JACKSONVILLE, IL – June 21, 2007 – Kevin Weaver ended a five-year victory drought on the UMP DIRTcar Racing Summernationals trail, winning Thursday night’s 40-lap A-Main at Morgan County Speedway.
Weaver, 43, of Gibson City , Ill. , parlayed a strong Jimmy John’s-sponsored car and a good dose of racing luck into the $6,000 top prize. He inherited the lead on lap 37 when race-long pacesetter Jeep VanWormer of Pinconning, Mich. , was forced from action and held off Steve Sheppard Jr. of New Berlin , Ill. , over the remaining circuits.
The veteran driver known as the ‘Flatland Flash’ was in a tight three-car battle for the lead with VanWormer and Sheppard when VanWormer ran into trouble. Sheppard actually got by Weaver, who started second, as VanWormer fell off the pace, but a caution flag put scoring back to the last completed lap and installed Weaver as the leader.
Weaver took advantage of the break, making no mistakes following the restart to register his first UMP DIRTcar Racing Summernationals triumph since June 14, 2002, at Western Kentucky Speedway. It was Weaver’s 15th career Summernationals win, giving him sole possession of sixth place on the tour’s alltime victory list (he had been tied with Bob Pierce).
Weaver, whose first Summernationals win came on July 16, 1991, at St. Francois Speedway in Farmington , Mo. , won the series championship in 2000. He was also the overall UMP DIRTcar Racing Late Model national champion in 1992.
Sheppard, 32, settled for second place, falling just short of bagging his first career Summernationals win.
Rodney Melvin of Benton , Ill. , came from 13th to finish third, followed by 15th-starter Dennis Erb Jr. of Carpentersville , Ill. , and Don O’Neal of Martinsville , Ind. , who started 22nd after getting into the race thanks to a UMP provisional.
Mike Marlar of Winfield , Tenn. , failed to finish among the top five for the first time in seven Summernationals events, but his sixth-place finish (from the 20th starting spot after he used a Summernationals provisional to get in the A-Man) kept him in the tour points lead.
Forty-three cars entered the event, which was completed just minutes before rain began to fall.
Heat winners were Ed Kirchoff of Gillette , Wyo. , Wes Steidinger of Fairbury , Ill. , Weaver and VanWormer, and the B-Mains went to Melvin and Ted Loomis of Kingston , Ill.
UMP DIRTcar Racing Summernationals Feature Finish (40 laps):
1. Kevin Weaver
2. Steve Sheppard Jr.
3. Rodney Melvin
4. Dennis Erb Jr.
5. Don O’Neal
6. Mike Marlar
7. Wes Steidinger
8. Matt Taylor
9. Mark Burgtorf
10. Joe Harlan
11. Ted Loomis
12. Ryan Dauber
13. Brian Dively
14. Roger Brickler
15. Ron Bartels
16. Jeep VanWormer
17. Kelly Kovski
18. A.J. Diemel
19. Terry Casey
20. Mark Voigt
21. Chad Zobrist
22. Ed Kirchoff
23. Randy Korte
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
6/23 – Sat. – I-55 Raceway/Pevely, MO
6/24 – Sun. – Lincoln Speedway/Lincoln, IL
6/25 – Mon. – Peoria Speedway/Peoria, IL
6/26 – Tues. – Poplar Bluff Speedway/Poplar Bluff, MO
6/27 – Wed. – Lake Ozark Speedway / Eldon , MO
6/28 – Thurs. – Paducah International Raceway/Paducah, KY
6/29 – Fri. – Western Kentucky Speedway/Nebo, KY
6/30 – Sat. – Clarksville Speedway/Clarksville, TN
7/1 – Sun. – Vermilion County Speedway / Danville , IL
7/2 – Mon. – Midway Speedway/Crooksville, OH
7/3 – Tues. – Lawrenceburg Speedway/Lawrenceburg, IN
7/4 – Wed. – Day Off
7/5 – Thurs. – Macon Speedway/Macon, IL
7/6 – Fri. – Tri-City Speedway / Pontoon Beach , IL
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. – Day Off
7/14 – Sat. – Oakshade Raceway/Wauseon, OH