Brandon Sheppard, Mike Harrison, Jeff Herzog & Dayton Racer take wins at I-55 Raceway!

Brandon Sheppard taking the checkered flag as he almost lapped Billy Moyer to win at I-55 Raceway!

Brandon Sheppard taking the checkered flag as he almost lapped Billy Moyer to win at I-55 Raceway!

Mike Harrison & Rusty Griffaw banging wheels as they battle for the win!

Mike Harrison & Rusty Griffaw banging wheels as they battle for the win!

Jeff Herzog

Jeff Herzog

Dayton Racer

Dayton Racer

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PEVELY, Mo. (June 4) – Brandon Sheppard’s biggest career victory was big in several ways. He won big money, built a big lead and had big smile in victory lane Saturday at I-55 Raceway.

The 18-year-old from New Berlin, Ill., blitzed the field in the Tri-State Challenge finale, reeling off a flag-to-flag victory in 11 minutes at the third-mile oval and lapping all but five competitors. The $5,000 payday was the richest of his career and continued a hot streak that’s given him three Northern Allstars Late Model Series victories in the last five tour events.

“It felt awesome,” said Sheppard, who raised his left hand in triumph as he took the checkered flag. “All the people that have helped me through the years. (Fellow driver) Jason Feger is the main guy that’s helped me. I wouldn’t be here right now if it wasn’t for my dad and grandpa supporting, and all my uncles and everything growing in racing.”

Sheppard started fifth but quickly ducked into the low groove, running third early behind the son-and-father duo of Billy Moyer Jr. and Billy Moyer. Sheppard slipped under dad, then went past son and never looked back. He routed the field, taking the checkers nearly a half-lap ahead of 15th-starting Ryan Unzicker of El Paso, Ill., drivers used the entire racing surfacing in futilely trying to chase down the leader.

After Unzicker, Will Vaught of Crane, Mo., was third while Randy Korte of Highland, Ill., and Dennis Erb Jr. of Carpentersville, Ill., rounded out the top five in the caution-free 40-lapper. The elder Moyer, who won the Tri-State Challenge opener on Thursday at Highland Speedway, was sixth.

Sheppard was so far ahead that Unzicker wasn’t sure where he was in the running order.

“We gambled on some tires. We started 15th and we knew we had to do something to get up front, and we knew there was some traction in the bottom. We put four soft tires on and we just ate that bottom up, and it worked for us,” the runner-up said. “Honestly there, with about five laps to go, I really thought I was in the lead. But hat’s off to Brandon. … he needs that.”

Brian Shirley of Chatham, Ill., winner of Friday’s Tri-State Challenge event in Paducah, Ky., missed the I-55 main event. He was leading the first heat race when his car’s broken rear end ended his night.

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The UMP DIRTcar Modified main event provided a thrilling finish for the fans as Mike Harrison grabbed the lead and the win on the final lap of the twenty lap event. Ray Walsh jumped to the early lead from his outside front row starting spot. Walsh’s lead would be short lived as he would get too high in turn four on lap three, allowing Rusty Griffaw to drive by for the top spot. Griffaw would proceed to pace the field right up to the final lap. Griffaw appeared dominant in the middle part of the event, opening up a significant lead during this point. In the closing laps, Harrison began to quickly reel in Griffaw for the top spot. As they came out of turn four to take the white flag, Harrison and Griffaw were side by side for the lead, banging doors most of the way down the front stretch. Harrison would get the lead into turn one and pull away down the back stretch to take the win. Griffaw would get second with Walsh taking third. Scott Weber would finish fourth and Bobby Bittle came from the fourteenth starting spot to round out the top five.

Jeff Herzog claimed his third UMP DIRTcar/AARA Sportsman main event of 2011 at I-55 Raceway. Herzog would get the lead on lap five from pole sitter Jason Keller and then hold off a late charge from Brad Paquet to get the win. Paquet, who start fifth, had his best run of 2011 as he took the runner-up spot. Keller would also get his best finish of the season as he crossed the line third. Troy Naeger, who has also won three features at I-55 Raceway in 2011, would finish fourth. Trey Harris would round out the top five.

Dayton Racer claimed his first win of 2011 at I-55 Raceway in the UMP DIRTcar/AARA Pro 4 Stock division. Racer led the entire distance to pick up the win, but had to hold off a late challenge from Jacob Rexing to get the trophey. Aron Faulkner would cross the line third while Earl Pryor took fourth. Chuck Johnson rounded out the top five.

June 3rd, 2011
NALMS/UMP DIRTcar Late Models – 30 Entries
Qualifying
Group 1
1.3s Brian Shirley 12.229
2.82 Roger Brickler 12.381
3.1v Will Vaught 12.385
4.28 Dennis Erb 12.428
5.89s Mike Spatola 12.435
6.25 Jason Feger 12.470
7.1hr Ron McQuerry 12.698
8.0 Dewayne Kiefer 12.884
9.23 Paul Roider 13.393
10.7z Matt Zimmerly 15.118
Group 2
1.21jr Billy Moyer Jr. 12.350
2.b5 Brandon Sheppard 12.467
3.54 Dillan White 12.596
4.1w Donnie Walden 12.772
5.r1 Matt Weidner 12.837
6.33f Rickey Frankel 13.253
7.92k Brant Kehrer 13.254
8.30 Mark Voigt 13.280
9.86 Jason Crump 13.581
10.26 Randy Estes 14.894
Group 3
1.21 Billy Moyer 12.202
2.18 Shannon Babb 12.444
3.00 Randy Korte 12.523
4.24 Ryan Unzicker 12.681
5.b12 Kevin Weaver 12.758
6.33 Tim Manville 12.787
7.95 Jeff Johns 13.055
8.27k Greg Kimmons 13.126
9.6k Michael Kloos 13.891
10.13w Tracy Wampler 14.594

Heat 1
1.82 Roger Brickler
2.1v Will Vaught
3.28 Dennis Erb
4.25 Jason Feger
5.89s Mike Spatola
6.1hr Ron McQuerry
7.0 Dewayne Kiefer
8.23 Paul Roider
9.7z Matt Zimmerly
10.3s Brian Shirley

Heat 2
1.21jr Billy Moyer Jr.
2.b5 Brandon Sheppard
3.1w Donnie Walden
4.30 Mark Voigt
5.33f Ricky Frankel
6.r1 Matt Weidner
7.86 Jason Crump
8.92k Brant Kehrer
9.26 Randy Estes
10.54 Dillan White

Heat 3
1.21 Billy Moyer
2.00 Randy Korte
3.18 Shannon Babb
4.b12 Kevin Weaver
5.24 Ryan Unzicker
6.6k Michael Kloos
7.33 Tim Manville
8.95 Jeff Johns
9.27k Greg Kimmons
10.13w Tracy Wampler

Semi
1.6k Michael Kloos – transfer
2.1hr Ron McQuerry – transfer
3.33 Tim Manville – transfer
4.0 Dewayne Kiefer – transfer
5.95 Jeff Johns – transfer
6.86 Jason Crump – I-55 provisional
7.23 Paul Roider – I-55 provisional
8.92k Brant Kehrer
9.7z Matt Zimmerly
10.13w Tracy Wampler
11.27 Greg Simmons – NALMS provisional
12.r1 Matt Weidner DNS
13.54 Dillan White DNS –  NALMS provisional
14.26 Randy Estes DNS

Feature
1. [5] B5 Brandon Sheppard
2. [15] 24 Ryan Unzicker
3. [4] 1V Will Vaught
4. [6] 00 Randy Korte
5. [7] 28 Dennis Erb, Jr.
6. [3] 21 Billy Moyer
7. [10] 25 Jason Feger
8. [11] 18 Shannon Babb
9. [16] 6K Michael Kloos
10. [13] 89S Mike Spatola III
11. [12] B12 Kevin Weaver
12. [11] 30 Mark Voigt
13. [14] 33F Rickey Frankel
14. [24] 86 Jason Crump
15. [8] 1W Donny Walden
16. [21] 54 Dillan White
17. [19] 0 Dewayne Kiefer
18. [18] 33 Tim Manville
19. [1] 82 Roger Brickler
20. [17] 1HR Ron McQuerry
21. [20] 95 Jeff Johns
22. [22] 27K Greg Kimmons
23. [23] 23 Paul Roider
24. [2] 21JR Billy Moyer, Jr.

UMP DIRTcar Modifieds – 23 Entries
Heat 1
1.70 Josh Russell
2.9w Doug Wood
3.25 Brett Korves
4.62k Leo Keifer
5.89 Bobby Bittle
6.5w Ralph Wiltrout
7.21t Tom Rorabacher
8.14 Leroy Haney

Heat 2
1.4j Scott Weber
2.24 Mike Harrison
3.m41 Steve Maisel
4.2 Dean Hoffman
5.11x Don Grimm
6.27 Gene Crain
7.76 Eric Goetter
8.10x Jim Black

Heat 3
1.16 Rusty Griffaw
2.1w Ray Walsh
3.1 Tim Hancock
4.22 Matt Mevert
5.31 Ricky Horton
6.24 Paul Bauman
7.11 Derek Shipman

Feature
1. [4] 24 Mike Harrison
2. [6] 16 Rusty Griffaw
3. [2] 1w Ray Walsh
4. [5] 4j Scott Weber
5. [14] 89 Bobby Bittle
6. [7] 1 Tim Hancock
7. [3] 70 Josh Russell
8. [12] 22 Matt Mevert
9. [13] 31 Ricky Horton
10. [18] 24 Paul Bauman
11. [10] 62K Leo Kiefer
12. [9] M41 Steve Maisel
13. [11] 2 Dean Hoffman
14. [23] 10X Jim Black
15. [22] 14 Leroy Haney
16. [15] 11X Don Grimm
17. [8] 25 Brett Korves
18. [19] 21T Tom Rorabacher
19. [1] 9W Doug Wood
20. [21] 11 Derek Shipman
21. [20] 76 Eric Goetter
22. [17] 27 Gene Crain
23. [16] Ralph Wiltrout DNS

UMP DIRTcar/AARA Sportsman – 27 Entries
Heat 1
1.12 Troy Naeger
2.65 Gary Range
3.23 Kevin Mosier
4.911 Jon Ripperda
5.64 Jim Smith
6.16 Jacob Buechting
7.3 Scott Henseler
8.269 Josh Ramer
9.34w Matt Wooldridge DNS

Heat 2
1.192 Mark Spraul
2.8e Steve Edgecombe
3.49 Brad Paquet
4.15b Matt Brucato
5.04 Chris Soutiea
6.13 Craig Bessinger
7.19 Jimmy Cummins
8.1 Len Garson
9.101 Danny Bashem

Heat 3
1.11 Jeff Herzog
2.55k Jason Keller
3.99 Chuck Adams
4.57 Trey Harris
5.3e Robbie Eilers
6.168 Mike Armstrong
7.6 Justin Ketrow
8.19s Nathan Schmitt
9.77 Patrick Hawkins

Feature
1. [3] 11 Jeff Herzog
2. [5] 49 Brad Paquet
3. [1] 55k Jason Keller
4. [4] 12 Troy Naeger
5. [8] 57 Trey Harris
6. [7] 65 Gary Range
7. [10] 99 Chuck Adams
8. [2] 192 Mark Spraul
9. [11] 911 Jon Ripperda
10. [6] 8E Steve Edgecombe
11. [12] 15B Matt Brucato
12. [13] 3E Robbie Eilers
13. [21] 6 Justin Ketrow
14. [16] 16B Jacob Buechting
15. [18] 168 Mike Armstrong
16. [15] 04 Chris Soutiea
17. [17] 13 Craig Bessinger
18. [14] 64 Jim Smith
19. [25] 101 Danny Basham
20. [9] 23 Kevin Mosier
21. [20] 19C Jimmy Cummins
22. [24] 19S Nathan Schmitt
23. [19] 3 Scott Henseler
24. [22] 269 Josh Ramer
25. [23] 1 Lenny Garson
26. 34W Matt Wooldridge DNS
27. 77 Patrick Hawkins DNS

UMP DIRTcar/AARA Pro 4 Stocks – 23 Entries
Heat 1
1.57e Earl Pryor
2.17r Jacob Rexing
3.14g Rodney George
4.7j Blake Jost
5.2x Aaron Wood
6.6 Justin Reando
7.93 Brian Spalding
8.22L Joe Laws

Heat 2
1.99 Chuck Johnson
2.18 Aron Faulkner
3.50 Gary Otte
4.75 Shawn Belt
5.81p Robert Price
6.96 Andrew Wibbenmeyer
7.7x Josh Ramer
8.21p Josh Peppers

Heat3
1.711 Dayton Racer
2.70 Joe Merritt
3.19 Jessica Buechting
4.89 Travis Bittle
5.71a Brad Almond
6.17j Adam Johnson
7.24 Jordan Suhre DQ’d

Feature
1. [2] 711 Dayton Racer
2. [3] 17r Jacob Rexing
3. [4] 18 Aron Faulkner
4. [6] 57e Earl Pryor
5. [1] 99 Chuck Johnson
6. [5] 70 Joe Merritt
7. [15] 6 Justin Reando
8. [7] 14g Rodney George
9. [8] 50 Gary Otte
10. [16] 96 Andrew Wibbenmeyer
11. [11] 19 Jessica Buechting
12. [14] 89 Travis Bittle
13. [20] 17j Adam Johnson
14. [19] 7x Josh Ramer
15. [12] 2x Aaron Wood
16. [10] 75 Shawn Belt
17. [13] 81p Robert Price
18. [21] 22L Joe Laws
19. [9] 7j Blake Jost
20. [17] 71a Brad Almond
21.  [18] 93 Brian Spalding
22. 21p Josh Peppers DNS
23. 24 Jordan Suhre DQ (car roll cage didn’t meet track safety standards)

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