Story By: LUCAS OIL LATE MODEL DIRT SERIES – BRANDON, SD – Brandon Sheppard held off challenges from both Bobby Pierce and Hudson O’Neal to win his second career Silver Dollar Nationals – Presented by MyRacePass on Saturday night at Huset’s Speedway.
The box score will show that Sheppard led all 80 laps, but it was far from easy as he took home $53,000 for his second Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series win of the season.
Pierce, who started eighth finished second to Sheppard with O’Neal coming home in third. The current Big River Steel Chase for the Championship – Presented by MyRacePass points leader Ricky Thornton Jr. charged from his 16th starting spot to place fourth. Tyler Erb came from 12th to round out the top five.
Sheppard, who won the Silver Dollar Nationals when it was at I-80 Speedway in 2020 dueled with Pierce and O’Neal for most of the last half of the race, withstood every attempt by those two competitors to come home with the victory.
“Man, them guys were making it hard on me for sure. The track it was awesome. It was treacherous out there. I was tight about halfway thru the race thru three and four and they had me messed up and a little bit worried. Once I moved to the top in one and two I kind of started slowing down my entry into three and four and that helped me out a bunch then all the lapped cars were on the bottom, so I just committed myself to the top for the rest of the race. I got a smooth rhythm going and I was just able to hold them guys off. Bobby and Hudson have been really tough this year, we’ve had our ups and downs all year long. Our win column isn’t as good as we would have liked it to be,” said the 30-year-old New Berlin, Illinois resident.
“This one means a lot to me. I won it with the Rocket House Car a couple of years ago and to do it at a new racetrack, it’s a short track. We were battling hard there and that’s what you get when you run short tracks. This place is awesome. We battled a lot with Mother Nature this weekend, but the track guys did a phenomenal job on the track the whole time. It got a little one lane the first night, but you will have that occasionally. Like I said hats off to the track crew.”
Pierce, who just a few weeks ago won the $50,000 NAPA Auto Parts Gopher 50 at Deer Creek Speedway took several shots at Sheppard but could not duplicate the ending where he beat O’Neal to the finish at Deer Creek.
“I wish I would have tried the bottom sooner. I just couldn’t make that run on him so I was hoping for some lapped cars to hold him up and maybe I could cross him [Sheppard] over. That was a heck of a race to come from eighth like that. We were on the move pretty quick in the race. I don’t how he [Sheppard] fit around me there in turn four that one lap, that was nuts. I had the slider basically cleared and he just got around and that won him the race so congrats to him on that. He drove a heck of a race.”
O’Neal rounded out the Big River Steel Podium with his third-place finish. “That was brutal up around the that cushion, it wasn’t brutal for the race cars, man it was on us. I was dead about the last ten laps. Man, it was a good race me, Shepp and Bobby, I think you could have thrown a blanket over us the last 30 or 40 laps or whatever it was. I thought it was a great race. There was sometimes where I thought we were going to have a shot I got a good restart on the last one and I was able to kind of sneak under Shepp for a minute, but I just couldn’t quite get clear of him, and Bobby played it good and got back by me.”
The winner’s Sheppard-Riggs Racing, Longhorn Chassis is powered by a Cornett Racing Engine and sponsored by True Timber Camo, Valvoline, Paulson Rock Products, Dennis G. Woodworth Attorney-at-Law, Wyld Gear, Riggs Drilling Solutions, Sheppard Auto Sales and Salvage, Sunoco Race Fuels, and Bilstein Shocks.
Completing the top ten were Tim McCreadie, Chase Junghans, Kyle Bronson, Jonathan Davenport, and Devin Moran.
Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series
13th Annual Silver Dollar Nationals Presented by MyRacePass
Saturday, July 22, 2023
Huset’s Speedway – Brandon, SD
Penske Shocks Round #1 – Heat Race #1 Finish (11 Laps): 1. 1H-Hudson O’Neal; 2. 99B-Boom Briggs; 3. 14M-Morgan Bagley; 4. 49-Jonathan Davenport; 5. 16-Tyler Bruening; 6. 8-Dillon McCowan; 7. 7-Ross Robinson; 8. 11-Spencer Hughes; 9. 10W-Junior Coover
Summit Racing Products Round #1 – Heat Race #2 Finish (10 Laps): 1. 22-Daniel Hilsabeck; 2. 18D-Daulton Wilson; 3. 20RT-Ricky Thornton Jr; 4. 157-Mike Marlar; 5. 111B-Max Blair; 6. 99-Devin Moran; 7. 24-Bill Leighton; 8. 66C-Matt Cosner
Simpson Race Products Round #1 – Heat Race #3 (10 Laps): 1. 25C-Shane Clanton; 2. B5-Brandon Sheppard; 3. 40B-Kyle Bronson; 4. 76-Brandon Overton; 5. 28-Dennis Erb Jr; 6. 58-Garrett Alberson; 7. 25-Chad Simpson; 8. 07-Ben Sukup
AP1 Insurance Round #1 – Heat Race #4 (10 Laps): 1. 1T-Tyler Erb; 2. 18-Chase Junghans; 3. 46-Earl Pearson Jr; 4. 32-Bobby Pierce; 5. 39-Tim McCreadie; 6. 76B-Blair Nothdurft; 7. 14J-Jake Neal; 8. 6-Al Humphrey
Penske Shocks Round #2 – Heat Race #1 Finish (11 Laps): 1. 99-Devin Moran; 2. 49-Jonathan Davenport; 3. 28-Dennis Erb Jr; 4. 1H-Hudson O’Neal; 5. 20RT-Ricky Thornton Jr; 6. 1T-Tyler Erb; 7. 40B-Kyle Bronson; 8. 99B-Boom Briggs; 9. (DNS) 6-Al Humphrey
Summit Racing Products Round #2 – Heat Race #2 Finish (10 Laps): 1. 76-Brandon Overton; 2. 111B-Max Blair; 3. 25C-Shane Clanton; 4. 22-Daniel Hilsabeck; 5. 46-Earl Pearson Jr; 6. 14J-Jake Neal; 7. 14M-Morgan Bagley; 8. 10W-Junior Coover
Simpson Race Products Round #2 – Heat Race #3 (10 Laps): 1. 39-Tim McCreadie; 2. 16-Tyler Bruening; 3. 25-Chad Simpson; 4. 7-Ross Robinson; 5. 07-Ben Sukup; 6. 24-Bill Leighton; 7. 76B-Blair Nothdurft; 8. 18D-Daulton Wilson
AP1 Insurance Round #2 – Heat Race #4 (10 Laps): 1. B5-Brandon Sheppard; 2. 32-Bobby Pierce; 3. 58-Garrett Alberson; 4. 66C-Matt Cosner; 5. 157-Mike Marlar; 6. 18-Chase Junghans; 7. 8-Dillon McCowan; 8. 11-Spencer Hughes
Fast Shafts B-Main Race #1 (12 Laps, Top 3 Transfer): 1. 58-Garrett Alberson; 2. 25-Chad Simpson; 3. 7-Ross Robinson; 4. 99B-Boom Briggs; 5. 66C-Matt Cosner; 6. 8-Dillon McCowan; 7. 76B-Blair Nothdurft; 8. 11-Spencer Hughes; 9. 6-Al Humphrey
UNOH B-Main Race #2 (12 Laps, Top 3 Transfer): 1. 157-Mike Marlar; 2. 18D-Daulton Wilson; 3. 40B-Kyle Bronson; 4. 14M-Morgan Bagley; 5. 14J-Jake Neal; 6. 07-Ben Sukup; 7. 10W-Junior Coover; 8. (DNS) 24-Bill Leighton
Non-Qualifiers Race (10 Laps): 1. 66C-Matt Cosner; 2. 14M-Morgan Bagley; 3. 8-Dillon McCowan; 4. 14J-Jake Neal; 5. 76B-Blair Nothdurft; 6. 6-Al Humphrey; 7. 07-Ben Sukup; 8. 10W-Junior Coover
13th Annual Silver Dollar Nationals Presented by MyRacePass Feature Finish (80 Laps):
Terminal Maintenance & Construction Pole Sitter: Brandon Sheppard
Lap Leaders: Brandon Sheppard (Laps 1-80)
Wieland Feature Winner: Brandon Sheppard
Arizona Sport Shirts Crown Jewel Cup Feature Winner: Brandon Sheppard
Brandon Ford TV Challenge Feature Winner: Brandon Sheppard
Margin of Victory: 0.326 seconds
Gorsuch Performance Solutions Cautions: Debris (Lap 16); Daulton Wilson (Lap 37); Ross Robinson (Lap 42); Ross Robinson (Lap 46)
Series Provisionals: Spencer Hughes; Boom Briggs
Fast Time Provisional: n/a
Series Emergency Provisionals: n/a
Track Provisional: n/a
Big River Steel Podium Top 3: Brandon Sheppard, Bobby Pierce, Hudson O’Neal
Penske Shocks Top 5: Brandon Sheppard, Bobby Pierce, Hudson O’Neal, Ricky Thornton, Jr, Tyler Erb
Todd Steel Buildings Hard Charger of the Race: Kyle Bronson (Advanced 14 Positions)
Wilwood Brakes Lucky 7th Place Feature: Chase Junghans
Deatherage Opticians Lucky 13th Place Feature: Mike Marlar
Earnhardt Technologies Most Laps Led: Brandon Sheppard (80 Laps)
Sunoco Race for Gas Highest Finisher: Brandon Sheppard
Midwest Sheet Metal Spoiler Challenge Point Leader: Ricky Thornton, Jr.
O’Reilly Auto Parts Rookie of the Race: Max Blair
Etchberger Trucking Fastest Lap of the Race: Brandon Sheppard (Lap 3 – 13.081 seconds)
MD3 Tough Break of the Race: Brandon Overton
Outerwears Crew Chief of the Race: Corey Richman (Brandon Sheppard)
ARP Engine Builder of the Race: Cornett Racing Engines
Miller Welders Chassis Builder of the Race: Longhorn Chassis
Dirt Draft Fastest in Hot Laps: Ricky Thornton, Jr. (12.561 seconds)
Time of Race: 29 minutes 43 seconds