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UMP DIRTcar Summer Nationals Night 17: Korte Leads From Flag-To-Flag For Quad City Speedway Victory

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DIRTcar Summer NationalsEast Moline, IL — By Kellen Burns /DIRTcar Racing P.R.

Perseverance often times pays off in the end.

Such was the case for Highland, Ill.’s Randy Korte on Sunday night at Quad City Raceway, where he captured the caution-free 40-lap UMP DIRTcar Summer Nationals A-Main.

Korte, who has had his share of strong runs on this year’s Summer Nationals tour, broke into Victory Lane for the first time in 2008.

The $6,000 win came in flag-to-flag fashion for Korte, but it was certainly not a cakewalk. He was challenged by defending Summer Nationals champion Dennis Erb Jr. of Carpentersville , Ill. , throughout the distance.

Korte and Erb ran nose-to-tail and diced through lapped traffic until they saw the checkered flag, with Korte ahead of Erb by a few car lengths. The pair was well in front of third-place finisher Kevin Weaver of Gibson City , Ill.

“I felt like the car was really good tonight,” said Korte, who recorded his 10th career Summer Nationals triumph. “I tried to stay off the top because it was so rough up there, but my guys said I was actually better up there.”

Korte no doubt knew Erb was going to be stalking him the entire race.

“I knew Dennis would be good on the bottom,” said Korte. “I knew that he would always be there. Dennis has his stuff figured out and he’s good everywhere we go, but I felt like I was good enough that I could hold him off.”

Korte, the 2006 UMP DIRTcar Super Late Model national points champion, got the jump on the polesitting Erb at the initial green flag from the outside of the front row, which turned out to be a race-making move.

“It was just a matter of me getting the jump on him there and then holding him off,” said Korte.

Korte is looking forward to the final week of Summer Nationals competition, which may prove unfortunate for his fellow tour-mates. He seems to be hitting his stride after sitting out the early portion of the season due to a back injury he suffered in a February incident at Florida ’s East Bay Raceway Park .

“Actually, this week we’re going to some tracks I’m pretty good at,” said Korte, who returned to competition just before the start of the Summer Nationals. “I’m pretty excited.”

Erb searched high and low for a way around Korte, but he fell short.

“The top was a little bit faster,” said Erb. “I had to try something. I thought I could get up around the top there in the end, but it was real rough and I didn’t want to take a chance with tearing anything up and not finishing.”

Erb’s second-place finish provided him a big boost toward a second straight UMP DIRTcar Summer Nationals points title.

“We’ll take the second,” remarked Erb, who unofficially regained the tour points lead over Brian Shirley of Chatham , Ill. “But we definitely would have liked to win tonight. I think we had the car that could do it.”

Weaver, meanwhile, battled throughout the race with Fairbury , Ill. ’s Wes Steidinger. The former Summer Nationals champ used lapped traffic to his advantage to secure the third spot in the waning laps.

“Lapped traffic played a big part in that,” said Weaver. “(Steidinger) squirted away from me there a few times, but I think I was more consistent.”

Weaver would have relished a non-existent caution.

“It would have been interesting,” said the 2000 tour titlist. “I felt pretty good out there.”

Weaver rebounded from a dismal performance the previous night at Fairbury American Legion Speedway, where he used a provisional to start the A-Main and wound up 20th in the finishing order.

“Last night was terrible and we went home and found our problem,” said Weaver. “We got it back to where it needs to be.”

Steidinger settled for fourth and Darren Miller of Milledgeville , Ill. , was fifth.

Shirley finished sixth, salvaging a decent run after his Petroff Towing No. 3s was sidelined by terminal engine problems during heat action. He picked up a ride in Tim Lance’s No. 48 for the A-Main and drove it forward from the rear to stay within striking distance of Erb in the points standings.

At the start of the night, Shirley set a new track record in group time trials for 21 cars with a blistering lap of 12.825 seconds around the quarter-mile oval.

Heat winners were Weaver, Erb and Korte.

The tour takes a scheduled day off on Monday (July 7) and returns to action Tuesday night (July 8) at Quincy ( Ill. ) Raceway.

Stay tuned to for the latest news and results from the 20th anniversary edition of the UMP DIRTcar Summer Nationals.

UMP DIRTcar Summer Nationals Feature Finish (40 laps):
1. Randy Korte
2. Dennis Erb Jr.
3. Kevin Weaver
4. Wes Steidinger
5. Darren Miller
6. Brian Shirley
7. Steve Sheppard Jr.
8. Jason Feger
9. Will Vaught
10. Jason McBride
11. Ryan Unzicker
12. Jordan Bland
13. Jeep VanWormer
14. Donny Walden
15. Leroy Brenner
16. Kevin Dickey
17. Gary Webb
18. Adam Oppendike
DNS: Tim Lance, Don O’Neal, Brandon Sheppard

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 (Rain – postponed to Aug. 15)

July 3 – Thurs. – Macon Speedway/Macon, IL – $6,000 (Rain – postponed to Aug. 16)

July 4 – Fri. – Tri-City Speedway/Pontoon Beach, IL – $10,000 (Billy Moyer – 51)

July 5 – Sat. – Fairbury American Legion Speedway/Fairbury, IL -$10,000 (Jimmy Mars – 48)

July 6 – Sun. – Quad City Raceway/East Moline , IL – $6,000 (Randy Korte – 21)

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)

Aug. 15 – Fri. – Morgan Co. Speedway/Jacksonville, IL – $6,000 (Rescheduled date)

Aug. 16 – Sat. – Macon Speedway/Macon, IL – $6,000 (Rescheduled date)

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