Story By: LUCAS OIL LATE MODEL DIRT SERIES – BATAVIA, OH – Nine scheduled races, one rain-out, three tracks, two states, and 76 competitors later, Brandon Sheppard closed out the Wrisco Industries Winternationals at the top of the board.
The top eight drivers at the end of the grueling Winternationals received a $500 bonus: Brandon Sheppard, Tim McCreadie, Devin Moran, Jonathan Davenport, Tyler Erb, Mike Marlar, Shane Clanton, and Jimmy Owens all took home the bonus. Each of the top four in Wrisco Industries Winternational points won at least one feature event.
With his worst finish being tenth and having three wins and seven Big River Steel podium finishes, Sheppard would leave speedweeks at the top of the Wrisco Industries Winternational points and leading the Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series points. The New Berlin, IL native found himself in victory lane every other night at East Bay Raceway Park with his Rocket1 Racing team. Sheppard didn’t take the easy road to victories as he sits fourth in Optima Batteries Hard Charger points and never sat on the pole of any event during speedweeks.
McCreadie came to speedweeks with high hopes and new car owners, Donald and Gena Bradsher. Finishing outside the top ten only once during the eight races, McCreadie also chalked up two wins, three top five, and seven top ten finishes. Opening night at Golden Isles Speedway was a complete sweep for the New York native, setting overall fast time, winning his heat, which allowed him to take the Performance Friction Brakes Pole Award, and winning the RhinoAg Super Bowl of Racing. The story was the same for McCreadie’s second win which came mid-week at East Bay Raceway Park.
Moran also arrived at Golden Isles Speedway with a new team for 2020. Unlike McCreadie, this wasn’t a completely new feel for Moran as he also drove for Tye Twarog Racing in 2018, before joining the Dunn-Benson Motorsports team in 2019. For years, this second-generation driver yearned to follow in his father, Donnie Moran’s footsteps with his successes at “The Clay by the Bay”. Until this year, the younger Moran was unable to pick up a win, but on his first night at East Bay Raceway Park, he found himself in victory lane. Finishing third in Winternational points, Moran had one win, three top five and seven top ten finishes.
The three-time Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series National Champion, Davenport, felt relief after finally visiting victory lane at the final event of Winternationals, at All-Tech Raceway. Davenport and his Lance Landers Motorsports team also had five top five and six top ten finishes.
Although Erb did not pick up a victory, the Best Performance Motorsports team did have four top five and five top ten finishes, to finish fifth in Wrisco Industries Winternationals points. Most of his success came at East Bay Raceway Park with one fast time in his group and two podium finishes.
Coming in sixth in Winternationals points, Marlar had two top five and six top ten finishes. Marlar’s best finish came on the final night, at All-Tech Raceway, where he found himself standing on the Big River Steel podium after advancing six positions to finish second.
Set to run the entire Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series schedule for the first time, Clanton and his Skyline Motorsports team ended the eight-race battle seventh in Winternational points. Clanton had two top five and four top ten finishes but showed more speed toward the end of speedweeks, leading laps on the final day at East Bay Raceway Park and having his best finishes in the final two races.
Owens rounded out the top eight in Wrisco Industries Winternationals points with two top five and four top ten finishes. The Ramirez Motorsports team also had four heat race wins, which all came at East Bay Raceway Park. Owens’ best finish feature finish was fourth on the Thursday of East Bay.