August (By Tyson Graves)
There is no denying that Brandon Sheppard has been one of the toughest drivers over the past few seasons on the national level. But Sheppard’s roots run deep back home in Illinois. Growing up in the small town of New Berlin, Illinois the bullrings in the land of Lincoln is what made Brandon the driver that he is today. And when he gets his chance, he likes to get back behind the wheel of the family B5 machine and chase childhood ghosts of years past.
The Summer Nationals tour is at the heart of every Illinois driver who sits behind the wheel of a race car. The month-long journey that tests the skills and determination of any race team is the holy grail. Just to win a race on the tour speaks volumes to the racing world. Due to COVID-19 restrictions the tour started later than expected and was even split into two waves of races to get the 2020 edition in. With the different schedule and national touring series’ being off Brandon got to spend some time behind the wheel of the B5 on some familiar tracks in his backyard.
On August 11th Sheppard started a whole week on the Hell Tour. That night he picked up the win at Sycamore Speedway. The next night he went to Fairbury for the Summer Nationals second visit to “America’s Dirt Track.” After a tight battle with eventual series champ Brian Shirley, Sheppard would come up half a car length short of making it two in a row. But the next night Brandon would best Shirley at Macon Speedway in the Herald & Review 100.
But Brandon was not finished. He would struggle at Fayette County Speedway on Friday night but on Saturday night he would pick up the win at Pevely, MO. He would top off the week finding victory lane again at Lincoln Speedway, a track not very far from home. This would make it four wins in six races, $25,000 in winnings, and a big smile on his families faces as he put the B5 in the national limelight.
There are those who think Brandon is only good in the Rocket house car, but we beg to differ. Brandon is just as tough and as hard to beat behind the wheel of the family B5 as he is on the national stage with the Rocket team. Sheppard proved that back in August on the Hell Tour and was one of the top moments of the 2020 race season.
Photo: Tyson Graves