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UMP DIRTcar Racing National Points Update: Steve Sheppard Jr. (Super Late Models) & Gary Cook Jr. (Modifieds) Move To Top Of Standings

Grayville, IL — Steve Sheppard Jr. of New Berlin, Ill. (Super Late Models) and Gary Cook Jr. of Deer Creek, Ill. (Modifieds) moved to the top of the latest UMP DIRTcar Racing national points standings, which were released on Friday by organization officials.

Sheppard, 34, held a scant one-point lead (1,473-1,472) over 61-year-old veteran Mike Hammerle of St. Charles, Mo., in the national Super Late Model points standings tabulated through June 15. Hammerle had overtaken Rusty Schlenk of Jackson, Mich., for the points lead in the previous week’s points update.

With the UMP DIRTcar Summer Nationals in full swing, Sheppard used four starts on the grueling month-long series to erase his 16-point deficit to Hammerle in the previous week’s standings. Sheppard, who drives family-owned equipment, scored a top finish of fifth on June 13 at Kamp Motor Speedway in Boswell, Ind., in his Summer Nationals appearances.

Hammerle, meanwhile, registered a feature win on June 12 at Belle Clair Speedway in Belleville, Ill., among his three starts during the week. He has made a UMP DIRTcar-high 30 starts this season – four more than Sheppard.

Jason Feger of Bloomington, Ill., moved up one spot to third in the national standings, just six points behind Sheppard. His four starts last week all came in Summer Nationals events, with a top finish of sixth on June 12 at Kankakee (Ill.) County Speedway.

Cook, meanwhile, grabbed the Modified division’s national points lead for the first time this season with a strong five-race week. He won three features during the stretch, scoring on June 10 and June 13 at Spoon River Speedway in Canton, Ill., and June 12 at Kankakee.

The 33-year-old Cook supplanted Kent Robinson of Bloomington, Ind., who registered one top-five finish (second on June 13 at Kamp) among his four starts last week. Cook held a 43-point lead (1,683-1640) over Robinson as of June 15.

The national points leaders in five of UMP DIRTcar’s six other divisional races remained the same through June 15: Tait Davenport of West Paducah, Ky. (Pro Late Models), Clayton Perry of North Vernon, Ind. (Sportsman), Chad Boone of Owensboro, Ky. (Limited Modifieds), Chris Fisher of Bluff Point, N.Y. (Stock Cars) and Bill May of Muskegon, Mich. (Factory Stocks).

Illinois racer Eric Wisher overtook Bob Zbinden of Alhambra, Ill., for the points lead in the 4-Cylinder class.

Log on to www.dirtcar.com for more information on UMP DIRTcar Racing and to view complete points standings for all divisions.

UMP DIRTcar Racing National Points Standings (as of June 15, 2009):

NOTE: Asterisk by driver’s name indicates that as of Mon., June 15, they still needed to obtain a DIRTcar Racing membership by June 16 in order to be eligible to receive points for the remainder of the 2009 season

Super Late Models (driver/points/races):

1. Steve Sheppard Jr. 1473 26
2. Mike Hammerle 1472 30
3. Jason Feger 1467 23
4. Rusty Schlenk 1348 24
5. Kevin Weaver 1314 21
6. Jon Henry 1299 22
7. Dennis Erb Jr. 1279 23
8. Michael Kloos 1188 23
9. Brandon Sheppard 1186 26
10. Jason McBride 1183 26
11. Frankie Heckenast 1143 22
12. Ryan Unzicker 1112 23
13. Richie Hedrick 1110 26
14. Dusty Moore 1097 20
15. Chris Dick* 1032 20
16. Daren Friedman 1027 17
17. Ted Loomis 1006 19
18. Eric Smith 1004 17
19. Ed Dixon 994 16
20. Dona Marcoulier 982 14

Modifieds (driver/points/races):

1. Gary Cook Jr. 1683 25
2. Kent Robinson 1640 28
3. Mike Spatola 1610 28
4. Todd Sherman 1556 25
5. Randle Sweeney 1544 23
6. John McCaul 1404 20
7. Jeff Leka 1351 22
8. Jeremy Nichols 1343 27
9. Tim Hancock 1293 22
10. Troy Marciniak 1286 21
11. Clint DeMoss 1259 19
12. Jeff Babcock 1223 19
13. Clayton Miller 1204 19
14. Michael Lee 1194 21
15. Chad Osterhoff 1187 19
16. Bobby Bittle 1169 18
17. Vance Wilson 1159 19
18. Christy Georges 1157 22
19. Lucas Lee 1149 20
20. Lance Dehm 1147 17

Pro Late Models (driver/points/races):

1. Tait Davenport 1434 21
2. Caleb Ashby 1255 20
3. Bobby Dauderman 1113 19
4. Rylan Dagg 1094 20
5. Nick Bauman 1055 16
6. Josh Harris* 922 16
7. Dustin Griffin 890 17
8. Matt Liner 889 16
9. Bobby Martintoni 791 15
10. Daniel Heck 752 12

Sportsman (driver/points/races):

1. Clayton Perry* 1333 21
2. Troy Clark 1249 22
3. Jimmy Cummins 1177 19
4. Brad Cummings* 970 17
5. Greg Kimmons 957 15
6. Tom Smallwood* 904 18
7. Jeff Herzog 855 14
8. Alan Magner 804 14
9. Greg Amick 803 14
10. Russell Eilers 790 11

Limited Modifieds (driver/points/races):

1. Chad Boone 1116 16
2. Jeff Brooks 854 15
3. Scotty Oliver 795 14
4. Derrick Brooks 713 12
5. Dan Bimson 647 10
6. Josh Tyler 611 12
7. Jansen Morris* 570 9
8. Shelli O’Bryan 559 11
9. Scott Bettes* 551 9
10. Larry Hull Jr. 543 8

Stock Cars (driver/points/races):

1. Chris Fisher 1391 24
2. Dave Mannise 1331 24
3. David Hurst 1069 16
4. Brandon Roundtree* 1033 19
5. Ervin Turner 1022 17
6. Andy Fisk 1012 17
7. Mike Welch 994 16
8. Steve Ewing 947 15
9. Larry Russell Jr. 909 15
10. Josh Griffith 906 17

Factory Stocks (driver/points/races):

1. Bill May 1016 16
2. Nate Tarte 703 16
3. Mickey Hines* 684 10
4. Tony Weinrick 661 14
5. Justin Schuler* 639 12
6. Robbie Sternberg 576 11
7. Fred Ryland* 570 8
8. Danny Hupp* 565 10
9. Dennis Ponder 552 8
10. Allen Davis* 549 8

4-Cylinders (driver/points/races):

1. Eric Wisher 1186 18
2. Bob Zbinden 1130 16
3. Joe Reed 1128 16
4. Jeff Dodd 1046 15
5. Michael Rittenberry* 939 15
6. Richard Ashby 859 15
7. C.J. Rector 856 14
8. Justin Surhe 852 15
9. Monty Edwards 850 14
10. Jeff Rittenberry* 825 13