Story By: ROCKET1 RACING – SHINNSTON, WV – Brandon Sheppard and Rocket1 Racing wrapped up their 2022 Speedweeks run with seven feature events last week at Florida’s Volusia Speedway Park with their Valvoline / Seubert Calf Ranches No. 1 Ace Metal Works / XR1 Rocket Chassis / Durham Racing Engines Super Late Model.
While Sheppard didn’t visit Victory Lane at the ½-mile oval he did record two Top-5 finishers and six Top-10 finishes in seven starts.
“Volusia (Speedway Park) raced a lot different than it has in the past, so our previous notes didn’t do us a whole lot of good there. We did make gains throughout the week, and with the exception of the final night, finished in the Top 10 every night,” Sheppard said. “We ended up with four wins at Speedweeks, and we’ve got a lot of speed heading into the meat of the season. I’m looking forward to what we can accomplish this year, and I’m excited to go after more wins in Louisiana in a few weeks.”
On Monday, Brandon Sheppard visited Volusia Speedway Park (Barberville, Fla.) to return to the driver’s seat of the Seubert Calf Ranches No. 1 Super Late Model for the opening round of the 51st annual DIRTcar Nationals. Drawing 47 Late Models for six straight nights of action, Sheppard secured his spot into the opening night feature with a heat race victory. Slipping four spots in the 30-lap affair, Brandon posted a seventh-place finish.
The following night, Brandon clocked in 10th-fastest in his group before charging to a heat race win. After leading the opening 14 circuits in the feature, Sheppard faded late to finish eighth.
As the remainder of the week became World of Outlaws Case Construction Late Model Series sanctioned on Wednesday, Sheppard came in sixth in his heat before retiring early in his B-Main with a provisional already secured. Charging from the 13th row in a backup car, Brandon advanced through the field 22 spots in the 40-lapper to register a third-place finish. He trailed Brandon Overton and Devin Moran across the line.
Later Wednesday evening for the rescheduled Sunshine Nationals feature from January 22nd, Brandon carried a steady pace throughout to finish eighth.
For another $10,000-to-win program on Thursday, Sheppard grabbed the third-and-final transfer spot in his heat, which positioned him 15th on the starting grid for the feature. Breaking into the Top-10, Brandon gained six spots in the 40-lap affair to place ninth.
In a field of 59 cars on Friday, Brandon followed up the second-fastest time in his group with a heat triumph. Receiving the fifth-starting position for the main event via the redraw, Sheppard clawed forward one spot to place fourth. He followed Dennis Erb Jr., Chase Junghans, and Darrell Lanigan across the line with Dale McDowell coming in fifth.
For the DIRTcar Nationals finale on Saturday, Sheppard finished fourth in his heat race before placing third in his B-Main. Relying on a provisional into the $10,000-to-win A-Main, Brandon passed eight cars in the 40-lap affair to finish 18th.
Brandon is currently fourth in the latest World of Outlaw point standings.