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Birkhofer Cruises to LaSalle DIRTcar Summer Nationals Triumph

Brian Birkhofer - Mike Ruefer Photo
Brian Birkhofer – Mike Ruefer Photo

LaSalle, Ill. – July 4, 2012 – Brian Birkhofer of Muscatine, Iowa, cruised to his second DIRTcar Summer Nationals ‘Hell Tour’ victory of 2012 on Wednesday night at LaSalle (Ill.) Speedway. Birkhofer earned $5,000 for winning the 40-lap main event.

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Starting on the pole, Birkhofer jumped to an early lead over current Summer Nationals point leader Brian Shirley of Chatham, Ill., and held off a late race charge from Frank Heckenast Jr. of Frankfort, Ill., for the win. Heckenast finished second and Brandon Sheppard of New Berlin, Ill., finished third. 2011 DIRTcar Late Model National Champion Ryan Unzicker of El Paso, Ill., finished fourth and previous night winner Jason Feger of Bloomington, Ill., rounded out the top five.

Point leader Shirley’s night went south after contact with safety barriers sent him pit-side, only to return and later be involved in an accident that ended his night in 21st. Defending Summer Nationals champion Shannon Babb finished the event in sixth, and closed to within 24 points of Shirley with nine events remaining.

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The tour returns to action Thursday night at tiny Macon (Ill.) Speedway for the $5,000-to-win Herald & Review 100. Shannon Babb won the rescheduled Herald & Review 100 on July 21st, 2011.

DIRTcar Summer Nationals Statistical Report; LaSalle Speedway; LaSalle, Ill.; July 4, 2012 A-Main (40-laps): 1. Brian Birkhofer ($5,000), 2. Frank Heckenast Jr. 3. Brandon Sheppard, 4. Ryan Unzicker, 5. Jason Feger, 6. Shannon Babb, 7. Jon Henry, 8. Jason Jaggers, 9. Dennis Erb Jr., 10. Morgan Bagley, 11. Scott Schmitt, 12. Kevin Weaver, 13. Mike Spatola, 14. Rich Bell, 15. Bret Sievert, 16. Jerry Lierly, 17. Jason McBride, 18. Ray Guss Jr., 19. Tim Isenberg, 20. Richie Hendrick, 21. Brian Shirley, 22. Jack Sullivan. Fast qualifiers (among 36 cars): Shirley, Jaggers, Shirley, Heckenast Jr. Heat race winners: Birkhofer, Henry, Shirley, Sehppard.

2012 DIRTcar Summer Nationals Schedule

Date

Track

Location

Winner (Cars)

13-Jun

Brownstown Speedway

Brownstown, IN

Billy Moyer Jr. (49)

14-Jun

Kankakee County Speedway

Kankakee, IL

Shannon Babb(45)

15-Jun

Cedar Lake Speedway

Somerset, WI

Billy Moyer Jr. (37)

16-Jun

Cedar Lake Speedway

Somerset, WI

Billy Moyer Jr. (32)

17-Jun

Wilmot Raceway

Wilmot, WI

Ryan Unzicker (31)

19-Jun

Spoon River Speedway

Canton, IL

Jon Henry (38)

20-Jun

Highland Speedway

Highland, IL

Rodney Melvin (42)

21-Jun

Fayette Co. Speedway

Brownstown, IL

Brian Shirley (41)

22-Jun

Tri City Speedway

Pontoon Beach, IL

Billy Moyer (43)

23-Jun

Fairbury Speedway

Fairbury, IL

Brian Shirley (41)

24-Jun

I-96 Speedway

Lake Odessa, MI

Shannon Babb (36)

26-Jun

Lincoln Park Speedway

Putnamville, IN

Jason Feger (21)

27-Jun

Belle Clair Speedway

Belleville, IL

Jason Feger (34)

28-Jun

Clay Hill Motorsports Park

Atwood, TN

Brandon Sheppard (28)

29-Jun

Paducah Int. Raceway

Paducah, KY

Brian Birkhofer (35)

30-Jun

Federated Auto Parts I-55

Pevely, MO

Billy Moyer (34)

1-Jul

Lincoln Speedway

Lincoln, IL

Canceled (Heat)

2-Jul

Peoria Speedway

Peoria, IL

Brian Shirley (41)

3-Jul

Jacksonville Speedway

Jacksonville, IL

Jason Feger (40)

4-Jul

Lasalle Speedway

Lasalle, IL

Brian Birkhofer (36)

5-Jul

Macon Speedway

Macon, IL

6-Jul

Quincy Raceways

Quincy, IL

7-Jul

Clarksville Speedway

Clarksville, TN

8-Jul

Tri State Speedway

Haubstadt, IN

10-Jul

Florence Speedway

Union, KY

11-Jul

Brushcreek Motorsports

Pebbles, OH

12-Jul

Terre Haute Action Track

Terre Haute, IN

13-Jul

Attica Raceway Park

Attica, OH

14-Jul

Oakshade Raceway

Wauseon, OH

The DIRTcar Summer Nationals (The Hell Tour) is brought to fans across the country by many important sponsors and partners, including Arizona Sport Shirts (Official Apparel Company), Hoosier Racing Tires (Official Racing Tires), Racing Electonics (Official Communication), Vicci (Official Uniform), VP Racing Fuel (Official Racing Fuel); in addition to these fine contingency sponsors: Beyea Headers, Butlerbuilt, Cometic Gasket, Comp Cams, Dominator Race Products, Chevy Performance Parts, Intercomp, JE Pistons, Klotz Lubricants, MSD Ignition, Ohlins Shocks, Quartermaster, Superflow Dyno’s, UNOH (University of Northwestern Ohio), Wix Filters, and Wrisco Aluminum.