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Miller Captures Oakshade Raceway Win, Babb Scores Fourth Career DIRTcar Summer Nationals Title

Matt Miller - Jim Denhamer photo
Matt Miller - Jim Denhamer photo

Matt Miller – Jim Denhamer photo

By Jordan Morris

WAUSEON, Ohio. — July 19, 2014 — On the night of champions, local star Matt Miller charged his way from the third position to capture the lead on lap 17 en route to claiming the $10,000 checkered flag at his hometown track of Oakshade Raceway for the second year in-a-row, and third time in his career.

Shannon Babb, who only needed a 19th place finish to secure his fourth DIRTcar Summer Nationals title, finished in the third position and easily scored the $25,000 series title for the first time since 2011.

Miller, of Whitehouse, Ohio, started the 40-lap feature from the third position as Mason Zeigler and Jeep Van Wormer started on the front row. Zeigler, after winning Thursday and Friday nights, looked as if he would accomplish the three-night sweep after jumping out to an early lead.

Saturday night had the look of the previous two nights as Zeigler managed to dominate the opening 16-laps of the feature. Unlike his previous two victories, the leader was reeled in by Miller who passed Van Wormer for second on lap five, and tracked down the leader by lap 16.

Miller, the 1991 Oakshade Raceway track champion, powered around Zeigler’s outside on lap 17, completing the pass and securing the lead. Miller stretched his lead by the halfway point as Zeigler came under fire from championship hopeful Ryan Unzicker for second.

Unzicker, who started the night 45-markers behind Shannon Babb for the title, worked his way around Zeigler for second just before Zeigler lost control of his car, causing the race’s only caution on lap 38. Unzicker pressured Miller for the top spot but fell short of claiming the victory yet again as he finished second for the seventh time of the 2014 season.

Miller led 24 laps and defeated Unzicker by .759 of a second en route to claiming the checkered flag for the second year in-a-row at his hometown track of Oakshade Raceway.

“This one is fun,” Miller said in victory lane. “There’s always going to be a race in September (the World 100 at nearby Eldora Speedway) that’s at the top of my list, but this is definitely a good one. We’re close to home and we’ve got tons of fans and people I know up there in the stands, so there’s no doubt I get pumped up for this race.”

Shannon Babb - Jim Denhamer photo

Shannon Babb – Jim Denhamer photo

Shannon Babb, of Moweaqua, Ill., started the feature in the seventh position, just behind championship rivals Ryan Unzicker and Brian Shirley. Babb chased Unzicker through the field, eventually finding their way to the front, as Shirley was a non-factor and finished in the sixth position.

Babb did what he needed to do in order to recapture the championship trophy. Babb glued himself to Unzicker’s back-bumper, and even challenged him for the second position in the final stages of the race.

Babb settled for a third place finish – which was his series leading 17th top-five finish to go with four victories – as he captured his fourth career DIRTcar Summer Nationals title by 38-points over Ryan Unzicker.

“It’s really hard to get these,” said Babb, who admitted to getting nervous before the race started. “Thirty nights of racing is a lot. You have a lot of ups and downs, but we got it done.”

(Click here for news and information on the DIRTcar Summer Nationals.)

Brandon Sheppard and Jeep Van Wormer rounded out the top five.

Heat race winners were Zeigler, Miller, Sheppard and Van Wormer.

DIRTcar Summer Nationals Statistical Report; Oakshade Raceway; Wauseon, Ohio; July 19, 2014;

A-Main (40-laps): 1. 3-Matt Miller ($10,000), 2. 24-Ryan Unzicker, 3. 18-Shannon Babb, 4. B5-Brandon Sheppard, 5. 55-Jeep Van Wormer, 6. 81-Brian Shirley, 7. 32J-Jason Jaggers, 8. 21D-Dan Stone, 9. 20C-Duane Chamberlain, 10. 23V-Ryan Vanderveen, 11. 25Z-Mason Zeigler, 12. 49-Brian Ruhlman, 13. 91-Rusty Schlenk, 14. 77K-Steve Kester, 15. 9R-Curtis Roberts, 16. 1N-Casey Noonan, 17. 99M-Devin Moran, 18. 81JR-Jason Riggs, 19. 25L-Steve Lance Jr, 20. 0-Chris Keller, 21. 6M-Dona Marcoullier, 22. 20-Doug Drown.

2014 DIRTcar Summer Nationals Schedule

Date Day Track Location Win
June 11 Wed Brownstown Speedway Brownstown, Ind. RAIN
June 12 Thur Kankakee Co. Speedway Kankakee, Ill. Billy Moyer
June 13 Fri Cedar Lake Speedway Somerset, Wis. Rick Eckert
June 14 Sat Cedar Lake Speedway Somerset, Wis. RAIN
June 15 Sun Wilmot Raceway Wilmot, Wis. Rick Eckert(2)
June 16 Mon Off
June 17 Tue Farley Speedway Farley, Iowa Shannon Babb
June 18 Wed Spoon River Speedway Canton, Ill. Jason Feger
June 19 Thur Quincy Raceways Quincy, Ill. RAIN
June 20 Fri Tri-City Speedway Pontoon Beach, Ill. Billy Moyer(2)
June 21 Sat Fairbury Speedway Fairbury, Ill. RAIN
June 22 Sun I-96 Speedway Ionia, Mich. Brian Shirley
June 23 Mon Peoria Speedway Peoria, Ill. Brandon Sheppard
June 24 Tue Off
June 25 Wed Clarksville Speedway Clarksville, Tenn. Shannon Babb(2)
June 26 Thur Clayhill Motorsports Atwood, Tenn. Brian Shirley (2)
June 27 Fri Paducah Int. Raceway Paducah, Ky. RAIN
June 28 Sat Federated Auto Parts Raceway Pevely, Mo. Brian Birkhofer
June 29 Sun Lincoln Speedway Lincoln, Ill. Brady Smith
June 30 Mon Off
July 1 Tue Belle Clair Speedway Belleville, Ill. Bobby Pierce
July 2 Wed Jacksonville Speedway Jacksonville, Ill. Jason Feger(2)
July 3 Thur LaSalle Speedway LaSalle, Ill. Brian Birkhofer(2)
July 4 Fri Fayette Co. Speedway Brownstown, Ill. Brandon Sheppard(2)
July 5 Sat Highland Speedway Highland, Ill. Tyler Reddick
July 6 Sun Tri-State Speedway Haubstadt, Ind. Billy Moyer(3)
July 7 Mon Off
July 8 Tue Florence Speedway Union, Ky. Jason Jameson
July 9 Wed Terre Haute Action Track Terre Haute, Ind. Billy Moyer(4)
July 10 Thur Macon Speedway Macon, Ill. Shannon Babb(3)
July 11 Fri Farmer City Raceway Farmer City, Ill. Billy Moyer(5)
July 12 Sat 34 Raceway Burlington, Iowa Billy Moyer (6)
July 13 Sun Vermilion Co. Speedway Danville, Ill. Shannon Babb(4)
July 14 Mon Off
July 15 Tue TBA
July 16 Wed Atomic Speedway Chillicothe, Ohio Brian Shirley (3)
July 17 Thur Brushcreek Motorsports Complex Peebles, Ohio Mason Zeigler
July 18 Fri Attica Raceway Park Attica, Ohio Mason Zeigler (2)
July 19 Sat Oakshade Raceway Wauseon, Ohio Matt Miller

The DIRTcar Summer Nationals “Hell Tour” is brought to fans across the country by many important partners including: Arizona Sport Shirts (Official Apparel Company), Hoosier Racing Tires (Official Racing Tires), Racing Electronics (Official Communication), Velocita (Official Uniform), VP Racing Fuel (Official Racing Fuel); in addition to these fine Contingency Partners: Beyea Headers, Cometic Gasket, Comp Cams, Dominator Race Products, Edelbrock, Fox Shocks, JE Pistons, JRI Shocks, Mobil 1, MSD, Quartermaster, Superflow Dynos, Summit Racing Equipment and Wrisco Aluminum; Promotional Partners include: Chevy Performance Parts, Indiana Decal, Intercomp and Petroff Towing. 

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