Weekly Notebook presented by JRi Shocks
Notes: Bull bullish about Summernationals races
By Joshua Joiner and Todd TurnerDirtonDirt.com
Scott Bull is getting hot at the right time.
Riding the momentum of four victories in the past six events he’s entered, the Fairbury, Ill., driver will tackle the UMP DIRTcar Summernationals Thursday night at Kankakee (Ill.) County Speedway looking to turn his recent hot streak in weekly racing events into success on the popular month-long regional tour.
The 29-race series kicked off Wednesday night at Brownstown (Ind.) Speedway, but Bull, 34, will enter his first of eight to 10 planned series events in Kankakee’s $5,000-to-win race.
“Anytime you’ve got things going your way, it’s always good to ride it as long as it lasts,” said Bull, whose four victories were split among weekly racing events at Farmer City (Ill.) Speedway and his hometown track Fairbury American Legion Speedway. “We’ve been rolling along pretty good here lately so hopefully it keeps going at some (Summernationals) races. It’s definitely better than going into it after a bunch of bad runs.”
The majority of Bull’s runs this season have been anything but bad. Along with his four victories, he’s scored a number of runner-up finishes this year and has rarely finished outside the top five.
He’s also faired well in regional events this season, including a pair of top-five finishes in Sunoco American Late Model Series events May 18 at Kankakee and May 19 at Fairbury.
The ALMS race at Fairbury was perhaps Bull’s best regional-event performance of his career. He had the field covered for much of the race, only to ended up second at the finish after Brian Shirley of Chatham, Ill., used a gutsy four-wide move on a late restart to take the lead.
Bull was disappointed not to come away with the victory at Fairbury after leading the majority of the race, but performances like that against the stout competition much like what he’ll face on the Summernationals tour, tells him his racing program is headed in the right direction.
“We’ve been right there, even when we’ve ran with guys like Shirley and (Jason) Feger and (Shannon) Babb and (Brandon) Sheppard and all of them, we’ve still ran in the top five,” said Bull, whose self-owned Pierce Race Car is sponsored by United Soil, Champion Fitness, Petersen Chevrolet, Central Illinois Building and Williamson National Lease.
“It helps when you can keep up with those guys around here. It lets you know you’re pretty quick and gives you a chance to kind of pick your game up against those guys."
Along with Kankakee, Bull plans to compete in Summernationals events at Spoon River Speedway (June 19) in Banner, Ill., Lincoln (Ill.) Speedway (July 1), and LaSalle (Ill.) Speedway (July 4) among others. Of course the race he’s most looking forward to is Fairbury’s date on June 23.
“I always look forward to the one at Fairbury; it’s my home track and we usually run decent there,” Bull said. “Last year at (Fairbury’s $10,000-to-win) Prairie Dirt Classic (in September) we ran third, and we’re running even better now than we were then.
“It’d definitely be one of the highlights of my career to win one of those Summernationals races. With the way we’re running right now ... I think if we get some things to go our way we could win one.”
• Billy Holbert of Fairmont, W.Va., scored a June 8-9 sweep at Elkins (W.Va.) Speedway and Roaring Knob Motorsports Complex in Markleysburg, Pa. The victory at Elkins was his first at the track.
• Scoring a weekend sweep, Chad Zobrist won at Tri-City Speedway in Pontoon Beach, Ill., as well as at his hometown Highland (Ill.) Speedway.
• Dylan Ames, 17, of Harvest, Ala., won June 9 for his second straight victory at Moulton (Ala.) Speedway.
• Notching a West Virginia sweep, Harold Redman Jr. of Tyler Mountain won June 8-9 at Beckley Motorsports Park and I-77 Raceway Park in Ripley.
• Sweeping a weekend at a pair of DIRTcar-sanctioned tracks, Justin Wells of Aurora, Mo., won at Caney Valley Speedway in Caney, Kan., and Monett (Mo.) Speedway.
• Jamie Ferguson of West Liberty, Ky., won his second feature in a row at 191 Speedway near Campton, Ky.
• Texas driver Kevin Migura of Victoria notched his third straight victory at Shady Oaks Speedway in Goliad, Texas.
• North Carolina Crate Late Model drivers Justin Hudspeth (Friendship Motor Speedway) and Mitchell Coble (311 Motor Speedway) continue hot streaks that draw bounties from their respective tracks. Coble can win his own $200 bounty if he elects to start on the rear and wins the June 16 feature.
• Joey Pederson of East Grand Forks, N.D., posted his second straight WISSOTA victory June 8 at his hometown River Cities Speedway.
• Michigan driver Dona Marcoullier of Houghton Lake posted a two-victory weekend at Mount Pleasant (Mich.) Speedway and Oakshade Raceway in Wauseon, Ohio.
First things first
First-time occurrences at the dirt track:
• After taking the lead from Scott Adams on lap 33, Billy Tucker of King George, Va., led the rest of the way June 9 at Virginia Motor Speedway in Saluda for his first career Late Model victory. He topped that in victory lane by getting down on a knee and asking girlfriend Laurie Cantor to marry him (she said yes).
• Hometown driver Brett Swedberg led all the way at Shawano (Wis.) Speedway for his first WISSOTA Late Model victory at the track.
• Making just his seventh Late Model start, modified graduate McKay Wenger of Fairbury, Ill., notched his first victory in the division June 9 at Fairbury American Legion Speedway.
• Paul Kot of DuBois, Pa., notched his first Steel Block Late Model victory at Hummingbird Speedway in Reynoldsville, Ill., on June 9.
• Notching his first career Super Late Model victory, Andrew Gordon of DuBois, Pa., won June 8 at Dog Hollow Speedway in Strongstown, Pa.
Weekly points chases
UMP DIRTcar (Super Late Models): Jim Moon of Zionsville, Ind., continues to lead the standings through June 3, through Kevin Weaver of Gibson City, Ill., has trimmed the lead from down from 50 to 32 points. Bobby Pierce of Oakwood, Ill., has moved to third followed by Scott Schmitt and Dewayne Kiefer.
UMP DIRTcar (Crate Late Models): Evan Taylor of Woodlawn, Tenn., continues to lead the standings as of June 3 with a 53-point advantage over Clayton Miller. Mark Oller, Aaron Heck and Credence Mott round out the current top five.
AMRA: Chris Garnes of Evans, W.Va., has 604 points to lead Ronnie Mayle (480) and Andy Bond (453).
ULMA: Jason Russell used a victory Friday at Callaway Raceway to reclaim the top spot from Brandon Imhoff of Lake Ozark, Mo. Behind Imhoof, Chris Cox is currently third.
NeSmith Chevrolet Series: Mickey Trosclair of Luling, La., used his 12th victory of the season Saturday at Pike County Speedway in Magnolia, Miss., to jump over both Brent Barrett of Cleveland, Miss., and Shannon Lee of Lumberton, Miss., in the Crate Late Model organization’s standings.
IMCA: Nate Beuseling of Silvis, Ill., has a seven-point margin on reigning champ Ray Guss Jr., through June 2 with Chad Cooney, Tyler Bruening and Tyler Bruening holding top-five spots.
WISSOTA: Jake Redetzke of Eau Claire, Wis., is on top through June 3 with a 40-point edge on Mike Prochnow. Todd Frank, Chad Becker and Kyle Peterlin round out the top five in standings in the upper Midwest.
Upcoming weekly specials
Among non-touring and independent special events coming up at dirt tracks around the country:
Southern Ohio Speedway, Wheelersburg, Ohio (June 15): The 17th annual Pepsi Southern 100 pays $10,000 to the main event winner and includes a pair of $2,000-to-win qualifying races. Drivers reaching the main event are guaranteed $720.
Lake Cumberland Speedway, Burnside, Ky. (June 15-16): The 22nd annual Mac Metal Sales Lake Cumberland Classic pays $10,000-to-win and $500-to-start at the 3/8-mile oval. Dustin Neat won last year’s race and other former winners are Greg Johnson, Don O’Neal, Mike Marlar and Scott Bloomquist.
Beckley (W.Va.) Motorsports Park (June 15-16): The $10,000-to-win, $750-to-start Black Gold 50 pays tribute to West Virginia coal miners. The first night’s Down & Dirty 30 is a $3,000-to-win event for Super Late Models.
I-77 Raceway Park, Ripley, W.Va. (June 16): The Steel Block Nationals event pays $1,200-to-win and the winner will be locked into the Hillbilly 50 race for steel block Late Models on Labor Day weekend’s Hillbilly 100.
Raceway 7, Conneaut, Ohio (June 15): The track hosts the first of two Super Late Model events with a $2,000-to-win, $200-to-start show. Raceway 7’s lone other Super Late Model show is scheduled for Aug. 17.
I-96 Speedway, Lake Odessa, Mich. (June 16): The Big Daddy event features Late Models as fathers receive a free hot dog and beer if he brings his son or daughter. Mud bogs are scheduled before the nighttime races.
East Bay Raceway Park, Gibsonton, Fla. (June 16): The second race of the Donnie Tanner miniseries pays $1,500-to-win for 50-lap Late Model feature.
Rome (Ga.) Speedway (June 17): Dixie Speedway’s sister track hosts a 30-lap Super Late Model event paying $2,000-to-win.
411 Motor Speedway, Seymour, Tenn. (June 19): The track hosts a Tuesday Night Tango with NeSmith Chevrolet Crate Late Models taking part in the midweek action.