One of the winningest names in the World of Outlaws Morton Buildings Late Model Series was back on top this weekend at Fairbury Speedway. The driver known as The Rocket may not have started on the pole for Saturday night’s race, but there was no way that he was going to be denied an end to a two-race winless streak.
At one of the biggest Dirt Late Model races in Fairbury, IL, hometown driver Bobby Pierce was finally going to get his first Prairie Dirt Classic victory after so many tries at his home track, that is until Brandon Sheppard decided that nothing would stop him from being back on top.
Although the wave of green flag would give the No. 1 Rocket a chance to power to the race lead, by Lap 26 the driver that few have had the ability to overpower found the hometown boy taking the lead from him on lap 26. After leading every lap since his incredible maneuver, without power steering, Pierce’s arms were giving out with just four corners to go.
As he began to ride the cushion that caked the outside wall, Sheppard got a great run out of turn two on lap 99 and before long he drove his Rocket Chassis house car deep into turn three with plenty of speed to get back up the banking and slid up in front of Pierce.
With little time to react, Pierce mashed the throttle and leaned hard on the cushion in an effort to turn his steering-stiff machine back down underneath Sheppard to counter the slide-job. Despite this, the crossover attempt was unsuccessful, and Pierce soon found himself in the rear-end of Sheppard’s Rocket Chassis house car, bouncing off the turn four wall. Sheppard drove off of turn four and across the stripe to an incredible sea of applause and cheers from fans, mostly stunned at what they had just seen.
“It is awesome to once again win this amazing race,” said Sheppard. “After that caution with 11 laps to go, I just kept going harder and harder each lap and then I saw five-to-go and I just let it all hang out and it all worked out for us.”
Upon Sheppard’s arrival in Victory Lane, Pierce walked over to the Rocket1 celebration before Sheppard emerged from his car to shake hands with the team and Brandon’s father, Steve, which was an amazing display of the respect that the two Illinois natives have for each other.
“Pierce is a great competitor and I am honored to have had the chance to race against him,” said Sheppard. “That is why it was so hard to take the win from him, but that is what we are out here to do. I hope that we can have another chance to race like this again soon.”
Sheppard and the rest of his competition will be back at in action this week for the annual Sundrop Shootout at Shawano Speedway in Shawano, WI. Stay tuned to RacingJunk.com for all your latest racing in the dirt news.