Calvert City, KY — Kevin Kovac – UMP DIRTcar PR
June 12, 2008 – Bluegrass State standout Brad Neat came out on top of a duel with Jason Feger to triumph Thursday night as the UMP DIRTcar Racing Summer Nationals kicked off its 20th anniversary season at Kentucky Lake Motor Speedway.
Neat, of Dunnville, Ky., swapped the lead with Bloomington, Ill.’s Feger several times before gaining command for good on lap 26 of the 30-lap event. A yellow flag flew one circuit later to set up a final shootout, but Feger pitted with a flat left-rear tire during the caution period to eliminate him for contention.
While Summer Nationals rookie Will Vaught of Crane, Mo., offered a challenge on the restart, Neat maintained control over the remaining circuits to pocket a $7,500 prize for his first career Summer Nationals victory.
Neat started from the pole position alongside Feger and the two drivers battled hard in search of career-first Summer Nationals wins. They swapped the lead four ties – Neat paced laps 1-5, 24 and 26-30, while Feger ran in front for laps 6-23 and 25.
Vaught, a young talent from the O’Reilly MARS DIRTcar Series, watched the tussle up front before taking a shot at victory following Feger’s misfortune. But Vaught couldn’t pull off a pass of Neat and settled for runner-up money after starting ninth.
Brian Shirley of Chatham, Ill., finished third driving the Gerstner Plumbing No. 6k normally driven by Michael Kloos, followed by six-time Summer Nationals champion Billy Moyer of Batesville, Ark., and defending tour titlist Dennis Erb Jr. of Carpentersville, Ill.
With 40 cars on hand, Darren Miller of Chadwick, Ill., was the overall fast timer of the group qualifying session with a lap of 14.862 seconds. He was running fourth in the A-Main when he slowed on lap 27 with a flat right-front tire.
Heat winners were Jeep VanWormer of Pinconning, Mich., Neat, Wes Steidinger of Fairbury, Ill., and Feger. Moyer won the B-Main and John Gill of Mitchell, Ind., captured the C-Main.
UMP DIRTcar Racing Summer Nationals Feature Finish (30 laps):
1. Brad Neat
2. Will Vaught
3. Brian Shirley
4. Billy Moyer
5. Dennis Erb Jr.
6. Jeep VanWormer
7. Jeff Walston
8. Kevin Cole
9. Dewayne Keifer
10. Kevin Claycomb
11. John Gill
12. Billy James
13. Randy Sellars
14. Kevin Weaver
15. Jason Feger
16. Darren Miller
17. Terry English
18. Steve Sheppard Jr.
19. Ryan Dauber
20. Jason Riggs
21. Wes Steidinger
B-Main Finish: Billy Moyer, Steve Sheppard Jr., Dennis Erb Jr., Kevin Weaver, Billy James, Jason Riggs, John Gill, Brian Dively, Tim Lance, Jason McBride, Kevin Cole, Dylan Thompson, Brandon Sheppard, Tim Brown, Tanner English
C-Main Finish: John Gill, Kevin Cole, Dylan Thompson, Brandon Sheppard, Brandon Chappell, Mike Hammerle, Fred Perry, Jordan Bland (DQ) Duke Whiseant
Scratched: Tyler Boggs, Rodney Melvin, Danny Jolly, John