CLARKSVILLE, Tenn. (June 25) — Thursday’s UMP DIRTcar Summernationals stop at Clarksville Speedway is a night Levi Kissinger of Mount Vernon, Ind., won’t soon forget.
Using lapped traffic to his advantage, fourth-starting Kissinger overtook veteran Wendell Wallace of Batesville, Ark., on lap 25 of 40, leading the remaining distance for his first career Super Late Model victory and first career Summernationals triumph.
“We’ve been struggling the past month,” Kissinger said after Thursday’s race. “We’ve been terrible. We haven’t even made the show the past few nights. We went to Fairbury and Belleville and we didn’t make the show. We’re learning with this deal. This is a track I’m familiar with.
“I was riding the first half of the racing, trying to keep my tires under me and not burn them up. We caught lapped traffic there and (Wallace) started getting really antsy, like he was driving harder. He just slipped up just enough to let me stick the nose underneath there and I just kind of drove by him there. After that I just had to hit my marks and protect the bottom and just run my race.”
Second-starting Wallace, charged to the lead at the drop of the green flag, but settled for a runner-up finish. Fifth-starting Dennis Erb Jr. of Carpentersville, Ill., advanced two spots to finish third, with Thursday’s overall fast qualifier Richard Frost of Clarksville, Tenn., running fourth. Rodney Melvin of Benton, Ill., rounded out the top five.
“I run up on some lapped cars at the back of the pack there and they was battling for position,” Wallace said of Thursday’s race. “It just seems like I overworked my tires and he got underneath me. It seemed like he was a little better in the bottom there. Once he got around me, there was no getting back by. He had a pretty good race car.”
The race was slowed by a single caution, with Terry English of Benton, Ky., spinning to draw a yellow flag on lap 29. As the field was bunched back together, Erb made his move toward the front.
“I had a good car all night,” Erb said. “I think we had the best car there at the end … it was real hard getting past (Frost) and (Melvin) when they were running side-by-side. But once we cleared them and I started charging to the front. I just ran out of time.”
But the night was all about Kissinger, who found himself at a loss for words when describing what Thursday’s victory meant to him and his team.
“There’s a lot of good guys, I mean there’s 40 guys that can win every one of these Summernationals races,” Kissinger said. “I grew up watching my dad race Late Models, grew up watching guys that run Late Models for a living, run the Summernationals tour. I’m like, ‘Man, that’d be cool to go run, just run, with them guys, much less win.’ I never in a million years thought we could have won one of these races and to do it this quick in our Super Late Model career is even better yet.”
Terry English charged to the lead at the drop of the green, with a yellow flag waving for Riley Hickman on the second lap. The race was slowed by two more cautions on laps five and 10. English picked up the win, with Kent Robinson holding off Jason Feger to transfer to the 40-lap feature.
Finish (top two transfer): Terry English, Kent Robinson, Jason Feger, Larry Greer, Michael Chilton, Allen Murray, Eric Hickerson, Kevin Cole, Tyler Erb, Riley Hickman, Steven Ashby, Larry Barber Jr., Steve Lampley, Justin McRee
Finish (top four transfer to B-Main): Steven Ashby, Eric Hickerson, Larber Barber Jr., Justin McRee, Gary Christian, Don Young, Caleb Ashby, Travis Page, Bobby Pierce, Levi Ashby
Third-starting Brian Shirley drew a caution on the opening lap when he spun in turn one. The race was brought to a complete restart. Rodney Melvin picked up the win, with polesitter Shannon Babb running second. Mike Marlar finished third, while Brian Shirley edged Kent Robinson in the final laps to finish fourth and transfer to the feature.
Finish (top four transfer): Rodney Melvin, Shannon Babb, Mike Marlar, Brian Shirley, Kent Robinson, Allen Murray, Kevin Cole, Caleb Ashby, Eric Hickerson, Don Young
In the midst of a tight battle for the lead between Batesville, Ark., drivers Billy Moyer Jr. and Wendell Wallace, a yellow flag flew on the first lap when Larry Barber Jr. spun in turn one. Wallace charged ahead of the field as the race returned green, with polesitter Moyer Jr. settling for the runner-up spot. Justin Rattliff finished third, with Jason Riggs running fourth for the final transfer spot.
Finish (top four transfer): Wendell Wallace, Billy Moyer Jr., Justin Rattliff, Jason Riggs, Riley Hickman, Larry Greer, Ronald Dunn, Larry Barber Jr., Levi Ashby. Scratched: Charles Zimmerman
Second-starting Levi Kissinger took the lead on the initial start, but a yellow flag waved on the first lap when Justin McRee spun in turn one. Steven Ashby drew a second caution when he spun in turn one on the seventh lap. Kissinger dominated the 10-lap distance to pick up a heat race win. Polesitter Ryan Unzicker took the runner-up spot, with fourth-starting Timothy Culp advancing one spot to finish third. Jim Moon finished fourth to transfer to the 40-lap main event.
Finish (top four transfer): Levi Kissinger, Ryan Unzicker, Timothy Culp, Jim Moon, Steve Lampley, Michael Chilton, Steven Ashby, John Minon, John Hahler, Justin McRee
With polesitter Richard Frost charging to the lead, a yellow flag flew on the first lap for a tangle in turns one and two involving Terry English, Tyler Erb and Gary Christian. Bobby Pierce drew a second caution on the third lap when he spun in turn three. Frost led all 10 laps, with fourth-starting Dennis Erb Jr. improving two spots to finish second. Second-starting Cody Mahoney finished third, with Tanner English grabbing the fourth and final transfer spot.
Finish (top four transfer): Richard Frost, Dennis Erb Jr., Cody Mahoney, Tanner English, Terry English, Jason Feger, Tyler Erb, Bobby Pierce, Travis Page, Gary Christian
Heat race lineups
(10 laps; top four transfer)
Row 1: Richard Frost, Cody Mahoney
Row 2: Tanner English, Dennis Erb Jr.
Row 3: Jason Feger, Bobby Pierce
Row 4: Terry English, Tyler Erb
Row 5: Gary Christian, Travis Page
Row 1: Ryan Unzicker, Levi Kissinger
Row 2: Jim Moon, Timothy Culp
Row 3: John Minon, Steve Lampley
Row 4: Justin McRee, Michael Chilton
Row 5: Steven Ashby, John Hahler
Row 1: Billy Moyer Jr., Wendell Wallace
Row 2: Jason Riggs, Justin Rattliff
Row 3: Riley Hickman, Ronald Dunn
Row 4: Larry Greer, Levi Ashby
Row 5: Larry Barber, Charles Zimmerman
Row 1: Shannon Babb, Rodney Melvin
Row 2: Brian Shirley, Mike Marlar
Row 3: Kent Robinson, Kevin Cole
Row 4: Allen Murray, Caleb Ashby
Row 5: Eric Hickerson, Don Young
With Bobby Pierce of Oakwood, Ill., capturing his second series victory of the season Wednesday night at Belle-Clair Speedway in Belleville, Ill., the UMP DIRTcar Summernationals tour moves to Clarksville (Tenn.) Speedway Thursday evening for a $5,000-to-win event.
Pierce became the second driver to net multiple wins on the tour, with defending Summernationals champion, Shannon Babb of Moweaqua, Ill., also boasting a pair of victories. Babb was the winner of last year’s series stop at Clarksville.
The program will be made up of hot laps, time trials, heat races consolation races and a 22-car main event.
After taking the past couple of weeks off, former Summernationals champion Brian Shirley of Chatham, Ill., returns to racing action tonight, making his first Hell Tour start of the season. … Along with Shirley, other drivers making their first Summernationals appearance of the season includes Mike Marlar of Winfield, Tenn., Michael Chilton of Salvisa, Ky., and Riley Hickman of Ooltewah, Tenn. … While five-time series champion Billy Moyer was among entrants for the tour’s first six events, he’s not on hand at Clarksville. He’s expected to rejoin the tour at Paducah on Friday. … Bobby Pierce was the winner of Wednesday’s event at Belle-Clair Speedway in Belleville, Ill. He’ll look to become the first three-time winner on the 2015 Summernationals tour.
Time trial results
Richard Frost (15X), Clarksville, Tenn., 12.791
Cody Mahoney (77C), Hanover, Ind., 12.816
Tanner English (96), Benton, Ky., 12.955
Dennis Erb Jr. (28E), Carpentersville, Ill., 12.956
Jason Feger (25), Bloomington, Ill., 13.050
Bobby Pierce (32), Oakwood, Ill., 13.058
Terry English (96T), Benton, Ky., 13.132
Tyler Erb (91), New Waverly, Texas, 13.273
Gary Christian (80), Broken Bow, Okla., 13.836
Travis Page (10T), Lafayette, Tenn., 14.268
Ryan Unzicker (24), El Paso, Ill., 13.142
Levi Kissinger (8K), Mount Vernon, Ind., 13.231
Jim Moon (1M), New Florence, Mo., 13.308
Timothy Culp (C8), Sheridan, Ark., 13.387
John Minon (74), Adams, Tenn., 13.418
Steve Lampley (33X), Benton, Ill., 13.541
Justin McRee (25R), Tuscaloosa, Ala., 13.620
Michael Chilton (97), Salvisa, Ky., 13.802
Steven Ashby (16A), Cunningham, Tenn., 13.840
John Hahler (124), New Florence, Mo., 14.483
Billy Moyer Jr. (21JR), Batesville, Ark., 12.922
Wendell Wallace (6M), Batesville, Ark., 12.977
Jason Riggs (81JR), Harrisburg, Ill., 13.287
Justin Rattliff (16), Campbellsville, Ky., 13.338
Riley Hickman (R1), Ooltewah, Tenn., 13.348
Ronald Dunn (17D), Corinth, Miss., 13.396
Larry Greer (9G), Bowling Green, Ky., 13.608
Levi Ashby (1A), Cumberland Furnance, Tenn., 14.311
Larry Barber Jr. (54JR), Hopkinsville, Ky., 21.610
Charles Zimmerman (93), Cunningham, Tenn., No time
Shannon Babb (18), Moweaqua, Ill., 13.177
Rodney Melvin (27M), Benton, Ky., 13.238
Brian Shirley (3S), Chatham, Ill., 13.260
Mike Marlar (157), Winfield, Tenn., 13.314
Kent Robinson (7R), Bloomington, Ind., 13.365
Kevin Cole (33), Benton, Ill., 13.376
Allen Murray (2), San Antonio, Texas, 13.471
Caleb Ashby (61), Cunningham, Tenn., 13.506
Eric Hickerson (98), Linden, Tenn., 13.794
Don Young (41), Hopkinsville, Ky., 14.128
6:15 p.m.: Drivers’ meeting
6:30 p.m.: Hot laps
- Pure Street
- Super Late Models
- Crate Late Models
- Modifieds (hot laps/ time trials)
- Super Late Models (two cars; two laps)
- Crate Late Models (one car; two laps)
- Pure Street
Pure Street heats
Super Late Model heats (10 laps)
Modified heats (eight laps)
Crate Late Model heats
Super Late Model C-main (10 laps)
Modified C-Main (eight laps)
Super Late Model B-main (12 laps)
Modified B-Main (10 laps)
Pure Street feature (12 laps)
Crate Late Model feature (12 laps)
Modified feature (25 laps)
Super Late Model feature (40 laps)