Eldora: Jeff Shepard race report

Shepard continues to find form. 21 April, 2003 - Former Kevin Gobrecht World of Outlaws Rookie of the year, Jeff Shepard continues to find form aboard the Vivarin supported Helm Motorsport Maxim with another top five finish in the O'Reilly World...

Shepard continues to find form.

21 April, 2003 - Former Kevin Gobrecht World of Outlaws Rookie of the year, Jeff Shepard continues to find form aboard the Vivarin supported Helm Motorsport Maxim with another top five finish in the O'Reilly World of Outlaws Championship at Eldora Speedway last weekend.

After missing the set up in qualifying and only posting the 21st fastest time for the opening night Shepard was leading his heat race when his engine expired forcing him to the pit area.

Following a rapid engine change aboard the Vivarin Maxim Shepard was then forced to make the transition through the sudden death B-Main in which he made a successful transfer by finishing fourth.

"The car was nowhere near perfect, we really needed that track time in the heat race to learn a bit more about what the track was doing," Shepard said after the B-Main.

Starting from 18th position in the 25-lap Preliminary feature Shepard moved through the pack to be battling with Mark Kinser for ninth position late in the race.

Shepard slid up track after attempting a pass dropping him back to 11th at the finish.

"I was certainly moving forward in the A but you just can't afford to be so far back after qualifying. I can't stress enough how important a good time is in the tough Outlaws competition," commented Shepard.

In the final night's action on Saturday night Shepard set the fifth fastest qualifying time aboard the Vivarin Maxim to then make the transfer into the 35-lap A Main event by virtue of finishing second in his heat race.

"We timed well and have done what we need to do to be in the A-Main and the car feels good," said Shepard following his heat race.

Starting from position 9 Shepard made inroads on the leaders during the opening half of the feature and was battling with fifth placed Dollansky until the right rear tyre on the Vivarin Maxim "sealed over" during a caution period with 15-laps remaining.

Continuing to show a huge improvement since bolting Hoosier tyres on the car last weekend Shepard crossed the line eighth.

He was later elevated to fifth when three cars weighed under the minimum 1375lbs weight limit (including driver) to record his third top 5 finish for the 2003 O'Reilly World of Outlaws Championship.

The weekend's results elevate Shepard into sixth position in the Championship.

Shepard and the Vivarin Helm Motorsport team head to Powercom Park, WI on April 22 followed by two nights of action in the Spring Classic in Knoxville, IA on Friday 25th and Saturday 26th April.

-jsr-

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About this article
Series World of Outlaws
Drivers Mark Kinser