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UMP DIRTcar Summer Nationals Race 8: Melvin Cleans Up at Charleston

Rodney Melvin


Charleston, IL — June 23, 2009 — “We’ll just keep plugging away,” a reserved Rodney Melvin said after his second-place run at Belle Clair Speedway a week ago. That plugging away paid off Tuesday night as Melvin captured his first UMP DIRTcar Summer Nationals win of 2009 at Charleston (Ill.) Speedway.

Melvin, who had two runner-up finishes in the past three Hell Tour events, took the lead just after the halfway point of the 40-lap main event when leader Scott James slowed with a flat right rear tire.

“I hate that James had a flat because our car was getting better,” said Melvin, of Logan, Ill. “We were too free at the start but the longer the race went the faster the car got.”

With the win, Melvin will move closer to the top of the Hell Tour championship standings.

“My sister showed me the points and so I said we have to keep going,” he said. “This should move us up more so I’m not going to count myself out. I think we can be there in the end. We’ve had a good car since the start of this deal. I’ve wanted to race lately. You can’t just show up and expect to race with these guys you have to work on this stuff and live it. You just have to take this day by day.”

Melvin withstood pressure from Terry Casey and two-time Summer Nationals champion Shannon Babb on a Lap 21 restart to cruise to nearly a half straightaway win on a hot Tuesday night at the 3/8th-mile oval.
Casey held off Babb late for a runner-up finish on a track that confounded some drivers.

“It was just survival of the fittest,” Casey said. “I got lucky with (Jason) Feger having to go to the tail, and I just rode it out.”

Babb settled for a third-place finish, a nice rebound after his transmission issues on Sunday night at Tri-State Speedway in Haubstadt, Ind.

Heat 1:
1. Shannon Babb
2. Jason Feger
3. Steve Casebolt
4. Duane Chamberlain
5. Dennis Erb Jr.
6. Donny Walden
7. Jimmy Dehm
8. Brent Kreke
9. Mike Hammerle

Heat 2:
1. Scott James
2. Randy Korte
3. Kevin Weaver
4. Frank Heckenast Jr.
5. Ryan Unzicker
6. Richie Hedrick
7. Derek Chandler
8. Brandon Sheppard
9. Cory Daugherty

Heat 3:
1. Rodney Melvin
2. Terry Casey
3. Kyle Logue
4. Mark Voigt
5. Scott Schmitt
6. Steve Sheppard Jr.
7. Kenny Carmichiael Jr.
8. Brandon Thirlby

1. Derek Chandler
2. Donny Walden
3. Kenny Carmichael Jr.
4. Brandon Sheppard
5. Brandon Thirlby
6. Jimmy Dehm
7. Cory Daugherty
8. Mike Hammerle
9. Steve Sheppard Jr.
10. Brent Kreke

A-Main Finish – 40 Laps
1. 27-Rodney Melvin
2. 42-Terry Casey
3. 18-Shannon Babb
4. B12-Kevin Weaver
5. 00-Randy Korte
6. C9-Steve Casebolt
7. 1c-Duane Chamberlain
8. 30-Mark Voigt
9. 28-Dennis Erb Jr.
10. 91-Kyle Logue
11. 99-Jimmy Dehm
12. 35-Derek Chandler
13. 39-Kenny Carmichael
14. 83-Scott James
15. 10-Scott Schmitt
16. 16H-Mike Hammerle
17. M14-Jason Feger
18. B5-Brandon Sheppard
19. 5s-Steve Sheppard Jr.
20. 24-Ryan Unzicker
21. 1w-Donny Walden

Shannon Babb, Randy Korte, and Rodney Melvin all paced three groups in qualifying time trials at the banked oval. Babb later dominated the first heat race outdistancing Jason Feger and Steve Casebolt. Scott James got the early jump on Randy Korte and Kevin Weaver leading every lap in heat two for the win and subsequently drew the pole for the 40 lap feature. Eventual winner Rodney Melvin captured the heat three win over eventual runner up Terry Casey.

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
06/11/09 Brownstown Speedway – Brownstown, IN – $6,000 (Jeep VanWormer – 43)
06/12/09 Kankakee Motor Speedway – Kankakee,IL – $10,000 (Billy Moyer – 51)
06/13/09 Kamp Motor Speedway – Boswell, IN – $10,000 (Eric Smith – 44)
06/14/09 Quad City Raceway – East Moline, IL – $6,000 (Dennis Erb – 31)
06/16/09 Highland Speedway – Highland, IL – $6,000 (RAIN)
06/17/09 Belle-Clair Speedway – Belleville, IL – $6,000 (Dennis Erb – 47)
06/18/09 Charleston Speedway – Charleston, IL – $6,000 (RAIN)
06/19/09 Farmer City Raceway – Farmer City, IL – $10,000 (RAIN)
06/20/09 Clarksville Speedway – Clarksville, TN – $10,000 (Billy Moyer – 44)
06/21/09 Tri-State Speedway – Haubstadt, IN – $6,000 (Jeep Van Wormer – 43)
06/23/09 Charleston Speedway – Charleston, IL $6,000 (Rodney Melvin – 26)
06/24/09 Tri-City Speedway – Pontoon Beach, IL $6,000
06/25/09 Clay Hill Motorsports Park – Atwood, TN – $6,000
06/26/09 Paducah International Raceway – Paducah, KY – $10,000
06/27/09 Fairbury Speedway – Fairbury, IL – $10,000
06/28/09 Lincoln Speedway – Lincoln, IL – $6,000
06/29/09 Farmer City Raceway – Farmer City,IL $6,000
06/30/09 Peoria Speedway – Peoria, IL – $6,000
07/01/09 Highland Speedway – Highland, IL – $6,000
07/02/09 Macon Speedway – Macon, IL – $6,000
07/03/09 Quincy Raceway – Quincy, IL – $10,000
07/04/09 I-55 Raceway – Pevely, MO – $10,000
07/05/09 Vermillion County Speedway – Danville, IL – $6,000
07/07/09 Shepp Speedway – Alexandria, IL – $6,000
07/08/09 Spoon River Speedway – Canton,IL $6,000
07/09/09 LaSalle Speedway – LaSalle, IL – $6,000
07/10/09 Waynesfield Motorsports Park – Waynesfield, OH – $10,000
07/11/09 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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