Unzicker earns second-straight podium, Shirley disqualified after no-show at scales
Stepping off the full-time national touring scene for the summer, Devin Moran decided to hit the trail of the DIRTcar Summer Nationals through its first week and see what he could do against some of DIRTcar’s best Late Model talent. He didn’t have to wait long to show just what he and the Tye Twarog Racing team are capable of.
Leading flag-to-flag in Thursday night’s visit to the Kankakee County Speedway, Moran held off a hounding Ryan Unzicker and Brian Shirley over 40 laps to win his second career Hell Tour Feature event – his first since June of 2018.
“We got our first Summer Nationals win of the week, so that’s pretty cool,” Moran said in Victory Lane.
The Dresden, OH-native led comfortably for the first half of the race, but saw it flash before his eyes after a scare in Turns 3-4. Polesitter Tanner English, of Benton, KY, got a great run to his outside while Moran held his ground on the inside, and the two made contact that slowed their momentum through the corner. Just ahead of them – Mike Provenzano got into the wall and stopped, bringing out the caution.
“The caution came out right when Tanner got by me, and I actually drove in too hard and got into him. The racing gods or someone was looking out for us tonight,” Moran said.
Shirley went under both of the leaders just after the caution flag was thrown, forcing him to go back to third for the restart. Both he and Ryan Unzicker got a terrific restart and got around English to take second and third before another yellow was thrown a few laps later. Unzicker, of El Paso, IL, took that opportunity to make the move around Shirley for second and set Moran in his sights.
The two engaged in a side-by-side battle for multiple laps, but Moran was able to pull away in the end to collect the $5,000 check while Unzicker crossed in second.
Shirley, of Chatham, IL, crossed the line in third but was later disqualified for failing to report to the scales after the Feature had concluded. This moved Bobby Pierce up into third with Tanner English in fourth and Frank Heckenast Jr. to fifth.
The DIRTcar Summer Nationals action continues Friday night at Tri-City Speedway in Pontoon Beach, IL, with Round #4 of the 2021 campaign. Join us at the track or live on DIRTVision presented by Drydene.
Feature (40 Laps) 1. 9-Devin Moran; 2. 24-Ryan Unzicker; 3. 32-Bobby Pierce; 4. 81E-Tanner English; 5. 99JR-Frank Heckenast Jr; 6. 89-Mike Spatola; 7. B12-Kevin Weaver; 8. 21JR-Billy Moyer Jr; 9. 12-Ashton Winger; 10. 25-Jason Feger; 11. 19X-Cody Bauer; 12. 18-Jeffrey Ledford; 13. 14G-Joe Godsey; 14. 4G-Bob Gardner; 15. 48- Tim Lance; 16. 116-Torin Mettille; 17. 14-Glen Thompson; 18. M27-Mike Provenzo; 19. 2-Allen Murray; 20. 16-Rusty Griffaw; 21. 10S-Taylor Scheffler; 22. 10-Paul Parker; 23. (DQ) 3S-Brian Shirley