WSS: DFR, Shepard Parramatta race notes

Shepard hussles for seventh at Parramatta. 2 January 2003 -- American Sensation Jeff Shepard tonight pushed to the limit in the Disbury Family Racing Eagle finishing seventh in elite company at Parramatta City Raceway. The 31-year-old...

Shepard hussles for seventh at Parramatta.

2 January 2003 -- American Sensation Jeff Shepard tonight pushed to the limit in the Disbury Family Racing Eagle finishing seventh in elite company at Parramatta City Raceway.

The 31-year-old qualified fourth fastest in a field of 43 cars which was his best qualifying effort since touching down in Australia late last month.

"We qualified the best we have all tour so far and it is great considering the calibre and number of cars that are here," said team owner Darren Disbury following qualifying.

Starting from 9th and 10th in each of his qualifying heats Shepard proved he has the pace to match it with the best finishing third and fifth respectively in his first hit out on the Parramatta clay way.

Following the heat races Shepard was 5ht in points and qualified for the stars dash where on the first start he was already into third after 3/4 of a lap, only to have the yellow lights be displayed. After the complete restart he finished a solid sixth.

Starting from the outside third row for the A-Main event Shepard manoeuvred himself into 5th within the opening lap and was looking good. On Lap 5 he passed Australian Champion, Max Dumesny for fourth place only to have a car roll and bring on the red lights dropping the Former World of Outlaws Rookie of the Year back to fifth.

He was also elevated one spot during the red light stoppage when Daryn Pittman did not restart due to power steering problems.

With 10 laps down Shepard was holding down a solid fourth place when the front wing posts broke forcing the wing to up end itself onto the bonnet and the American to battle with an ill-handling car.

Using his experience he moved the top wing forward in an effort to get more downforce on the front end.

"I was losing straight away speed due to the top wing and I wanted to get it back so I could get the power to the ground coming off the turns," said a disappointed Shepard.

He continued to battle on and impress many on lookers with his never say die attitude and even sliced his way through lapped traffic to finish seventh behind eventual winner fellow World of Outlaws star, Joey Saldana.

"You just can't be fast without a nose wing but hey one of these days we will have some luck go our way," said Shepard.

"The car was fast enough in the opening laps of the A until the wing broke but at least I have a run under my belt to get some track knowledge leading up to the $50,000 to win show."

Shepard and the Disbury Family Racing team will return to Parramatta City Raceway on Saturday 4th January.

-dfr-

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