While there seem to be few drivers with the potential to end the winning streak of World of Outlaws Morton Buildings Late Model Series points leader Brandon Sheppard, on a hot and wild Tuesday night, Georgia native Shane Clanton did what he hasn’t done since his last Series win at Ogilvie Raceway earlier in July – outrun the 15-time World of Outlaws winner.
Just 17 days after getting his first series win for his new team at Skyline Motorsports, Clanton has done it again. In what was almost a perfect event, “The Georgia Bulldog” set quick time in Qualifying to pick up his second PFC Brakes Fast Time Award of the season, setting him up for a win in Drydene Heat Race #1 and a third-place redraw. After this third-place start, Clanton quickly powered his way to the lead ahead of pole-sitter Boom Briggs and outside pole-sitter Chase Junghans in a mere 1.5 laps of the Morton Buildings feature.
After taking this lead, Clanton got a great run out of turn two after sticking to the very bottom line in turn one and launched his car down the backstretch to grab command of the race. While this was an awesome move, it wouldn’t be his last. He was a man on the mission, determined to earn his 16th win of the season and first at the Shawano County Fairgrounds.
The gap Sheppard walked into between him and Clanton at that point was growing, which looked massive on the half-mile of Shawano. Clanton’s lead stretched to nearly three seconds at one point before Sheppard got into clean air. Equipped with that 900HP Durham Racing Engine under the hood, the Rocket Chassis house car locked onto his target and turned on the Rocket boosters, closing the gap to just over 1.5 seconds by lap 20.
As Sheppard continued to hammer the cushion until just after the halfway point, he found the added speed that he thought he needed to overtake race leader Clanton. That is, until lapped traffic began to slow this rocket driver a bit and give Clanton the chance to make all the right moves in traffic to keep Sheppard at bay. By the time the checkered flag fell over him for the third time this season, his advantage over the Rocket1 Racing car was back to where it was originally – 2.7 seconds.
“This win feels amazing,” said Clanton. “In fact, it is a testament to my hard-working crew, who worked throughout the night last night to keep this car at its best.”
Thanks to this win, Clanton is now tied with leading Rookie of the Year contender Ricky Weiss for second in Series points behind the driver who did his best to end Clanton’s run going into the 32nd annual USA Nationals race weekend. This three-day race event will culminate with the 100-lap, $50,000-to-win race on Saturday night at Cedar Lake Speedway, in New Richmond, WI. Stay tuned to RacingJunk.com for all your latest racing in the dirt news.