Moran Captures WoO LMS Opener At Volusia


Devin Moran celebrates his World of Outlaws Late Model Series win Friday at Volusia Speedway Park. (Trent Gower photo)

BARBERVILLE, Fla. – Devin Moran has made Volusia Speedway Park his January home for feature wins with the World of Outlaws CASE Construction Equipment Late Model Series.

“The Mailman” delivered for the second year in a row Friday night at the half-mile dirt track, topping the season opener for the Outlaws’ late model tour and taking his third straight Sunshine Nationals trophy.

Polesitter Ethan Dotson, defending series champion Bobby Pierce, Ricky Thornton Jr., and Moran traded positions in the top five through the first 12 laps of the 35-lap main.

When the race restarted after the only caution flag of the feature, Dotson slid back to fifth place, while Moran, Thornton, and Pierce kept battling for the lead.

While they battled, four-time series champion Brandon Sheppard neared and knocked. The New Berlin, Ill., driver was on a mission, charging through the field from 16th and eager to bring his Longhorn Factory Team car to victory.

After Moran claimed the lead with 10 laps to go, Sheppard began to close in on the Dresden, Ohio driver, who was wheeling as hard as he could through the lap traffic in front of him.

With that determination, Moran never relinquished the lead and crossed the line to win his first race of the year.

“I had to drive really hard,” Moran said. “I was really determined to win tonight. My guys worked really really hard all winter on making our car run really fast and we came out of the box proving it. It was a lot of fun and we zigged where we needed to and zagged when we had to, and life was good.”

Sheppard came home second in his Sheppard Riggs Racing Longhorn Factory Team No. B5 – earning the Fox Factory Hard Charger Award – with a car able to drive well on any lane of the half-mile surface.

“(The Feature) was crazy honestly,” Sheppard said. “Right from the get-go, I knew I was pretty good as I pulled out alongside of the guys and I was able to roll around them. Throughout the race, I could enter high, exit low and enter low and exit high. I could run the middle, bottom, top wherever I needed to.

“The guys did a phenomenal job for giving me a really good race car there and we could put it where we wanted to.”

Despite his own mistake of not applying enough helmet tear-offs for the feature, Thornton was able to hang on for a spot on the podium.

“I felt like we had a car capable of winning,” Thornton said. “The driver screwed up by not putting enough tear-offs on. I couldn’t see the second half of the race, but it is what it is. My own fault.

“The car was really good, the track turned out better than I thought … than I think a lot of us thought it was going to. Hopefully (Volusia) will be racey again tomorrow and [we’ll] see what we’ve got.”

Pierce – who started the night by winning the Simpson Quick Time Award and broke the Volusia Speedway Park track record with a lap time of 15.100 seconds – finished fourth after getting caught behind slower traffic - eliminating his chances for a podium.

Reigning DIRTcar Nationals Big Gator champion Tim McCreadie rounded out the top five, ahead of Dotson, Dale McDowell, Cade Dillard, Max Blair, and Chris Madden.

The World of Outlaws Late Model Series returns Saturday night for the finale to the fifth annual DIRTcar Sunshine Nationals. The feature will be 40 laps and award $15,000 to the winner.

The finish:

CASE Construction Equipment A-Feature (35 Laps): 1. 99-Devin Moran [5]; 2. B5-Brandon Sheppard [16]; 3. 20RT-Ricky Thornton Jr. [6]; 4. 32-Bobby Pierce [2]; 5. 39-Tim McCreadie [12]; 6. 174-Ethan Dotson [1]; 7. 17M-Dale McDowell [4]; 8. 97-Cade Dillard [11]; 9. 111-Max Blair [8]; 10. 44-Chris Madden [10]; 11. 9-Nick Hoffman [15]; 12. 16-Tyler Bruening [14]; 13. 1-Hudson O'Neal [19]; 14. 19R-Ryan Gustin [13]; 15. 28-Dennis Erb Jr. [26]; 16. 10-Garrett Smith [17]; 17. 18D-Daulton Wilson [7]; 18. 99B-Boom Briggs [20]; 19. 5-Mark Whitener [24]; 20. 40B-Kyle Bronson [25]; 21. 89-Mike Spatola [9]; 22. 19-Dustin Sorensen [21]; 23. 97C-Cody Overton [27]; 24. B1-Brent Larson [28]; 25. 30-Todd Cooney [29]; 26. 20-Jimmy Owens [22]; 27. 14W-Dustin Walker [30]; 28. 7-Drake Troutman [23]; 29. 157-Mike Marlar [3]; 30. 3S-Brian Shirley [18].

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