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Daily Dirt 05/25/2022 08:07:18

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May 14
Farmer City Raceway,
Farmer City, IL
Sanction: MARS Racing Series (Farmer City 74) - $10,000
Information provided by: Series and track reports (last updated May 15, 10:13 am)
B-Shepp rules Farmer City 74, earns $10,000
Farmer City 74
  1. Brandon Sheppard
  2. Bobby Pierce
  3. Tanner English
  4. Dennis Erb Jr.
  5. McKay Wenger
  6. Gordy Gundaker
  7. Ryan Gustin
  8. Billy Moyer Jr.
  9. Ryan Unzicker
  10. Shannon Babb
  11. Eric Smith
  12. Trevor Gundaker
  13. Jason Feger
  14. Kevin Weaver
  15. Chase Junghans
  16. Mike McKinney
  17. Mitch McGrath
  18. Brian Shirley
  19. Mike Glasscock
  20. Taylor Scheffler
  21. Kolby Vandenbergh
  22. Austin Rettig
presented by
Ryan Roberts
Brandon Sheppard in victory lane at Farmer City Raceway.
What won the race: Dominating at one of his best tracks, polesitter Brandon Sheppard of New Berlin, Ill., led all the way in Friday's Farmer City 74 for a $10,000 victory on the MARS Racing Series presented by Rip-It. Sheppard built leads of more than four seconds and took the checkers 2.715 seconds ahead of runner-up Bobby Pierce.
Key notes: Sheppard, who fields the Rocket Chassis house car on the World of Outlaws Morton Buildings Late Model Series, steered his family-owned No. B5 to victory. ... Sheppard has four career MARS victories. ... Brian Shirley lost the fifth spot with a lap-61 flat. ... The only other slowdowns both came on lap 13,, first when Shannon Babb slowed and then on the ensuing restart when Mitch McGrath spun in turn two. ... The feature started about 11:10 p.m. after nearly 45 minutes of pre-race surface preparation. ... Allen Weisser won the modified feature.
On the move: Gordy Gundaker of St. Charles, Mo., started 11th and finished sixth.
Winner's sponsors: Sheppard’s Rocket Chassis has a Pro Power Racing Engine and sponsorship from Dennis G. Woodworth Attorney at Law, Valvoline, The Goddard School for Early Childhood Development, Keyser Mfg., 34 Raceway, Budda Dirt Cars Transmission Sales & Service, Mark Richards Racing, Print Worx, Sheppard Auto Sales, Speedwerx, Bill West Enterprises and Fromme Enterprises.
Points chase: Entering the event, reigning series champion Brian Shirley of Chatham, Ill., leads MARS points.
Current weather: Clear, 55°F
Car count: 28
Fast qualifier: Brandon Sheppard
Time: 12.850 seconds
Polesitter: Brandon Sheppard
Heat race winners: Brandon Sheppard, Dennis Erb Jr., Tanner English, Bobby Pierce
Consolation race winners: Kevin Weaver
Provisional starters: Jason Feger, Mike Glasscock
Next series race: May 15, Fairbury Speedway (Fairbury, IL) $15,000
Editor's note: Results and race details are unofficial.
From staff reports

FARMER CITY, Ill. — Superstar dirt racer Brandon Sheppard is typically waving in victory lane at tracks all across the country from the roof of the Rocket Chassis house car. The New Berlin, Ill., driver kept it a little closer to home in his family-owned No. B5 Friday, leading every lap of the Farmer City 74 for a $10,000 victory.

And there he was standing on the roof in victory lane, later thanking "everybody involved with the B5 team, my whole family," he said. "We're having fun."

No one else was having too much fun trying to keep up with the polesitting Sheppard, who wasn't challenged and built leads of more than four seconds in dominating a race where drivers were forced to run single-file in the inside lane most of the way.

Sheppard took the checkers 2.715 seconds ahead of Bobby Pierce of Oakwood, Ill., while Benton, Ky.'s Tanner English of Illinois-based Riggs Motorsports was third. Dennis Erb Jr. of Carpentersville, Ill., and McKay Wenger of Fairbury, Ill., rounded out the top five finishers in the first of two five-figure paydays during a MARS weekend in Illinois.

Sheppard stayed comfortably ahead throughout the race, often having a cushion of lapped cars between his machine and his closest pursuers.

"We had a fast car and I messed it up there at Brownstown (Speedway in Indiana) a few nights ago," said Sheppard, who made his second start of the season in the No. B5. "Tonight's it's definitely awesome to get redemption. I was really happy with how balanced my car was at the very beginning of the race before it rubbered, then unfortunately the track rubbered, but luckily we were out front.

"Lapped traffic was definitely tricky, but like I said, my car was really balanced and I could move around all over the place. I could run the bottom, I could run the middle — I could run the top if I had to, but I never really had to. It was pretty dusty up there."

Pierce wondered what might've happened had he started ahead of Sheppard, but he knew the winner's car was best.

"Normally the racing's a lot better as you know. The track was a bit dry tonight, but I'm glad we were able to hang on there and get second," Pierce said. "I was really tight there towards the end of the race, after I got into that lapped car, especially.

"Congrats to Brandon on the win. That redraw, maybe if we would've got the pole there, it would've been a heckuva race, because he was a little bit faster. No one had anything for him there. Just once again, glad I got to second. I knew the rubber was going to come — my dad owes me a million dollars."

English, who lost the second spot to Pierce on an early restart, held on for a podium finish.

"We'd like to be two spots better, but with these two guys here, at this racetrack especially, it's not too shabby," English said. "And we had some good competition behind us, as well. We'll take it. Like I said, we've got some really good momentum (toward) the Summer Nationals deal and some more big races, and we're just pretty pumped about it."

The feature was slowed by three cautions, none for serious incidents. Shannon Babb slowed on the 13th lap for the first yellow and another caution appeared on the restart when Mitch McGrath spun in turn two. The last yellow came on lap 61 when fifth-running Brian Shirley had a flat tire.

Notes: Sheppard moonlights in the No. B5 when not driving the West Virginia-based Rocket Chassis house car on the World of Outlaws Morton Buildings Late Model Series. ... Sheppard has four career MARS victories. ... The feature started about 11:10 p.m. after nearly 45 minutes of track prep before the 74-lapper. Austin Rettig of Sikeston, Mo., making his second career Farmer City appearance at Farmer City, was the first retiree. ... Modified ace Mike McKinney finished 16th in Frank Heckenast Jr.'s No. 99jr Late Model. ... Mike Spatola of Manhattan, Ill., a World of Outlaws Morton Buildings Late Model Series winner at Farmer City earlier this spring, failed to transfer to the main event. ... Brandon Eskew won the Crate Late Model feature and Allen Weisser won the modified feature.

Feature lineup

Row 1: Sheppard, English
Row 2: Pierce, Erb
Row 3: Shirley, Scheffler
Row 4: Wenger, Rettig
Row 5: T. Gundaker, McGrath
Row 6: G. Gundaker, Smith
Row 7: Babb, Gustin
Row 8: Vandenbergh, Moyer Jr.
Row 9: Weaver, Unzicker
Row 10: Junghans, McKinney
Row 11: Feger, Glasscock

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