AT A GLANCE: Sheppard Seeks Duck River Victory Friday
Thomas Hendrickson Photo
Rocket1 racer then takes aim Saturday at Owens & Smoky Mountain

WHEEL, TN – The World of Outlaws Morton Buildings Late Model Series roars back into action this weekend with a waltz through Tennessee, Friday night at Duck River Raceway Park and Saturday night at Smoky Mountain Speedway.

Two-time and defending Series champion Brandon Sheppard enters the weekend as the defending Morton Buildings Feature winner at Duck River, and he finished second last year to recent DIRTcar Nationals standout Jimmy Owens at Smoky Mountain.

At this time last year, Sheppard was leading by just 16 points in the overall standings after winning four consecutive races at Volusia Speedway Park. This year, Sheppard has doubled that advantage, leading second-place Darrell Lanigan by 32 points. Ricky Weiss sits 54 points behind in third, while the Scott Bloomquist Racing duo of Chris Madden and Scott Bloomquist round out the top five, 90 and 110 points back, respectively.

Sheppard and the Rocket1 Racing team do have a lone tour victory to their credit this season, which they inherited in the first race at Volusia after original winner Dennis Erb Jr. was penalized. However, when glancing back into the history books, it has now been 15 consecutive World of Outlaws races since the last time Sheppard was the first car across the finish line.

This stands as the longest period of time without a natural Feature win for 27-year-old Illinoisan since joining the full-time roster in 2017. Back on August 30 of last year, Sheppard won the opening night of action at Sharon Speedway’s Battle at the Border, and he hasn’t crossed the finish line first in an Outlaws race since. Previously, his largest gap between wins as an Outlaw was just five races, in 2018 – May 3 (3rd win) to June 14 (4th win).

But despite his absence in Outlaws Victory Lane over the past few months, he’s managed to expand the points lead he claimed in season-opening event Vado Speedway Park, thanks to an incredible amount of consistency, similar to last year’s domination on the tour.

In Outlaws competition through the first seven races, the Rocket Chassis house car has finished outside of the top-five only once — a sixth in the second race at Volusia. Through the team’s first 17 races so far this year, only two have landed outside of the top-five. The team has yet to finish worse than 10th.

Those numbers are staggering. But if history is any indication, there’s one man in particular who’s proven himself a thorn in the side of Rocket1 over the past few seasons, and he goes by the name of The O-Show.

Other than Sheppard himself, Owens is currently one of the hottest Dirt Late Model drivers in the country. Three consecutive DIRTcar Nationals victories at Volusia just doesn’t happen every year, let alone to someone who’s never won there before. But Owens did exactly that, outrunning Sheppard and the Outlaws three times last month. Now, he’ll look to do it again Saturday night at Smoky Mountain.

Looking back on historical trends, in Outlaws races since Sheppard’s full-time debut in 2017 where Owens has won, Sheppard has finished second to him three times – including twice just last year.

Sheppard will be aiming to repeat Friday at Duck River, and then do something on Saturday he’s never been able to do, beat Owens at Smoky Mountain.

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THIS WEEKEND AT A GLANCE

WHEN & WHERE
Friday, March 6 at Duck River Raceway Park in Wheel, TN
Saturday, March 7 at Smoky Mountain Speedway in Maryville, TN

FRIDAY
Pit gate opens at noon
Spectator gate opens at noon
Hot Laps at 6 p.m.

SATURDAY
Pit gate opens at noon
Spectator gate opens at noon
Hot Laps at 5:15 p.m.

ABOUT THE TRACKS
Duck River Raceway Park is a quarter-mile dirt oval. The track record is 11.902 seconds, set by Dane Dacus on Sept. 30, 2017.
Online – duckriverracewaypark.com
Phone – (931) 685-1009

Smoky Mountain Speedway is a 4/10-mile, high-banked clay oval. The track record is 14.860 seconds, set by Billy Ogle Jr. in November 2013
Online – smokymountainspeedway.com
Phone – (865) 856-8989

TICKETS
Tickets for both events can be purchased at the gate on race day; Duck River attendees can also purchase general admission or pit passes online in the link below.

DUCK RIVER TICKETS

2020 QUARTER-MILE WINNERS
This will be the first race on a quarter-mile this season.

2020 4/10-MILE WINNERS
This will be the first race on a 4/10-mile this season.

DUCK RIVER RACEWAY PARK PREVIOUS WINNERS
2019 – Brandon Sheppard on March 22
2017 – Mike Marlar on May 14
2016 – Dale McDowell on April 8
2014 – Darrell Lanigan on May 18
2013 – Eric Wells on April 28

SMOKY MOUNTAIN SPEEDWAY PREVIOUS WINNERS
2019 – Jimmy Owens on March 23
2018 – Chris Madden on Apr. 27; Dale McDowell on Apr. 28
2017 – Brandon Overton on May 16
2016 – Scott Bloomquist on May 7
2015 – Scott Bloomquist on May 9
2013 – Shane Clanton on April 26
2004 – Rick Eckert on April 3

ON THE INTERNET
World of Outlaws Late Model Series – www.worldofoutlaws.com/latemodels
Twitter – Twitter.com/WoOLateModels (@WoOLateModels)
Instagram – Instagram.com/woolatemodels (@woolatemodels)
Facebook – Facebook.com/worldofoutlawslatemodelseries
YouTube – YouTube.com/WorldofOutlaws
DIRTVision – DIRTVision.com – Get your Fast Pass subscription to watch all races LIVE for only $39/month!
Twitter – Twitter.com/dirtvision – @dirtvision
Facebook – Facebook.com/WatchDIRTVision
Instagram – Instagram.com/watchdirtvision (@watchdirtvision)

DRIVER INFO
Follow full-time World of Outlaws drivers on Twitter:
Brandon Sheppard – @B_Sheppard_B5
Chris Madden – @chrismadden44
Scott Bloomquist – @Bloomquist_0 / @SBR_TeamZero
Darrell Lanigan – @DarrellLanigan
Chase Junghans – @chasejunghans18
Dennis Erb Jr. – @DennisErbJr
Boom Briggs – @boom99b
Brent Larson – @BrentLarsonB1
Ricky Weiss – @weissracing7
Cade Dillard – @CDillard97
Blake Spencer – @BlakeSpencer06
Matt Cosner – @MCR66C
Kody Evans – @kody_evans4
Ashton Winger – @winger_ashton
Ivedent Lloyd Jr. – @IvedentJ

AROUND THE TURN
After the Tennessee doubleheader, the Outlaws turn to another Southeastern showdown at Volunteer Speedway on Friday, March 27 and Cherokee Speedway on Saturday, March 28.

2020 STATS
There have been 7 World of Outlaws Morton Buildings Late Model Series Feature events this season.

MORTON BUILDINGS FEATURE WINNERS (5 different drivers)
Rank – Driver, Hometown – Wins
1 – Jimmy Owens, Newport, TN – 3
2 – Chris Madden, Gray Court, SC – 1
– Ricky Weiss, Headingley, MB – 1
– Cade Dillard, Robeline, LA – 1
– Brandon Sheppard, New Berlin, IL – 1

FAST QUALIFIERS (7 different drivers)
Rank – Driver, Hometown – Quick Times
1 – Chris Madden, Gray Court, SC – 1
– Billy Moyer Jr., Batesville, AR – 1
– Boom Briggs, Bear Lake, PA – 1
– Mike Marlar, Winfield, TN – 1
– Brandon Sheppard, New Berlin, IL – 1
– Jimmy Owens, Newport, TN – 1
– Scott Bloomquist, Mooresburg, TN – 1

DRYDENE HEAT RACE WINNERS (19 different winners)
Rank – Driver, Hometown – Wins
1 – Jimmy Owens, Newport, TN – 5
2 – Chris Madden, Gray Court, SC – 3
– Brandon Sheppard, New Berlin, IL – 3
– Ricky Weiss, Headingley, MB – 3
5 – Cade Dillard, Robeline, LA – 2
– Mike Marlar, Winfield, TN – 2
– Mark Whitener, Middleburg, FL – 2
8 – Darrell Lanigan, Union, KY – 2
– Scott Bloomquist, Mooresburg, TN – 1
– Billy Moyer Jr., Batesville, AR – 1
– Dennis Erb Jr., Carpentersville, IL – 1
– Brandon Overton, Evans, GA – 1
– Tim McCreadie, Watertown, NY – 1
– Dale McDowell, Chickamauga, GA – 1
– Brian Shirley, Chatham, IL – 1
– Kyle Bronson, Brandon, FL – 1
– Michael Norris, Sarver, PA – 1
– Chase Junghans, Manhattan, KS – 1
– Kyle Strickler, Mooresville, NC – 1

LAST CHANCE SHOWDOWN WINNERS (13 different drivers)
Rank – Driver, Hometown – Wins
1 – Cade Dillard, Robeline, LA – 3
2 – Billy Moyer Jr., Batesville, AR – 1
– Stormy Scott, Las Cruces, NM – 1
– Brian Shirley, Chatham, IL – 2
– Dennis Erb Jr., Carpentersville, IL – 1
– Mike Marlar, Winfield, TN – 1
– Kody Evans, Camden, OH – 1
– Chris Madden, Gray Court, SC – 1
– Boom Briggs, Bear Lake, PA – 1
– Mark Whitener, Middleburg, FL – 1
– Chase Junghans, Manhattan, KS – 1
– Rick Eckert, York, PA – 1
– Josh Richards, Shinnston, WV – 1

PODIUM FINISHES (9 different drivers)
Rank – Driver, Hometown – # of podiums
1 – Brandon Sheppard, New Berlin, IL – 4
2 – Darrell Lanigan, Union, KY – 3
– Jimmy Owens, Newport, TN – 3
– Ricky Weiss, Headingley, MB – 3
5 – Chris Madden, Gray Court, SC – 2
– Josh Richards, Shinnston, WV – 2
– Kyle Bronson, Brandon, FL – 2
8 – Cade Dillard, Robeline, LA – 1
– Dale McDowell, Chickamauga, GA – 1

HARD CHARGERS (6 different drivers)
Rank – Driver, Hometown – # of merits
1 – Ricky Weiss, Headingley, MB – 2
2 – Dennis Erb Jr., Carpentersville, IL – 1
– Chase Junghans, Manhattan, KS – 1
– Rick Eckert, York, PA – 1
– Chris Madden, Gray Court, SC – 1
– Kyle Bronson, Brandon, FL – 1

TOTAL LAPS LED (12 different drivers)
Rank – Driver, Hometown – Laps
1 – Jimmy Owens, Newport, TN – 72
2 – Brandon Sheppard, New Berlin, IL – 66
3 – Mark Whitener, Middleburg, FL – 45
4 – Chris Madden, Gray Court, SC – 41
5 – Kyle Bronson, Brandon, FL – 25
6 – Ricky Weiss, Headingley, MB – 19
7 – Darrell Lanigan, Union, KY – 12
8 – Dennis Erb, Carpentersville, IL – 10
9 – Cade Dillard, Robeline, LA – 9
10 – Brandon Overton, Evans, GA – 1
– Kyle Strickler, Mooresville, NC – 1
– Jonathan Davenport, Blairsville, GA – 1

2019 WORLD OF OUTLAWS SCHEDULE & WINNERS
No. / Day, Date / Track / Location / Winner (Total Wins)
1. Friday, Jan. 3 / Vado Speedway Park / Vado, NM / Chris Madden (1)
2. Saturday, Jan. 4 / Vado Speedway Park / Vado, NM / Ricky Weiss (1)
3. Sunday, Jan. 5 / Vado Speedway Park / Vado, NM / Cade Dillard (1)
4. Wed, Feb. 12 / Volusia Speedway Park / Barberville, FL / Brandon Sheppard (1)
5. Thursday, Feb. 13 / Volusia Speedway Park / Barberville, FL / Jimmy Owens (1)
6. Friday, Feb. 14 / Volusia Speedway Park / Barberville, FL / Jimmy Owens (2)
7. Saturday, Feb. 15 / Volusia Speedway Park / Barberville, FL / Jimmy Owens (3)