BUDDY SHEPHERD MAKES HIS LATE MODEL DEBUT!
February 1, 2014 - After a few mechanical mishaps and great team of guys pulling together, Buddy was able to make his Late Model debut at Lake Havasu City, Arizona over the weekend. He qualified a strong ninth and finished the race with an impressive eight place finish.
In practice on Friday, Buddy laid down amazing laps times which were just as fast as a few West drivers that were there practicing for the race also. Then an engine failure during his fifth practice session sidelined him. He was able to rent a motor and with the help of friend, Jerry Pitts and the rest of the guys that were there practicing, they all came together and installed another power plant in the car.
Returning to the track early Saturday morning for minor completion, Buddy hit the track once again for practice. However, in P2, the throw out bearing went out, Buddy was sidelined once again. His crew decided to replace it, which was very involved, and got the kid rolling again. Only barely making it to tech and rolling out as the last qualifier of the day, Buddy laid down a solid ninth place qualifying effort.
Buddy started in the ninth position for the main, the cars were lined straight up from qualifying for the 100 lap main event, which is the longest race he's every competed in. He dodged some close calls and drove 99 laps to finish eighth. Once his helmet was off, he couldn't thank his crew enough for all of their hard work and for making it possible for him to race and he learned a lot more respect for the cup drivers having to drive those long distances each race.
Buddy had an awesome debut, and gained a lot of fans at the track, they were impressed of his age of 14, racing with grown men and women.
A big thanks to my dad who makes my racing dream a reality, to my crew Joel & Tom for making the trip over a day early to take over Saturday morning after our exhausting afternoon and evening with the motor. And, thanks to their families for sharing them!