Unzicker's demise lifts Sullivan to Tri-City win
GRANITE CITY, Ill. (Aug. 5) — Jack Sullivan of Greenbrier, Ark., didn't even crack the feature lineup for last month's UMP DIRTcar Summernationals visit to Tri-City Speedway. He gained some redemption Friday at the 3/8-mile oval, racing a $3,000 victory on the MARS DIRTcar Series. | Slideshow
Sullivan inherited the lead when outside front-row starter Ryan Unzicker of El Paso, Ill., broke with three laps remaining. Sullivan led the rest of the way for his fifth career MARS victory — but first since 2007 — and his first Late Model victory of any kind in 2011.
Jesse Stovall of Galena, Mo., finished second in the event for roofless Late Models while Bobby Pierce of Oakwood, Ill., was third. Tim Manville of Troy, Ill., and Tony Jackson Jr. of Lebanon, Mo., rounded out the top five. Polesitter Nick Lyons of Centralia, Ill., ended up 19th and Unzicker was 13th.
MARS points leader Brad Looney salvaged a seventh-place finish in a borrowed car. Looney, of Republic, Mo., got into the wall hard in the first heat racing, heavily damaging his No. 14 entry. He piloted Jackson's backup car in the main event.
Notes: Sullivan's GRT Race Car is sponsored by Triple A Diesel Service, Bryant Motorsports, Central Arkansas Pest Services and DSI. ... Sullivan, who hasn't run the MARS series regularly in several seasons, previously won on July 4, 2007, at Mid-America Speedway in South Coffeyville, Okla. ... Six-time MARS champion Terry Phillips was a no-show at the MARS event, along with teammate Jeremy Payne, missing his first race in series history. Payne and Phillips finished 1-2 in modified competition at West Plains (Mo.) Motor Speedway for the Show-Me Modified Championship, which drew 47 race cars. ... Eric Turner of Springfield, Mo., piloted Brandon McCormick's backup car at Tri-City, finishing 15th. ... MARS returns to action Aug. 13 at West Plains.
MARS @ Tri-City: (1) Jack Sullivan, (2) Jesse Stovall, (3) Bobby Pierce, (4) Tim Manville, (5) Tony Jackson Jr., (6) Rick Salter, (7) Brad Looney, (8) Billy Laycock, (9) Justin Asplin, (10) Chris Fetter, (11) Leroy Johnson, (12) Ed Lenhardt, (13) Ryan Unzicker, (14) Rusty Griffaw, (15) Eric Turner, (16) Dewayne Kiefer, (17) Chad Zobrist, (18) Claude Walker, (19) Nick Lyons, (20) Brandon McCormick, (21) R.C. Whitwell. Heat race winners (among 20 cars): Pierce, Lyons, Sullivan.