Sheppard Stays Hot at Ice Breaker

Brandon Sheppard picked up his 1st career victory at Brownstown Speedway Saturday Night. (Ryan Roberts)

By Tyson Graves

(March 16, 2019) After a rain out Friday night at Atomic Speedway the Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series rolled in Brownstown Speedway for the 22nd Annual Indiana Icebreaker. With not a cloud in the sky and afternoon temps in the high 40's it looked very promising to get the Icebreaker in after being postponed the past couple years due to weather. Jonathan Davenport carried the Lucas Oil points series lead into Brownstown after Winter Speedweeks in Florida last month. The tour would show up at Brownstown without one of its own as Scott Bloomquist was not on hand after a motorcycle accident left him in the hospital and an indefinite leave from the sport to recover from hip and leg injuries.

34 late models signed in for the nights event that was moved up one hour to help beat the cold temps coming later in the night. All the Lucas Oil regulars were in the pits minus Bloomquist along with many World of Outlaw and regional drivers. Bobby Pierce, the fall Jackson 100 winner at the Brownstown oval made his first appearance at the track after the Wild West Shootout in Arizona. Tanner English made his debut in the Jim Beeman Motorsports ride. Brandon Sheppard, Dennis Erb Jr. & Darrell Lanigan were some the top World of Outlaw teams on hand to compete Saturday night.

In Miller Welders qualifying it was the #1 Rocket house car of Brandon Sheppard that would pace qualifying with a lap of 12.803 seconds in group A that would hold on as overall quick time for the evening. Indiana native driver Hudson O'Neal would set quick time in group B with a lap of 12.916 seconds. This would set up 4 heat races that would determine starting spots for the 50 lap $12,000 to win feature.

Brandon Sheppard was the Miller Welders Fast Time Award winner.

In heat race action we saw some great racing but up front was the place to be as the front row starters drove away with heat race wins. Brandon Sheppard keep his perfect night alive winning Heat race #1. Heat race #2 went to Devin Moran in the Dunn Benson ride. Heat #3 was an exciting heat race won by youngster Hudson O'Neal. The final heat race of the night went to Martinsville, Indiana's own Don O'Neal in the Bowyer Dirt machine. The top 4 from each heat advanced to the night's main event and the rest the field was made up from B-Main action. Steve Casebolt and Kyle Bronson won the B-Mains and transferred to the feature event.

Brandon Sheppard drives the Rocket Chassis off turn 4 at Brownstown Speedway.

Brandon Sheppard led the field to green in the 50 lap event. Leading the first lap Brandon set a blistering pace building up a straightaway led early on as Hudson O'Neal trailed him and Devin Moran in 3rd. a caution for nearly flipping Bobby Pierce on lap 21 while battling for 8th place with Josh Richards. Pierce caught a yuke tire and nearly went over in turn 2.

On the restart Sheppard once again jumped out to the race lead as Hudson O'Neal slipped back to fourth and Devin Moran took over the second spot. Sheppard and Moran ran one two when the caution came out with two laps to go. The restart gave series points leader Jonathan Davenport and Moran another shot at Sheppard but Brandon would be too strong and hold on for his first career victory at Brownstown.

Going back to Florida Speedweeks this was Brandon Sheppard's fifth win in a row in as many races. Brandon said "It is great to finally get a win here at Brownstown." Sheppard also commented "I wish there was a race on the way home tomorrow, this car is really hooked up right now."

Dresden, Ohio's Devin Moran came home second and Jonathan Davenport came home third. Youngsters Hudson O'Neal & Tyler Erb rounded out the top 5. The Lucas Oil Series will be in action next April 5th at 411 Speedway. Devin Gilpin won in the modified division.

Devin Gilpin won the modified feature Saturday night. (Ryan Roberts)

22nd Annual Indiana Icebreaker Results

Miller Welders Time Trials

Fast Time Group A: Brandon Sheppard / 12.803 seconds (overall)

Fast Time Group B: Hudson O’Neal / 12.916 seconds

Penske Race Shocks Heat Race #1 Finish (10 Laps, Top 4 Transfer): Brandon Sheppard, Tyler Erb, Tim McCreadie, Darrell Lanigan, Tanner English, Stormy Scott, Ryan King, Austin Burns, Matt Cosner

FK Rod Ends Heat Race #2 Finish (10 Laps, Top 4 Transfer): Devin Moran, Jonathan Davenport, Bobby Pierce, Dennis Erb, Jr., Steve Casebolt , Chris Garnes, Justin Rattliff, Chad Stapleton

Simpson Race Products Heat Race #3 Finish (10 Laps, Top 4 Transfer): Hudson O'Neal, Jimmy Owens, Brian Shirley, Earl Pearson, Jr., Robby Hensley, Kyle Bronson, Shanon Buckingham, Blake Naylor, Skyller Lewis

Lucas Oil Products Penetrating Oil Heat Race #4 Finish (10 Laps, Top 4 Transfer): Don O'Neal, Josh Richards, Allen Weisser, Kent Robinson, Greg Johnson, Billy Moyer, Jr., Shelby Miles, Jason Jameson

Lucas Oil Products Red “N” Tacky Spray Grease B-Main #1 Finish (12 Laps, Top 3 Transfer): Steve Casebolt , Tanner English, Stormy Scott, Chris Garnes, Ryan King, Matt Cosner, Austin Burns, Justin Rattliff, Chad Stapleton

FAST Shafts B-Main #2 Finish (12 Laps, Top 3 Transfer): Kyle Bronson, Shanon Buckingham, Greg Johnson, Shelby Miles, Jason Jameson, Billy Moyer, Jr., Blake Naylor, Robby Hensley, Skyller Lewis-DNS

Lucas Oil Feature Finish (50 Laps):


1 1 1S Brandon Sheppard New Berlin, IL $12,000

2 3 1M Devin Moran Dresden, OH $6,200

3 7 49 Jonathan Davenport Blairsville, GA $4,600

4 2 71 Hudson O'Neal Martinsville, IN $3,450

5 5 1T Tyler Erb New Waverly, TX $2,950

6 4 5 Don O'Neal Martinsville, IN $2,600

7 8 14 Josh Richards Shinnston, WV $2,300

8 14 1 Earl Pearson, Jr. Jacksonville, FL $2,100

9 9 39 Tim McCreadie Watertown, NY $1,900

10 12 25W Allen Weisser Bartonville, IL $1,100

11 10 3s Brian Shirley Chatham, IL $1,075

12 17 C9 Steve Casebolt Richmond, IN $1,050

13 15 28 Dennis Erb, Jr. Carpentersville, IL $1,025

14 20 50 Shanon Buckingham Morristown, TN $1,700

15 16 7R Kent Robinson Bloomington, IN $1,000

16 22 17J Greg Johnson Bedford, IN $1,000

17 18 40B Kyle Bronson Brandon, FL $1,700

18 23 12J Jason Jameson Lawrenceburg, IN $1,700

19 21 2s Stormy Scott Las Cruses, NM $1,000

20 26 76 Shelby Miles Bloomington, IN $1,000

21 13 29 Darrell Lanigan Union, KY $1,000

22 19 96 Tanner English Benton, KY $1,000

23 24 21 Billy Moyer, Jr. Batesville, AR $1,000

24 6 20 Jimmy Owens Newport, TN $1,900

25 11 32 Bobby Pierce Oakwood, IL $1,000

26 25 1Gk Ryan King Seymour, TN $100