Farmer City,IL — UMP DIRTcar Summer Nationals Night 7: Darren Miller Becomes First Repeat Winner With Dominant Run At Farmer City Raceway
FARMER CITY, IL – June 20, 2008 – By Kellen Burns/DIRTcar Racing P.R. –
Ask Darren Miller if twice is just as nice, and he’ll respond with an emphatic, “Yes – actually, it’s better.”
The 31-year-old from Milledgeville, Ill., became the first repeat winner of the 2008 UMP DIRTcar Summer Nationals on Friday night, rolling to a convincing victory in the 40-lap A-Main at Farmer City Raceway.
Coming off his first-ever Summer Nationals triumph the previous night at I-57/I-64 Raceway in Mt. Vernon, Ill., Miller used a top-five qualifying effort and a dominant heat-race victory to propel himself onto the outside pole starting slot for Farmer City’s annual event. He then moved by polesitter Randy Korte of Highland, Ill., for the lead on the fourth lap and never looked back en route to a $10,000 win.
Miller seemed to have luck on his side throughout the night once again.
“Everything has gone right,” Miller said after visiting RacingJunk.com Victory Lane on back-to-back nights. “Codey (Miller’s son) drew the front row (start) for me both nights, so I got out front and could drive where I wanted to. It felt really good even in traffic.”
One of the event’s biggest movers was Jimmy Mars of Menomonie, Wis., who started sixth in the A-Main and was the first driver to try the bottom groove and make it work. He managed to pull close to Miller on a few occasions after reaching second place, but he had to settle for runner-up money.
“The track narrowed up,” said Mars. “Unless Darren screwed up, I wasn’t going to try and drive through him.”
When it was said and done, Mars found positives in his second-place finish.
“I came from sixth and passed some good cars,” he said, “so I’m not disappointed with that at all.”
Brian Shirley of Chatham, Ill., started and finished third for another strong showing on the Summer Nationals tour.
“With the circumstances, you had a few laps there to make a few moves,” said Shirley. “Darren had the best starting spot and he was good enough to hold it.”
Shirley remains optimistic for his Petroff Towing No. 3s team, which is still searching for its first victory of the 2008 Summer Nationals.
“We were close, just no cigars yet,” said Shirley. “It was a good rebound from last night (an 11th-place finish that knocked him from the points lead).”
Shirley unofficially regained the Summer Nationals points lead by four points over defending champion Dennis Erb Jr. of Carpentersville, Ill., who finished ninth.
Billy Moyer of Batesville, Ark., finished fourth after being overtaken late in the distance by Shirley, and Brian Birkhofer of Muscatine, Iowa, started and finished fifth.
Fifty UMP DIRTcar Super Late Models entered the pit gate to tackle the high-banked, quarter-mile oval.
Moyer was the overall fastest qualifier in the group time-trial session, rounding the track in 12.846 seconds.
Heat races were captured by Moyer, Birkhofer, Miller, Shirley and Korte, while Patrick Sheltra of Indiantown, Fla., and Ryan Unzicker of El Paso, Ill., scored C-Main wins and Kevin Weaver of Gibson City, Ill., topped the B-Main.
The UMP DIRTcar Summer Nationals is off on Saturday (June 21) because the scheduled event at I-55 Raceway in Pevely, Mo., was canceled earlier in the week due to the floods that have blocked the track’s access road.
The tour returns to action on Sunday night (June 22) with a $6,000-to-win event at Vermilion County Speedway in Danville, Ill.
Be sure and stay tuned to www.umpracing.com for all the latest news and results from the 20th edition of the UMP DIRTcar Summer Nationals.
UMP DIRT car Summer Nationals Feature Finish (40 laps):
1. Darren Miller
2. Jimmy Mars
3. Brian Shirley
4. Billy Moyer
5. Brian Birkhofer
6. Randy Korte
7. Wes Steidinger
8. Scott Bull
9. Dennis Erb Jr.
10. Jeep Van Wormer
11. Steve Sheppard Jr.
12. Brian Diveley
13. Kevin Weaver
14. Eric Smith
15. Kyle Logue
16. Jason Feger
17. Jordan Bland
18. Will Vaught
19. Daren Friedman
20. Ryan Dauber
21. Matt Taylor
First C-Main Finish: Patrick Sheltra, Chris Simpson, Dewayne Kiefer, Joe Harlan, Jimmy Dehm, Jim Felker Jr., Nick Vandenbergh, Travis Wallbaum, Toby Hallett
Second C-Main Finish: Ryan Unzicker, Rocky Griffin, Derek Chandler, George Scheffler, Aaron Ricketts, Roger Brickler, Rich Bell, Brandon Sheppard, Russ Adams
B-Main Finish: Kevin Weaver, Matt Taylor, Ryan Dauber, Daren Friedman, Don O’Neal, Frank Heckenast Jr., Mike Mataragas, Terry English, Ryan Unzicker, Tim Lance, Jason McBride, Donny Walden, Chris Simpson
2008 UMP DIRTcar Racing Summer Nationals Schedule (Date/Day/Track/Location/To Win/Winner – Car Count):
June 12 – Thurs. – Kentucky Lake Motor Speedway/Calvert City, KY – $7,500 (Brad Neat – 40)
June 13 – Fri. – Brownstown (IN) Speedway – $10,000 (Rain – postponed to July 11)
June 14 – Sat. – Kamp Motor Speedway/Boswell, IN – $10,000 (Wes Steidinger – 36)
June 15 – Sun. – Tri-State Speedway/Haubstadt, IN – $6,000 (Dennis Erb Jr. – 39)
June 16 – Mon – OFF
June 17 – Tues. – Highland Speedway/Highland, IL – $6,000 (Terry English – 47)
June 18 – Wed. – Belle Clair Speedway/Belleville, IL – $6,000 (Will Vaught – 41)
June 19 – Thurs. – I-57/I-64 Raceway/Mt. Vernon, IL – $6,000 (Darren Miller – 37)
June 20 – Fri. – Farmer City Raceway/Farmer City, IL – $10,000 (Darren Miller – 50)
June 21 – Sat. – I-55 Raceway/Pevely, MO – $10,000 (CANCELED – flooding)
June 22 – Sun. – Vermilion Co. Speedway/Danville, IL – $6,000
June 23 – Mon. – OFF
June 24 – Tue. – Sedalia State Fair Speedway/Sedalia, MO – $6,000
June 25 – Wed. – Lake Ozark Speedway/Eldon, MO – $6,000
June 26 – Thurs. – Paducah Int’l Raceway/Paducah, KY – $6,000
June 27 – Fri. – Lawrenceburg Speedway/Lawrenceburg, IN – $10,000
June 28 – Sat. – Clarksville Speedway/Clarksville, TN – $10,000
June 29 – Sun. – Lincoln Speedway/Lincoln, IL – $6,000
June 30 – Mon. – OFF
July 1 – Tue. – Peoria Speedway/Peoria, IL – $6,000
July 2 – Wed. – Morgan Co. Speedway/Jacksonville, IL – $6,000
July 3 – Thurs. – Macon Speedway/Macon, IL – $6,000
July 4 – Fri. – Tri-City Speedway/Pontoon Beach, IL – $10,000
July 5 – Sat. – Fairbury American Legion Speedway/Fairbury, IL -$10,000
July 6 – Sun. – Quad City Raceway/East Moline, IL – $6,000
July 7 – Mon. – OFF
July 8 – Tue. – Quincy (IL) Speedway – $6,000
July 9 – Wed. – Spoon River Speedway/Canton, IL – $6,000
July 10 – Thurs. – La Salle Speedway/La Salle, IL – $6,000
July 11 – Fri. – Brownstown (IN) Speedway – $10,000 (Rescheduled date)
July 12 – Sat. – Oakshade Raceway/Wauseon, OH – $10,000