Wallace tops Babb for $10,000 at Clarksville
By Joshua JoinerDirtonDirt.com staff writer
CLARKSVILLE, Tenn. (July 9) – Wendell Wallace turned what started out as a disappointing weekend into the best one he’s had in quite a while in Saturday night’s UMP DIRTcar Summernationals event at Clarksville Speedway.
After struggling through Friday night’s preliminary action for a two-day Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series event at Magnolia Motor Speedway in Columbus, Miss., Wallace of Batesville, Ark., made the decision to skip Saturday’s consolation race at Magnolia and headed to Clarksville in hopes of turning his weekend around. | Complete Summernationals coverage
The 45-year-old driver did just that, moving by polesitter Shannon Babb on lap 17 of the 40-lap race and dominating the remaining distance on his way to earning a $10,000 victory at the quarter-mile racetrack.
“It looks like I had 10,000 reasons to make the trek up here. We was buried deep back in the consolation race at Magnolia and we had nothing to lose coming up here,” Wallace said of his decision to leave Mississippi and head to Tennessee. “The car was good ever since we unloaded here. We got a good package. We do a couple things different and it just seems to work for us here.”
The third-starting Wallace moved to second early in the race and followed Babb around the track’s dominant bottom groove. While no one seemed to be able to make the top side of the racetrack work, Wallace gave it a try when the two leaders reached slower traffic and pulled alongside Babb on lap 15. The move stuck just enough for Wallace to nose ahead of Babb and with slower cars blocking Babb on the bottom, Wallace completed the pass two laps later.
Wallace, a veteran driver known for his prowess on slick racetracks, flexed his muscle on Clarksville’s slick surface during the second half of the race, pulling to more than a straightaway lead on his way to recording his biggest victory since he won the Show-Me 100 at West Plains (Mo.) Motor Speedway in 2007.
“I knew when I caught Shannon there he was stuck to the bottom trying to get by them lapped cars,” Wallace said. “The second place guy ain’t got nothing to lose. I stepped out a little bit and the race car seemed to stick real good outside. I knew I could go anywhere I needed to go then.”
Babb settled for second and said after that race that he knew fairly early that he would have trouble holding Wallace off.
“I fired alright, but about four laps into it I started getting a little loose in the corners,” said Babb, who extended his lead in the series standings with his second consecutive runner-up finish. “I just wasn’t on the money and Wendell was. He got by me in traffic and he was gone. Wendell’s really good when it comes to these conditions and he was really good tonight.”
Second-starting Terry English of Benton, Ky., was third while Kent Robinson of Bloomington, Ind., finished fourth. Last year’s Summernationals winner at Clarksville Jack Sullivan of Greenbrier, Ark., rounded out the top five finishers.
Notes: Wallace’s Victory Circle Chassis is sponsored by Triple A Diesel Service and Wincrest Farms. ... The victory is Wallace’s first at Clarksville since he swept the track’s two-race Toilet Bowl Classic in 2009. ... The race was slowed by just one caution when defending series champion Jason Feger of Bloomington, Ill., went for a spin on lap three. ... Sixteen cars finished the race with 10 of those on the lead lap. ... The event was the 15th or 25 scheduled races on the tour. ... The Summernationals moves to Tri-State Speedway in Haubstadt, Ind., Sunday for a $5,000-to-win event.
UMP @ Clarksville: (1) Wendell Wallace, (2) Shannon Babb, (3) Terry English, (4) Kent Robinson, (5) Jack Sullivan, (6) Mike Spatola, (7) Brandon Sheppard, (8) Matt Miller, (9) Ryan Unzicker, (10) Dennis Erb Jr., (11) Tony Morris, (12) Jeff Walston, (13) Caleb Ashby, (14) Scott James, (15) Donny Walden, (16) Dillan White, (17) Josh Harris, (18) Jeep Van Wormer, (19) Charles Zimmerman, (20) Jason Feger, (21) Clayton Miller, (22) Tim Lance. Fast qualifier (among 44 cars): English, 13.733. Heat race winners: English, Babb, Wallace, Robinson. B-Main winner: C. Miller. Provisional Starters: James, Walston, Ashby, White. C-Main winners: Tanner English, Credence Mott.
Blog-style reports of Saturday's prelims:
Redraw and provisionals
In a redraw among heat race winners, Shannon Babb will start from the pole of tonight's 40-lap main event. Terry English will start alongside Babb while Wendell Wallace and Kent Robinson will share the second row. ... The race's provisional starters will be Scott James, Caleb Ashby, Dillan White and Jeff Walston.
Clayton Miller moved by polesitter Tim Lance midway through the B-Main and pulled away to the victory. He'll transfer to the main event along with Lance, who held off Rodney Melvin to finish second.
Finish: Clayton Miller, Tim Lance, Rodney Melvin, Scott James, Jeff Walston, Bobby Pierce, Dillan White, John Minor Jr., Chuck Proctor, Tanner English, Carnell Parker, Fred Perry, Jeff Sloan, Caleb Ashby, Credence Mott, Levi Ashby.
(Top two transfer to B-Main)
First C-Main: Tanner English, Carnell Parker, Craig Vosbergen, Doug Drown, Jon-Jon Wix, Dustin Ashby, Mutt Trotter.
Second C-Main: Credence Mott, Jeff Sloan, Michell Lingaueo, Troy Gay, Gavin Schmidt, Jason Riggs, Gil Smith, Chris Shelton.
Polesitter Kent Robinson won the fourth heat race, topping Brandon Sheppard in the caution-free prelim. Mike Spatola finished third while Ryan Unzicker held off Rodney Melvin to finish fourth and also transfer to the main event.
Finish: Kent Robinson, Brandon Sheppard, Mike Spatola, Ryan Unzicker, Rodney Melvin, Jeff Walston, Bobby Pierce, Credence Mott, Gil Smith, Jeff Sloan, Jason Riggs.
Series points leader Shannon Babb led every lap to win the caution-free third heat race. Jason Feger finished second, about five car lengths behind Babb. Matt Miller was third with Jeep Van Wormer finishing fourth to also transfer to the main event.
Finish: Shannon Babb, Jason Feger, Matt Miller, Jeep Van Wormer, Scott James, Dillan White, Chuck Proctor, Tanner English, Craig Vosbergen, Doug Drown. Scratched: Mutt Trotter.
Wendell Wallace scored a convincing victory in the second heat race, winning by more than a straightaway over runner-up Donny Walden. Tony Morris ran third while Josh Harris held of Clayton Miller for the fourth and final transfer position. The race was slowed by one caution for a three-car pileup on the first attempt to start the race.
Finish: Wendell Wallace, Donny Walden, Tony Morris, Josh Harris, Clayton Miller, Caleb Ashley, Fred Perry, Troy Gay, Chris Shelton, Gavin Schmitt, Mitchell Lingaueo.
Terry English started from the pole and led every lap on his way to winning the first heat race. Jack Sullivan trailed English the entire distance to score the runner-up finish with Dennis Erb Jr. third. Charles Zimmerman held off Tim Lance by just a few inches at the finish line for the fourth and final transfer position. The race was slowed by multiple cautions, all caused by spins by drivers back in the pack. Just six of the race's 11 starters were running at the finish.
Finish: Terry English, Jack Sullivan, Dennis Erb Jr., Charles Zimmerman, Tim Lance, Jon Minon Jr. Not running at finish: Levi Ashby, Steven Ashby, Carnell Parker, Dustin Butler.
Terry English of Benton, Ky., was the fastest of 44 qualifiers Saturday night at Clarksville Speedway during time trials for the 15th round of the 25-race UMP DIRTcar Summernationals. English’s lap of 13.733 seconds puts him on the pole of the first of four heat races coming up at the quarter-mile oval.
Other heat race polesitters after group qualifying: Wendell Wallace of Batesville, Ark.; series points leader Shannon Babb of Moweaqua, Ill.; and Kent Robinson of Bloomington, Ind.
The top four finishers in each heat race will transfer to the 40-lap, $10,000-to-win main event. Two C-Mains will each send two drivers to the B-Main, which will send its top two finishers to the feature. Four provisional starters will fill the remainder of the 22-car field.
Shannon Babb of Moweaqua, Ill., continues to extend his lead in the points standing as he chases his third series title. With his runner-up finish Friday night at Farmer City (Ill.) Raceway, Babb now holds a 135 point lead over Scott James of Lawrenceburg, Ind. Defending Series champion Jason Feger of Bloomington, Ill., is third, 212 points out of the lead. Three-time champion Dennis Erb Jr. (-220) of Carpentersville, Ill., and Brian Shirley (-235) of Chatham, Ill., round out the current top five. ... Ryan Unzicker of El Paso, Ill., has crew chief Brian Redmon back for the first time since the July 2 event at I-55 Raceway in Pevely, Mo. Redmon missed the past week while recovering from burns he suffered when a radiator hose blew off Unzicker’s racecar in the I-55 pit area. ... Wendell Wallace of Batesville, Ark., is making his first Summernationals appearance of 2011 at Clarksville. ... Brandon Sheppard of New Berlin, Ill., is the most recent winner on the tour. He earned $10,000 for winning Friday night’s race at Farmer City. ... Jack Sullivan of Greenbrier, Ark., won last year’s event at Clarksville.
Time trials order
Terry English (33), Benton, Ky., 13.733
Jack Sullivan (1s), Greenbrier, Ark., 13.862
John Minon Jr. (74), Adams, Tenn., 13.996
Dennis Erb Jr. (28), Carpentersville, Ill., 14.009
Steven Ashby (16a), Cunningham, Tenn., 14.157
Carnell Parker (75), Clarksville, Tenn., 14.2
Charles Zimmerman (93), Cunningham, Tenn., 14.494
Tim Lance (48), Brimfield, Ill., 14.534
Levi Ashby (1a), Cunningham, Tenn., 14.561
Dustin Butler (D11), Clarksville, Tenn., 15.064
Jon-Jon Wix (78), Adams, Tenn., 15.105
Wendell Wallace (88), Batesville, Ark., 13.876
Tony Morris (m31), Murfreesboro, Tenn., 13.905
Donny Walden (1w), Towanda, Ill., 14.252
Josh Harris (k37), Owensboro, Ky., 14.281
Clayton Miller (8), Elkton, Ky., 14.351
Caleb Ashley (61), Cunningham, Tenn., 14.452
Fred Perry (0), Smithland, Ky., 14.462
Troy Gay (00), Goodlettsville, Tenn., 14.471
Chris Shelton (16), Paducah, Ky., 14.558
Mitchell Lingaueo (88L), Clarksville, Tenn., 14.817
Gavin Schmitt (19), Tennessee Ridge, Tenn., 14.821
Shannon Babb (18), Moweaqua, Ill., 13.761
Jason Feger (25), Bloomington, Ill., 13.906
Jeep Van Wormer (55), Pinconning, Mich., 13.934
Matt Miller (7), Whitehouse, Ohio, 13.937
Chuck Proctor (27), Charlotte, Tenn., 14.020
Scott James (81), Lawrenceburg, Ind., 14.121
Doug Drown (12), Wooster, Ohio, 14.228
Dillan White (54), Crofton, Ky., 14.247
Craig Vosbergen (8), Perth, Western Australia, 14.634
Tanner English (96t), Benton, Ky., 14.735
Mutt Trotter (t7), Clarksville, Tenn., no time
Kent Robinson (7r), Bloomington, Ind., 13.810
Brandon Sheppard (B5), New Berlin, Ill., 13.846
Mike Spatola (89), Manhattan, Ill., 13.900
Rodney Melvin (27m), Benton, Ill., 13.985
Ryan Unzicker (24), El Paso, Ill., 14.004
Jeff Walston (56), Paducah, Ky., 14.102
Jason Riggs (81jr), Harrisburg, Ill., 14.295
Bobby Pierce (32), Oakwood, Ill., 14.315
Gil Smith (7), Nashville, Tenn., 14.583
Credence Mott (89), Vienna, Ill., 14.657
Jeff Sloan (7), East Prairie, Mo., 14.676