Kings: Shepard ready for Outlaws opener

19 February, 2003 - Jeff Shepard this weekend returns to the greatest show on dirt, the O'Reilly World of Outlaws Series when the 2003 Championship chase kicks off at Kings Speedway, California on Friday night. The last time Shepard completed a...

19 February, 2003 - Jeff Shepard this weekend returns to the greatest show on dirt, the O'Reilly World of Outlaws Series when the 2003 Championship chase kicks off at Kings Speedway, California on Friday night.

The last time Shepard completed a full year with the O'Reilly World of Outlaws series the Maryland based driver captured the prestigious Kevin Gobrecht Rookie of the year Award and finished tenth in the Championship.

With six O'Reilly World of Outlaw victories to his name Shepard this year joins forces with one the longest standing teams in the series, the Vivarin supported Helm Motorsports team.

"Right now I am as excited as when I got my first opportunity to drive with the Outlaws," said Shepard.

"It is great to again be a part of the highest profile Sprint Car series in the world and with a fresh start with a professional team such as the guys at Helm I am confident of a good showing throughout the year."

Last year the 31-year-old was the winningest driver in the All Star Series of Champions finishing third in the points chase despite missing the first two months of competition. This year he is aiming to help the Vivarin supported team improve on their 9th place finish in the O'Reilly World of Outlaws Series last year.

"After a year away from the Outlaws I am as hungry as ever to make it to victory lane and with the great team behind me I know we can be a top 5 contender in the Championship," commented Shepard.

While this weekend's events will be the first in 2003 for many of the O'Reilly World of Outlaw competitors Shepard has been competing in events across Australia and Florida for the past 6 weeks. Following the 8 nights of the All Stars Series held over the past 2 weeks in Florida he is the current points leader already having one A Main victory and five top five finishes to his credit in 2003 All Stars Competition.

"The events in Florida have been great, it has got my confidence right up where it should be. Any rust on me that was possibly there has been washed off and I am fresh and ready for the Championship chase that is ahead of me," Shepard commented.

Shepard will campaign the number 11H Vivarin Maxim Sprint Car in two nights of competition this weekend with the second race of the O'Reilly World of Outlaws Championship to be held at Perris Auto Speedway on Saturday night.

On the previous two occasions Shepard has competed at Kings Speedway he has finished inside the top 5 on both occasions.

-otgp-

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Series World of Outlaws