Sheppard Crowned Wild West Shootout Champion
San Tan Valley, AZ — January 13, 2019
Brandon Sheppard earned the Wild West Shootout championship in the Late Model ranks with Nelson capturing Modified title honors and Searing scoring X Modified championship honors for the second year in a row.
In the 50-lap Black Diamond Super Late Models presented by M&W Transport feature event, Bobby Pierce once again battled into the lead on the opening round and was gunning to bump Keyser Quarter Million Challenge bonus from $10,000 to $25,000 with a fourth win of the week.
And for much of the race, it appeared that the Illinois racer would do just that.
But for the second night in a row, Pierce slowed near the midway point to bring out a caution. This time, it came after 27 laps with race-ending rear end woes that handed the lead off to Bloomquist.
Closing in on his first career Wild West Shootout win, Bloomquist held nearly a half straightaway lead as he took the white flag only to have disaster strike when he tagged the car of R.C. Whitwell that was backed into the turn three wall.
Weiss, who had worked his way towards the front from 11th, found himself out front on the restart and raced on to his second victory of the week.
“Our speed is because of them,” Weiss said of the Bloomquist team. “We’ve been working together as a team.”
Brandon Overton chased Weiss to the line in second with Brandon Sheppard, Chase Junghans and Jimmy Mars rounding out the top five.
Sheppard’s sixth top-five run in as many events including one runner-up finish, two third-place showing, one fourth-place finish and a fifth-place outing was enough to net the 13th Annual Wild West Shootout championship.
“We stayed in the top five all week,” Sheppard commented. “We had a lot of bad luck all week that nobody ever saw. My hat’s off to all of my crew.”