Kevin Claycomb nabs Paducah Summer Nationals win

DIRTcar Summer NationalsPaducah,KY — UMP DIRTcar Summer Nationals Night 11: Claycomb Captures First Tour Victory Since 2000 At Paducah International Raceway

PADUCAH, KY – June 26, 2008 – By Kellen Burns/DIRTcar Racing P.R. –

Kevin Claycomb had certainly experienced his shares of frustrating runs on the 2008 UMP DIRTcar Summer Nationals tour.

On Thursday night, however, the driver from Vincennes, Ind., got the monkey off his back, racing to victory in the 40-lap Summer Nationals A-Main at the super-fast Paducah International Raceway.

Back behind the wheel this season after ending a four-year retirement, Claycomb became the 10th driver in 11 Summer Nationals events to reach RacingJunk.com Victory Lane. The 1991 UMP DIRTcar Super Late Model national champion recorded his fourth career Summer Nationals win and first since 2000, also at Paducah.

Claycomb earned a win in the first heat race and used that to position himself in the fourth starting spot for the feature.

Previous event winners Darren Miller of Milledgeville, Ill., and Dennis Erb Jr. of Carpentersville, Ill., led early while Claycomb stalked them from third place. Miller, who ceded the lead to Erb on lap 10, lost second to Claycomb on the 12th circuit and then slowed on lap 13 with a blown right-rear tire to bring out the event’s third and final caution flag.

On the restart Claycomb climbed the high banks of PIR and powered around Erb to assume command on lap 14. He drove away over the remaining distance in his Scott Clippinger Racing machine, beating Erb to the finish line by a full straightaway margin.

The veteran driver definitely was relieved to capture his first win on this year’s tour.

“It feels really good,” said Claycomb, who retired after shutting down his family-operated team in 2004. “We thought we had one at Mt. Vernon last week but went too soft on tires.”

The same gamble that lead to his demise last week paid dividends this time around. “We gambled again tonight and it paid off,” he said.

Erb once again showed the patience and consistency that won him both the UMP DIRTcar Summer Nationals and UMP DIRTcar Super Late Model national points titles in 2007. He used the low line, which proved to be quickest in the early laps, to get to the front, but found his groove fading late.

“It’s not really my style to skate around up there (at the top),” said Erb. “We kind of jumped up there and held our own, brought home second again.

“He was pretty good up there,” Erb said of Claycomb’s high-side style. “I felt O.K. up there, but I just passed the guy for the lead on the bottom so I stayed with that.”

Duke Whiseant of Texarkana, Ark., started 11th in his yellow No. A1 and climbed all the way to a third-place finish.

“We hit on something right before the feature and the car was really good,” said Whiseant. “I just wish we would have had some more laps.”

Brian Shirley of Chatam, Ill., unofficially maintained a slim points lead over Erb with a fourth-place finish, and Jeff Walston of Paducah, Ky., placed fifth.

Thirty-five dirt Late Models were on hand, with Wes Steidinger of Fairbury, Ill., setting the overall quick time in the group qualifying session with a lap of 15.553 seconds.

Heat winners were Claycomb, Miller, Randy Korte of Highland, Ill., and Erb. Randy Sellars of Mayfield, Ky., topped the C-Main and Jeep VanWormer of Pinconning, Mich., won the B-Main.

Summer Nationals rookie Will Vaught of Crane, Mo., was involved in a spectacular accident on the third lap of the B-Main that left his car heavily damaged. The young driver flipped exiting turn two and gingerly climbed from his mangled machine.

Vaught, who entered the night ranked third in the points standings, suffered an apparent broken thumb and complained of sore ribs. But he used a provisional starting spot and took one lap behind the wheel of Mike Hammerle’s car.

The UMP DIRTcar Summer Nationals moves to Lawrenceburg (Ind.) Speedway on Friday night (June 27). The event will bring the tour to the completely rebuilt and enlarged track, which is now a high-banked, three-eighths-mile oval.

For more information on the UMP DIRTcar Summer Nationals, visit www.dirtcar.com.

UMP DIRTcar Summer Nationals Feature Finish (40 laps):

1. Kevin Claycomb
2. Dennis Erb Jr.
3. Duke Whiseant
4. Brian Shirley
5. Jeff Walston
6. Kevin Weaver
7. Wes Steidinger
8. John Tindal
9. Dylan Thompson
10. Jordan Bland
11. Tim Brown
12. Jeep Van Wormer
13. Billy James
14. Darren Miller
15. Tim Lance
16. Steve Sheppard Jr.
17. Randy Korte
18. Will Vaught
19. Dewayne Kiefer
20. Jason Feger
21. Terry English

C Main Finish: 1. Randy Sellars, 2. Jason Riggs, 3. Todd Hall, 4. Jason McBride, 5. Rusty Griffaw, 6. Chris Shelton, 7. Brandon Chappell, 8. Mike Hammerle, 9. Wes Steidinger

B Main Finish: 1. Jeep Van Wormer, 2. Jeff Walston, 3. Kevin Weaver, 4. Billy James, 5. Tim Brown, 6. Tim Lance, 7. Jarryd Holshouser, 8. Randy Sellars, 9. Brent Kreke, 10. Tanner English, 11. Jason Riggs, 12. Todd Hall, 13. Jason McBride, 14. Will Vaught. Scratched: John Tindal, Justin Rattliff

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 (Jeep VanWormer – 43)
June 23 – Mon. – OFF
June 24 – Tue. – Sedalia State Fair Speedway/Sedalia, MO – $6,000 (Brian Shirley – 27)
June 25 – Wed. – Lake Ozark Speedway/Eldon, MO – $6,000 (Billy Moyer – 31)
June 26 – Thurs. – Paducah Int’l Raceway/Paducah, KY – $6,000 (Kevin Claycomb – 35)
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