Story By: LONGHORN CHASSIS – CHINA GROVE, NC – Longhorn Chassis announced today that they have reached a multi-year agreement with Sheppard Riggs Racing and Co-Owner/Driver Brandon Sheppard.
Sheppard’s B5 will be based out of Longhorn’s China Grove, NC Headquarters with split operations in both NC and Sheppard’s home shop in Berlin, Illinois throughout the season.
After spending more than a decade fielding cars built by Rocket Chassis, Brandon Sheppard, Scott Riggs, and the newly formed Sheppard Riggs Racing debuted it’s Longhorn Chassis at the beginning of 2023 while receiving crucial technical support from the reigning Lucas Oil Chassis Manufacturer of the Year. Brandon will work to fill the large shoes of Current House Car Driver, Tim McCreadie, who has successfully captured back-to-back Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series Titles in 2022 and 2023.
“What I’m most excited about with this Longhorn House Car Program is the leadership and direction this company is headed”, said Sheppard. “Many folks will say ‘Hey Brandon, I thought the whole purpose of you coming back home was to spend more time with your family? But what they don’t realize, is that Steve Arpin and Paul Leach are some of the best family guys you’ll ever meet. This company’s entire business model is built on surrounding themselves with likeminded employees and partners. They understand that me being balanced at home and splitting time with our race program in North Carolina or in Illinois when it makes sense geographically is good for everyone and I couldn’t be happier to be another solid piece in helping make our cars faster week in and week out not just for our own program, but the entire Longhorn customer base.”
While this year has been chocked full of adversity and a steep learning curve for the Sheppard Riggs Team, they’ve certainly found some success along the way. Sheppard has locked in 5 Feature wins and 2 Prelim Feature wins including a $53,000 win at Huset’s, a $30,000 win at Davenport, a $25,000 win at Farmer City and a $20,000 win at Mississippi Thunder Speedway. He currently sets tied for 2nd in World of Outlaws points with only 10 races left on the schedule for the remainder of the Season.
After their 2022 acquisition of Longhorn Chassis, partners Steve Arpin, Paul Leach and Jon Leach have joined Justin Labonte to spend the past 18 months streamlining company processes and improving delivery efficiency boasting an impressive 14 consecutive month streak of on-time delivery, but the future was never far from mind. “When we first met Brandon Sheppard late last Fall, we knew immediately that he was someone that aligned with vision of what we wanted this company to grow into in the next decade,” said Arpin. “That being said, we also knew that he and Scott were transitioning into new roles with the launch of Sheppard Riggs Racing, and the timing just called for us to continue to develop a strong relationship and see where it went. Fortunately for both parties, here we are not even a year later excited to be partnering up together for our House Car Program.”
As they look to the future for continuous improvement and enhanced brand visibility, Longhorn will begin focusing on the long-term vision of the company. “While we’re very proud of the history of the company, we took a big leap this year in rebranding to give it to a more modern, new era feel,” Steve Arpin continued. “The next step in the process was to begin focusing on our efforts and resources with testing and development and that’s where Brandon and SRR come into play. We’re going to be aggressive in our approach to R&D to ensure that we stay ahead of the competition with the next evolution of mechanics and aerodynamics in dirt track racing. Brandon is young, highly decorated, and possesses the drive we need to keep our chassis competitive and at the top of the leaderboard which is something we hope our partners and customers can benefit from as well.”
As Longhorn and Sheppard Riggs Racing are in the early stages of planning for 2024, their aggressive strategy for research and development will already be on full display this coming weekend with Sheppard wheeling Kevin Rumley’s Longhorn Development Car at the World 100 held at Eldora Speedway in Rossburg, Ohio. Rumley will also serve as crew chief for the weekend in hopes of helping Sheppard grab the first World 100 of his career.