By Jordan Morris
PEORIA, Ill. – June 23, 2014 – Defending DIRTcar Summer Nationals champion Brandon Sheppard found his way back to victory lane Monday night, capturing the checkered flag at Peoria Speedway for the first time in the 2014 season.
Sheppard started the 40-lap feature up front next to Sunday winner Brian Shirley, who was looking to join Rick Eckert and Billy Moyer as the only multiple race winners so far this season. Unfortunately for Shirley, Sheppard rocketed past the pole-sitter at the drop of the green flag, using the outside line to grab the lead and never let Shirley lead a lap. After securing the top spot, Sheppard pulled away from Shirley, who found himself battling Bobby Pierce for much of the race.
Pierce, last year’s runner-up to Sheppard in the championship, managed to get around Shirley for second on lap 32, but Sheppard had already built an insurmountable margin. Sheppard went on to dominate, leading all 40 laps en route to capturing the $5,000 checkered flag.
“We’ve been waiting for things to fall into place,” said Sheppard, of New Berlin, Ill. “Finally they did. I’m pretty confident going into the rest of [the DIRTcar Summer Nationals season] now.”
Pierce, Shirley, Ryan Unzicker and Shannon Babb rounded out the top five.
Heat race winners included Sheppard, Ray Guss Jr., Pierce and Shirley.
The DIRTcar Summer Nationals continues on Wednesday night as they join the DIRTcar Summit Racing Equipment Modified Nationals at Clarksville Speedway in Clarksville, Tenn.
DIRTcar Summer Nationals Statistical Report; Peoria Speedway; Peoria, Ill.; June 23, 2014
A-Main (40-laps): 1. B5-Brandon Sheppard ($5,000), 2. 32-Bobby Pierce, 3. 81-Brian Shirley, 4. 24-Ryan Unzicker, 5. 18-Shannon Babb, 6. 12B-Kevin Weaver, 7. 32J-Jason Jaggers, 8. 75D-Billy Drake, 9. 1ST-Justin Reed, 10. 89-Mike Spatola, 11. 25-Jason Feger, 12. 1W-Donny Walden, 13. 42-MCKay Wenger, 14. 58R-Ray Guss Jr, 15. 38L-Ryan Little, 16. 4G-Bob Gardner, 17. 16B-Bo Brockway, 18. 74-Russ Adams, 19. 81JR-Jason Riggs, 20. T2-Todd Bennett, 21. 10S-Scott Schmitt, 22. 1M-Jim Moon.
2014 DIRTcar Summer Nationals Schedule
|June 11||Wed||Brownstown Speedway||Brownstown, Ind.||RAIN|
|June 12||Thur||Kankakee Co. Speedway||Kankakee, Ill.||Billy Moyer|
|June 13||Fri||Cedar Lake Speedway||Somerset, Wis.||Rick Eckert|
|June 14||Sat||Cedar Lake Speedway||Somerset, Wis.||RAIN|
|June 15||Sun||Wilmot Raceway||Wilmot, Wis.||Rick Eckert(2)|
|June 17||Tue||Farley Speedway||Farley, Iowa||Shannon Babb|
|June 18||Wed||Spoon River Speedway||Canton, Ill.||Jason Feger|
|June 19||Thur||Quincy Raceways||Quincy, Ill.||RAIN|
|June 20||Fri||Tri-City Speedway||Pontoon Beach, Ill.||Billy Moyer(2)|
|June 21||Sat||Fairbury Speedway||Fairbury, Ill.||RAIN|
|June 22||Sun||I-96 Speedway||Ionia, Mich.||Brian Shirley|
|June 23||Mon||Peoria Speedway||Peoria, Ill.||Brandon Sheppard|
|June 25||Wed||Clarksville Speedway||Clarksville, Tenn.||$5,000|
|June 26||Thur||Clayhill Motorsports||Atwood, Tenn.||$5,000|
|June 27||Fri||Paducah Int. Raceway||Paducah, Ky.||$10,000|
|June 28||Sat||Federated Auto Parts Raceway||Pevely, Mo.||$10,000|
|June 29||Sun||Lincoln Speedway||Lincoln, Ill.||$5,000|
|July 1||Tue||Belle Clair Speedway||Belleville, Ill.||$5,000|
|July 2||Wed||Jacksonville Speedway||Jacksonville, Ill.||$5,000|
|July 3||Thur||LaSalle Speedway||LaSalle, Ill.||$5,000|
|July 4||Fri||Fayette Co. Speedway||Brownstown, Ill.||$7,500|
|July 5||Sat||Highland Speedway||Highland, Ill.||$10,000|
|July 6||Sun||Tri-State Speedway||Haubstadt, Ind.||$5,000|
|July 8||Tue||Florence Speedway||Union, Ky.||$5,000|
|July 9||Wed||Terre Haute Action Track||Terre Haute, Ind.||$5,000|
|July 10||Thur||Macon Speedway||Macon, Ill.||$5,000|
|July 11||Fri||Farmer City Raceway||Farmer City, Ill.||$10,000|
|July 12||Sat||34 Raceway||Burlington, Iowa||$10,000|
|July 13||Sun||Vermilion Co. Speedway||Danville, Ill.||$5,000|
|July 16||Wed||Atomic Speedway||Chillicothe, Ohio||$5,000|
|July 17||Thur||Brushcreek Motorsports||Peebles, Ohio||$5,000|
|July 18||Fri||Attica Raceway Park||Attica, Ohio||$5,000|
|July 19||Sat||Oakshade Raceway||Wauseon, Ohio||$10,000|
The DIRTcar Summer Nationals “Hell Tour” is brought to fans across the country by many important partners including: Arizona Sport Shirts (Official Apparel Company), Hoosier Racing Tires (Official Racing Tires), Racing Electronics (Official Communication), Velocita (Official Uniform), VP Racing Fuel (Official Racing Fuel); in addition to these fine Contingency Partners: Beyea Headers, Cometic Gasket, Comp Cams, Dominator Race Products, Edelbrock, Fox Shocks, JE Pistons, JRI Shocks, Mobil 1, MSD, Quartermaster, Superflow Dynos, Summit Racing Equipment and Wrisco Aluminum; Promotional Partners include: Chevy Performance Parts, Indiana Decal, Intercomp and Petroff Towing.