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Daily Dirt 03/05/2021 04:18:57

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March 30
La Salle Speedway,
La Salle, IL
Sanction: Lucas Oil Midwest LateModel Racing Association (Hoker Trucking Thaw Brawl) - $5,000
Information provided by: Staff reports (last updated March 31, 11:36 am)
Babb's late charge nets La Salle's $5,000 opener
Hoker Trucking Thaw Brawl
  1. Shannon Babb
  2. Ricky Weiss
  3. Dennis Erb Jr.
  4. Brandon Sheppard
  5. Chad Simpson
  6. Brian Shirley
  7. Ryan Unzicker
  8. Jose Parga
  9. Mike Spatola
  10. Rich Bell
  11. Will Vaught
  12. Tony Jackson Jr.
  13. Jason Feger
  14. Rusty Schlenk
  15. Rodney Sanders
  16. Scott Schmitt
  17. Chris Simpson
  18. Brent Larson
  19. Myles Moos
  20. Frank Heckenast Jr.
  21. J.C. Wyman
  22. Payton Looney
presented by
Jim DenHamer
Shannon Babb (18) battles with Rusty Schlenk (CJ1) en route to victory at La Salle.
What won the race: Taking advantage of leader Brian Shirley's miscue on the cushion with two laps remaining, Shannon Babb of Moweaqua, Ill., surged into the lead and held off a furious final-circuit bid from Canadian Ricky Weiss to capture Friday night's 50-lap Lucas Oil Midwest LateModel Association-sanctioned feature that kicked off the seventh annual Hoker Trucking Thaw Brawl weekend at La Salle Speedway. Babb earned $5,000 after nipping Weiss at the finish line by a mere 0.174 of a second.
Quotable: “Man, a race fan and a race car driver couldn’t ask for anything better,” Babb said. “(Promoter) Tony (Izzo Jr.) and them guys stick their neck out for this weekend — the weather’s iffy — but they made a helluva racetrack out of it. If anybody didn’t like that, they’re crazy. I sure as heck didn’t see myself winning that race. I was looking at maybe fifth there for a minute, but man, it’s never over till it’s over. Mistakes happen, and I was able to capitalize and just get by (Shirley) there.”
Key notes: Babb shot from fifth to third on a lap-42 restart, grabbed second from Weiss on lap 45 and then swept into the lead with two laps left when Shirley momentarily got his car's right-rear stuck in the cushion between turns one and two. ... Babb was the race's fourth leader, following Rusty Schlenk (laps 1-27), Weiss (28-29) and Shirley (30-48). ... After his bobble, Shirley finished sixth. ... Schlenk retired with a flat tire on lap 43 battling Weiss for second. ... Dennis Erb Jr., Brandon Sheppard and Chad Simpson finished 3-5; only Erb was in the top five at the last restart on lap 42. ... Ten caution flags slowed the feature.
On the move: Babb won from the 12th starting spot.
Winner's sponsors: Babb’s Rocket Chassis is powered by a Clements Racing Engine and sponsored by Petroff Towing, Donley Trucking, CJI Piping and Fabricating, Hunting for Hope and Kuebler Ultra Oil.
Points chase: Terry Phillips of Springfield, Mo., is the reigning MLRA champion, but he didn't compete at La Salle.
Car count: 48
Fast qualifier: Mike Spatola
Time: 13.339 seconds
Polesitter: Myles Moos
Heat race winners: Myles Moos, Ricky Weiss, Brian Shirley, Rusty Schlenk, Chad Simpson, Brandon Sheppard
Consolation race winners: Brent Larson, Jose Parga
Provisional starters: Rodney Sanders, J.C. Wyman
Next series race: March 31, La Salle Speedway (LaSalle, IL) $15,000
Editor's note: Results and race details are unofficial.
From series and staff reports

Main event

Taking advantage of leader Brian Shirley's miscue on the cushion with two laps remaining, Shannon Babb of Moweaqua, Ill., surged into the lead and held off a furious final-circuit bid from Canadian Ricky Weiss to capture Friday night's 50-lap Lucas Oil Midwest LateModel Association-sanctioned feature that kicked off the seventh annual Hoker Trucking Thaw Brawl weekend at La Salle Speedway. Babb earned $5,000 after nipping Weiss at the finish line by a mere 0.174 of a second.

Lineups and preliminary results:

Feature lineup

Row 1: Myles Moos, Rusty Schlenk
Row 2: Ricky Weiss, Chad Simpson
Row 3: Brian Shirley, Brandon Sheppard
Row 4: Dennis Erb Jr., Chris Simpson
Row 5: Frank Heckenast Jr., Will Vaught
Row 6: Ryan Unzicker, Shannon Babb
Row 7: Brent Larson, Jose Parga
Row 8: Payton Looney, Jason Feger
Row 9: Mike Spatola, Scott Schmitt
Row 10: Tony Jackson Jr., Rich Bell
Row 11: Rodney Sanders, J.C. Wyman

B-main lineups

(12 laps; top 4 transfer)
First B-main
Row 1: Brent Larson, Spencer Diercks
Row 2: Payton Looney, Tony Jackson Jr.
Row 3: Tyler Bruening, Rodney Sanders
Row 4: Jonathan Brauns, Dave Eckrich
Row 5: Rob Toland, Dave Wada
Row 6: Ryan VanderVeen, Charlie Olson
Row 7: Collin Alexander, Mason Oberkramer
Row 8: Chad Finley, Mike Spatola
Row 9: Blaine Hendrick, J.C. Wyman
Second B-main
Row 1: Jason Feger, Jose Parga
Row 2: Scott Schmitt, Rich Bell
Row 3: Mitch McGrath, Jeff Roth
Row 4: Jeff Riddell, Bob Gardner
Row 5: Jeremy Grady, Turk Letizia
Row 6: Eric Spangler, Jay Brendle
Row 7: Jeremiah Hurst, Joe Godsey
Row 8: Kolby Vandenbergh, Victor Benedetto
Row 9: Raymond Merrill, Cole Wells

Heat race results

First heat finish: Myles Moos, Dennis Erb Jr., Brent Larson, Tony Jackson Jr., Jonathan Brauns, Dave Wada, Collin Alexander, Mike Spatola.

Second heat finish: Ricky Weiss, Frank Heckenast Jr., Spencer Diercks, Tyler Bruening, Dave Eckrich, Ryan VanderVeen, Mason Oberkramer, Blaine Hendrick.

Third heat finish: Brian Shirley, Ryan Unzicker, Payton Looney, Rodney Sanders, Rob Toland, Charlie Olson, Chad Finley, J.C. Wyman.

Fourth heat finish: Rusty Schlenk, Chris Simpson, Jason Feger, Rich Bell, Jeff Riddell, Turk Letizia, Jeremiah Hurst, Victor Benedetto.

Fifth heat finish: Chad Simpson, Will Vaught, Jose Parga, Mitch McGrath, Bob Gardner, Eric Spangler, Joe Godsey, Raymond Merrill.

Sixth heat finish: Brandon Sheppard, Shannon Babb, Scott Schmitt, Jeff Roth, Jeremy Grady, Jay Brendle, Cole Wells (DNS) Kolby Vandenbergh.

Heat race lineups

(10 laps; top 2 transfer)
First heat
Row 1: Mike Spatola, Myles Moos
Row 2: Dennis Erb Jr., Tony Jackson Jr.
Row 3: Brent Larson, Jonathan Brauns
Row 4: Dave Wada, Collin Alexander
Second heat
Row 1: Spencer Diercks, Frank Heckenast Jr.
Row 2: Tyler Bruening, Ricky Weiss
Row 3: Mason Oberkramer, Dave Eckrich
Row 4: Ryan VanderVeen, Blaine Hendrick
Third heat
Row 1: Brian Shirley, Ryan Unzicker
Row 2: Payton Looney, Chad Finley
Row 3: Charlie Olson, Rodney Sanders
Row 4: Rob Toland, J.C. Wyman
Fourth heat
Row 1: Rusty Schlenk, Chris Simpson
Row 2: Rich Bell, Jeremiah Hurst
Row 3: Jeff Riddell, Jason Feger
Row 4: Turk Letizia, Victor Benedetto
Fifth heat

Row 1: Chad Simpson, Will Vaught
Row 2: Jose Parga, Bob Gardner
Row 3: Raymond Merrill, Joe Godsey
Row 4: Mitch McGrath, Eric Spangler
Sixth heat

Row 1: Brandon Sheppard, Shannon Babb
Row 2: Scott Schmitt, Cole Wells
Row 3: Jeremy Grady, Jeff Roth
Row 4: Jay Brendle, Kolby Vandenbergh

Qualifying results (unofficial)

First group   
Mike Spatola (89), Manhattan, Ill., 13.339
Spencer Diercks (29D), Davenport, Iowa, 13.504
Brian Shirley (3s), Chatham, Ill., 13.517
Myles Moos (84M), Lincoln, Ill., 13.549
Frank Heckenast Jr. (99jr), Frankfort, Ill., 13.603
Ryan Unzicker (24), El Paso, Ill., 13.663
Dennis Erb Jr. (28), Carpentersville, Ill., 13.803
Tyler Bruening (16), Decorah, Iowa, 13.828
Payton Looney (15L), Republic, Mo., 13.898
Tony Jackson Jr. (56), Lebanon, Mo., 13.907
Ricky Weiss (7W), Headingley, Manitoba, 13.908
Chad Finley (42F), St. Johns, Mich., 14.054
Brent Larson (B1), Lake Elmo, Minn., 14.055
Mason Oberkramer (93), Brosley, Mo., 14.067
Charlie Olson (28), Kingston, Ill., 14.075
Jonathan Brauns (22b), Muscatine, Iowa, 14.115
Dave Eckrich (58), Oxford, Iowa, 14.157
Rodney Sanders (20), Happy, Texas, 14.274
Dave Wada (29Q), Wilton, Iowa, 14.298
Ryan VanderVeen (23v), Six Lakes, Mich., 14.498
Collin Alexander (55c), Clinton, Ill., 14.674
Rob Toland (39t), Colona, Ill., 14.792
Blaine Hendrick (610), Edmore, Mich., 15.088
J.C. Wyman (4W), Griswold, Iowa,  no time
Second group   
Rusty Schlenk (CJ1), McClure, Ohio, 13.642
Chad Simpson (25), Mt. Vernon, Iowa, 13.708
Brandon Sheppard (b5), New Berlin, Ill., 13.803
Chris Simpson (32), Oxford, Iowa, 13.858
Will Vaught (1V), Crane, Mo., 13.876
Shannon Babb (18), Moweaqua, Ill., 13.876
Rich Bell (21b), Sheffield, Ill., 13.933
Jose Parga (6P), New Berlin, Ill., 14.008
Scott Schmitt (10), Tonica, Ill., 14.026
Jeremiah Hurst (58H), Dubuque, Iowa, 14.141
Bob Gardner (4G), East Peoria, Ill., 14.188
Cole Wells (7W), Aurora, Mo., 14.269
Raymond Merrill (12M), Sallisaw, Okla., 14.308
Jeremy Grady (43), Story City, Iowa, 14.333
Jeff Riddell (09R), Steward, Ill., 14.354
Jason Feger (25), Bloomington, Ill., 14.378
Joe Godsey (14G), Bentonville, Ark., 14.459
Jeff Roth (14R), Bentonville, Ark., 14.555
Turk Letizia (99L), Milwaukee, Wis., 14.595
Mitch McGrath (74M), Waukesha, Wis., 14.843
Jay Brendle (15B), Kirkland, Mo., 15.475
Victor Benedetto (14B), Marango, Ill., 15.652
Eric Spangler (27s), Lake City, Mich., 15.703
Kolby Vandenbergh (15), Ashland, Ill., no time

Feature lineup

Row 1: Moos, Schlenk
Row 2: Weiss, Chad Simpson
Row 3: Shirley, Sheppard
Row 4: Erb, Chris Simpson
Row 5: Heckenast, Vaught
Row 6: Unzicker, Babb
Row 7: Larson, Parga
Row 8: Looney, Feger
Row 9: Spatola, Schmitt
Row 10: Jackson, Bell
Row 11: Sanders, Wyman
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