- Aug 27 - I-55 Raceway by Sam Holbrooks


Jesse Stovall and Brandon Sheppard at I-55 Raceway

13th starting Brandon Sheppard (5) and 19th starting Jesse Stovall (00) slug it out over the final laps of the co-sanctioned MARS/UMP event Saturday at I-55 Raceway. (Drew England)

UMP/MARS: Stovall and Sheppard Square Off For Final Showdown at I-55 Raceway

series and track report

PEVELY, Mo. - Aug. 27. Providing some of the most intense racing action at I-55 Raceway in recent memory, Jesse Stovall and Brandon Sheppard chased each other from deep in the field to a final showdown that gave Stovall, of Galena, Mo., the photo-finish in the third and final race of the MARS/UMP Tri-State Trifecta.

Brian Shirley was the early frontrunner as Sheppard launched his#5 car from the 13th spot, with Stovall starting back in 19th. Stovall, second in MARS points, struggled in his heat race and was forced to run a B-feature. While Sheppard caught Shirley on lap 26 to take over the lead, Stovall followed in Sheppard's tracks to reach the top ten quickly and reel in the front runners a few laps later.  

Shannon Babb and Brian Shirley at I-55 Raceway

Two-time Trifecta winner Shannon Babb gets under early leader Brian Shirley at I-55 Raceway, but struggled with his handling and spun for the final caution of the night.  By then, Shirley, who led the first 25 laps, had already retired with issues of his own. (Drew England) 

Several problems would beset the frontrunners as Shirley fell out of contention with mechanical issues, while lap 33 saw Jason Feger have to pit with a flat tire under the race's final caution that flew when Shannon Babb, winner of the two previous Trifecta events, spun his #18.  

Racing down low during the race's final stretch, Sheppard appeared to have things under control for the final green flag period, but Stovall, who restarted third, moved up the track to take second and reel in the leader. The final circuits saw Sheppard and Stovall racing side by side, with Stovall taking the advantage on the final go-round to take the win in a near photo-finish.

Behind the pair, Billy Moyer claimed his third top five of the three-race mini-series, followed by Jeremy Payne and area standout Randy Korte.

Galena, Mo.'s Jesse Stovall after an exciting come from behind victory at I-55 Raceway.(Drew England)

Aug. 27 - MLRA/UMP at I-55 Raceway
1) Jesse Stovall, 2) Brandon Sheppard, 3) Billy Moyer, 4) Jeremy Payne, 5) Randy Korte, 6) Jack Sullivan, 7) Dewayne Kiefer, 8) Tony Jackson, Jr., 9) Jason McBride, 10) Brad Looney, 11) Bobby Pierce, 12) Mark Voigt, 13) Jeff Johns, 14) Terry Phillips, 15) Jason Feger, 16) Shannon Babb, 17) Rickey Frankel, 18) Brian Shirley, 19) R.C. Whitwell, 20) Dave Jumper, 21) Scott Weber, 22) Brandon McCormick, 23) Billy Moyer, Jr., 24) Jason Rauen
Heat winners (36 entries): Korte, Shirley, Feger, Sullivan; B-Main winners: Weber, Frankel

Ron Mitchell photo


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