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Daily Dirt 03/01/2021 23:06:44

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March 25
La Salle Speedway,
La Salle, IL
Sanction: Sunoco American Late Model Series (Thaw Brawl) - $5,000
Information provided by: Series and staff reports (last updated March 26, 9:16 am)
Shirley dominates for $5,000 La Salle victory
Thaw Brawl
  1. Brian Shirley
  2. Jared Landers
  3. Ricky Thornton Jr.
  4. Ryan Unzicker
  5. Mitch McGrath
  6. Rusty Schlenk
  7. Jason Jameson
  8. Payton Looney
  9. Tony Jackson Jr.
  10. Jeff Roth
  11. Cody Mahoney
  12. Bobby Pierce
  13. Justin Asplin
  14. Scott Schmitt
  15. Billy Drake
  16. Rich Bell
  17. Shannon Babb
  18. Chris Simpson
  19. Paul Wilmoth Jr.
  20. Spencer Diercks
  21. Jason Feger
  22. Kevin Weaver
  23. Tim McCreadie
  24. Frank Heckenast Jr.
presented by
Mike Ruefer/mikerueferphotos.photoreflect.com
Promoter Tony Izzo Jr. (left) and sponsor Arnie Ranta (right) join Brian Shirley in victory lane at La Salle.
What won the race: Charging to the front of the field on lap 16 of 50, fourth-starting Brian Shirley of Chatham, Ill., dominated the rest of the way for a $5,000 victory in the opening night of La Salle Speedway's fifth annual Thaw Brawl. Jared Landers of Batesville, Ark., finished second while the return of Iowa driver Brian Birkhofer was short-circuited by a heat race accident.
Key notes: Shirley notched his first victory of the 2016 season and his first since debuting a Longhorn Chassis during Georgia-Florida Speedweeks. ... Frank Heckenast Jr. crossed the finish line third, but was disqualified after weighing in light at the scales. ... A yellow flag waved on the initial start for a turn-three pileup involving Jason Feger, Spencer Diercks, Kevin Weaver and Tim McCreadie, among others. … Making his first 2016 start, Shannon Babb rolled his No. 18 machine; he was uninjured. … Bobby Pierce was challenging for fifth when smoke began appearing from his car; he stopped for a lap-30 yellow. ... Cody Mahoney and Jason Jameson tangled on lap 31, collecting Payton Looney. ... Making his first start since winning the 2014 Knoxville Nationals, Brian Birkhofer crashed into the frontstretch wall during a heat, heavily damaging his race car; he plans to compete Saturday for the Gheer'd Up Race Cars team. ... ALMS, MARS and Corn Belt Clash are tri-sanctiong the weekend, which continues Saturday with a $15,000-to-win main event.
On the move: Ryan Unzicker of El Paso, Ill., started 18th and finished fourth.
Winner's sponsors: Shirley's Bob Cullen Racing Longhorn Chassis has a Pro Power Racing engine and is sponsored by Arnie Ranta, Kid's Castle, Thomas Express, Cheap Cars, KBC Graphix, Popejoy Plumbing, Vallejo Inc., Skateland South, Jayco Construction and Kim's Autobody.
Car count: 42
Fast qualifier: Bobby Pierce
Time: 12.993 seconds
Polesitter: Ricky Thornton Jr.
Heat race winners: Ricky Thornton Jr., Jared Landers, Frank Heckenast Jr., Brian Shirley
Consolation race winners: Mitch McGrath, Ryan Unzicker
Provisional starters: Jeff Roth, Rich Bell, Chris Simpson
Next series race: March 26, La Salle Speedway (LaSalle, IL) $15,000
Editor's note: Results and race details are unofficial.

Feature lineup

Row 1: Thornton, Landers
Row 2: Heckenast, Shirley
Row 3: Asplin, Pierce
Row 4: Diercks, Babb
Row 5: P. Looney, Wilmoth
Row 6: Jackson, Feger
Row 7: Schlenk, Mahoney
Row 8: Weaver, Jameson
Row 9: McGrath, Unzicker
Row 10: Schmitt, Drake

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