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UMP DIRTcar Summer Nationals Race 19: Korte Wheels to Vermilion County Victory

Randy Korte – Mike Ruefer photo
Danville, IL — Defending UMP DIRTcar Late Model National Champion Randy Korte knew a victory on Sunday night was crucial to his quest for his first Hell Tour title. He had a slim 4-point lead in the UMP DIRTcar Summer Nationals championship standings, and extended it at Vermilion County Speedway in Danville, Ill., by powering his way to the checkered flag.

The win was only Korte’s second victory on the 2009 Hell Tour, but combined with his 12 top-five finishes, it has him atop the standings with one week to go.

Defending “Hell Tour” champion Dennis Erb Jr., of Carpentersville, Ill., finished second to keep pace with Korte, of Highland, Ill., in the rankings. Erb climbed from a fifth-place starting spot using an unconventional outside groove to maneuver his way to the front. Erb made multiple attempts to steal the win away from Korte late but settled for a runner-up finish.

Ryan Unzicker, of El Paso, Ill., finished third after also challenging Korte for the lead near the midpoint of the race. He eventually fell to a high side running Erb in the battle for the runner up spot. It was Unzicker’s fourth top-five performance with his second place at Charleston (Ill.) Speedway being his best finish.

Jason Feger, of Bloomington, Ill., finished fourth while Shannon Babb, of Moweaqua, Ill., rounded out the top five.

Heat 1:
1. Ryan Unzicker
2. Dennis Erb Jr.
3. Dustin Linville
4. Jason Feger
5. Steve Sheppard Jr.
6. Daren Freidman
7. Dillan White
8. Scott Bull
9. Bryant Dickinson

Heat 2:
1. Randy Korte
2. Terry Casey
3. Shannon Babb
4. Aaron Ricketts
5. Jimmy Dehm
6. Dick Potts
7. Lee Thomason
8. Dan Walden

Heat 3:
1. Jeep Van Wormer
2. Brandon Sheppard
3. Donny Walden
4. Brandon Thirlby
5. Cory Rolfe
6. Marvin Burton
7. Don Hilleary
8. Bobby Pierce

Heat 4:
1. Rodney Melvin
2. Frank Heckenast Jr.
3. Kevin Weaver
4. Scott Schmitt
5. Derek Chandler
6. Richie Hedrick
7. Tyler Reddick
8. Mitch Lankford

B Main:
1. Daren Friedman
2. Steve Sheppard Jr.
3. Richie Hedrick
4. Jimmy Dehm
5. Derek Chandler
6. Dick Potts
7. Dan Walden
8. Don Hilleary
9. Scott Bull
10. Bobby Pierce
11. Bryan Dickinson

1. Randy Korte
2. Dennis Erb Jr.
3. Ryan Unzicker
4. Jason Feger
5. Shannon Babb
6. Brandon Sheppard
7. Terry Casey
8. Frank Heckenast Jr.
9. Jeep Van Wormer
10. Kevin Weaver
11. Steve Sheppard Jr.
12. Dan Walden
13. Aaron Rickett
14. Rodney Melvin
15. Derek Chandler
16. Brandon Thirlby
17. Daren Friedman
18. Dustin Linville
19. Richie Hedrick
20. Scott Bull
21. Scott Schmitt


35 UMP DIRTcar Late Models arrived at the Vermillion County Ill. track to compete in the 19th race of the UMP DIRTcar Summer Nationals. Four groups of qualifying time trials took to the track with defending “Hell Tour” champion Dennis Erb Jr. timing in quickest in group one while Terry Casey of New London, Wisc., timed in quickest of the second group as well as quickest overall with a lap of 13.296 seconds around the quarter-mile oval.

Jeep Van Wormer of Pinconning, Mich., was quickest in group three of qualifying time trials while Rodney Melvin of Logan, Ill., timed in fastest in group four.

Ryan Unzicker claimed the first of four heat races on the night outrunning defending champion Dennis Erb Jr. Randy Korte used the same outside line as Unzicker did in heat one to to claim the second heat race over quick timer Terry Casey.

Jeep Van Wormer won the 3rd heat race using his pole position to grab the early lead and holding off a charging Brandon Sheppard. Rodney Melvin outpaced Frank Heckenast Jr. to get the fourth and final heat race victory.

Daren Friedman used a B-Main win in which he passed polesitter Steve Sheppard Jr. late in the race while Sheppard settled for second and the last transfer spot in the night’s 40-lap feature. Using provisionals to start the “Hell Tour” main event were Derek Chandler and Scott Bull for UMP National and Summer National points while Richie Hedrick used a track provisional to start 21st.

For more information on the UMP DIRTcar Summer Nationals Tour fans can visit

Fans can now receive news, updates and other behind-the-scenes information about the UMP DIRTcar Summer Nationals by following the tour’s official feed on Twitter, the internet’s fast-growing social-networking and micro-blogging website.

Fans can view the latest text posts and subscribe as “followers” of the Summer Nationals at .

2009 UMP DIRTcar Summer Nationals Schedule

Brownstown Speedway – Brownstown, IN – $6,000 (Jeep VanWormer – 43)

Kankakee Motor Speedway – Kankakee,IL – $10,000 (Billy Moyer – 51)

Kamp Motor Speedway – Boswell, IN – $10,000 (Eric Smith – 44)

Quad City Raceway – East Moline, IL – $6,000 (Dennis Erb – 31)

Highland Speedway – Highland, IL – $6,000 (RAIN)

Belle-Clair Speedway – Belleville, IL – $6,000 (Dennis Erb – 47)

Charleston Speedway – Charleston, IL – $6,000 (RAIN)

Farmer City Raceway – Farmer City, IL – $10,000 (RAIN)

Clarksville Speedway – Clarksville, TN – $10,000 (Billy Moyer – 44)

Tri-State Speedway – Haubstadt, IN – $6,000 (Jeep Van Wormer – 43)

Charleston Speedway – Charleston, IL $6,000 (Rodney Melvin – 26)

Tri-City Speedway – Pontoon Beach, IL $6,000 (Jason Feger – 34)

Clay Hill Motorsports Park – Atwood, TN – $6,000 (Billy Moyer – 38)

Paducah International Raceway – Paducah, KY – $10,000 (Billy Moyer – 41)

Fairbury Speedway – Fairbury, IL – $10,000 (Billy Moyer – 34)

Lincoln Speedway – Lincoln, IL – $6,000 (Randy Korte – 35)

Farmer City Raceway – Farmer City,IL $6,000 (Dennis Erb Jr. – 34)

Peoria Speedway – Peoria, IL – $6,000 (Jason Feger – 39)

Highland Speedway – Highland, IL – $6,000 (Jeep Van Wormer – 39)

Macon Speedway – Macon, IL – $6,000 (Shannon Babb – 34)

Quincy Raceway – Quincy, IL – $10,000 (Shannon Babb – 33)

I-55 Raceway – Pevely, MO – $10,000 (RAIN)

Vermillion County Speedway – Danville, IL – $6,000 (Randy Korte – 35)

Shepp Speedway – Alexandria, IL – $6,000

Spoon River Speedway – Canton,IL $6,000

La Salle Speedway – La Salle, IL – $6,000

Waynesfield Motorsports Park – Waynesfield, OH – $10,000

Oakshade Raceway – Wauseon, OH – 10,000

The UMP DIRTcar Summer Nationals is brought to race fans by many important sponsors and partners, including: VP Racing Fuels, CJ Rayburn Race Cars, Hoosier Racing Tire, Quarter Master, Just Plugs, Special Olympics, Wrisco Aluminum, Eibach Springs, and Integra Racing Shocks.

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