By ROB LEE
MEDARYVILLE – UMP Modified National point leader Devin Gilpin is no stranger to victory lane in general, but was at Shadyhill Speedway. Not anymore.
The Columbus, Ind. ace led all 50 laps Wednesday evening to capture the 11th Firecracker 50 in his first ever visit to the track.
He started on the pole and turned back early challenges from front row starter and Shadyhill regular Kevin DeYoung before pulling away to a nearly three-second victory.
“We adjusted on the car the same as we always do,” Gilpin said. “After they watered (track) I thought the top would be more dominant, but my grandpa was giving me signals to go to the middle. The car was more balanced there and worked great.”
Gilpin took home $3,000 for the win which was his 24th feature victory of the year and third in eight days. He also won at Lincoln Park Speedway June 26 and Moler Raceway Park in Ohio June 29.
“If you would’ve told me leaving February and racing in Florida we’d have 24 wins by the Fourth of July, I would’ve said you were crazy. I’m just very fortunate every time I get in this car. It’s truly a team effort and can’t be thankful enough.”
Kurt Allison started ninth, faded at the start, but came roaring back at the end on the familiar quarter-mile oval to take second. He moved to fourth on Lap 36. He then passed both Kevin DeYoung and Brad DeYoung late in the race, finally taking the runner up spot on Lap 44. However, he ran out of time to catch Gilpin.
“I thought I was stuck in the back,” Allison said. “I found some speed on the bottom and got past them. I really needed a yellow with five laps to go. I may have had something for (Gilpin).”
Derek Losh, Rensselaer, rounded out the top five.
Gilpin won his heat and started out front after a redraw.
“The redraw was everything. When I got here and they were rambling off scenarios I told my guys to start on the pole would be a miracle. We won the sixth heat and they drew the six.”
Chip Risner, John DeMoss, Tom Bell, Nick Allen and Lynn Johns finished sixth through 10th.
Trained eyes were on DeMoss and Allen.
DeMoss, Bloomington, took a similar route into the 50-lap feature as he did in 2011. He qualified from one of two consolation races and started at the back. In 2011 he used the high groove to finish second.
He used various lines this edition and climbed to seventh by the checkered flag.
Allen, Wheatfield, the multi-time Shadyhill champ and current UMP national runner up, battled from the back to second in his heat and started 10th in the feature.
Forty three cars were on hand. For the first time in memory the entire 22-car starting field featured all Indiana drivers. Michigan’s Jacob Poel won the special 20-lap non-qualifiers feature. Heat winners were Johns, Scott Orr, Losh, Kevin DeYoung and Gilpin. Jodan Danford and Derek Bunning took the consolations.
The UMP Stock Cars, Pure Streets, Teen 4s and I-Mods also were part of the program.
Gilpin prepared for the win as he chases the national title.
“I watched past Firecracker 50 videos. I saw (Chad) Kinder win it (2010) and saw several others. I came into this deal not knowing what to expect. I’m just very thankful every time I get in this car.”
Following are the unofficial results from the Firecracker 50 UMP Modified event Wednesday at Shadyhill Speedway, Medaryville.
Firecracker 50 (50 laps) – 1. Devin Gilpin 2. Kurt Allison 3. Brad DeYoung 4. Kevin DeYoung 5. Derek Losh 6. Chip Risner 7. John DeMoss 8. Tom Bell 9. Nick Allen 10. Lynn Johns 11. Scott Orr 12. Derek Bunning 13. Devin Wright 14. Zeke McKenzie 15. Jordan Danford 16. Randy Line (dnf) 17. Mark Strehler (dnf) 18. Chris Anstead (dnf) 19. Roger Cavness (dnf) 20. Todd Sherman (dnf) 21. Mike Martin (dnf) 22. Corey Partin (dnf).
Heat winners – Johns, Orr, Allison, Bell, K. DeYoung, Gilpin Consi winners – Danford, Bunning B-Main winner (non-qualifier feature) – Jacob Poel.