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Daily Dirt 02/29/2024 21:28:12

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July 23
Merritt Speedway,
Lake City, MI
Sanction: DIRTcar Summer Nationals - $10,000
Information provided by: Kyle McFadden and series reports (last updated July 24, 3:49 pm)
Thirlby's first Hell Tour win comes on final lap
  1. Brandon Thirlby
  2. Eric Spangler
  3. Billy Moyer Jr.
  4. Rusty Schlenk
  5. Joe Godsey
  6. Cody Bauer
  7. Logan Nickerson
  8. Chad Finley
  9. Ryan Lanphierd
  10. Colin Shipley
  11. Frank Heckenast Jr.
  12. Jeep Van Wormer
  13. Travis Stemler
  14. Greg Gokey
  15. Payton Freeman
  16. Andrew Terrill
  17. Jeff Roth
  18. Mick Quin
  19. Mark Voigt
  20. Rylee Knoll
  21. Dona Marcoullier
  22. David Hilliker
presented by
Randy Ellen/randyellen.smugmug.com
Brandon Thirlby takes the checkers at Merritt Speedway.
What won the race: In a finish of the year candidate, 10th-starting Brandon Thirlby of Buckley, Mich., powered to DIRTcar Summer Nationals victory lane for the first time by virtue of a thrilling last-corner pass of race-long leader Eric Spangler, who couldn't protect the final corner well enough to polish off the win. Thirlby earned $10,000 for his exhilarating drive and beat Spangler (39 laps led) by 0.341 seconds.
Quotable: "I just kept thinking about all my crew guys. I was pretty hesitant to change stuff on this car,” Thirlby said. "We’ve been pretty quick lately. Went up to the fence to watch the B-main, come back and they're swapping stuff around. Hats off to them. ... It means a lot, but if I win here in a couple weeks, that’d be the biggest win ever. … Hopefully we’ll still have the same hot rod.”
Key notes: Seven-time track champion Eric Spangler of Lake City, Mich., had led every lap from the pole Saturday until Brandon Thirlby found enough room to complete a last-corner slide job that Spangler couldn't counteract. Spangler, like Thirlby, vied for his first Hell Tour win. ... Thirlby is the 105th different winner in the tour's history and the first first-time series winner of the summer swing. ... Merritt Speedway was scheduled to complete the six-week DIRTcar Summer Nationals, but Wednesday's rainout at Thunderbird Raceway means the Muskegon, Mich., oval will now wrap up the series Sunday. ... In two weeks Merritt hosts the 34th annual Ed Vanduinen and Dan Salay Memorial Wood Tic Late Model Invitational. The Allstar Performance Challenge Series event pays a track-record $34,000-to-win.
On the move: Winner Brandon Thirlby of Buckley, Mich., started 10th.
Winner's sponsors: Thirlby's Longhorn Chassis is powered by a Pro Power Racing Engine and sponsored by Thirlby Automotive, FK Rod Ends, Accu-Force Dynos & Testers, Willy's Carb and Dyno Shop and KBC Graphix.
Points chase: Final DIRTcar Summer Nationals points: 1. Bobby Pierce (1,306); 2. Payton Freeman (1,127); 3. Joe Godsey (1,048); 4. Brian Shirley (1,001); 5. Jason Feger (895); 6. Mark Voigt (834); 7. Billy Moyer Jr. (832); 8. Jeff Roth (745); 9. Mick Quin (687); 10. Paul Stubber (646).
Current weather: Overcast Light Rain, 68°F
Car count: 31
Fast qualifier: Logan Nickerson
Time: 13.876 seconds
Polesitter: Eric Spangler
Heat race winners: Cody Bauer, Joe Godsey, Eric Spangler, Billy Moyer Jr.
Consolation race winners: Jeep Van Wormer
Provisional starters: Mark Voigt, David Hilliker, Greg Gokey, Mick Quin
Next series race: August 20, Thunderbird Raceway (Muskegon, MI) $5,000
Editor's note: Results and race details are unofficial.

AUBURN, Mich. — Updates from Saturday’s DIRTcar Summer Nationals event at Merritt Speedway, highlighted by a $10,000-to-win feature (results unofficial):  


In a finish of the year candidate, 10th-starting Brandon Thirlby of Buckley, Mich., powered to DIRTcar Summer Nationals victory lane for the first time by virtue of a thrilling last-lap pass of race-long leader Eric Spangler, who couldn't protect the final corner well enough to polish off the win. Thirlby earned $10,000 for his exhilarating drive and beat Spangler (39 laps led) by 0.341 of a second.

Feature lineup

(40 laps)

Row 1: Eric Spangler, Joe Godsey
Row 2: Billy Moyer Jr., Cody Bauer
Row 3: Logan Nickerson, Chad Finley
Row 4: Payton Freeman, Rusty Schlenk
Row 5: Travis Stemler, Brandon Thirlby
Row 6: Frank Heckenast Jr., Colin Shipley
Row 7: Andrew Terrill, Rylee Knoll
Row 8: Jeff Roth, Dona Marcoullier
Row 9: Jeep Van Wormer, Ryan Lanphierd
Row 10: Mark Voigt, David Hilliker
Row 11: Greg Gokey, Mick Quin

Consolation race results

B-main (12 laps; top two transfer): Jeep Van Wormer, Ryan Lanphierd, David Hillier, Mark Voigt, Logan Love, Thomas Hunziker, Dave Baker, Paul Stubber, Jim Plotts, Mick Quin, Jim Billett, Dan Hershey, Greg Gokey, Ronnie Smith, Josh Hendershott, Bob Timmer.

Heat race results

(10 laps; top four transfer)

First heat: Cody Bauer, Logan Nickerson, Travis Stemler, Andrew Terrill, Jeep Van Wormer, Mark Voigt, Mick Quin, Dave Baker.

Second heat: Joe Godsey, Chad Finley, Brandon Thirlby, Rylee Knoll, Greg Gokey, David Hilliker, Ronnie Smith, Bob Timmer.

Third heat:
Eric Spangler, Payton Freeman, Frank Heckenast Jr., Jeff Roth, Logan Love, Josh Hendershott, Dan Hershey, Jim Billett.

Fourth heat: Billy Moyer Jr., Rusty Schlenk, Colin Shipley, Dona Marcoullier, Ryan Lanphierd, Paul Stubber, Thomas Hunziker, Jim Plotts.

Time trials

Driver (car no.), hometown
First group
Logan Nickerson (21N), Vestaburg, Mich., 13.876
Cody Bauer (19X), Farwell, Mich., 13.924
Travis Stemler (4), Ionia, Mich., 13.998
Mick Quin (23NZ), Hawks Bay, N.Z., 14.223
Jeep Van Wormer (55), Pinconning, Mich., 14.236
Andrew Terrill (4T), Sanford, Mich., 14.279
Dave Baker (15), Grand Rapids, Mich., 14.287
Mark Voigt (30), Marine, Ill., 14.354
Second group
David Hillier (33B), Midland, Mich., 14.427
Joe Godsey (14G), Edinburgh, Ind., 14.165
Rylee Knoll (07), Lake, Mich., 14.192
Ronnie Smith (0S), Grand Rapids, Mich., 15.017
Chad Finley (42), East Lansing, Mich., 14.067
Greg Gokey (50), Buckley, Mich., 14.367
Brandon Thirlby (M14), Buckley, Mich., 14.283
Bob Timmer (33T), McBain, Mich., did not time
Third group
Payton Freeman (F1), Commerce, Ga., 13.886
Eric Spangler (27), Lake City, Mich., 14.072
Frank Heckenast Jr. (99jr), Frankfort, Ill., 14.183
Jeff Roth (14R), Bentonville, Ark., 14.625
Logan Love (7L), Vestaburg, Mich., 14.775
Josh Hendershott (06), Houghton Lake, Mich., 14.963
Dan Hersey (29), Traverse City, Mich., 14.983
Jim Billett (25), McBain, Mich., 15.071
Fourth group
Colin Shipley (44), Weston, Ohio, 14.370
Billy Moyer Jr. (21jr), Batesville, Ark., 14.333
Rusty Schlenk (1), McClure, Ohio, 14.357
Paul Stubber (31aus), Bunbury, Australia, 14.578
Dona Marcoullier (6m), Houghton Lake, Mich., 14.464
Ryan Lanphierd (11X), Midland, Mich., 14.588
Thomas Hunziker (38), Bend, Ore., 14.776
Jim Plotts (20), Holgate, Ohio, 15.199

Saturday's schedule

(All times local)

5:30 p.m. - Drivers’ meeting
6 p.m. - On-track activity
- Late Model hot laps
- Modified hot laps/qualifying
- Late Model time trials (2 laps)
Opening ceremonies
- 4 cylinder heats (8 laps)
- Modified heats (10 laps)
- Late Model heats (10 laps)
- Factory stock heats (8 laps)
- 4 cylinder consolation (if needed)
- Late Model C-main (10 laps)
- Modified consolation (12 laps)
- Late Model B-main (12 laps)
Feature races
- 4 cylinders (25 laps)
- Modifieds (25 laps)
- Late Models (40 laps)
- Factory stocks (20 laps)

Feature lineup

Row 1: Spangler, Godsey
Row 2: Moyer Jr., Bauer
Row 3: Nickerson, Finley
Row 4: Freeman, Schlenk
Row 5: Stemler, Thirlby
Row 6: Heckenast Jr., Shipley
Row 7: Terrill, Knoll
Row 8: Roth, Marcoullier
Row 9: Van Wormer, Lanphierd
Row 10: Voigt, Hilliker
Row 11: Gokey, Quin

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