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Shirley Captures First DIRTcar Summer Nationals “Hell Tour” Victory in 2013 with Thrilling Last Lap Pass at Peoria Speedway

Brian Shirley – Jim Denhamer photo

PEORIA, Ill. — July 15, 2013 — Defending Summer Nationals champion Brian Shirley claimed his first victory of the six week-long tour Monday night after completing a daring last-lap pass on leader Mike Spatola exiting turn two en route to capturing the checkered flag at Peoria Speedway.

Shirley, of Chatham, Ill., started on the pole of the 40-lapper alongside Spatola and charged out to an early lead, but the quarter-mile track proved to be tricky, as Shirley hopped the cushion on lap 16 letting Spatola around him for the lead.

Shirley and Spatola continued to swap the lead back-and-forth for most of the race before Spatola finally pulled away on lap 30. Once again, though, the track bit the leader, this time getting Spatola and allowing Shirley and points-leader Brandon Sheppard to join the battle for the win.

The bobble by Spatola proved costly as Shirley moved into position to make a pass with just two laps to go. Shirley made his move coming to the white flag as he almost pulled even with the leader, but he couldn’t edge ahead until exiting turn two. Shirley held the final to turns to capture the $5,000 checkered flag at Peoria for the second consecutive year and the third time in his career.

“That was a long 40-lap race,” said Shirley, as he claimed the 12th Summer Nationals victory of his career. “There was a couple times I gained on Mike there and he’d pull me. We just kept digging and I started to gain on him. I knew I had to hold it wide open, so I just gave it one last Hail Mary.”

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

Brandon Sheppard, Bobby Pierce and Billy Drake rounded out the top five.

Heat race winners included Mike Spatola, Brian Shirley and Bobby Pierce.

The DIRTcar Summer Nationals Hell Tour continues in its final week of action on Wednesday night at Brushcreek Motorsports Park located in Peebles, Ohio.

DIRTcar Summer Nationals Statistical Report; Peoria (Ill.) Speedway; July 15, 2013

A-Main (40-laps): 1. Brian Shirley ($5,000), 2. Mike Spatola, 3. Brandon Sheppard, 4. Bobby Pierce, 5. Billy Drake, 6. Scott Schmitt, 7. Brian Divley, 8. Kevin Weaver, 9. Jason Jaggers, 10. Tim Lance, 11. John Gardner Jr, 12. Dustin Griffin, 13. Mike Mullvain, 14. Steve Lance Jr, 15. Jeff Riddell, 16. Adam Mefford, 17. Todd Bennett, 18. Russ Adams, 19. Lyle Zanker, 20. Shannon Babb, 21. Randy Korte, 22. Bob Gardner.

2013 DIRTcar Summer Nationals ‘Hell Tour’ Top 10

Pos Car Name Points
1. B5 Brandon Sheppard 1501
2. 32 Bobby Pierce 1453
3. 18 Shannon Babb 1393
4. 24 Ryan Unzicker 1282
5. 20 Dustin Griffin 1050
6. 77 Jason McBride 963
7. B12 Kevin Weaver 912
8. 81 Randy Korte 906
9. 11 Tyler Reddick 791
10. 3 Brian Shirley 760

2013 DIRTcar Summer Nationals ‘Hell Tour’ Schedule & Winners

Day Date Track Location Winner
Wed. June 12 Brownstown Speedway Brownstown, IN Dennis Erb, Jr.
Thurs. June 13 Off
Fri. June 14 Cedar Lake Speedway New Richmond, WI Brian Birkhofer
Sat. June 15 Cedar Lake Speedway New Richmond, WI Canceled/Rain
Sun. June 16 Wilmot Speedway Wilmot, WI Kevin Weaver
Mon. June 17 Off
Tues. June 18 Off
Wed. June 19 Spoon River Speedway Canton, IL Brandon Sheppard
Thurs. June 20 Belle Clair Speedway Belleville, IL Brandon Sheppard (2)
Fri. June 21 Tri-City Speedway Pontoon Beach, IL Chris Simpson
Sat. June 22 Fairbury Speedway Fairbury, IL Ryan Unzicker
Sun. June 23 I-96 Speedway Lake Odessa, MI Shannon Babb
Mon. June 24 Peoria Speedway Peoria, IL PPD/Rain July 15
Tues. June 25 Off
Wed. June 26 Clarksville Speedway Clarksville, TN Brandon Sheppard (3)
Thurs. June 27 Clayhill Motorsports Park Atwood, TN Brandon Sheppard (4)
Fri. June 28 Paducah International Raceway Paducah, KY Billy Moyer
Sat. June 29 Federated Auto Parts Raceway at I-55 Pevely, MO Postponed/Rain
Sun. June 30 Lincoln Speedway Lincoln, IL Bobby Pierce
Mon. July 1 Off
Tues. July 2 Quincy Raceways Quincy, IL Shannon Babb (2)
Wed. July 3 Jacksonville Speedway Jacksonville, IL Shannon Babb (3)
Thurs. July 4 LaSalle Speedway LaSalle, IL Bobby Pierce (2)
Fri. July 5 Fayette Co. Speedway Brownstown, IL Ryan Unzicker (2)
Sat. July 6 Highland Speedway Highland, IL PPD/Rain Aug. 25
Sun. July 7 Tri-State Speedway Haubstadt, IN Shannon Babb (4)
Mon. July 8 Off
Tues. July 9 Florence Speedway Union, KY Scott Bloomquist
Wed. July 10 Terre Haute Action Track Terre Haute, IN Canceled/Rain
Thurs. July 11 Macon Speedway Macon, IL Shannon Babb (5)
Fri. July 12 Kankakee County Speedway Kankakee, IL Bobby Pierce (3)
Sat. July 13 34 Raceway Burlington, IA Bobby Pierce (4)
Sun. July 14 Vermilion County Speedway Danville, IL Shannon Babb (6)
Mon. July 15 Peoria Speedway Peoria, IL Brian Shirley
Tues. July 16 Off
Wed. July 17 Brushcreek Motorsports Park Peebles, OH
Thurs. July 18 Off
Fri. July 19 Attica Raceway Park Attica, OH
Sat. July 20 Oakshade Raceway Wauseon, OH

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 Electonics (Official Communication), Vicci (Official Uniform), VP Racing Fuel (Official Racing Fuel); in addition to these fine Contingency Sponsors: Beyea Headers, Butlerbuilt, Cometic Gasket, Comp Cams, Dominator Race Products, Edelbrock, Chevy Performance Parts, Integra Shocks, Intercomp, JE Pistons, JRI Shocks, Klotz Lubricants, MSD Performance, Petroff Towing, Quartermaster, Superflow Dynos, UNOH (University of Northwestern Ohio), and Wrisco Aluminum. 

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