Gopher 50 Roars to 40th Checkered Flag
Saturday was a day for milestones at Deer Creek Speedway in Spring Valley. The Gopher 50 late model stock car race celebrated its 40th anniversary. Brandon Sheppard of New Berlin, IL won the main event for the first time.
Sheppard started from the pole but spent most of the race trying to catch Shane Clanton, who had grabbed the lead off the green flag and led for the first 33 laps of the 50-lap feature. Sheppard finally created the opportunity for the move on a restart on lap 34.
He told the Deer Creek Speedway website, "A couple of restarts allowed me to slow down and get to the middle-bottom groove, and get enough momentum built up to get around him." Sheppard had to hold off rookie Ricky Weiss (Manitoba, Canada) for the win. It was the third straight World of Outlaws series win for Sheppard, and also his first-ever win at Deer Creek according to the Rochester Post Bulletin.
"This race track is just phenomenal. Every time I come here the racing is all over the place. The line changes so much throughout the race," he told the Post Bulletin. Wiess finished in second place. Longtime Gopher 50 driver Jimmy Mars (Menomonie, WI) took third place.
A Modified stock car race was also held Saturday. Dustin Sorenson of Rochester won that feature. The Post Bulletin stated it was his third win there this season. Rodney Sanders (Happy, TX) was second followed by Zack Vanderbeek (New Sharon, IA), Brandon Davis (Hayfield) and Josh Angst (Winona).