Home | Series | DIRTcar Summer Nationals | UMP DIRTcar Summer Nationals Night 19: Shirley Captures Thrilling Feature At Brownstown Speedway To Keep Title Hopes Alive

UMP DIRTcar Summer Nationals Night 19: Shirley Captures Thrilling Feature At Brownstown Speedway To Keep Title Hopes Alive

DIRTcar Summer NationalsBROWNSTOWN, IN – July 11, 2008 – By Kellen Burns/DIRTcar Racing P.R. –

Brian Shirley says he thinks of everything he needs to do to win 10 minutes before a race.

The Chatham, Ill., driver’s pre-race ritual definitely paid off Friday night, helping him to a thrilling victory in the 40-lap UMP DIRTcar Summer Nationals A-Main at Brownstown Speedway.

With the triumph, Shirley moved to within four points of defending Summer Nationals champion Dennis Erb Jr. of Carpentersville, Ill., in the tour points standings. Erb leads the way entering Saturday night’s series finale at Oakshade Raceway in Wauseon, Ohio.

Shirley started sixth in the event and ran a patient race until the late going.

“I was paying attention to what was going on,” said Shirley, who earned $10,000 for his third triumph of the 2008 Summer Nationals. “I saw it was really hard to get by lapped traffic. Luckily my car stuck through the middle.”

Early on polesitter Don O’Neal of Martinsville, Ind., Jeep VanWormer of Pinconning, Mich., and Kevin Claycomb of Vincennes, Ind., all ran nose-to-tail at the front of the pack. O’Neal led until VanWormer used lapped traffic to his advantage on lap 31 to skirt by on the high side.

Brian Shirley
Brian Shirley - (Photo credit: erikgrigsbyphotos.com)

“When I caught the lapped cars I was soft on tires,” said O’Neal. “I couldn’t move around and I was pretty much stuck there (on the bottom). I knew I was in trouble there with 15 to go.”

VanWormer also couldn’t stay in front. He watched Shirley drive through the middle of the track to grab the lead on lap 37, taking control as VanWormer found himself pinned behind lapped traffic.

“Once we got the lead we caught up to those lapped cars,” said VanWormer, who settled for a runner-up finish. “It just sucks when you want to win so bad and you’re right there in the last few laps.”

Shirley used the late surge to make another visit to RacingJunk.com Victory Lane.

“We just tried to be good there,” said Shirley, who drove Ed Petroff’s No. 3s. “It was just our night, to be honest. The car was good.

“I’m just ready to get the check tomorrow for the $10,000 there (at Oakshade Raceway) – and that’s the bottom line. That’s what means the most.”

O’Neal settled for third place, followed by Erb and Claycomb.

Thirty-seven cars were divided into four groups for time trials, with O’Neal’s lap of 13.799 seconds the best of the qualifying session.

Heat winners were O’Neal, Claycomb, VanWormer, Wes Steidinger. Kevin Weaver of Gibson City, Ill., won the B-Main and Ryan Unzicker of El Paso, Ill., topped the C-Main.

For more information on the UMP DIRTcar Summer Nationals, visit www.dirtcar.com.

UMP DIRTcar Summer Nationals Feature Finish (40 laps):

1. Brian Shirley

2. Jeep VanWormer

3. Don O’Neal

4. Dennis Erb Jr.

5. Kevin Claycomb

6. Wes Steidinger

7. Darren Miller

8. Terry English

9. Jordan Bland

10. Kevin Weaver

11. Ryan Unzicker

12. Jason Feger

13. Brad Neat

14. Matt Miller

15. Greg Johnson

16. Derek Fisher

17. Steve Sheppard Jr.

18. Shannon Reed

19. Cody Mahoney

20. Mike Jewell

21. Randy Korte

B-Main Finish: Kevin Weaver, Jason Feger, Brad Neat, Shannon Reed, Steve Sheppard Jr., Matt Miller, Cody Mahoney, Ryan Unzicker, Brandon Sheppard, Tim Prince, Chad Stapleton, Justin Shaw, Jason McBride, Scott Jones, Jim Moon

C-Main Finish: Ryan Unzicker, Tim Prince, Jim Moon, Jason McBride, Brian Wilhite, Jason Smith, Joe Janowski

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 (Rained out)

July 9 – Wed. – Spoon River Speedway/Canton, IL – $6,000 (Darren Miller – 47)

July 10 – Thurs. – La Salle Speedway/La Salle, IL – $6,000 (Rain)

July 11 – Fri. – Brownstown (IN) Speedway – $10,000 (Rescheduled date – Brian Shirley – 37)

July 12 – Sat. – Oakshade Raceway/Wauseon, OH – $10,000

July 19 – Sat. – Clarksville Speedway/Clarksville, TN – $10,000 (Rescheduled date – non-points)

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

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