BARBERVILLE, Fla. — Thursday’s 50-lap World of Outlaws Morton Buildings Late Model Series main event at Volusia Speedway Park was a dandy race — for second place. While a gaggle of drivers battled for the runner-up spot, Brandon Sheppard of New Berlin, Ill., raced comfortably ahead for his second straight DIRTcar Nationals victory.
Keeping runner-up Scott Bloomquist of Mooresburg, Tenn., at bay over the final six laps following a late caution, Sheppard won his second straight DIRTcar Nationals main event at Volusia. Bloomquist made a late-race charge, but finished 0.689 seconds behind.
“I guess we found our mojo here. We’re starting to get a little roll going,” said Sheppard, whose second straight victory comes after he began the season with 12 top-five finishes in his first 14 starts. “We’ve been good all Speedweeks. It’s just we finally got everything clicking, putting full nights together. Getting to start up front in the first couple of rows here especially is big ‘cause you can kinda conserve your tires and stuff a little bit.”
Don O’Neal of Martinsville, Ind., finished third, his second podium finish in as many nights, and Ricky Weiss of Headingly, Manitoba, finished fourth after starting 10th. Outside front row starter Tim McCreadie of Watertown, N.Y., completed the top five after leading the first 10 laps.
Sheppard earned $10,000 for winning the World of Outlaws Morton Buildings Late Model Series-sanctioned feature, his second of the season and 39th of his career. After taking the lead from McCreadie on lap 11, Sheppard enjoyed big leads — as much as 4.258 seconds — through the first half of the race.
But Bloomquist, who finally emerged from a tight race-long battle for second that involved as many as eight drivers — himself, McCreadie, O’Neal, Chris Madden, Jonathan Davenport, Shane Clanton and Brian Shirley — began chopping into the deficit after clearing McCreadie for second on lap 42.
The lead was down to 1.148 seconds when the Tyler Erb of New Waverly, Texas, stopped at the backstretch exit to draw the final caution of the night.
“(The caution) probably didn’t do us any good,” said Bloomquist. “We had a miss that was keeping us from getting down the straightaway really as good as we could. We just need to look at it. Hopefully we can find it (and) it’ll be something simple.
“Congratulations to them. They did a good job tonight … definitely the car to beat. We’ve got to pick it up a notch.”
Sheppard said he was ability to maintain his momentum despite his tire wear was a key to staying ahead of Bloomquist.
“There at the end I was hanging on a little bit, but my car’s just real good and balanced right now,” said Sheppard. “When my tires started dying there, I could still kinda keep my speed up there.
“I figured Scott probably had a little better tires than I did there late in the race and I knew I was gonna have to get down in his line. I could feel the top, especially down in (turns) three and four starting to go away. It was getting pretty far out there.”
O’Neal, who started seventh, gave the outside line a try, but he knew he couldn’t stay up there for the duration of the 50-lap race. He was running second on lap 38 before losing the spot to McCreadie and then dropping another position when Bloomquist finally worked eased ahead. He managed to get back around McCreadie to record another podium finish.
“It was getting treacherous up there. I probably run too hard too early up there,” said O’Neal. “Like last night I think I waited too long before I moved up there. I just needed an in between I think, but Brandon had a lot better car than I did tonight, so hat’s off to him.”
The race was slowed by five cautions. Scott James of Bright, Ind., slowed on lap 17 to bring out the first yellow. On the restart, Hudson O’Neal of Martinsville, Ind., slowed to draw a caution as his car billowed smoke.
The race went green for 17 laps until Tyler Bruening of Decorah, Iowa, slapped the wall to bring out a caution. Four laps later, debris from the No. 3s of Chatham, Ill.’s Shirley slowed the pace again.
The final caution, for Erb, set up the six-lap run to the finish.
Notes: Brandon Sheppard said he was happy to finally get a victory wearing his black firesuit. “I was kinda starting to think this black suit was jinxed,” he said. “You know we hadn’t gotten a win and I’d been wearing it a lot. I got the blue one out last night. Luckily we got a win tonight so I don’t have to retire this thing too early.” … Polesitter Shane Clanton of Zebulon, Ga., faded to ninth after running in the top five early. “We made a little wrong adjustment on the car and it got a little rigid. I guess we went a little soft on tires probably too, on the right front (and) left rear,” said Clanton. … Eighteen of the 28 starters completed all 50 laps. … Jonathan Davenport of Blairsville, Ga., shot into second with 15 laps to go, but eventually faded to 13th. … Scott Bloomquist said he’s made some wholesale changes to his Sweet Bloomquist Chassis this week. “We changed some things drastically from last night,” he said. “You know, when this track gets slicked off, it takes some pretty big changes. I think we’re in the right direction here. We’ve got a couple more nights to see.”
Preliminary notes and results:
Row 1: Shane Clanton, Tim McCreadie
Row 2: Chris Madden, Brandon Sheppard
Row 3: Brian Shirley, Scott Bloomquist
Row 4: Don O’Neal, Kent Robinson
Row 5: Jonathan Davenport, Ricky Weiss
Row 6: Chase Junghans, Dennis Erb Jr.
Row 7: Darrell Lanigan, Scott James
Row 8: Chris Ferguson, Hudson O’Neal
Row 9: Kyle Hardy, Ivedent Lloyd Jr.
Row 10: Tyler Bruening, Josh Richards
Row 11: Jimmy Owens, Colton Flinner
Row 12: Dale McDowell, Tyler Erb
Row 13: Brandon Overton, Devin Moran
Row 14: Brent Larson, Blake Spencer
The feature field rolled onto the track at 10:44 p.m. ... Shane Clanton drew the pole position for the 50-lap A-main, putting him in a prime spot to get back to victory lane at Volusia. He won four of the week’s five features in 2015 and once in both ’16 and ’17, but last year he failed to capture a checkered flag during the DIRTcar Nationals. … Wednesday winner Brandon Sheppard ran away with a heat victory, building his confidence as he shoots for back-to-back scores. “This thing is crazy good right now,” Sheppard said his Rocket Chassis house car. … Scott Bloomquist intimated after registering a last-lap heat win over Kent Robinson that he was just getting rolling. “Not too many more laps I think we would’ve really got trucking,” he said. … Tim McCreadie’s heat win certainly signaled a dramatic change in his Volusia fortunes. “Tonight was night-and-day different from last night,” said McCreadie, who didn’t qualify for Wednesday’s A-main. … Devin Moran’s Tye Twarog-owned car lost power as it rolled onto the speedway for his heat race due to ignition trouble and was pushed to the pit area. … Kyle Bronson saw his bid for a transfer spot in the third B-main end midway through the race when he slowed while running second.
Leading the final consolation from start to finish, Jimmy Owens transferred into the main event along with Tyler Erb. Erb inherited second when Kyle Bronson pulled off the track on lap six, but he couldn’t catch Owens.
Finish (top two transfer): Jimmy Owens, Tyler Erb, Morgan Bagley, Frank Heckenast Jr., Jeff Mathews, Donald McIntosh, Joey Moriarty, Chub Frank, Brent Larson, Kyle Bronson. Scratched: Steve Isenberg.
Josh Richards pulled away to an easy win the second consolation race, leaving Boom Briggs, Gregg Satterlee and Dale McDowell to battle for runner-up. Briggs held the spot until two laps remaining, when McDowell slid by to take the final transfer position. Satterlee finished third after shuffling Briggs to fourth.
Finish (top two transfer): Josh Richards, Dale McDowell, Gregg Satterlee, Boom Briggs, Dan Stone, Cade Dillard, Devin Moran, Donny Schatz, Blair Nothdurft, Blake Spencer, Jason Jameson.
Tyler Bruening emerged from a three-car battle with Colton Flinner and Brandon Overton to win the first consolation race. Flinner finished comfortable ahead of Overton in second to take the other transfer spot.
Finish (top two transfer): Tyler Bruening, Colton Flinner, Brandon Overton, Michael Norris, Tanner English, Tyler Clem, Jason Fitzgerald, Earl Pearson Jr., Stacy Boles, Chuck Hummer. Scratched: Mike Marlar.
(10 laps; top two transfer)
Row 1: Colton Flinner, Brandon Overton
Row 2: Tanner English, Tyler Bruening
Row 3: Michael Norris, Mike Marlar
Row 4: Tyler Clem, Stacy Boles
Row 5: Jason Fitzgerald, Mike Hammerle
Row 6: Chuck Hummer, Earl Pearson Jr.
Row 1: Josh Richards, Dale McDowell
Row 2: Boom Briggs, Gregg Satterlee
Row 3: Jason Jameson, Cade Dillard
Row 4: Dan Stone, Blair Nothdurft
R0w 5: Devin Moran, Donny Schatz
Row 6: Blake Spencer
Row 1: Jimmy Owens, Frank Heckenast Jr.
Row 2: Tyler Erb, Morgan Bagley
Row 3: Donald McIntosh, Kyle Bronson
Row 4: Jeff Mathews, Joey Moriarty
R0w 5: Chub Frank, Brent Larson
Row 6: Steve Isenberg
Brandon Sheppard of New Berlin, Ill., dominated the final heat of the evening. Sheppard took the lead ahead of Frank Heckenast Jr., at the start and pulled away to win by 4.846 seconds ahead of Dennis Erb Jr., who started fourth. Erb emerged from an early battle with Heckenast and Ivendent Lloyd Jr., to pick up a runner-up finish. Lloyd slipped by Heckenast late to take the third and final transfer spot.
Finish (top three transfer): Brandon Sheppard, Dennis Erb Jr., Ivedent Lloyd Jr., Frank Heckenast Jr., Morgan Bagley, Kyle Bronson, Joey Moriarty, Brent Larson.
Rolling around the high side, Tim McCreadie of Watertown, N.Y., took the lead ahead of Ricky Weiss and polesitter Jeff Mathews on the first lap and went on to win the fifth heat. Weiss chased McCreadie for the entire 10 laps, but couldn’t find a way around as he settled for second. Hudson O’Neal topped Jimmy Owens to claim the final transfer position. O’Neal and Owens were locked in a side-by-side battle for the position. Mathews stumbled on the first lap and slipped back to seventh.
Finish (top three transfer): Tim McCreadie, Ricky Weiss, Hudson O’Neal, Jimmy Owens, Tyler Erb, Donald McIntosh, Jeff Mathews, Chub Frank. Scratched: Steve Isenberg.
Scott Bloomquist of Mooresburg, Tenn., passed race-long leader Kent Robinson as the two raced toward the checkered flag on the final lap to win the fourth heat. Robinson beat Bloomquist off of turn two on the opening lap as Bloomquist worked the extreme low line, but the Hall of Famer continued to dig on the bottom after briefly trying a different line on lap three and losing several lengths to Robinson. Scott James finished third after starting ninth, turning back a charge from Dale McDowell and Gregg Satterlee.
Finish (top three transfer): Scott Bloomquist, Kent Robinson, Scott James, Dale McDowell, Gregg Satterlee, Cade Dillard, Blair Nothdurft, Donny Schatz, Blake Spencer.
Polesitter Brian Shirley of Chatham, Ill., had little resistance en route to winning the third heat. Shirley pulled away at the start, bringing third-starting Chase Junghans with him. Junghans finished second, nearly two seconds behind and Kyle Hardy finished third. Josh Richards was shuffled back from his outside front row starting spot on the opening lap and finished fourth, his last-lap bid to catch Hardy falling just short. Devin Moran didn’t start the heat after his Tye Twarog-backed No. 9 wouldn’t fire.
Finish (top three transfer): Brian Shirley, Chase Junghans, Kyle Hardy, Josh Richards, Boom Briggs, Jason Jameson, Dan Stone. Scratched: Devin Moran.
Beating Jonathan Davenport back to the line to lead the first laps, Chris Madden of Gray Court, S.C., stayed out from the entire way to win the second heat. Davenport finished second, .917 seconds back, while fourth-starting Chris Ferguson, making his first Volusia appearance this season, grabbed he final transfer position. Earl Pearson Jr. started sixth, but pulled in on lap two.
Finish (top three transfer): Chris Madden, Jonathan Davenport, Chris Ferguson, Brandon Overton, Tyler Bruening, Mike Marlar, Stacy Boles, Mike Hammerle, Earl Pearson Jr.
Overall fast qualifier Shane Clanton of Zebulon, Ga., shot into the lead at the start and lead the entire 10 laps to win the first heat. Don O’Neal chased him the entire distance to finish second, while Darrell Lanigan finished third to claim the final transfer spot.
Finish (top three transfer): Shane Clanton, Don O’Neal, Darrell Lanigan, Colton Flinner, Tanner English, Michael Norris, Tyler Clem, Jason Fitzgerald, Chuck Hummer.
Heat race lineups
(10 laps; top three transfer)
Row 1: Shane Clanton, Don O’Neal
Row 2: Jason Fitzgerald, Darrell Lanigan
Row 3: Colton Flinner, Michael Norris
Row 4: Tanner English, Tyler Clem
Row 5: Chuck Hummer
Row 1: Chris Madden, Jonathan Davenport
Row 2: Tyler Bruening, Chris Ferguson
Row 3: Mike Marlar, Earl Pearson Jr.
Row 4: Brandon Overton, Stacy Boles
Row 5: Mike Hammerle
Row 1: Brian Shirley, Josh Richards
Row 2: Chase Junghans, Kyle Hardy
Row 3: Boom Briggs, Devin Moran
Row 4: Jason Jameson, Dan Stone
Row 1: Scott Bloomquist, Kent Robinson
Row 2: Blake Spencer, Cade Dillard
Row 3: Gregg Satterlee, Blair Nothdurft
Row 4: Dale McDowell, Donny Schatz
Row 5: Scott James
Row 1: Jeff Mathews, Tim McCreadie
Row 2: Ricky Weiss, Chub Frank
Row 3: Hudson O’Neal, Donald McIntosh
Row 4: Jimmy Owens, Tyler Erb
Row 5: Steve Isenberg
Row 1: Brandon Sheppard, Frank Heckenast Jr
Row 2: Joey Moriarty, Dennis Erb Jr.
Row 3: Ivedent Lloyd Jr., Morgan Bagley
Row 4: Kyle Bronson, Brent Larson
Shane Clanton of Zebulon, Ga., set the overall fast time. Clanton, who went out early in the first group, stopped the clock at 16.453 seconds to earn the pole position for the first heat. Scott Bloomquist of Mooresburg, Tenn., the final qualifier among 52 entries, was the fastest qualifier in the second group with a time of 16.478 seconds. Bloomquist will start from the pole of the fourth heat.
Other heat polesitters include Chris Madden of Gray Court, S.C.; Brian Shirley of Chatham, Ill.; Jeff Mathews of Brandon, Fla.; and Wednesday’s feature winner Brandon Sheppard of New Berlin, Ill.
After the chilliest night of Georgia-Florida Speedweeks on Wednesday, temperatures have moderated for Thursday’s action, reaching the low 70s under partly sunny skies. … The third Dirt Late Model event of the DIRTcar Nationals boasts a 52-car field as virtually every team on hand is entered. … Gregg Satterlee spent the first half of the week home in Indiana, Pa., while his team, headed by crew chief Robby Allen, remained in Florida with the hauler parked in the pit area. Satterlee and his wife flew back to the Sunshine State today and will run the final three shows. … Chris Ferguson of Mt. Holly, N.C., has joined the week's field for the first time. ... WoO Sprint Car star Donny Schatz of Fargo, N.D., is also making his 2019 Volusia Dirt Late Model debut with his self-owned XR1 Rocket after other commitments prevented him from running the first half of the week. ... Tyler Erb of New Waverly, Texas, has switched to Steven Roberts’s No. 111 — a nearly-new XR1 Rocket that Roberts only raced in last year’s World Finals at Charlotte — for this evening’s program after running Roberts’s older car, renumbered with Erb’s 91, on Wednesday. The radiator in Erb’s No. 91 was busted when he ran into the back of Scott Bloomquist’s slowing car during the feature, but he said the car swap was made because he feels the newer car will be faster. … After sitting out Wednesday’s show, Chub Frank of Bear Lake, Pa., has brought out his second car for the evening’s action. … Morgan Bagley of Longview, Texas, had been 3-for-3 on making the call whether to race or not during Speedweeks before Wednesday night. He decided to bypass the card because he felt the track would be rough on equipment following overnight rain, but the track surface ended up being smooth and very racy. “I’ve been kicking myself in the ass all day because we didn’t race,” said Bagley, who does, however, have his equipment fresh with his team owner, Wayman McMillan, arriving this evening to watch. … Kent Robinson of Bloomington, Ind., set fast time and won a heat on Wednesday, but his strong night didn’t continue in the feature. He started third but quickly faded from serious contention and finished 12th. “The track just threw us a curveball,” Robinson said. “We thought it would be more like it was on Monday (for the A-main).” … WoO rookie contender Kyle Hardy of Stephens City, Va., changed motors in his Shawn Martin-owned car for Thursday’s program.
Volusia’s 48th annual DIRTcar Nationals rolls on with its second night of World of Outlaws Morton Buildings Late Model Series action with a $10,000-to-win purse on the line for the second of four events for the national tour at the D-shaped half-mile. Only a driver’s best two finishers from the four events count toward the tour points chase.
Following his dominating victory on Wednesday night, Brandon Sheppard of New Berlin, Ill., sits atop the series point standings. Sheppard, who picked up his first victory of the season, outran Don O’Neal of Martinsville, Ind., and Josh Richards of Shinnston, W.Va., for a $10,000 triumph. He's the third different tour winner this season, joining Shane Clanton of Zebulon, Ga., and Brandon Overton of Evans, Ga.
Wednesday’s event drew 44 entries. More than 40 are expected for Thursday’s action, which includes hot laps, group time trials, at least four heat races, consolations and the 50-lap main event. Series provisionals will set the final rows of the feature lineup.
Time trial results
Driver (car no.), hometown, time
Shane Clanton (25), Zebulon, Ga., 16.453
Chris Madden (44), Gray Court, S.C., 16.570
Brian Shirley (3S), Chatham, Ill., 16.584
Don O’Neal (5), Martinsville, Ind., 16.650
Jonathan Davenport (49), Blairsville, Ga., 16.651
Josh Richards (14), Shinnston, W.Va., 16.753
Jason Fitzgerald (7), Middleburg, Fla., 16.773
Tyler Bruening (16), Decorah, Iowa, 16.795
Chase Junghans (18), Manhattan, Kan., 16.797
Darrell Lanigan (29), Union, Ky., 16.940
Chris Ferguson (22), Mount Holly, N.C., 16.981
Kyle Hardy (36v), Stephens City, Va., 16.995
Colton Flinner (48), Allison Park, Pa., 17.075
Mike Marlar (6), Winfield, Tenn., 17.102
Boom Briggs (99B), Bear Lake, Pa., 17.149
Michael Norris (72), Sarver, Pa., 17.150
Earl Pearson Jr. (1), Jacksonville, Fla., 17.153
Devin Moran (1), Dresden, Ohio, 17.158
Tanner English (116), Benton, Ky., 17.203
Brandon Overton (2), Evans, Ga., 17.214
Jason Jameson (12), Lawrenceburg, Ind., 17.214
Tyler Clem (C02), St. Petersburg, Fla., 17.371
Stacy Boles (11B), Clinton, Tenn., 17.387
Dan Stone (2), Thompson, Pa., 17.609
Chuck Hummer (25), Lyons, Ohio, 18.623
Mike Hammerle (16), St. Charles, Mo., 19.406
Scott Bloomquist (0), Mooresburg, Tenn., 16.478
Jeff Mathews (33), Brandon, Fla., 16.552
Brandon Sheppard (1), New Berlin, Ill., 16.593
Kent Robinson (7R), Bloomington, Ind., 16.684
Tim McCreadie (39), Watertown, N.Y., 16.742
Frank Heckenast Jr. (99jr), Frankfort, Ill., 16.782
Blake Spencer (6S), St. Augustine, Fla., 16.846
Ricky Weiss (7W), Headingley, Manitoba, 16.847
Joey Moriarty (51), Phoenix, Ariz., 16.864
Cade Dillard (97), Robeline, La., 16.925
Chub Frank (1*), Bear Lake, Pa., 16.955
Dennis Erb Jr. (28), Carpentersville, Ill., 16.974
Gregg Satterlee (22), Indiana, Pa., 16.989
Hudson O’Neal (71), Martinsville, Ind., 17.010
Ivedent Lloyd Jr. (58), Ocala, Fla., 17.067
Blair Nothdurft (76), Sioux Falls, S.D., 17.091
Donald McIntosh (7), Dawsonville, Ga., 17.105
Morgan Bagley (14m), Longview, Texas, 17.158
Dale McDowell (17m), Chickamauga, Ga., 17.195
Jimmy Owens (20), Newport, Tenn., 17.220
Kyle Bronson (40B), Brandon, Fla., 17.242
Donny Schatz (15), Fargo, N.D., 17.317
Tyler Erb (111), New Waverly, Texas, 17.353
Brent Larson (B1), Lake Elmo, Minn., 17.423
Scott James (83), Bright, Ind., 17.552
Steve Isenberg (942), Marshfield, Wis., 18.504
10 a.m.: Pit gate opens
1 p.m.: Pit pass sales begin
3 p.m.: Pit area secured; pit passes required after 3 p.m.
4:40 p.m.: Grandstand area secured
5 p.m.: Grandstands open
5 p.m.: Drivers’ meeting (WoO Late Models)
5:15 p.m.: Drivers’ meeting (SDS modifieds)
5:30 p.m.: Fan pit pass gate opens
6 p.m.: WoO Late Models hot laps
6:30 p.m.: Big-block modifieds hot laps/group qualifying
7 p.m.: WoO Late Models group qualifying
7:20 p.m.: Opening ceremonies
- Big-block modified heats (8 laps)
- WoO Late Model heats (10 laps)
- Big-block modified consolations (8 laps)
- WoO Late Model consolations (10 laps)
- Big-block modified feature (30 laps)
- WoO Late Model feature (50 laps)