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Brandon Sheppard (Jim Denhamer photo)

Sheppard Grabs One For The Road

FAIRBURY, Ill. — Brandon Sheppard won the Castrol FloRacing Night in America “One for the Road” presented by I-Beam Sliding Doors 50-lap dirt late model stock car special Monday night at Fairbury American Legion Speedway.  

Originally scheduled for Tuesday, series and track officials moved up the event a day earlier because of the threat of inclement weather.  

Winning for the 15th time this season and taking home $15,000 for the effort, the 28-year-old Sheppard and his Valvoline/Seubert Calf Ranches/Ace Metal Works-sponsored Mustang held a healthy margin of 3.012 seconds over Tanner English at the checkered flag.  

Bobby Pierce, who started 17th in the 22-car field, finished third, followed by FALS late model track champion Mike Spatola, Gordy Gundaker and fast-qualifier Kyle Larson, who came back to the “top six” after a yellow-flag pit stop for a flat right-rear tire.

Starting outside the front row, Shane Clanton led the first nine laps with Larson taking the lead on lap 10.  Larson stayed out front till lap 14 when Garrett Alberson took command. With 20 laps in the books, Sheppard charged into the lead on a restart and never looked back. 

“It’s nothing new for me (running 50 laps),” said Sheppard. “It’s always special to win at FALS. “I rode around the bottom for a while. I kind of let it (the race) play out.   

“I moved around a bit. The track was really wet at the beginning. You could keep up no matter what line you were in. I didn’t want to overheat the tires too fast. We bided our time and it kind of fell our way.”  

A field of 31 dirt late models was on hand with Larson grabbing fast time during qualifications with a lap of 12.727 seconds around the quarter-mile oval.  

Michael Ledford won the $2,000-to-win, 25-lap feature race for modifieds. The 16-year-old Ledford, from Pontiac, Ill., who finished second in the modified standings at FALS this year, had a 2.315-second advantage over this season’s FALS modified champion Mike McKinney at the finish.  

The finish:

Brandon Sheppard, Tanner English, Bobby Pierce, Mike Spatola, Gordy Gundaker, Kyle Larson, Jonathan Davenport, Shane Clanton, Frank Heckenast Jr., Ryan Unzicker, Boom Briggs, Dennis Erb Jr., Bob Gardner, Trevor Gundaker, Garrett Alberson, Mike Marlar, McKay Wenger, Jason Feger, Jeffrey Ledford, Tyler Erb, Shannon Babb, Ryan King.  

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