Brandon Sheppard Charges from 19th to Win on Night #2 of Knoxville Late Model Nationals!

Brandon Sheppard won from 19th on Night #2 of the Late Model Nationals Friday

Brandon Sheppard won from 19th on Night #2 of the Late Model Nationals Friday

Sheppard Also Earns $2,000 Hoker Trucking, LLC Pole for Saturday’s Finale

by Bill Wright

KNOXVILLE, Iowa (September 14, 2018) – Brandon Sheppard drove an incredible race to claim his first ever feature victory at the Knoxville Raceway on Iowa Lions Club Night #2 of the 15th Annual Lucas Oil Late Model Nationals presented by Casey’s General Stores. The New Berlin, Illinois driver started 19th after winning the B main, and took home $7,000 for his win. His point total earned him the $2,000 Hoker Trucking, LLC pole position for Saturday night’s $40,000 to win finale.

Before a lap could be completed in the 25-lap main event, Austin Rettig got sideways, collecting Matt Furman. Both would continue. Frank Heckenast Jr. led early, ahead of Jonathan Davenport and Tyler Bruening. Rettig came to a stop again, with just one lap in the books. At the same time, Scott Bloomquist pulled off with possible ignition issues.

On the restart, Don O’Neal put himself in the top three, while Jimmy Mars followed him by Bruening into fourth. Heckenast entered lapped traffic by the 13th circuit. Jesse Stovall would bring a caution with seven to go, surrendering his top ten run in turn four.

Heckenast would lead Davenport, O’Neal, Mars and Bruening back to green. Sheppard, who restarted eighth had an incredible surge to the third position. Tim McCreadie also entered the top five. The leaders had passed the start/finish line when Furman came to a stop in turn three, bringing the final caution of the race.

Sheppard would zip under both Davenport and Heckenast and pull away to the popular win. Heckenast would come home second, ahead of O’Neal, Davenport and McCreadie. Mars, Bruening, Jimmy Owens, Chad Simpson and Kyle Bronson rounded out the top ten. Simpson and Bloomquist set quick time in their respective groups, while Furman, Billy Moyer, Scott Ward, Bloomquist, Bobby Pierce and O’Neal won heat races. Darrell Lanigan won the C, and Sheppard took the B.

Sheppard will be joined on the front row Saturday night by Earl Pearson Jr. Bloomquist, O’Neal, Tyler Erb and Chad Simpson will complete the top three rows.

“My crew has been working so hard this weekend,” said Sheppard of his Mark Richards #1 team. “We’ve had a really fast car both nights, and qualified well both nights. When you start back in an early heat race, it’s just tough to pass. The later heat races, it gets easier to pass. I hope the track tomorrow is just like this, because it was a lot of fun to drive. This is the Knoxville I love coming to! We got really tight around the cushion. I was having a hard time running it, but we made good laps on the bottom. I had a good restart one time and hit the middle of one and two just right.”

“Our car was really good,” said Heckenast. “You couldn’t ask for anything better than that. My crew did a good job. We’ve been jelling pretty well all weekend. We were really close. I gave away the race on the restart there. When I’d come off the bottom on the restart, they’d get such a run on me. I thought maybe if I got a run on the top, I could beat them off two. If I get one taken away, I guess tonight is better than tomorrow.”

“All in all, it was a good run for the #5 car,” said O’Neal. “Hopefully, we can make a few changes and be ready for tomorrow night. This will give us a good starting spot for tomorrow, and that’s the main thing. We sure would have liked to have won, but tomorrow’s the one that counts.”

The 15th Annual Lucas Oil Late Model Nationals presented by Casey’s General Stores will conclude with the $40,000 to win finale on Saturday, September 15! For more information, visit www.KnoxvilleRaceway.com
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Results from Night Two of the 15th Annual Lucas Oil Knoxville Late Model Nationals presented by Casey’s General Stores

Time Trials Group A (Qualifying Order), 2 laps: 1. 25S, Chad Simpson, Mount Vernon, IA (9), 18.130; 2. 1S, Brandon Sheppard, New Berlin, IL (14), 18.183; 3. 1R, Josh Richards, Shinnston, WV (3), 18.220; 4. 1M, Mike Mataragas, Sycamore, IL (13), 18.254; 5. 18, Shannon Babb, Moweaqua, IL (16), 18.273; 6. 76, Brandon Overton, Evans, GA (28), 18.311; 7. 1, Earl Pearson Jr., Trinity, NC (22), 18.357; 8. 25C, Shane Clanton, Zebulon, GA (8), 18.371; 9. 00S, Jesse Stovall, Billings, MO (12), 18.381; 10. 18J, Chase Junghans, Manhattan, KS (15), 18.41; 11. 49, Jonathan Davenport, Mount Airy, NC (21), 18.418; 12. 28, Dennis Erb Jr., Carpentersville, IL (6), 18.421; 13. 16T, Tyler Bruening, Decorah, IA (18), 18.425; 14. 25F, Jason Feger, Bloomington, IL (23), 18.553; 15. 1777, Jared Landers, Batesville, AR (17), 18.563; 16. 30, Brian Birkhofer, Muscatine, IA (1), 18.592; 17. 21, Billy Moyer, Batesville, AR (25), 18.648; 18. 58H, Jeremiah Hurst, Dubuque, IA (2), 18.668; 19. 51, Matt Furman, Iowa City, IA (7), 18.708; 20. 3S, Brian Shirley, Chatham, IL (26), 18.837; 21. 37, Scott Ward, Hayti, SD (5), 18.851; 22. B1, Brent Larson, Lake Elmo, MN (4), 19.025; 23. 39T, Rob Toland, Davenport, IA (19), 19.051; 24. 54, Mike Fryer, Freeport, IL (27), 19.054; 25. 83, Scott James, Harrison, IL (10), 19.067; 26. 22B, Jonathan Brauns, Muscatine, IA (24), 20.533; 27. 58, Dave Eckrich, Oxford, IA (20), NT; 28. 25Z, Mason Zeigler, Chalk Hill, PA (11), NT.

Time Trials Group B (Qualifying Order), 2 laps: 1. 0, Scott Bloomquist, Mooresburg, TN (15), 17.875; 2. 91, Tyler Erb, New Waverly, TX (2), 18.014; 3. 20, Jimmy Owens, Newport, TN (10), 18.093; 4. 40B, Kyle Bronson, Brandon, FL (26), 18.123; 5. 14, Darrell Lanigan, Union, KY (20), 18.213; 6. 5, Don O’Neal, Martinsville, IN (18), 18.391; 7. 33, Nick Marolf, Moscow, IA (27), 18.458; 8. 14J, Jake Neal, Omaha, NE (5), 18.541; 9. 51M, Joey Moriarty, Phoenix, AZ (24), 18.604; 10. 29D, Spencer Diercks, Davenport, IA (6), 18.613; 11. 99JR, Frank Heckenast Jr., Frankfurt, IL (16), 18.616; 12. 14Z, Zach McMillan, Gladewater, TX (3), 18.669; 13. 39, Tim McCreadie, Watertown, NY (4), 18.683; 14. 32S, Chris Simpson, Marion, IA (22), 18.704; 15. 20RT, Ricky Thornton Jr., Chandler, AZ (21), 18.758; 16. 1GRT, Justin Zeitner, Malvern, IA (14), 18.844; 17. 28M, Jimmy Mars, Menomonie, WI (12), 18.947; 18. 56S, Chris Spieker, Massena, IA (19), 19.033; 19. 14M, Morgan Bagley, Longview, TX (8), 19.048; 20. 22, Greg Satterlee, Indiana, PA (25), 19.135; 21. 15D, Justin Duty, Happy Valley, OR (1), 19.25; 22. 94, Austin Rettig, Sikeston, MO (9), 19.330; 23. 32, Bobby Pierce, Oakwood, IL (17), 19.357; 24. 9, Lyle Zanker, Rockford, IL (7), 19.370; 25. 4W, JC Wyman, Griswold, IA (23), 19.465; 26. 6H, Al Humphrey, Giltner, NE (13), 19.469; 27. 93, Brian Harris, Davenport, IA (28), 19.799; 28. 10C, Junior Coover, Norfolk, NE (11), 20.080.

Group A Heat one (started), 12 Laps, 3:46.9: 1. Matt Furman (2); 2. Tyler Bruening (4); 3. Chad Simpson (8) / 4. Earl Pearson Jr. (6); 5. Brent Larson (1); 6. Mike Mataragas (7) / 7. Scott James (9); 8. Brian Birkhofer (3); 9. Chase Junghans (5);

Group A Heat two (started), 12 Laps, 3:46.7: 1. Billy Moyer (3); 2. Jonathan Davenport (5); 3. Brian Shirley (2) / 4. Brandon Sheppard (8); 5. Shannon Babb (7); 6. Shane Clanton (6) / 7. Jason Feger (4); 8. Jonathan Brauns (9); 9. Rob Toland (1);

Group A Heat three (started), 12 Laps, 3:48.0: 1. Scott Ward (2); 2. Jeremiah Hurst (3); 3. Jesse Stovall (6) / 4. Dennis Erb Jr. (5); 5. Josh Richards (8); 6. Brandon Overton (7) / 7. Mason Zeigler (9); 8. Jared Landers (4); 9. Mike Fryer (1) DNS – 10. Dave Eckrich

Group B Heat one (started), 12 Laps, NT: 1. Scott Bloomquist (8); 2. Austin Rettig (1); 3. Tim McCreadie (4) / 4. Morgan Bagley (2); 5. Kyle Bronson (7); 6. Spencer Diercks (5) / 7. Justin Zeitner (3); 8. JC Wyman (9); 9. Nick Marolf (6); 10. Junior Coover (10)

Group B Heat two (started), 12 Laps, 3:44.6: 1. Bobby Pierce (1); 2. Jimmy Mars (3); 3. Frank Heckenast Jr. (5) / 4. Chris Simpson (4); 5. Tyler Erb (8); 6. Greg Satterlee (2) / 7. Darrell Lanigan (7); 8. Jake Neal (6); 9. Al Humphrey (9)

Group B Heat three (started), 12 Laps, 3:51.6: 1. Don O’Neal (7); 2. Jimmy Owens (8); 3. Justin Duty (2) / 4. Ricky Thornton Jr. (4); 5. Chris Spieker (3); 6. Zach McMillan (5) / 7. Joey Moriarty (6); 8. Brian Harris (9); 9. Lyle Zanker (1);

C main (started), 12 Laps, 3:55.4: 1. Darrell Lanigan (2); 2. Jason Feger (1); 3. Jared Landers (3); 4. Jake Neal (6); 5. Brian Birkhofer (5); 6. Scott James (11); 7. Mason Zeigler (17); 8. Joey Moriarty (8); 9. Rob Toland (7); 10. Nick Marolf (4); 11. Brian Harris (18); 12. Dave Eckrich (15); 13. Mike Fryer (9); 14. JC Wyman (14); 15. Al Humphrey (16); 16. Justin Zeitner (10); 17. Jonathan Brauns (13); 18. Lyle Zanker (12) DNS – 19. Chase Junghans; 20. Junior Coover

B main (started), 15 Laps, NT: 1. Brandon Sheppard (1); 2. Tyler Erb (2); 3. Kyle Bronson (4); 4. Josh Richards (3); 5. Shannon Babb (7); 6. Shane Clanton (13); 7. Ricky Thornton Jr. (10); 8. Spencer Diercks (6); 9. Dennis Erb Jr. (15); 10. Earl Pearson Jr. (11); 11. Brandon Overton (9); 12. Darrell Lanigan (19); 13. Greg Satterlee (16); 14. Chris Spieker (12); 15. Jason Feger (18); 16. Mike Mataragas (5); 17. Morgan Bagley (14); 18. Jake Neal (20); 19. Brent Larson (17); 20. Jared Landers (21); 21. Zach McMillan (8) DNS – 22. Chris Simpson

A main (started), 25 Laps, NT: 1. Brandon Sheppard (19); 2. Frank Heckenast Jr. (2); 3. Don O’Neal (4); 4. Jonathan Davenport (3); 5. Tim McCreadie (10); 6. Jimmy Mars (12); 7. Tyler Bruening (1); 8. Jimmy Owens (6); 9. Chad Simpson (7); 10. Kyle Bronson (21); 11. Bobby Pierce (18); 12. Tyler Erb (20); 13. Brian Shirley (15); 14. Shannon Babb (23); 15. Jeremiah Hurst (11); 16. Billy Moyer (9); 17. Matt Furman (13); 18. Justin Duty (14); 19. Austin Rettig (16); 20. Jesse Stovall (5); 21. Shane Clanton (24); 22. Scott Ward (17); 23. Josh Richards (22); 24. Scott Bloomquist (8). Lap Leaders: Heckenast 1-19, Sheppard 20-25. Hard-charger: Sheppard.

15th Annual Lucas Oil Knoxville Late Model Nationals presented by Casey’s General Stores Starting Lineups (Subject to Change)

A MAIN

1. 1S Brandon Sheppard (489) 1 Earl Pearson Jr. (488)

2. 0 Scott Bloomquist (487) 5 Don O’Neal (486)

3. 91 Tyler Erb (482) 25S Chad Simpson (480)

4. 20 Jimmy Owens (479) 99JR Frank Heckenast Jr. (473)

5. 49 Jonathan Davenport (471) 32S Chris Simpson (467)

6. 40B Kyle Bronson (464) 76 Brandon Overton (463)

7. 39 Tim McCreadie (462) 16T Tyler Bruening (461)

8. 25C Shane Clanton (459) 28M Jimmy Mars (455)

9. 18 Shannon Babb (454) 25Z Mason Zeigler (452)

10. 30 Brian Birkhofer (448) 18J Chase Junghans (448)

11. 1R Josh Richards (447) 32 Bobby Pierce (442)

12. 00S Jesse Stovall (440) 21 Billy Moyer (438)

B MAIN

1. 58H Jeremiah Hurst (435) 3S Brian Shirley (432)

2. 51 Matt Furman (432) 1777 Jared Landers (422)

3. 15D Justin Duty (420) 94 Austin Rettig (419)

4. 37 Scott Ward (418) 58 Dave Eckrich (418)

5. 14 Darrell Lanigan (416) 14J Jake Neal (407)

6. 28 Dennis Erb Jr. (403) 29D Spencer Diercks (403)

7. 20RT Ricky Thornton Jr. (401) 1M Mike Mataragas (399)

8. 51M Joey Moriarty (395) 56S Chris Spieker (378)

9. 25F Jason Feger (378) 33 Nick Marolf (376)

C MAIN

1. 83 Scott James (376) 22 Greg Satterlee (375)

2. 14M Morgan Bagley (373) 14Z Zach McMillan (373)

3. 39T Rob Toland (366) B1 Brent Larson (360)

4. 1GRT Justin Zeitner (331) 93 Jay Johnson (319)

5. 54 Mike Fryer (312) 93 Brian Harris (307)

6. 4W JC Wyman (305) 6H Al Humphrey (298)

7. 22B Jonathan Brauns (297) 9 Lyle Zanker (296)

8. 40 Joel Callahan (296) 10C Junior Coover (281)

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