Race Recap October 15, 2006, Friendship Motor Speedway, Elkin, NC

After the disappointing run at Motor Mile the night before, the team decided to run at Friendship's final event of the season. Although Friendship had qualified on Saturday (and so the team would start in the rear of the field) and the track had not been particularly good to the team this year, the team decided to try one more time.
Since all the practice and qualifying had taken place on Saturday, the team was only given one five minute practice session before the race began. The team got the car on the track. Greg ran 3 laps and brought the car in - fairly happy with how it ran. Only one change was needed before we were ready to race.
There was a meet and greet for the fans prior to the race. Greg was able to meet and speak with several fans.

The racing began shortly thereafter and immediately, the #33 began moving from last up through the field - gaining 4 positions in 6 laps. There was a wreck at the front of the field on lap 7 damaging several cars. Greg ran over a piece of debris cutting down the right rear tire. He brought the car in to the attention of the crew and was very pleased with a speedy tire change. Pitting put the #33 at the rear of the field again - oh, well!
Greg was able to move up through the field again and had good clean racing with a number of drivers. The racing was exciting, clean and fun and when the race was over the #33 was in 8th position!

Race Recap October 14, 2006, Motor Mile Speedway, Radford, VA

This was the first post-season race for the GSR team for 2006. The weather was cold and windy but the team was looking forward to a good run.
The practice sessions went fairly well but the handling of the car was not what Greg wanted. So, the team went to work on the setup. Greg had some problems during qualifying so the team kept working on the car prior to the race.
The race began and Greg was able to move forward a few positions. However, he was still having some handling problems. Fairly early in the event, the GSR #33 was tagged from behind and spun around (without hitting anything) and bringing out the caution. The #33 continued to race hard and, during a later caution, brought the car into the crew's attention for a track bar change.
However, the handling of the car continued to go away until the driver and crew chief decided it would be best to park the car before major problems occurred. The team was credited with 24th.

Race Recap September 30, 2006, Caraway Speedway, Asheboro, NC

The team arrived at Caraway for its second attempt at the track this season. This would be a special race for us. We would participate in an event that could possibly see the crowning of a new Nascar Weekly Racing Series National Champion!
As the team went through practice and qualifying, the car was decent but tight. The crew made changes to the car as we prepared for the event. The race began with the #33 in 16th position out of the 28 cars in the field. That is a very large field for Caraway.
The racing was hard and clean with a few altercations. The GSR 33 was moving forward and was in 9th position on lap 91 of the 100 lap event when the right rear tire went flat. The team was relegated to a 17th place finish.
The entire Greg Sheppard Racing Family was pleased to participate in this event and is happy to congratulate Phillip Morris on his win at Caraway which resulted in his winning the national championship. We look forward to competing with him in the future and wish him continued success!

Race Recap September 16, 2006, Motor Mile Speedway, Radford, VA

The team welcomed the cooler temperatures as we arrived at the track. This was a pleasant change from the sweltering heat to which the team had become accustomed racing in the Carolinas.

With a new motor and high hope, the GSR 33 took to the track for practice. After the first practice, Greg and Steve made a few changes to the car and put on fresh tires.

During the next practice session, it was discovered that the tires were not matched as well as planned - however the #33 was shown as the 4th quickest during the day's practice.

The team went back to the drawing board and made some changes to the setup, and after qualifying, the #33 Pontiac would be in 15th position for the evening's race.
As the green flag dropped, Greg began positioning himself to move through the field. With stiff competition ahead and pressure from the cars to his rear, he had his work cut out for him.

Through some heads-up driving and excellent Spotter/Driver communication, Greg moved the car through the first wreck that occurred just ahead.
When the green dropped once again, the team found itself in 10th place. One car lost traction coming out of turn four, knocked its fuel pump loose and caught fire and Greg made it by with feet (inches?) to spare.
During the remainder of the race, cool heads prevailed and no other cautions were thrown and after some good hard racing the GSR #33 Pontiac came home with a finish of 11th.

Race Recap September 9, 2006, Motor Mile Speedway, Radford, VA

With an almost full moon in the forecast, the evening's racing at Motor Mile Speedway looked to be "interesting". After a week off, the team was ready to get back to racing and was excited to be at Motor Mile.
The team went out for practice and the car was pretty good. No major changes were made. After the second practice, the #33 GSR Pontiac was showing the 8th overall quickest practice lap time. The change of tires and a slight setup change made the car a little difficult to handle in qualifying and the GSR #33 ended up 22nd in the 27 car field.
The prior race events of the evening proved that the "full moon effect" was still going strong. The driver and crew readied the car for racing hoping that the fireworks were over. The late model race began and the racing was fierce but clean. The car began to slowly move forward although the setup needed some work.
Greg struggled with the car but was able to continue to gain a few positions. When the race ended, Greg was in 15th and was challenging for 14th. Based on number of positions gained throughout the race, the GSR #33 moved forward more than anyone else in the race.

Race Recap August 25, 2006, Ace Speedway, Altamahaw, NC

Greg and the team arrived at Ace Speedway for its first venture with this track. It was a beautiful Carolina day and the team had high hopes for a good race. After arriving at the track, the team discovered that the Late Model division is comprised almost entirely of crate motors. The GSR #33 would be the only built motor in the field. That wasn't promising...
The team went out for practice and made few changes to the car so the team got ready for qualifying. As expected, the #33 ended up toward the rear of the field in 13th. Those crate motors are really, really fast! As sunset fell, the crowds arrived and all the competitors got ready for an exciting evening of racing.
The racing began and Greg settled in to get some laps. A few cautions fell early as the leaders had several instances of three wide racing. The GSR #33 was able to avoid all the accidents. Even with accidents, most competitors were able to continue in the event. As the race progressed, the team found itself solidly in the top ten and racing cleanly with other competitors. The car did end up with a little damage to the front as another car broke loose going into turn 1 and Greg could not avoid hitting him. No real damage was done to either car and they continued racing for position.
When the checkers fell on the 100 lap event, the GSR #33 was in 7th position. The team and driver felt very good about the evening's event and was happy to have made the trek to this very nice facility.

Race Recap August 19, 2006, Newport Speedway, Newport, TN

The team arrived in Newport, TN at "Little Bristol" with clouds overhead and the possibility of rain. This 3/10 mile track has 28 degree banking and is somewhat intimidating to newcomers.

Short track + high banks = exciting racing and a challenge to chassis setup!
Greg was able to get the car on the track for practice quite a bit and started getting used to so much banking in the turns. The car was fairly quick early but faded during practice as the practice tires began to fail. With several setup changes made to accomodate the banking, the crew was ready for qualifying. Greg was able to take his qualifying run and put the car in the top 10 to begin the race.
The racing began and the GSR #33 began to move forward quickly. As darkness fell, the car proved consistent over the long run and as other competitors' setups started to fade, the #33 was challenging the top 5. As the #33 was preparing to make a pass to put itself in the top 5 a caution fell that bunched the field up. After the restart, the car broke loose coming out of turn two and Greg and the car took a long slide down the backstretch coming to rest in turn three. Greg was able to keep the car on the lead lap and only lose two positions. On the next restart, Greg was able to regain one of those positions and was challenging for 6th when the checkers fell.
One of the benefits of racing at this track is that it is so close to many family members. Also, one of Greg's cousins also races at this track in the Mini Cup division. Therefore, a lot of the team's family members showed up to watch the evening events and support the two drivers with our very own rooting section!
Travis Chandler has been racing at the track all year and is in the top 5 in the points championship. Greg and the #33 crew were excited to see him run! The Mini Cups took to the track for practice and the setup on Travis' car was not to his liking. Travis and his crew worked on the car and made several changes prior to the fall of the green flag.
The Mini Cup race was very exciting as Travis was charging toward the front. He had a spin out of turn two but came back determined to make up ground. As the checkers fell, Travis was in 2nd position and the GSR #33 team was excited and proud of him.

Newport Speedway is under new management this year and is trying hard to bring exciting events to the fans and drivers. From the team's experience this weekend, they are on the right track (no pun intended). Greg and the team had a blast racing at this track and would recommend other drivers and fans check out the competition and settle in for some good, high-banked, grass roots racing. The team wishes to thank the track management and officials for a great racing experience and good 'ol Southern hospitality.

Race Recap August 12, 2006, South Boston Speedway, South Boston , VA

A beautiful day welcomed the GSR 33 team to the famous South Boston Speedway. A large field of 29 late models showed up to race on a day when several local tracks were off. The team was excited to race at this historic track.
The practices were interesting with so many cars on the track. It was difficult to find a spot to really see what the setup was like. However, Greg and the crew decided on some changes to make for qualifying. Qualifying at South Boston is run in order of points and, since the team had never been to the track, the #33 was the last late model to make the qualifying attempt. Greg qualified the car in 26th for the 150 lap event.
A couple of cars made changes after qualifying that forced them to the rear of the field. Therefore, Greg started the GSR Pontiac in 24th. The race began and Greg settled in to gain "seat time" and allow things to settle down. However, that wasn't to be as the cautions began to fly. During a caution/red flag that began on lap 92, the crew informed Greg that the left front tire was going flat. The car had apparently run over debris from the most recent caution. The team began preparations for changing the flat. As Greg restarted the car when the red flag ended, the tire went completely flat causing the car to drag - showering the track with sparks. Greg was able to bring the car to the attention of the crew and get the necessary repairs.
Once the racing began again, Greg was able to continue his great run and complete the race. Driver and crew were very happy with the run and the fact that - out of all the cautions of the evening - the GSR Pontiac was not involved in any wrecks. Official results placed the #33 GSR Pontiac in 11th.

Race Recap August 4, 2006, Tri-County Motor Speedway, Hudson, NC

The team arrived to a hot, muggy day threatening thunderstorms. First practice was not bad considering the team was practicing on tires from a previous track.

After the first practice, the team discovered a broken lug stud and in the process of this repair discovered a broken hub. While replacing the hub, the team was not able to participate in the second practice session. The car was repaired with minutes to spare for qualifying. Greg qualified the #33 8th on the starting grid.

The green flag dropped and Greg immediately advanced several positions. While contesting for 5th, Greg felt a problem with the right rear tire.

Greg brought the car in to the attention of the crew. After a brief, but costly, stay in the pits, the car returned to the track having lost laps in the pits.

Upon returning to the track, Greg was fighting an ill-handling car although he was maintaining comparable times to the leaders.

At the end of the evening, the #33 came home with a 10th place finish.

Race Recap July 29, 2006, Hickory Motor Speedway, Hickory, NC

A cloudy, overcast day welcomed the GSR #33 team back to Hickory. The team was ready for a good race and hoped that the weather would hold and allow the evening's events to proceed. Before the team backed the car out of the trailer, the rains came. There was a several hour delay in the day's schedule but the track officials worked hard and everything was dried out in time for practice, qualifying and racing.
The team's times during the practices were better than our first visit to the track. However, Greg knew the car had more in it and so the team made changes to the setup. Qualifying with an untested setup, the car was not exactly what he wanted but the car qualified in the top 15.
The race began and Greg quickly determined that the changes to the car were not what he anticipated. The racing was clean and fast but the #33 did not move forward as the team had hoped. Greg brought the car and team to the finish line in 15th.

Race Recap July 21, 2006, Friendship Motor Speedway, Elkin, NC

The GSR #33 team arrived once again to Friendship Motor Speedway. This would be the 5th attempt (including 3 rain outs) to race at this track. The April 23rd race attempt ended in a practice crash. The May 12th race was rained out after the cars lined up for the race and the June 9th and July 14th races were called early due to rain. Maybe the rain was telling us something. It appeared that the car and crew were ready for a good race. The team qualified in 9th - within striking distance of the pole. Most of the field qualified within 2/10 of a second.
The cars lined up for the first of the Twin 35 races. When the green flag flew, the #33 was ready to go. However, in turns 1 and 2, a competitor cut down on the #1 car of Lowe Smith and drove him into the inside wall. Regrettably, the GSR 33 was following the #1 and had no where to go. The #29 of Ryan Robertson also had no where to go and hit the back of the #33. So, the GSR Pontiac became the meat in the sandwich. The crew, that could not see the wreck, heard Greg come over the radio with "Well, that didn't take long".
The car was brought in by the wrecker and the crew began reviewing options. Once it was determined that the left front wheel and spindle, as well as some suspension parts were damaged, the team decided to park the car for the night.

Race Recap July 8, 2006, Motor Mile Speedway, Radford, VA

It was a beautiful day for racing as the #33 GSR team arrived at its home track. A large field of cars also arrived as there were 28 cars for the LMSC race. Greg and the team had gone over the car after last week's brush with the wall and made additional repairs to the car. The practice sessions showed that the car was ready. Qualifying times were very tight with over half the field within 1/10 of a second of each other. Greg qualified the car 19th out of the 28 car field.
After watching what appeared to be a demolition derby in other events, the LMSC drivers and crews were on edge when the racing began. It didn't take long for the wrecks to begin but with skill and luck, the #33 was able to miss the incidents and begin to make moves on the competition. The racing was close and intense as crashes continued through the event. Within 30 laps, the #33 was showing in top 15 and by mid-race, the team was on the top ten leader board.
There were several red flags during the race to clear the track from the carnage. There was another wreck immediately in front of the GSR Pontiac with a few laps to go. Again the #33 came through unscathed. However, a scoring error allowed 3 cars to pass Greg under caution. Numerous protests, by our team and also by other teams on our behalf, did not resolve the error.
The race ended (21 laps over the stated length) with the #33 showing in 9th. Based on the scoring error, the team believes that we should have finished 6th. While we understand and respect the difficult job of scoring the race, we disagree with the standings as shown on the leader board at the end of the race.

The team would like to thank the other spotters and crews that supported our position with the officials. Thanks!
Update: Official results are now posted and the GSR #33 is shown in 7th position.

Race Recap July 1, 2006, Orange County Speedway, Rougemont, NC

Another hot and humid NC day welcomed the team to Orange County Speedway for the team's longest race of this season - 200 laps. Having never been to this track before, the #33 team was not quite sure what to expect. The first practice proved that the track was extremely slick and the track's high banking was proving difficult to master. The track was also living up to its reputation as the fastest 3/8 mile track in America.
During the second practice, the car was very loose and smacked the outside wall at the exit of turn 2. The right side paint showed cosmetic damage but the panard bar on the rear of the car was broken. The parts truck at the track did not have the correct bar needed for the team to make the repairs. The 00 team of David Triplett, Jr. volunteered the needed part to the GSR 33 team and the team was able to complete the repairs. Greg and the team would like to thank them for their sportsmanship and kindness.
After the repairs, Greg took the now #83 GSR Pontiac to the track for qualifying. Not knowing for sure what the car would be like after repairs, Greg was tentative during the qualifying laps - the first hot laps after repairs and change in the setup. The car qualified in 11th. Between qualifying and the race, the track had a "Pit Party" and the Fans came onto the track to meet the drivers. Click on the picture to the left to see more fan shots.
As the track cooled, the racing heated up and Greg found that the setup on the car was very raceable. He found a comfortable line around the track and began to move through the field. The #83 was able to avoid the few accidents in the event and brought the team home with another top ten finish in 8th.
The team would like to thank the folks at Orange County Speedway for their hospitality and making us feel at home. The team noticed that this was some of the cleanest racing that they have seen all year. Congrats to David Triplett and 00 Bailey's team on their win!

Race Recap June 24, 2006, Caraway Speedway, Asheboro, NC

Hot and humid would be an understatement for the team's return to Caraway after a two year absence. The team was looking forward to a good run. The previous night's races at the track were washed away by torrential rains that according to one official had the waters higher than pit wall. Therefore, the track was very green and water was seeping through the track in places.
Practice went fairly well with adjustments made to the chassis to loosen the car up on this very green track. Greg ran two clean qualifying laps with his time being .5 seconds faster than the team's last visit to this track. We qualified 11th out of a 17 car field. The race didn't even get started until the #33 had already been hit during line up for the drop of the green flag.
The race got underway and on lap one, the spotter was heard to say "You're 3 wide". Needless to say, that's not good. Luckily, by the time the car reached turn 3, it was back to 2 wide. However, several laps later, a competitor decided that 8 wheels turned better than 4 and proceeded to hit the #33 Pontiac on the left side. This caused suspension damage to the left front wheel. During a competition caution that followed at half-way, Greg brought the car in to the attention on the crew and it was decided to park the car.
The team didn't have the finish it wanted however the driver and car was competitive having gained several positions prior to the accident.

The team plans to race at Orange County Speedway next week and we hope to see you there. Not only will we be at Orange County Speedway but the car is orange so wear your orange in support of the team!

Race Recap June 10, 2006, Motor Mile Speedway, Radford, VA

A cool and cloudy day welcomed the team back to Motor Mile Speedway. The team was hoping to complete the top ten finish that was denied to them the prior week. The car was back together but the car was missing its trademark grin.
The #33 went out for the first practice as more of a shakedown to make sure that there were no lingering problems from last week's crash. The team was not trying to gain a lot of speed but was trying to see how the car would perform. Although the times were a little off, the team felt pretty good about the practice.
New tires were strapped on for the second practice. Greg was not happy with the balance of the car during the second practice so the team made changes. The qualifying effort was not what Greg wanted as he stated "That was undoubtedly the worst handling car I have ever tried to qualify". With that, the team went back to work to try to make the car better for the 100 lap feature event.
The feature began with the GSR #33 pretty close to the rear of the field. However, it wasn't long before the car was progressing toward the front. A lot of clean, hard racing ensued. The #33 Pontiac avoided several accidents and continued to move forward. At the end of the evening, Greg brought the car home with a hard-fought 13th place finish.

Race Recap June 3, 2006, Motor Mile Speedway, Radford, VA

Severe weather rained out the Friday evening events at Friendship Motor Speedway on June 2, 2006 which was to have been the team's next outing. Due to that rain-out, the team chose to race at Motor Mile Speedway on Saturday evening.
The car rolled out for practice on very old tires. Practice times were not great but the car was handling well. New tires were bolted on for the 2nd practice and the team posted the 4th fastest time in that practice session.
With a 10th place qualifying effort, driver and crew were all smiles as the track had an on-track meet and greet with the fans.
Greg and his parents were happy at his efforts so far. Click on the picture to see more fan pictures with Greg.
The feature events for the evening were twin 50 lap races for the Late Model division. The first race began with some good, hard racing. The team started the race in 10th and had moved to 9th. The team was excited about the good run.
However, a good finish was not to be. A fellow competitor was attempting to pass the #33 Pontiac and, coming out of turn 4, pushed up the track and pushed the #33 into the wall. At that point, the car went into a skid and ended up hitting the right rear of the car on the inside wall at the start-finish line. Our evening was over.

Race Recap May 27, 2006, Hickory Motor Speedway, Hickory, NC

A sweltering NC Saturday awaited the team as they unloaded at the historic Hickory Motor Speedway. Both practice sessions went well with only minor changes made to the set-up on the car. Greg was pleased with his qualifying lap and at the end of the session a mere 3 tenths of a second separated the top 25.
Between qualifying and the evening's racing, the track had a fan appreciation event where the fans came down to the front stretch and met the drivers. It was good to see some of our old friends from other tracks and make some new friends as well. Click the picture to the right to see more photos of Greg and the folks from Hickory
Starting 23rd, the #33 team had an evening's work ahead of them to get to the front. With a 27 car field and a track that was tightening as the evening cooled, the fans were in for a great 100 laps of Late Model Stock action.As the spotter let Greg know of accidents on the track, the team watched as the #33 started to move toward the front of the field.
As the laps wound down, the racing became more intense ad drivers vied for position. When the checkers fell, Greg brought the team in with our third top ten finish of the year with a firm 7th place. It was a good night of classic Carolina short track action at Hickory Motor Speedway.

Race Recap May 19, 2006, Tri County Motor Speedway, Hudson, NC

With a new sponsor aboard (Slap yo' moma Bar-B-Que), a cool Friday evening and another new track for the #33 team brought the usual challenges of a new track along with the adjustment to rules particular to this racing venue. After a decent practice session the team qualified 12th in the field.
The race turned into what the press would all a wild night of racing. Good driver/spotter communication kept the #33 Pontiac out of the multiple accidents that night.
At the drop of the checkers Greg brought the team in with a 6th place finish after a strong run for 5th.

Race Recap May 12, 2006, Friendship Motor Speedway, Elkin, NC

After working on the setup during the practice sessions, Greg and the team were excited about the evening's possibilities. After qualifying, Greg qualified the #33 Pontiac in the top ten. As the Super Trucks and the Mini Stock divisions finished their races, the clouds began to gather for what would ultimately be a very damp evening.
As the Late Model division rolled onto the track, the skies opened and the teams began running for the car covers. Ultimately, the race was called and rescheduled for June 2.

Race Recap May 6, 2006, Myrtle Beach Speedway

Since this was the team's first venture to Myrtle Beach Speedway, Team GSR met at the track on Friday for a day of practice. Finding a good setup at a track surrounded by sandy conditions proved to be a challenge for both driver and crew. At the end of the day, the team was beginning to get a feel for the track.
Race day dawned bright and quite warm. Track temperature for the first practice session neared the 120 degree mark. Practice and qualifying went well with the #33 securely in the field.
In the first of the twin 50 lap races, Greg became accustomed to the race conditions at this track and finished the #33 in the top ten.
As temperatures cooled at the Grand Strand track, the drivers starting the second race were contending with tires that were a race old and being worn down by the sandy conditions on the track.

When the checkered flag dropped, Greg finished the race in 11th contending for our second top ten of the evening.

Race Recap April 29, 2006 Motor Mile Speedway UARA Stars

A brisk spring morning turning into a bright day welcomed the Greg Sheppard Racing team to Radford, Virginia for its maiden attempt with the UARA Stars (United Auto Racing Association) series. After a long sleepless week repairing the car from the previous week's altercation and retuning the motor and suspension to meet UARA requirements. The team was anxious to see how the car would perform.
After the initial shakedown during the first practice and fine tuning the chassis during the second, the team was looking forward to a good qualifying run.

The team was pleased that Greg put down a good lap and qualified the GSR Pontiac in 25th out of 32 cars that started the race.

Prior to the race, Greg and the crew enjoyed meeting the fans during the traditional UARA Pit Party on the front stretch. The Pit Party is a UARA tradition where the fans get involved with the racers by coming out of the stands to meet the drivers, get autographs and have their pictures made with the drivers.
Two sizeable wrecks on the initial lap had the GSR Pontiac playing "dodge car" to avoid the incidents. Due to the spotter and driver working in concert the GSR team came through unscathed. OUr turn would come later as the #27 made contact and Greg spun in turns 1 and 2. Greg executed a clean spin and was able to drive away with only cosmetic damage to the car.

However, as the laps wound down, a leak in the front right tire and front right shock rendered the car very tight. On lap 90, the team brought the car to the pits to assess the situation. Determining that there would be little gained by repairing the car and returning to the track, the team parked the car for the evening.

All things considered, the team was pleased at our initial foray into the UARA Stars series.

Next week we go to Myrtle Beach Speedway, and from the looks of things, the car seems to like the idea (the crew doesn't mind too much either). We hope to see you there!

Race Recap April 23, 2006 - Friendship Motor Speedway

The team went to Friendship for its first attempt at the track for the new year after having spent the last two weeks repairing the car from the incident at Motor Mile. During practice, two cars spun in the middle of turns 3 and 4. Greg was able to stop to avoid the cars. However, a young driver with a new spotter did not see the accident and did not slow down. The result was, again, a seriously wrecked #33 after it was hit in the left rear. The team loaded up and went home.

Race Recap April 8/9, 2006 - Motor Mile Speedway

The original race date was Saturday the 8th; but mother nature did not cooperate so the race was rescheduled to the 9th.

The smiling GSR #33 was happy to make its debut. Practice and qualifying went well with Greg and the team getting comfortable with the new car.

We are proud of the fact that the team qualified the car with a 15.98 second lap. The previous Late Model Stock qualifying track record was 16.13. Greg and the team was one of 24 cars that broke the track record that day.
As this was the first race of the year at Motor Mile Speedway, all the drivers were anxious to get back in the rhythm of the season. There were a number of early cautions and Greg was able to keep the #33 Pontiac out of the carnage.
Greg was able to keep the #33 within site of the leaders and was gaining ground. However around lap 57 there was an altercation in front of the #33. Greg spun the #33 out to avoid the wrecked car. Unfortunately, the #33 ended up broadside to the following cars. Another spinning car crashed into the front left rendering the suspension unrepairable in time to return to the race.

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