11 January, 2003 - American sensation, Jeff Shepard was the standout competitor in the final night's proceedings of the Parts Plus $50,000 to Sprintcar Spectacular at Sydney's Parramatta City Raceway this evening. Starting the night on a high ...
11 January, 2003 - American sensation, Jeff Shepard was the standout competitor in the final night's proceedings of the Parts Plus $50,000 to Sprintcar Spectacular at Sydney's Parramatta City Raceway this evening.
Starting the night on a high Shepard sliced his way through the pack in the rain delayed A main event from last night from his 12th starting position to finish third and guarantee a birth in the 40-lap $50,000 to win race.
"The car was just perfect I could put it anywhere on the racetrack and we were still going forwards," said Shepard "I'm looking forward to the rest of the night."
By virtue of this third place finish behind Garry Brazier and Brad Furr Shepard started on the outside front row of his dash for the outside starting position for the 40-lap final. He simply smoked the field in the Advanced Linemarking/Dave Jack Paving Eagle in this event in the process earning position 2 for the final.
When rain interrupted proceedings after one lap Shepard has already shown he was the fastest car on the track and was going to be tough to beat. On the restart he once again cleared out from the pack to open a handy buffer by mid race.
During a caution period just after mid race Shepard was rolling down the straight with one lap remaining before the restart when fellow World of Outlaws competitor, Joey Saldana motioned to him that Shepard's Right rear tyre was going flat.
"In America we have respect for each other, you've got to have racing against the same guys 100 nights a year do. We look after each other. You have to, no-one wants to see anyone get hurt" said Shepard.
With this in mind Shepard changed his line to run the low grove on the restart so that he could feel for the tyre without doing any damage this allowed Saldana to fly past on the outside.
By this time Shepard was aware there was no problem with his right rear tyre but Saldana had taken over the race lead.
As the laps wore on Shepard closed in on the back of Saldana but with the high line the only fast way around he was forced to settle for second place.
"We had a fast car, it was good enough to win the race and I think everyone here knows that," Shepard said hastily after the A Main event.
"My crew done a great job working their butts off all day to change the car dramatically from last night and it was great to drive.
"Although it is a good day finishing second especially after the past few weeks with our motor troubles in terms of professionalism and driver courtesy it was a bad night."
Shepard and the Disbury Family racing team will be next in action at Sonic Speedway, Swan Hill in Victoria for Round 14 of the World Series Sprintcars on Friday Night.