PONTOON BEACH, IL – July 6, 2007 – Don O’Neal is ready for the stretch run of the 2007 UMP DIRTcar Racing Summernationals.
After two days away from the tour grind – for a scheduled off day and a rainout – the Martinsville , Ind. , came back recharged on Friday night and drove to a powerful victory in the 40-lap A-Main at Tri-City Speedway.
It was the third victory of this year’s Summernationals for O’Neal, whose 35 career tour checkered flags rank him third on the alltime win list behind Billy Moyer of Batesville , Ark. (62) and Moweaqua , Ill. ’s Babb (51). He had never before captured a series event at the Tri-City facility.
The $10,000 triumph brought O’Neal closer to UMP DIRTcar Racing Summernationals points leader Dennis Erb Jr. of Carpentersville , Ill. , who charged to a fifth-place finish after qualifying through a B-Main.
It wasn’t an easy win for O’Neal, the 2004 Summernationals champion. He had to hold off the advances of Moyer and Brian Shirley of Chatham , Ill. , who finished second and third, respectively, to reach the checkered flag first.
Jimmy Mars of Menononie , Wis. , placed fourth and Erb was fifth.
Summernationals frustration continued for Mike Marlar of Winfield , Tenn. , whose hopes for the tour title have been disintegrating over the past week. He was credited with a last-place finish (22nd) after an early tangle with Randy Korte of Highland , Ill. , prompted him to make contact with Korte’s car under caution, earning him a black flag from UMP officials.
Forty-six dirt Late Models entered the first-ever Summernationals event run on Tri-City’s new three-eighths-mile layout. The tour raced in previous years on the facility’s big half-mile track, which Tri-City owner Kevin Gundaker replaced with a smaller oval for the 2007 season.
Heat winners were Moyer, Jeep VanWormer of Pinconning, Mich. , O’Neal and Mars, and the B-Mains were captured by Jason Feger of Springfield , Ill. , and Erb.
UMP DIRTcar Racing Summernationals A-Main Finish (40 laps):
1. Don O’Neal
2. Billy Moyer
3. Brian Shirley
4. Jimmy Mars
5. Dennis Erb Jr.
6. Shannon Babb
7. Jason Feger
8. Jeep VanWormer
9. Terry Phillips
10. Wes Steidinger
11. Steve Sheppard Jr.
12. Randy Korte
13. Kevin Weaver
14. Rodney Melvin
15. Eddie Kirchoff
16. Bryan Collins
17. Billy Faust
18. Mark Faust
19. Michael Kloos
20. Mark Voigt
21. Josh Richards
22. Mike Marlar
DNQ: Billy Moyer Jr., Mark Burgtorf, Jack Sullivan, Jason McBride, Reid Millard, Dick Taylor, Marshall Austin Jr., Jayme Zidar, A.J. Diemel, Kyle Steffens, Brian Birkhofer, Bill Williamson, Billy James, Jeremy Payne, Billy Laycock, Rick Salter, Mark Oller, Steve Myers, Butch Kruckeberg, Craig Smith, Steve Rushin, Chris Smyser, Don Cisco III, Rylan Dagg
2007 UMP DIRTcar Racing Summernationals Schedule
6/15 – Fri. – Kankakee Motor Speedway/Kankakee, IL (Dennis Erb Jr.)
6/16 – Sat. – Kamp Motor Speedway/Boswell, IN (Dennis Erb Jr.)
6/17 – Sun. – Tri-State Speedway/Haubstadt, IN (Randy Korte)
6/18 – Mon. – Jefferson County Raceway/ Mt. Vernon , IL (Randy Korte)
6/19 – Tues. – Lebanon I-44 Speedway/Lebanon, MO (Mike Marlar)
6/20 – Wed. – Highland Speedway/Highland, IL (Dennis Erb Jr.)
6/21 – Thurs. – Morgan County Speedway / Jacksonville , IL (Kevin Weaver)
6/22 – Fri. – Farmer City Raceway/Farmer City, IL (Rain – Rescheduled to July 13)
6/23 – Sat. – I-55 Raceway/Pevely, MO (Mike Marlar)
6/24 – Sun. – Lincoln Speedway/Lincoln, IL (Don O’Neal)
6/25 – Mon. – Peoria Speedway/Peoria, IL (Dennis Erb Jr.)
6/26 – Tues. – Poplar Bluff Speedway/Poplar Bluff, MO (Billy Moyer)
6/27 – Wed. – Lake Ozark Speedway / Eldon , MO (Rain)
6/28 – Thurs. – Paducah International Raceway/Paducah, KY (Billy Moyer)
6/29 – Fri. – Western Kentucky Speedway/Nebo, KY (Rain)
6/30 – Sat. – Clarksville Speedway/Clarksville, TN (Jeep VanWormer)
7/1 – Sun. – Vermilion County Speedway / Danville , IL (Don O’Neal)
7/2 – Mon. – Midway Speedway/Crooksville, OH (Earl Pearson Jr.)
7/3 – Tues. – Lawrenceburg Speedway/Lawrenceburg, IN (Jeep VanWormer)
7/4 – Wed. – Day Off
7/5 – Thurs. – Macon Speedway/Macon, IL (Rain – Rescheduled to July 21)
7/6 – Fri. – Tri-City Speedway / Pontoon Beach , IL (Don O’Neal)
7/7 – Sat. – Fairbury American Legion Speedway/Fairbury, IL
7/8 – Sun. – Quad City Speedway/East Moline , IL
7/9 – Mon. – C.J. Raceway/Columbus Junction, IA
7/10 – Tues. – Quincy Raceway/Quincy, IL
7/11 – Wed. – Spoon River Speedway/Canton, IL
7/12 – Thurs. – LaSalle Speedway/LaSalle, IL
7/13 – Fri. – Farmer City Raceway/Farmer City, IL
7/14 – Sat. – Oakshade Raceway/Wauseon, OH