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Daily Dirt 02/23/2024 16:43:39

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August 13
Highland Speedway,
Highland, IL
Sanction: DIRTcar Summer Nationals - $10,000
Information provided by: Joshua Joiner (last updated August 14, 10:51 am)
B-Shepp overcomes Pierce for Highland win
  1. Brandon Sheppard
  2. Bobby Pierce
  3. Tanner English
  4. Garrett Alberson
  5. Ashton Winger
  6. Shannon Babb
  7. Joe Godsey
  8. Jason Feger
  9. Blaze Burwell
  10. Chad Zobrist
  11. Mitch McGrath
  12. Todd Rehg
  13. Rusty Griffaw
  14. Brian Wolfmeier
  15. Jason Zobrist
  16. Jeff Roth
  17. Dan Jacober
  18. Adam Tischhauser
  19. Paul Kuper
  20. Michael Kloos
  21. Daryn Klein
  22. Brandon Lance
presented by
Jimmy Dearing/stlracingphotos.com
Brandon Sheppard emerges in victory lane at Highland Speedway.
What won the race: Overtaking race-long leader Bobby Pierce on the 37th lap, Brandon Sheppard of New Berlin, Ill., led the rest of Friday’s 50-lap DIRTcar Summer Nationals feature at Highland Speedway for a $10,000 victory. Sheppard took the checkers 3.093 seconds ahead of Pierce for his third tour victory of 2021.
Key notes: Sheppard survived damage to his car from a second-lap, chain reaction crash between turns one and two. ... Six cautions slowed the action. ... The race was a makeup of a July 10 rainout as the series, which before 2020 always wrapped up its points race by mid-July, has stretched into the late summer with this rain makeup weekend and another week of action in Michigan.
On the move: Ashton Winger of Hampton, Ga., started 15th and finished fifth.
Winner's sponsors: Sheppard’s Rocket Chassis has a Pro Power Racing Engine and sponsorship from Valvoline, TrueTimber Camo, Dennis G. Woodworth Attorney at Law, 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: After Highland: 1. Bobby Pierce (1,665) 2. Tanner English (1,474); 3. Ashton Winger (1,407); 4. Joe Godsey (1,112); 5. Mitch McGrath (1,069); 6. Jason Feger (917); 7. Brian Shirley (878); 8. Tim Lance (836); 9. Jeff Roth (803); 10. Brandon Lance (714).
Current weather: Overcast, 79°F
Car count: 29
Fast qualifier: Blaze Burwell
Time: 13.203 seconds
Polesitter: Bobby Pierce
Heat race winners: Blaze Burwell, Bobby Pierce, Garrett Alberson
Consolation race winners: Todd Rehg
Provisional starters: Tim Lance, Daryn Klein, Brian Wolfmeier, Jeff Roth
Next series race: August 14, Federated Raceway at I-55 (Pevely, MO) $10,000
Editor's note: Results and race details are unofficial.
From staff reports

HIGHLAND, Ill. — Brandon Sheppard didn't let a little adversity get him down Friday at Highland Speedway.

Surviving a second-lap scramble that damaged his car's left-rear corner, then soldiering on after a caution robbed him of his first attempt to grab the lead from Bobby Pierce, the New Berlin, Ill., driver eventually led the final 14 laps of the DIRTcar Summer Nationals feature at Highland Speedway for a $10,000 payday.

"Our car was just phenomenal," said Sheppard, who drove his family-owned ride to his third series victory of 2021 and 27th of his career. "This B5 car just digs at these short tracks. And this is a little bit of rough, kind of race all over this place, and it was a helluva racetrack, especially for as much rain as they had."

Oakwood, Ill.'s Pierce, who led the first 36 laps, finished 3.093 seconds behind at the checkers in failing to grab his 12th series victory of 2021 as the series concluded a three-week break. New father Tanner English of Benton, Ky., was third followed by Garrett Alberson of Las Cruces, N.M., and 15th-starting Ashton Winger of Hampton Ga.

"Man, we got tore up really bad on (the second) lap, I don't know. (Outside front-row starter Blaze Burwell) looped it in front of me there and I slowed down and got hit from behind there," Sheppard said. "I thought we were done. I thought for sure the left-rear tire was flat because (Michael) Kloos got up on my tire there. I figured it was going to get cut down."

Inside, the fifth-starting Sheppard survived the scramble, steadied himself and by the 13th lap broke into the top three. He grabbed second on a lap-21 restart and began tracking down the low-running Pierce, eventually darting past him on the backstretch on the 30th lap.

Alas, as the frontrunners exited turn four, Pierce's attempt to answer Sheppard's move shot his car to the right and apparent contact with Jeff Roth's slower car sent Roth for a spin that drew a caution, resetting Pierce as the leader.

Sheppard didn't give up though, continuing to dog Pierce until taking command on lap 37. Another caution appeared, but this time officials ruled Sheppard as the lead and he cruised the rest of the way.

"I'm glad we kept our nose clean, for the most part, after that first lap, and we were able to get up through there," Sheppard said. "We know there's a lot of tough competition here and Bobby's one of the best of the best, and to pass him when he's leading is really tough. But I found a little bit different line back there when I was racing with them guys that he probably didn't see, just because he was leading. ... It just really worked out."

Pierce wasn't too disappointed in falling to his fellow home-state standout.

“I’m happy to walk away with a second-place finish. Me and Brandon had a hell of a battle," he said. "Just a missed communication with the signal where he was running kind of bit us. We had just as good a car as him. He played the ruts better than me and bounced through them right. But all in all a good night at Highland.”

Six cautions slowed the action in the 50-lapper, including the second-lap scramble that involved several drivers with Daryn Klein and Brandon Lance among retirees.

Other cautions appeared for Adam Tischhauser (lap 21), the Roth spin (lap 30) and twice on lap 34, first when Jason Zobrist spun in turns one and two and again on the restart when Mitch McGrath spun in turn four after losing the fifth spot. The final caution appeared on lap 37 for a Todd Rehg-Brian Wolfmeier tangle in turn four.

Notes: Sheppard's victory was his first on the series at Highland. ... His previous 2021 series victories came back-to-back on July 3-4 at Fayette County Speedway in Brownstown, Ill., and Lincoln (Ill.) Speedway. ... Tanner English's third-place run came in his first race as a father. His wife Mallorie delivered little Banks Wilder English on Aug. 10. It also came the same day his father Terry English was inducted into the National Dirt Late Model Hall of Fame in Union, Ky. ... Ten of 22 starters completed 50 laps. ... Adam Tischhauser had apparent rear end issues as pace laps began, but he was able to start the main event on the tail. ... The series made its 23rd visit to Highland.

Feature lineup

Row 1: Bobby Pierce, Blaze Burwell
Row 2: Garrett Alberson, Tanner English
Row 3: Brandon Sheppard, Shannon Babb
Row 4: Michael Kloos, Mitch McGrath
Row 5: Adam Tischauser, Chad Zobrist
Row 6: Jason Zobrist, Joe Godsey
Row 7: Jason Feger, Rusty Griffaw
Row 8: Ashton Winger, Todd Rehg 
Row 9: Dan Jacober, Paul Kuper
Row 10: Tim Lance, Daryn Klein
Row 11: Brian Wolfmeier, Jeff Roth

Consolation results

(12 laps; top three transfer)

Finish: Todd Rehg, Dan Jacober, Paul Kuper, Tim Lance, Jeremiah Hurst, Thomas Hunziker, Jason Suhre, Josh Heuiser, Jimmy Miller, Brian Wolfmeier, Brent McKinnon, Brandon Lance, Daryn Klein, Jeff Roth.

Heat race results

(10 laps; top five transfer)

First heat: Blaze Burwell, Tanner English, Michael Kloos, Chad Zorbrist, Jason Feger, Todd Rehg, Jeremiah Hurst, Brent McKinnon, Jimmy Miller, Jeff Roth.

Second heat: Bobby Pierce, Brandon Sheppard, Mitch McGrath, Jason Zobrist, Rusty Griffaw, Dan Jacober, Paul Kuper, Josh Heuiser, Brian Wolfmeier, Daryn Klein.

Third heat: Garrett Alberson, Shannon Babb, Adam Tischauser, Joe Godsey, Ashton Winger, Tim Lance, Jason Suhre, Thomas Hunziker, Brandon Lance.

Time trials

Driver (car no.), hometown 

  1. Blaze Burwell (44), Mount Vernon, Ill., 13.203
  2. Bobby Pierce (32), Oakwood, Ill., 13.257
  3. Garrett Alberson (59), Las Cruces, N.M., 13.309
  4. Tanner English (81E), Benton, Ky., 13.343
  5. Brandon Sheppard (1), New Berlin, Ill., 13.420
  6. Adam Tischhauser (T4), Mulberry Grove, Ill., 13.430
  7. Chad Zobrist (78), Highland, Ill., 13.510
  8. Mitch McGrath (74), Waukesha, Wis., 13.529
  9. Joe Godsey (14G), Edinburgh, Ind., 13.532
  10. Jeff Roth (14R), Bentonville, Ark., 13.562
  11. Daryn Klein (10), Fairview Heights, Ill., 13.568
  12. Shannon Babb (18), Moweaqua, Ill., 13.580
  13. Todd Rehg (17), Shiloh, Ill., 13.588
  14. Brian Wolfmeier (5), House Springs, Mo., 13.676
  15. Jason Suhre (4), Highland, Ill., 13.677
  16. Michael Kloos (6K), Trenton, Ill., 13.687
  17. Rusty Griffaw (16), Festus, Mo., 13.692
  18. Tim Lance (48), Brimfield, Ill., 13.753
  19. Paul Kuper (14k), Aviston, Ill., 13.802
  20. Jason Feger (25), Bloomington, Ill., 13.802
  21. Ashton Winger (12), Hampton, Ga., 13.860
  22. Jeremiah Hurst (58), Dubuque, Iowa, 13.879
  23. Jason Zobrist (87), Highland, Ill., 13.881
  24. Brent McKinnon (26M), Carlyle, Ill., 13.982
  25. Josh Heuiser (1H), St. Jacob, Ill., 14.037
  26. Brandon Lance (248), Brimfield, Ill., 14.045
  27. Jimmy Miller (18), Highland, Ill., 14.109
  28. Thomas Hunziker (38), Bend, Ore., 14.605
  29. Dan Jacober (7), Highland, Ill., no time 

Friday's schedule

6 p.m. - Drivers' meeting
6:30 p.m. - On-track activity
- Late Model hot laps
- Modified hot laps/time trials (3 laps)
- Late Model time trials (2 laps)
- Pro mod hot laps
- Street stock hot laps
Opening ceremonies
- Late Model heats (10 laps)
- Modified heats (8 laps)
- Pro mod heats
- Street stock heats
- Late Model consolation (8 laps; if necessary)
- Modified consolation (10 laps; if necessary)
- Late Model last-change race (12 laps; if necessary)
- Pro mod consolation (if necessary)
- Street stock consolation (if necessary)
Intermission/track prep
- Late Model feature (50 laps)
- Modified feature (30 laps)
- Pro mod feature
- Street stock feature

Feature lineup

Row 1: Pierce, Burwell
Row 2: Alberson, English
Row 3: Sheppard, Babb
Row 4: Kloos, McGrath
Row 5: Tischauser, C. Zobrist
Row 6: J. Zobrist, Godsey
Row 7: Feger, Griffaw
Row 8: Winger, Rehg 
Row 9: Jacober, Kuper
Row 10: T. Lance, Klein
Row 11: Wolfmeier, Roth

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