Saturday night. … Chuck Hummer of Lyons, Ohio, has also departed from Farmer City, while Jay Morris of Watseka, Ill., has joined the field. ... Involved in a hard crash during Friday’s heat race action, Jason Feger of Bloomington, Ill., and team have his car put back together for Saturday’s show.

Pre-race setup

Farmer City (Ill.) Raceway’s 12th annual Illini 100 presented by Douglas Dodge wraps up Saturday night with the $15,000-to-win finale. The 75-lap program will be the 10th World of Outlaws Morton Buildings Series event contested on the 2019 slate.

After nearly rolling his car in the early running, Brian Shirley of Chatham, Ill., held on to win Friday’s Illini 100 opener. Friday’s runner-up finisher Brandon Sheppard of New Berlin, Ill., is the reigning race winner and current World of Outlaws points leader.

Saturday’s WoO program will include hot laps, time trials, heat races, consolations and the 75-lap main event. Pro Late Models and modifieds will also be in action. DirtonDirt.com is offering live video coverage from the event.

Time trial results

Driver (car no.), hometown, time
Group A
Tanner English (96), Benton, Ky., 12.283
Brandon Sheppard (1), New Berlin, Ill., 12.325
Bob Gardner (4G), East Peoria, Ill., 12.434
Scott Schmitt (10), Tonica, Ill., 12.439
Billy Moyer (21), Batesville, Ark., 12.475
Kyle Hardy (36v), Stephens City, Va., 12.495
Shannon Babb (18), Moweaqua, Ill., 12.500
Shane Clanton (25), Zebulon, Ga., 12.509
Spencer Diercks (29D), Davenport, Iowa, 12.513
Brian Shirley (3S), Chatham, Ill., 12.556
Boom Briggs (99B), Bear Lake, Pa., 12.559
Jason Feger (25), Bloomington, Ill., 12.602
Allen Murray (2M), San Antonio, Texas, 12.637
Darrell Lanigan (29), Union, Ky., 12.661
Chris Simpson (32), Oxford, Iowa, 12.670
Brent Larson (B1), Lake Elmo, Minn., 12.703
Cade Dillard (97), Robeline, La., no time
Mike Spatola (89), Manhattan, Ill., no time
Group B
Dennis Erb Jr. (28), Carpentersville, Ill., 12.411
Jimmy Mars (28), Menomonie, Wis., 12.428
Ricky Weiss (7W), Headingley, Manitoba, 12.464
Frank Heckenast Jr. (99jr), Frankfort, Ill., 12.539
Scott James (83), Bright, Ind., 12.541
Kevin Weaver (B12), Gibson City, Ill., 12.547
Chris Madden (44), Gray Court, S.C., 12.550
Kent Robinson (7R), Bloomington, Ind., 12.657
Jay Morris (77M), Watseka, Ill., 12.671
Bobby Pierce (32), Oakwood, Ill., 12.731
Allen Weisser (25w), Peoria, Ill., 12.868
Jose Parga (6p), New Berlin, Ill., 13.018
Chase Junghans (18), Manhattan, Kan., 13.019
Jeff Curl (12), Forrest, Ill., 13.074
Blake Spencer (6S), St. Augustine, Fla., 13.104
Lyle Zanker (9), Cherry Valley, Ill., 13.635
Ryan Unzicker (24), El Paso, Ill., 13.635

Saturday’s schedule

5:30 p.m. - Drivers’ meeting
6 p.m. - On-track action begins
- Hot laps/time trials
Pro Late Model hot laps
WoO Late Model hot laps
Modified hot laps (for consolation starters)
WoO Late Model qualifying (two laps)
Opening ceremonies
-Racing begins
Pro Late Model heats (eight laps)
WoO Late Model heats (10 laps)
Modified consolations (10 laps)
Modified hot laps (for feature starters)
WoO Late Model consolations (10 laps)
-Features
Modified (30 laps)
WoO Late Models (75 laps)
Pro Late Models (20 laps)

Feature lineup

Row 1: Weiss, English
Row 2: Heckenast, Sheppard
Row 3: Mars, Moyer
Row 4: Erb, Schmitt
Row 5: Gardner, Clanton
Row 6: James, Weaver
Row 7: Dillard, Hardy
Row 8: Madden, Pierce
Row 9: Babb, Unzicker
Row 10: Lanigan, Robinson
Row 11: Shirley, Weisser
Row 12: Junghans, Larson
Row 13: Briggs, Spencer

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