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Daily Dirt 12/10/2023 23:50:48

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July 18
Red Cedar Speedway,
Menomonie, WI
Sanction: World of Outlaws Morton Buildings Late Model Series - $10,000
Information provided by: Series and track reports (last updated July 19, 11:16 am)
B-Shepp fights off Dillard for victory at Red Cedar
  1. Brandon Sheppard
  2. Cade Dillard
  3. Chris Madden
  4. Jimmy Mars
  5. Ricky Weiss
  6. Ryan Gustin
  7. A.J. Diemel
  8. Tyler Bruening
  9. Dennis Erb Jr.
  10. Kyle Hammer
  11. James Giossi
  12. John Kaanta
  13. Rick Hanestad
  14. Nick Panitzke
  15. Brent Larson
  16. Ashton Winger
  17. Kevin Eder
  18. Boom Briggs
  19. Brett Swedberg
  20. Chad Mahder
  21. Jake Redetzke
  22. Jeffrey Massingill
  23. Steve Laursen
  24. Frank Heckenast Jr.
presented by
Jacy Norgaard/jacynorgaardphotography.com
Brandon Sheppard (1) keeps Cade Dillard (97) in check.
What won the race: After making a high-side pass on polesitter Ricky Weiss on the eighth lap, series points leader Brandon Sheppard of New Berlin, Ill., fought off repeated challenges from Cade Dillard to capture Sunday's 40-lap World of Outlaws Morton Buildings Late Model Series feature at Red Cedar Speedway. Sheppard took the checkers 1.571 seconds ahead of Dillard, who led only the 20th lap, for his fourth points victory of the season.
Key notes: Sheppard won his 73rd career WoO feature. ... Ashton Winger was scheduled to start seventh in the main event, but engine problems prevented his No. 12 from competing. Winger was scheduled to pilot the No. 28 of hometown driver Sam Mars, the son of his chassis builder Jimmy Mars. ... The series wrapped up its six-race swing through the Upper Midwest with Sheppard, Dennis Erb Jr. and Frank Heckenast Jr. winning two races apiece. ... Heckenast retired at Red Cedar with engine problems on the second lap.
On the move: Series rookie Ryan Gustin of Marshalltown, Iowa, started 15th and finished sixth.
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 Rocket Preowned Motors.
Points chase: After Red Cedar: 1. Brandon Sheppard (4,232); 2. Chris Madden (4,144); 3. Tyler Bruening (3,928); 4. Ricky Weiss (3,886); 5. Dennis Erb Jr. (3,856); 6. Ryan Gustin (3,826); 7. Cade Dillard (3,812); 8. Boom Briggs (3,592); 9. Brent Larson (3,540): 10. Kyle Strickler (2,536).
Current weather: Clear, 70°F
Car count: 34
Fast qualifier: Brandon Sheppard
Time: 16.513 seconds
Polesitter: Ricky Weiss
Heat race winners: Brandon Sheppard, Ricky Weiss, Jimmy Mars, Dennis Erb Jr.
Consolation race winners: James Giossi, Kevin Eder
Next series race: July 30, Fairbury Speedway (Fairbury, IL) $50,000
Editor's note: Results and race details are unofficial.
From staff and series reports

MENOMONIE, Wis. — While they were slicing and dicing for the lead Sunday at Red Cedar Speedway, Brandon Sheppard and Cade Dillard agreed that Dillard probably could've dealt Sheppard a daring slide job to grab the point.

Sheppard was glad he didn't because it helped the series points leader escape with a $10,000 World of Outlaws Morton Buildings Late Model Series victory. Dillard was glad he didn't because he could maintain the respect he's built with the Rocket Chassis house car driver.

The fifth-starting Dillard edged past the outside front-row starter to lead the 20th lap, but he chased Sheppard amid traffic the rest of the 40-lapper, setting for a runner-up finish 1.571 seconds behind at the checkers after a two-car breakaway.

Chris Madden of Gray Court, S.C., was a straightaway behind in third at the finish while hometown driver Jimmy Mars was fourth. Ricky Weiss of Headingley, Manitoba, who led the first seven laps from his pole position, ended up fifth after losing a spot to Mars on the final lap.

Calling WoO's Upper Midwest six-race tour his "favorite stretch" of the national series season, New Berlin, Ill.'s Sheppard also in victory lane thanked "my great crew that thrashed all day to put this thing back together after I tore the heck out of it last night."

Sheppard got rolling on the high side to blow by Weiss, but Robeline, La.'s Dillard quickly dropped Weiss to third and began challenging Sheppard before the halfway point.  Sheppard regained the point on lap 21 after Dillard nipped him at the line a lap earlier, but he knew he was vulnerable to Dillard's challenges in the second half of the race.

"Oh man, lapped traffic was really tough. I watched Cade in the heat race there and he was all over Jimmy (Mars) and I knew he was going to be tough in the feature. So good job to (Dillard) and good job to Chris (Madden). Man, they're both really fun to race with there," Sheppard said. "Cade drove me really clean. He probably could have slid (under) me there a time or two, but like I said, he drove me really clean, so thanks for that."

Dillard called track position the deciding factor.

"I could get to him, but if I got any closer I couldn't really turn," said Dillard, back to health after missing a race the previous week after a bout with food poisoning. "A couple of times I messed up and got into the wall. I felt decent when I could run like through the middle ... and felt like I could make up a little ground.

"I got that one good run in lapped traffic there and might've been far enough to slide him, might not have. He always runs me clean, so I was going to make sure I done the same. We'll take it. It's been a rough year, so it's rewarding to finally be turning it around a little bit."

Madden, who started ninth and worked his way to the front, couldn't quite get close enough to mix it up with the leaders.

"I was just running that middle-bottom there," Madden said. "We ran those guys down there, then that lapped traffic kind of lined up in my line I'd (been) running and I thought I was going to be able to give them guys a run for their money.

"Them lapped cars lined up in front of me and kind of slowed my momentum down there, and we were able to get around 'em and then, you know, they had stretched back out on me a little ways."

The 40-lapper was slowed by three cautions among the first nine laps, the first for the second-lap engine problems of Frank Heckenast Jr., winner of the previous night's event at I-94 Sure Step Speedway in Fergus Falls, Minn.

A lap-four caution appeared for the turn-two spin of Boom Briggs and a ninth-lap yellow appeared when Nick Panitzke and Steve Laursen tangling at the turn-four exit with Laursen spinning into the infield.

Notes: Three of Sheppard's four WoO points victories in 2021 have come in Wisconsin. ... Besides Red Cedar, he won at Fountain City's Mississippi Thunder Speedway on May 7 and Superior's Gondik Law Speedway on July 13. ... The feature started about 9:15 p.m. ... Ashton Winger was scheduled to start seventh in the feature, but engine problems prevented his No. 12 from competing. Winger drove the No. 28 of hometown driver Sam Mars, the son of his chassis builder Jimmy Mars, but had to start on the tail because he ran a second car. He finished a lap down in 16th. ... The A.J. Diemel was again piloting Minnesota driver Chad Olsen's No. 10c Late Model and ran as high as sixth after starting 12th. He finished seventh. ... Brett Shafer inherited a victory in the night's Limited Late Model feature when apparent flag-to-flag swinner Joe Provinzino was disqualified for failing to report to post race tech.

Correction: Updates Limited Late Model disqualification.

Feature lineup

Row 1: Weiss, Sheppard
Row 2: Erb Jr., J. Mars
Row 3: Dillard, Kaanta
Row 4: Winger, Larson
Row 5: Madden, Heckenast Jr.
Row 6: Hammer, Diemel
Row 7: Mahder, Hanestad
Row 8: Gustin, Bruening
Row 9: Giossi, Eder
Row 10: Massingill, Swedberg
Row 11: Briggs, Panitzke
Row 12: Redetzke, Laursen
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