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DIRTcar National Points Battles Intensify in Night #1 of Fall Nationals at Lincoln

Late Models, Sport Compacts on the racing card for Saturday’s finale

LINCOLN, IL – Oct. 2, 2020 – A grand total of 115 DIRTcar racers filled the Lincoln Speedway pit area Friday night for race #1 of the 2020 DIRTcar Fall Nationals – the new stage for DIRTcar Racing’s year-end points championship event.

With two major points battles still left to be decided heading into the weekend, one of those gaps is now even tighter and the other remains the closest national points championship battle out of all nine divisions under the DIRTcar banner.

STOCK CARS

Coming into the weekend, just four points separated leader Terry Reed Jr. from Lance Evans in the national standings as they prepared for the final two races of the DIRTcar points season. The first was a stop to Lincoln Friday night before the season finale in Charleston on Saturday, and the quarter-mile, black-dirt banks did not disappoint.

Polesitter Jeremy Nichols jetted out to the early lead at the drop of the green and played a terrific game of defense throughout the 20-lap Feature, holding off the likes of Bobby Bieler and Robert Cottom for the flag-to-flag Feature win.

Coming from the eighth starting spot, Reed slipped way back in the running order early, registering his third lap in the 16th position. But he stayed smooth, avoided trouble and drove it all the way back up to a top-five finish. Although not in as exciting fashion as Reed, Evans did have a solid sixth-place finish.

Terry Reed holds a 4-point lead in the DIRTcar Stock Car national points standings.

In terms of the national points standings, this race had no impact on Reed and Evans. The best 20 Feature finishes for each driver are counted toward the overall Stock Car standings, and their finishes on Friday were not valuable enough to be kept in the mix. Therefore, Reed still leads (1403) Evans (1399) buy just four points. They’ll each have one last chance to gain some points on Saturday night at Charleston Speedway’s Street Stock Fall Nationals.

Feature (20 Laps) 1. 67R-Jeremy Nichols [1][]; 2. B26-Bobby Beiler [9][]; 3. 1-Robert Cottom [3][]; 4. 16-Nick Macklin [6][]; 5. 11-Terry Reed [8][]; 6. 37-Lance Evans [5][]; 7. X5-Gene Reed [7][]; 8. 21-Jaret Duff [12][]; 9. X7-Guy Taylor [18][]; 10. 4-Zach Clark [15][]; 11. 22-Darrell Dick [4][]; 12. 20-Tanner Sullivan [2][]; 13. 21R-Dustin Reed [17][]; 14. 3J-Jonathan Hall [14][]; 15. 53-Rick Reed [20][]; 16. 15-Greg Roberts [13][]; 17. 14-Megan Erwin [10][]; 18. 44J-Jeremy Madsen [11][]; 19. 25G-Brain Gaines [21][]; 20. 35-Tom Davidson [19][]; 21. 68-Wally Zander [16][] Hard Charger: X7-Guy Taylor[+9]

Qualifying Flight-A 1. 14-Megan Erwin, 16.288; 2. 20-Tanner Sullivan, 16.34; 3. 22-Darrell Dick, 16.406; 4. 68-Wally Zander, 16.656; 5. X5-Gene Reed, 16.796; 6. 35-Tom Davidson, 17.516; 7. 15-Greg Roberts, 17.954

Qualifying Flight-B 1. 37-Lance Evans, 15.596; 2. 67R-Jeremy Nichols, 15.717; 3. 11-Terry Reed, 16.175; 4. 3J-Jonathan Hall, 16.303; 5. 53-Rick Reed, 16.669; 6. 44J-Jeremy Madsen, 16.986; 7. 21R-Dustin Reed, 17.053

Qualifying Flight-C 1. 1-Robert Cottom, 16.052; 2. 16-Nick Macklin, 16.083; 3. 4-Zach Clark, 16.37; 4. B26-Bobby Beiler, 16.382; 5. X7-Guy Taylor, 16.422; 6. 21-Jaret Duff, 16.445; 7. 25G-Brain Gaines, NT

Heat #1 – Flight (A) (8 Laps) – Top 7 Transfer 1. 20-Tanner Sullivan [2]; 2. 22-Darrell Dick [3]; 3. X5-Gene Reed [5]; 4. 14-Megan Erwin [1]; 5. 15-Greg Roberts [7]; 6. 68-Wally Zander [4]; 7. 35-Tom Davidson [6]

Heat #2 – Flight (B) (8 Laps) – Top 7 Transfer 1. 67R-Jeremy Nichols [2]; 2. 37-Lance Evans [1]; 3. 11-Terry Reed [3]; 4. 44J-Jeremy Madsen [6]; 5. 3J-Jonathan Hall [4]; 6. 21R-Dustin Reed [7]; 7. 53-Rick Reed [5]

Heat #3 – Flight (C) (8 Laps) – Top 7 Transfer 1. 1-Robert Cottom [1]; 2. 16-Nick Macklin [2]; 3. B26-Bobby Beiler [4]; 4. 21-Jaret Duff [6]; 5. 4-Zach Clark [3]; 6. X7-Guy Taylor [5]; 7. 25G-Brain Gaines [7]

PRO MODIFEDS

The DIRTcar Pro Modified division will see a band-new, first-time national champion at the conclusion of Saturday night’s Feature. Deece Schwartz is now trailing Billy Knebel by just 13 points as they head into their final points race of the season.

Trey Harris took the lead and ran away with it at the drop of the green, opening the door for a Schwartz-Knebel battle up front for the runner-up spot. And battle they did, going three-wide with Dave Armstrong for the spot just past the halfway mark.

Schwartz trails Knebel by just 13 points in DIRTcar Pro Modified national standings.

Schwartz found some speed at the right time and used it to pull away from the other two shortly after, winning the battle for position and four additional championship points toward the standings. Knebel held on for a top-five as Harris went on to collect the checkers – his sixth in DIRTcar Pro Modified competition this year.

Both drivers will come back to Lincoln on Saturday to settle their championship chase once and for all.

Feature (20 Laps) 1. 57T-Trey Harris [1][]; 2. 121-Deece Schwartz [2][]; 3. 82Q-Cole Queathem [7][]; 4. 58R-Ryan Hamilton [8][]; 5. 52K-Billy Knebel [4][]; 6. 27X-Kyle Helmick [6][]; 7. 25-Dave Armstrong [5][]; 8. 787-Cody Zobrist [12][]; 9. 62-Troy Medley [3][]; 10. 7M-Dominic Mertzke [14][]; 11. 444-Logan Dockery [11][]; 12. 25R-Tom Krankel [19][]; 13. 1-Mike Lentz [16][]; 14. 74-James Hileman [17][]; 15. 17C-AJ Cline [13][]; 16. 22K-Michael Kettler [15][]; 17. 55-Anthony Tucker [22][]; 18. 52-Denny Tribout [9][]; 19. 3-Brian Vinson [10][]; 20. 73-Mark Rhoades [23][]; 21. 21T-Talen Beard [18][]; 22. 81-Garrett Schumacher [21][]; 23. 27-Dalton Ewing [20][]; 24. 15C-Kevin Crowder [24][] Hard Charger: 25R-Tom Krankel[+7]

Qualifying Flight-A 1. 62-Troy Medley, 15.118; 2. 82Q-Cole Queathem, 15.293; 3. 52K-Billy Knebel, 15.469; 4. 3-Brian Vinson, 15.52; 5. 17C-AJ Cline, 15.531; 6. 1-Mike Lentz, 15.581; 7. 27-Dalton Ewing, 15.583; 8. 73-Mark Rhoades, 15.818; 9. 57-Dave Menke, 18.229; 10. 72-John Lowe, 99.999

Qualifying Flight-B 1. 57T-Trey Harris, 15.203; 2. 25-Dave Armstrong, 15.448; 3. 58R-Ryan Hamilton, 15.508; 4. 81-Garrett Schumacher, 15.574; 5. 74-James Hileman, 15.623; 6. 7M-Dominic Mertzke, 15.649; 7. 15C-Kevin Crowder, 15.73; 8. 444-Logan Dockery, 15.884; 9. 55-Anthony Tucker, 15.942

Qualifying Flight-C 1. 25R-Tom Krankel, 15.341; 2. 121-Deece Schwartz, 15.61; 3. 27X-Kyle Helmick, 15.737; 4. 21T-Talen Beard, 15.76; 5. 787-Cody Zobrist, 15.774; 6. 22K-Michael Kettler, 15.832; 7. 52-Denny Tribout, 15.952; 8. 8UP-Ethan Orman, 16.149; 9. 4-William Lowe, 17.257

Heat #1 – Flight (A) (8 Laps) – Top 6 Transfer 1. 62-Troy Medley [1]; 2. 52K-Billy Knebel [3]; 3. 82Q-Cole Queathem [2]; 4. 3-Brian Vinson [4]; 5. 17C-AJ Cline [5]; 6. 1-Mike Lentz [6]; 7. 73-Mark Rhoades [8]; 8. 27-Dalton Ewing [7]; 9. 57-Dave Menke [9]; 10. 72-John Lowe [10]

Heat #2 – Flight (B) (8 Laps) – Top 6 Transfer 1. 57T-Trey Harris [1]; 2. 25-Dave Armstrong [2]; 3. 58R-Ryan Hamilton [3]; 4. 444-Logan Dockery [8]; 5. 7M-Dominic Mertzke [6]; 6. 74-James Hileman [5]; 7. 81-Garrett Schumacher [4]; 8. 55-Anthony Tucker [9]; 9. 15C-Kevin Crowder [7]

Heat #3 – Flight (C) (8 Laps) – Top 6 Transfer 1. 121-Deece Schwartz [2]; 2. 27X-Kyle Helmick [3]; 3. 52-Denny Tribout [7]; 4. 787-Cody Zobrist [5]; 5. 22K-Michael Kettler [6]; 6. 21T-Talen Beard [4]; 7. 4-William Lowe [9]; 8. 25R-Tom Krankel [1]; 9. 8UP-Ethan Orman [8]

Last Chance Showdown #1 (8 Laps) – Top 4 Transfer 1. 25R-Tom Krankel [6][]; 2. 27-Dalton Ewing [4][]; 3. 81-Garrett Schumacher [2][]; 4. 55-Anthony Tucker [5][]; 5. 73-Mark Rhoades [1][]; 6. 57-Dave Menke [7][]; 7. 8UP-Ethan Orman [9][]; 8. 4-William Lowe [3][]; 9. 15C-Kevin Crowder [8][]; 10. 72-John Lowe [10][]

UMP MODIFIEDS

For a while, it seemed as though 15-year-old dirt racing sensation Hunt Gossum was going to be the star of the show, driving around UMP Modified veteran Jeff Leka in the early going with a big move to his outside to take the top spot. Until he made some contact with the outside wall.

Leka had been leading the field around for the first 10 laps when Gossum pulled the trigger to his outside and grabbed the race lead. Three laps later, Gossum had gotten too high on the cushion and scrubbed the outside wall hard, slowing him considerably before pulling off on the backstretch. A very tough break for the young gun from Mayfield, KY.

Leka inherited the lead back and drove away with it over the next six laps until a caution for debris was displayed with 5 laps remaining. During that caution, Leka experienced mechanical issues of his own and took it to the infield to retire the race with suspension damage.

McKinney with the 19th UMP Modified Feature win of his 2020 season.

Right in Leka’s tracks to pick up the pieces was none other than the 18-time DIRTcar UMP Modified winner in 2020, Mike McKinney. The Magic Man inherited the lead and led the remaining five laps back to the checkers to collect his 19th division win of the year.

Feature (25 Laps) 1. 96M-Mike McKinney [7][]; 2. 21-Derek Losh [2][]; 3. 24H-Mike Harrison [8][]; 4. 7D-Brad DeYoung [4][]; 5. 14-Brian Lynn [6][]; 6. 28M-Frank Marshall [9][]; 7. 35-Brandon Roberts [5][]; 8. 21D-Danny Schwartz [12][]; 9. 24-Zeke McKenzie [14][]; 10. 28-Rodney Standerfer [13][]; 11. 19-Chad Bauer [18][]; 12. 32-Donovan Lodge [15][]; 13. T6-Tommy Sheppard [24][]; 14. 11D-Brian Diveley [16][]; 15. 18-Rick Conoyer [23][]; 16. 57-Mark Grosvenor [20][]; 17. 83-Kasey Schrock [21][]; 18. 72A-Austin Lynn [19][]; 19. 9-Ken Schrader [10][]; 20. 16-Dillon Nusbaum [11][]; 21. 10-Curt Rhodes [17][]; 22. 3L-Jeff Leka [1][]; 23. 99-Hunt Gossum [3][]; 24. 777-Trevor Neville [22][] Hard Charger: T6-Tommy Sheppard[+11]

Qualifying Flight-A 1. 35-Brandon Roberts, 14.306; 2. 96M-Mike McKinney, 14.37; 3. 99-Hunt Gossum, 14.399; 4. 3L-Jeff Leka, 14.435; 5. 28M-Frank Marshall, 14.464; 6. 18-Rick Conoyer, 14.643; 7. 10M-Chris Morefield, 14.664; 8. 16-Dillon Nusbaum, 14.692; 9. 28-Rodney Standerfer, 14.692; 10. A9-AJ May, 14.703; 11. T6-Tommy Sheppard, 14.708; 12. 32-Donovan Lodge, 14.732; 13. 83-Kasey Schrock, 14.756; 14. 42-Paul Niznik, 14.834; 15. 10-Curt Rhodes, 14.904; 16. 72A-Austin Lynn, 14.91; 17. 77T-Guy Taylor, 14.945; 18. 28K-Kevin Morrow, 14.968; 19. 87C-Alan Crowder, 14.976; 20. 6L-Tim Luttrell, 15.349; 21. 49T-Todd Bates, 15.368; 22. 6-Troy Carter, 15.62

Qualifying Flight-B 1. 21-Derek Losh, 14.444; 2. 21D-Danny Schwartz, 14.596; 3. 24-Zeke McKenzie, 14.707; 4. 7D-Brad DeYoung, 14.74; 5. 14-Brian Lynn, 14.744; 6. 11D-Brian Diveley, 14.77; 7. 19-Chad Bauer, 14.897; 8. 24H-Mike Harrison, 15.013; 9. 9-Ken Schrader, 15.128; 10. 777-Trevor Neville, 15.135; 11. 49B-Zach Brandt, 15.212; 12. 57-Mark Grosvenor, 15.216; 13. 29S-Bill Sollers, 15.359; 14. 49-Darek Snyder, 15.403; 15. 4M-Tim Monroe, 15.546; 16. 10T-Todd Oneil, 15.623; 17. 97-John Barnard, 15.831; 18. 62E-Kim Edington, 15.925; 19. 19C-Carter Sinkhorn, 16.336; 20. 3-Brandon Knowles, 16.632

Heat #1 – Flight (A) (10 Laps) – Top 4 Transfer 1. 99-Hunt Gossum [2]; 2. 35-Brandon Roberts [1]; 3. 28M-Frank Marshall [3]; 4. 28-Rodney Standerfer [5]; 5. 10-Curt Rhodes [8]; 6. 77T-Guy Taylor [9]; 7. 83-Kasey Schrock [7]; 8. 49T-Todd Bates [11]; 9. 87C-Alan Crowder [10]; 10. 10M-Chris Morefield [4]; 11. T6-Tommy Sheppard [6]

Heat #2 – Flight (A) (10 Laps) – Top 4 Transfer 1. 3L-Jeff Leka [2]; 2. 96M-Mike McKinney [1]; 3. 16-Dillon Nusbaum [4]; 4. 32-Donovan Lodge [6]; 5. 72A-Austin Lynn [8]; 6. 18-Rick Conoyer [3]; 7. 42-Paul Niznik [7]; 8. A9-AJ May [5]; 9. 28K-Kevin Morrow [9]; 10. 6L-Tim Luttrell [10]; 11. 6-Troy Carter [11]

Heat #3 – Flight (B) (10 Laps) – Top 4 Transfer 1. 21-Derek Losh [1]; 2. 14-Brian Lynn [3]; 3. 9-Ken Schrader [5]; 4. 24-Zeke McKenzie [2]; 5. 19-Chad Bauer [4]; 6. 29S-Bill Sollers [7]; 7. 19C-Carter Sinkhorn [10]; 8. 49B-Zach Brandt [6]; 9. 4M-Tim Monroe [8]; 10. 97-John Barnard [9]

Heat #4 – Flight (B) (10 Laps) – Top 4 Transfer 1. 7D-Brad DeYoung [2]; 2. 24H-Mike Harrison [4]; 3. 21D-Danny Schwartz [1]; 4. 11D-Brian Diveley [3]; 5. 777-Trevor Neville [5]; 6. 57-Mark Grosvenor [6]; 7. 49-Darek Snyder [7]; 8. 10T-Todd Oneil [8]; 9. 3-Brandon Knowles [10]; 10. 62E-Kim Edington [9]

Last Chance Showdown #1 (10 Laps) – Top 3 Transfer 1. 10-Curt Rhodes [1][]; 2. 72A-Austin Lynn [2][]; 3. 83-Kasey Schrock [5][]; 4. 77T-Guy Taylor [3][]; 5. 18-Rick Conoyer [4][]; 6. T6-Tommy Sheppard [13][]; 7. 42-Paul Niznik [6][]; 8. A9-AJ May [8][]; 9. 87C-Alan Crowder [9][]; 10. 28K-Kevin Morrow [10][]; 11. 49T-Todd Bates [7][]; 12. 6L-Tim Luttrell [12][]; 13. 6-Troy Carter [14][]; 14. 10M-Chris Morefield [11][]

Last Chance Showdown #2 (10 Laps) – Top 3 Transfer 1. 19-Chad Bauer [1][]; 2. 57-Mark Grosvenor [4][]; 3. 777-Trevor Neville [2][]; 4. 19C-Carter Sinkhorn [5][]; 5. 49-Darek Snyder [6][]; 6. 4M-Tim Monroe [9][]; 7. 10T-Todd Oneil [8][]; 8. 49B-Zach Brandt [7][]; 9. 29S-Bill Sollers [3][]; 10. 97-John Barnard [11][]; 11. 3-Brandon Knowles [10][]; 12. 62E-Kim Edington [12][]

PRO LATE MODELS

Dakota Ewing was the victor of the DIRTcar Pro Late Model Feature Friday night after a very back-and-forth battle with his competition all throughout the race.

Ewing grabbed the lead on Lap 1 and was quicky challenged by teammate Jose Parga, who swiped the lead away as the field completed Lap 2. Parga led until the next caution, when Aaron Heck busted out some speed on the low side after the restart and drove underneath to claim the top spot.

Mettille with a new body on his 2020 DIRTcar Pro Late Model national points championship-winning car

Heck’s lead didn’t last very long, though, as he spun it sideways going down the frontstretch and backed it into the Turn 1 wall, causing heavy quarter-panel damage. He tagged the tail and made a great comeback to sixth before the checkered flew.

Back out front, Ewing had inherited the lead back and was immediately challenged by 2020 DIRTcar Pro Late Model national champion Torin Mettille for the spot. Mettille had the spot for three laps but Ewing took it back in a great push on the middle-top side. Ewing then went on to defend his lead through a green-white-checkered finish, which he did to collect his fifth DIRTcar Pro Late Model win of the season.

Feature (25 Laps) 1. 25-Dakota Ewing [1][]; 2. 116-Torin Mettille [5][]; 3. 11E-Brandon Eskew [4][]; 4. 38J-Jake Little [17][]; 5. 22-Chris Dick [9][]; 6. 59-Aaron Heck [3][]; 7. 45-Kyle McMahon [13][]; 8. 33H-Roben Huffman [16][]; 9. 24-Kyle Cooper [11][]; 10. 32M-Cody Maguire [15][]; 11. 27-Colby Sheppard [8][]; 12. 15-Guy Taylor [22][]; 13. 66-Blake Damery [14][]; 14. O1-Bill Kippenberg [10][]; 15. 33-Devin McLean [7][]; 16. N59-Chad Evans [23][]; 17. 7SX-Jerremy Sebens [20][]; 18. 21-Jared Chasteen [24][]; 19. 25F-Tucker Finch [12][]; 20. 20-Myles Moos [18][]; 21. 77-Blaise Baker [19][]; 22. A9-AJ May [21][]; 23. 6P-Jose Parga [2][]; 24. 5S-Brandon Sweitzer [25][]; 25. 17B-Brandon Bilger [6][] Hard Charger: 38J-Jake Little[+13]

Qualifying Flight-A 1. O1-Bill Kippenberg, 14.612; 2. 59-Aaron Heck, 14.761; 3. 45-Kyle McMahon, 14.895; 4. 33-Devin McLean, 15.019; 5. 15-Guy Taylor, 15.019; 6. 11E-Brandon Eskew, 15.383; 7. 77-Blaise Baker, 15.559; 8. 33H-Roben Huffman, 15.584

Qualifying Flight-B 1. 38J-Jake Little, 14.774; 2. 6P-Jose Parga, 14.786; 3. 27-Colby Sheppard, 14.797; 4. 116-Torin Mettille, 14.914; 5. 66-Blake Damery, 15.115; 6. 24-Kyle Cooper, 15.201; 7. 7SX-Jerremy Sebens, 15.525; 8. N59-Chad Evans, 15.535

Qualifying Flight-C 1. 17B-Brandon Bilger, 14.371; 2. 25-Dakota Ewing, 14.481; 3. 22-Chris Dick, 14.531; 4. A9-AJ May, 14.541; 5. 21-Jared Chasteen, 14.641; 6. 25F-Tucker Finch, 14.878; 7. 32M-Cody Maguire, 14.97; 8. 20-Myles Moos, 15.32; 9. 5S-Brandon Sweitzer, 16.291

Heat #1 – Flight (A) (10 Laps) – Top 9 Transfer 1. 59-Aaron Heck [2]; 2. 11E-Brandon Eskew [6]; 3. 33-Devin McLean [4]; 4. O1-Bill Kippenberg [1]; 5. 45-Kyle McMahon [3]; 6. 33H-Roben Huffman [8]; 7. 77-Blaise Baker [7]; 8. 15-Guy Taylor [5]

Heat #2 – Flight (B) (10 Laps) – Top 9 Transfer 1. 6P-Jose Parga [2]; 2. 116-Torin Mettille [4]; 3. 27-Colby Sheppard [3]; 4. 24-Kyle Cooper [6]; 5. 66-Blake Damery [5]; 6. 38J-Jake Little [1]; 7. 7SX-Jerremy Sebens [7]; 8. N59-Chad Evans [8]

Heat #3 – Flight (C) (10 Laps) – Top 9 Transfer 1. 25-Dakota Ewing [2]; 2. 17B-Brandon Bilger [1]; 3. 22-Chris Dick [3]; 4. 25F-Tucker Finch [6]; 5. 32M-Cody Maguire [7]; 6. 20-Myles Moos [8]; 7. A9-AJ May [4]; 8. 21-Jared Chasteen [5]; 9. 5S-Brandon Sweitzer [9]

LOOKING AHEAD

The racing action continues Saturday night with more from the DIRTcar Fall Nationals at Lincoln Speedway. UMP Modifieds, Pro Modifieds, Late Models and Sport Compacts will all be in action. Hot Laps are scheduled for 4:30 p.m.