Brownstown Speedway kicks off ’19 season, Sheppard wins icebreaker



Brandon Sheppard’s success at Brownstown Speedway has been less than stellar over the past several years.

The New Berlin, Illinois, driver has always struggled to find results at the quarter-mile dirt oval.

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That was until this past Saturday night when the Rocket Chassis house car driver put together a perfect night and won the 22nd annual Indiana Icebreaker, netting $12,000.

The win boosted Sheppard’s personal win streak to five straight in competition this season.

“It seems like every time we come here, we’re up front at the beginning of the night,” Sheppard said. “I guarantee my dad and grandpa were sitting at home thinking, ‘Oh here we go, another repeat. Start on the pole and go backwards like normal.”

Sheppard led all 50 laps flag-to-flag to score his first Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series-sanctioned win of the season, and his first career win at Brownstown Speedway.

Contested only once, Sheppard meticulously worked his way through lapped traffic until a late race caution allowed second-running Devin Moran a chance to overtake him on the restart.

Moran’s efforts fell short, and he would settle for second.

“We were just the second-best car tonight. I haven’t been here since 2015 and I think it’s got more banking and I think it helped the racing,” Moran, who hails from Dresden, Ohio, said. “We were good, just not good enough.”

Jonathan Davenport, the 2015 Indiana Icebreaker champion, finished third after starting in the seventh position.

“We were really good on the bottom early before it got real rough,” Davenport. “But, we couldn’t get through the holes like we needed to. We are trying a few new things on the car.”

Thirty-four Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series competitors signed in for the event.

Sheppard was the fast qualifier and was among the heat race winners for the evening. Moran, Hudson O’Neal, and Don O’Neal also won their respected heat race events.

Devin Gilpin wasn’t in competition for the Late Model portion of Saturday’s events, but the Columbus, Indiana, driver did visit familiar territory in his infamous yellow 1G Modified.

The main event was plagued with cautions, but Gilpin survived to pick up the first win of the season.

“I was worried that we were going to run out of fuel, that took a while,” Gilpin said. “We’ve made gains on this car, we’ve broke it out a few times and had good runs but we’ve also struggled with it before but my grandpa really made some good changes tonight.”

Jamie Lomax, Paul Miles, Jacoby Hines, and Tommy Sheppard rounded out the top-five finishers.

Rick Gumm picked up where he left off in Pure Stock competition, scoring his first win of the season in the division.

Gumm has won 12-straight events at Brownstown.

Racing action returns this Friday and Saturday night at Brownstown with the 410 Sprintcars headlining the weekend.

Friday night will be the “All in 25” featuring 410 Sprintcars, Super Late Models, and Modifieds.

The 11th annual “No Way Out 40,” paying $7,500 to the winner, will be contested on Saturday night along with Pro Late Models, Modifieds, and Super Stocks.

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