May (By Tyson Graves)
The second weekend of returning to action for the World of Outlaws Late Model Series landed them in Davenport, Iowa. What makes the Davenport facility so unique is the 2 tracks at the same facility. On Friday night they would run on the quarter-mile and on Saturday they would switch gears and try their hands at the half mile.
Three story lines headlined the weekends news stories. Ricky Thornton Jr rolled into Davenport after picking up his first World of Outlaws win the weekend before at Jackson Motorplex. Mike McKinney, the open wheel modified standout, was making his Super Late Model debut in the #99 Curless entry. Also, it had been seven races on tour since Brandon Sheppard visited victory lane.
Brandon Sheppard, if he had any critics, was silenced on the final weekend of May at Davenport. On Friday night we saw one the closest races of the season. In the final circuits on the quarter mile a battle ensued between the previous weekend winner Ricky Thornton Jr and reigning series champion Brandon Sheppard. The two drivers were side by side during the last couple of laps and when they crossed the finish line, well had even announcer Rick Eshelman confused on who the race winner was. Moments later series officials declared Brandon Sheppard the winner. There was even speculation about transponders being in the right place but at the end of the day it was the driver named “Rocket Shepp” returning to Outlaws victory lane.
On night two drivers took to the half mile at Davenport. After taking the lead on lap 5 from Frank Heckenast Jr, Brandon Sheppard walked away from the rest of the field and dominated night two in Davenport. The weekend sweep sparked what would be another very successful World of Outlaws campaign for the Rocket house car team. Showing he can win no matter the size of the track, Brandon Sheppard’s sweep at Davenport is one of our top moments of the 2020 race season.
Photo: Brendon Bauman