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Daily Dirt 03/28/2023 03:40:03

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July 5
Independence Motor Speedway,
Independence, IA
Sanction: World of Outlaws Morton Buildings Late Model Series - $10,000
Information provided by: Staff and series reports (last updated July 6, 7:35 am)
B-Shepp cruises at Indee for his 10th WoO victory
  1. Brandon Sheppard
  2. Chris Simpson
  3. Chase Junghans
  4. Brent Larson
  5. Tyler Bruening
  6. Dennis Erb Jr.
  7. Darrell Lanigan
  8. Shane Clanton
  9. Ricky Weiss
  10. Cade Dillard
  11. Boom Briggs
  12. Blake Spencer
  13. Jeremy Grady
  14. Jonathan Brauns
  15. Paul Parker
  16. Dave Eckrich
  17. Chad Simpson
  18. Spencer Diercks
  19. John Emerson
  20. Jason Rauen
  21. Tim Simpson
presented by
Mike Ruefer/mikerueferphotos.photoreflect.com
Brandon Sheppard (1) overtakes Chris Simpson (32) on lap four.
What won the race: Overtaking polesitter Chris Simpson on the fourth lap, Brandon Sheppard of New Berlin, Ill., cruised to his series-high 10th World of Outlaws Morton Buildings Late Model Series victory Saturday at Independence Motor Speedway, earning $10,000.
Key notes: The series visited Independence for the fifth time. … Darrell Lanigan has three WoO Indee victories. ... The race kicked off the WoO’s six-race swing that includes stops in Minnesota, Wisconsin and North Dakota.
On the move: Darrell Lanigan of Union, Ky., started 10th and finished seventh.
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 Independence: 1. Brandon Sheppard (2,348); 2. Darrell Lanigan (2,206); 3. Chase Junghans (2,156); 4. Ricky Weiss (2,144); 5. Shane Clanton (2,132); 6. Dennis Erb Jr. (2,110); 7. Brent Larson (1,896); 8. Cade Dillard (1,878); 9. Boom Briggs (1,874); 10. Blake Spencer (1,621).
Current weather: Clear, 81°F
Car count: 21
Fast qualifier: Chris Simpson
Time: 14.284 seconds
Polesitter: Chris Simpson
Heat race winners: Chris Simpson, Brandon Sheppard, Brent Larson
Next series race: July 6, Deer Creek Speedway (Spring Valley, MN) $10,000
Editor's note: Results and race details are unofficial.
From series and staff reports

INDEPENDENCE, Iowa — Brandon Sheppard figured Friday’s World of Outlaws Morton Buildings Late Model Series event at Independence Motor Speedway was going to be won in the bottom groove.

The 25-year-old New Berlin, Ill., driver's problem? There were two bottom-running cars in front of him at the outset of the 50-lap feature. Instead of playing follow the leader, Sheppard immediately went to work, taking the second spot from Brent Larson with an outside move on the second lap, then duplicating the move two laps later on pole-starting Chris Simpson to take command.

From there, Sheppard cruised the final 47 lap with only a few hiccups amid traffic en route to his series-leading 10th victory of the season. He earned $10,000 in taking the checkers nearly four seconds ahead of Simpson, the Oxford, Iowa, driver who scored a runner-up finish in a bid for his first WoO victory.

Chase Junghans of Manhattan, Kan., finished third and Larson, of Lake Elmo, Minn., fourth for his first top-five finish of the season on the national tour. Tyler Bruening of Decorah, Iowa, was fifth as WoO competitors ran at Independence for the fifth time and first since 2014.

Sheppard, whose victory came behind the wheel of the Mark Richards Racing Enterprises Rocket Chassis house car, was smooth in racing his way to the front from his third starting spot.

“Mark told me before the race that he thought it was going to rubber-up on the bottom, so I knew Chris and them guys were really good in the bottom, and I knew I wasn’t going to pass ‘em down there,” Sheppard said. “Brent beat me into (turn) three and got to the bottom there, and I figured, ‘Well, I’m going to try it early and see what happens.’ It worked out for us. We were able to get the lead on the top there, and I knew my car would roll around the bottom really good.”

Sheppard led comfortably most of the way, building a 3.7-second lead by lap 13 that shrank when he reached lapped traffic a few laps later. But lap 20 the leader was hung up behind slower cars with Simpson right on his tail, and things got interesting just before a lap-21 caution when Simpson looking under Sheppard in turn two.

“(Slower cars) were getting together in front of me and I didn’t know where to go,” Sheppard said. “I knew I was slowing the pace down a lot there in lapped traffic, because it was really hard to pass because we were (all) on the bottom. I tried getting out of the bottom like one time when I got into lapped traffic, and I knew that wasn’t a good idea.”

Spaced-out cautions gave Sheppard a couple of clear racetracks and he was able to keep Simpson in check the rest of the way.

“We tried. I figured if I just hugged around that bottom, I’d be good,” Simpson said. “Once B-Shepp got beside me, I moved up a lane, and he definitely had the better car. They’ve been pretty bad-ass all year, and when they’ve got what they’ve got going on, for us to run second to ‘em, I’ve gotta take it.

“Just thanks to all the fans. We’re an hour from home so it was cool to see the stands packed and to run second, we’ll take it.”

Junghans scored his first WoO podium finish since a runner-up performance May 31 at Cochran (Ga.) Motor Speedway (the rare WoO event not won by Sheppard). He pressured Simpson late but settled for third.

“I was just hoping he’d mess up a little bit worse coming off of (turn) two, but we’ll take a top-three after the last couple of weeks we’ve had,” Junghans said. “We’ve been struggling and we’ve just gotta get our heads back on straight and start chugging along. It’s not that easy to run top-three with these guys … we’ll take it and build off of it, head to Deer Creek, and hopefully get another solid finish.”

The feature was slowed three times, most seriously on the 32nd lap when Jonathan Brauns ended up facing the wrong direction on the frontstretch after contact with Blake Spencer while they battled for 12th. Both cars were damaged and Brauns was done for the night.

In the previous two cautions, Tim Simpson spun in turn three on the sixth lap while debris (a firebottle that fell off a car) drew a lap-21 yellow.

Notes: Sheppard has 47 career WoO victories, third on the all-time list. … Sheppard has led 429 WoO feature laps (47 percent); other WoO competitors have led 491. … Eleven of 21 starters completed 50 laps.... Competitors carried miniature U.S. flags during prefeature pace laps. … The 50-50 paid $806. … The national tour hosted its 658th event. … Brent Larson’s heat race victory was his first-ever in WoO competition. … Iowa City’s Tim Simpson made his first WoO feature start.

Feature lineup

Row 1: Chri. Simpson, Larson
Row 2: Sheppard, Weiss
Row 3: Junghans, Bruening
Row 4: Cha. Simpson, Erb
Row 5: Briggs, Lanigan
Row 6: Dillard, Clanton
Row 7: Diercks, Brauns
Row 8: Rauen, Grady
Row 9: Eckrich, Spencer
Row 10: Parker, Emerson
Row 11: T. Simpson
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