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UMP DIRTcar Summer Nationals Night 14: Van Wormer Powers To Second Victory Of Tour At Peoria Speedway

Jeep Van Wormer

Jeep Van Wormer


July 1, 2008 – By Kellen Burns/DIRTcar Racing P.R. –

Winning certainly never gets old for Pinconning, Mich.’s Jeep VanWormer.

The 33-year-old driver enjoyed another UMP DIRTcar Summer Nationals triumph on Tuesday night, visiting Victory Lane for the second time on the 2008 tour at Peoria Speedway.

VanWormer hopes that his checkered flag sets him off on a strong run down the Summer Nationals homestretch.

“Hopefully we can win the rest of them (Summer Nationals events),” remarked the chauffeur of the popular No. 55, who sits fourth in the tour’s points standings. “That wouldn’t hurt my feelings a bit.”

VanWormer saw things go his way early in the evening, using a strong qualifying run and heat-race victory to position himself on the inside of the second row for the start of the 40-lap feature.

“We just had a good qualifying run and heat race,” said VanWormer, who earned $6,000 for his eighth career Summer Nationals win. “We drew third (for the A-Main) and that put us where we wanted to be – right on the bottom.”

VanWormer overtook defending Summer Nationals champion and current points leader Dennis Erb Jr. of Carpentersville, Ill., for the lead on the second lap and never looked back. With the race running caution-free after an opening-lap slowdown, VanWormer maintained solid command and crossed the finish line ahead of former Summer Nationals champion Kevin Weaver of Gibson City, Ill.,

Weaver used his familiarity with Peoria Speedway to his advantage. The runner-up finish was his best of the 2008 Summer Nationals.

“I’ve got a few laps around this place,” said Weaver, who started fourth. “We just have a pretty good Bill West car and we’ve just been working on it. I’m hoping to put some more good finishes together.”

Weaver was unsure if he could have challenged VanWormer with the help of a late-race caution flag, but he still took positives from the second-place finish.

“It’s hard to change your line and know where someone is behind you to try and pass someone else,” said Weaver. “It would have been tough to pass him.”

UMP DIRTcar hotshoe Wes Steidinger of Fairbury,Ill., came through with another strong showing. Starting fifth, ‘The Fairbury Flyer’ used the low line to earn a hard fought third-place finish.

“I think we might have been better (than VanWormer and Weaver),” said Steidinger. “It got kind of one-lane on the bottom there.”

The competitive Steidinger took the third-place finish in stride on a track most drivers found hard to pass on late in the distance.

“Maybe I could have squeezed by them guys,” the pilot of the Rayburn No. J1 said of challenging the leaders. “It would have taken me several laps. I think we would have needed 100 laps instead of 40.”

Brian Shirley of Chatham, Ill., finished fourth after slipping by Erb in the final laps, leaving Erb fifth at the finish. That left Erb atop the Summer Nationals points standings by just three markers over Shirley after 14 events.

Forty UMP DIRTcar Super Late Models packed the pits at Peoria Speedway, with Steidinger’s lap of 12.522 seconds fastest in the group qualifying session.

Heat races were won by Erb, Randy Korte of Highland, Ill., Weaver and VanWormer, while Steve Sheppard Jr. of New Berlin, Ill., captured the B-Main and Steve Lance Jr. of Cuba, Ill., topped the C-main.

The UMP DIRTcar Summer Nationals continues on Wednesday night (July 2) at Morgan County Speedway in Jacksonville, Ill.

For more information on the Summer Nationals, visit

UMP DIRTcar Summer Nationals Feature Finish (40 laps):

1. Jeep VanWormer
2. Kevin Weaver
3. Wes Steidinger
4. Brian Shirley
5. Dennis Erb Jr.
6. Don O’Neal
7. Will Vaught
8. Ryan Unzicker
9. Steve Lance
10. Jesse Stoval
11. Steve Sheppard Jr.
12. Jason Feger
13. Tim Lance
14. Jordan Bland
15. Todd Bennett
16. Rich Bell
17. Ryan Dauber
18. Randy Korte
19. Scott Bull
20. Shane Allen
21. Donny Walden

B-Main Finish: Steve Sheppard Jr., Todd Bennett, Jordan Bland, Donny Walden, Rich Bell, Steve Lance Jr., Kyle Steffen, Mark Burgtorf, Shane Allen, Mike Mullvain, Matt Murphy, Cory Daugherty, Brandon Sheppard, Rick Standridge (DNS) Will Vaught

C-Main Finish: Steve Lance Jr., Mark Burgtorf, Shane Allen, Mike Mullvain, Rick O’Brien, Joe Janowski, Gerry Reeder Jr., Greg Longfellow, Jason McBride, Russ Adams, Joey Markle, Dawn Mennell, Brandon Thirlby

UMP DIRTcar Summer Nationals Points Standings (after 14 events):

1. Dennis Erb Jr. 1086
2. Brian Shirley 1083
3. Wes Steidinger 946
4. Jeep VanWormer 925
5. Will Vaught 892
6. Randy Korte 854
7. Steve Sheppard Jr. 801
8. Jason Feger 615
9. Darren Miller 580
10. Kevin Weaver 560
11. Jordan Bland 521
12. Dewayne Kiefer 500
13. Billy Moyer 479
14. Ryan Unzicker 473
15. Kevin Claycomb 462

2008 UMP DIRTcar Racing Summer Nationals Schedule (Date/Day/Track/Location/To Win/Winner – Car Count):

June 12 – Thurs. – Kentucky Lake Motor Speedway/Calvert City, KY – $7,500 (Brad Neat – 40)
June 13 – Fri. – Brownstown (IN) Speedway – $10,000 (Rain – postponed to July 11)
June 14 – Sat. – Kamp Motor Speedway/Boswell, IN – $10,000 (Wes Steidinger – 36)
June 15 – Sun. – Tri-State Speedway/Haubstadt, IN – $6,000 (Dennis Erb Jr. – 39)
June 16 – Mon – OFF
June 17 – Tues. – Highland Speedway/Highland, IL – $6,000 (Terry English – 47)
June 18 – Wed. – Belle Clair Speedway/Belleville, IL – $6,000 (Will Vaught – 41)
June 19 – Thurs. – I-57/I-64 Raceway/Mt. Vernon, IL – $6,000 (Darren Miller – 37)
June 20 – Fri. – Farmer City Raceway/Farmer City, IL – $10,000 (Darren Miller – 50)
June 21 – Sat. – I-55 Raceway/Pevely, MO – $10,000 (CANCELED – flooding)
June 22 – Sun. – Vermilion Co. Speedway/Danville, IL – $6,000 (Jeep VanWormer – 43)
June 23 – Mon. – OFF
June 24 – Tue. – Sedalia State Fair Speedway/Sedalia, MO – $6,000 (Brian Shirley – 27)
June 25 – Wed. – Lake Ozark Speedway/Eldon, MO – $6,000 (Billy Moyer – 31)
June 26 – Thurs. – Paducah Int’l Raceway/Paducah, KY – $6,000 (Kevin Claycomb – 35)
June 27 – Fri. – Lawrenceburg Speedway/Lawrenceburg, IN – $10,000 (Dennis Erb Jr. – 36)
June 28 – Sat. – Clarksville Speedway/Clarksville, TN – $10,000 (Rain – postponed to July 19)
June 29 – Sun. – Lincoln Speedway/Lincoln, IL – $6,000 (Brian Shirley – 46)
June 30 – Mon. – OFF
July 1 – Tue. – Peoria Speedway/Peoria, IL – $6,000 (Jeep VanWormer – 40)
July 2 – Wed. – Morgan Co. Speedway/Jacksonville, IL – $6,000
July 3 – Thurs. – Macon Speedway/Macon, IL – $6,000
July 4 – Fri. – Tri-City Speedway/Pontoon Beach, IL – $10,000
July 5 – Sat. – Fairbury American Legion Speedway/Fairbury, IL -$10,000
July 6 – Sun. – Quad City Raceway/East Moline, IL – $6,000
July 7 – Mon. – OFF
July 8 – Tue. – Quincy (IL) Speedway – $6,000
July 9 – Wed. – Spoon River Speedway/Canton, IL – $6,000
July 10 – Thurs. – La Salle Speedway/La Salle, IL – $6,000
July 11 – Fri. – Brownstown (IN) Speedway – $10,000 (Rescheduled date)
July 12 – Sat. – Oakshade Raceway/Wauseon, OH – $10,000
July 19 – Sat. – Clarksville Speedway/Clarksville, TN – $10,000 (Rescheduled date)

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