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Daily Dirt 02/23/2024 18:10:32

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July 9
Farmer City Raceway,
Farmer City, IL
Sanction: DIRTcar Summer Nationals - $10,000
Information provided by: Staff reports (last updated July 10, 8:31 pm)
Babb tops Wenger, nabs 100th win on Hell Tour
  1. Shannon Babb
  2. McKay Wenger
  3. Garrett Alberson
  4. Brian Shirley
  5. Joe Godsey
  6. Tanner English
  7. Ryan Unzicker
  8. Kyle Beard
  9. Jason Feger
  10. Jeremiah Hurst
  11. Gordy Gundaker
  12. Ashton Winger
  13. Bobby Pierce
  14. Kent Robinson
  15. Mitch McGrath
  16. Cody Bauer
  17. Bob Gardner
  18. Billy Hough
  19. Jordan Bauer
  20. Kevin Weaver
  21. Mike Spatola
  22. Jason Wagner
presented by
Todd Battin
Shannon Babb's family joins him in victory lane after No. 100.
What won the race: Winning his 100th DIRTcar Summer Nationals race and tying Billy Moyer atop the tour’s win list, Shannon Babb earned Friday’s $10,000 victory at Farmer City Raceway. Babb overtook race-long leader McKay Wenger on the 24th lap and led the rest of the caution-free 40-lapper.
Key notes: Babb's 100th victory ties Billy Moyer, who grabbed his 100th career victory three years ago and isn't expected to compete again on the DIRTcar Summer Nationals. ... Series points leader Bobby Pierce was taken off on the hook after his qualifying attempt because of mechanical issues; he took a provisional and finished 13th in the main event.
On the move: Ashton Winger of Hampton, Ga., started 22nd and finished 12th.
Winner's sponsors: Babb’s Team Zero Race Car is powered by a Clements Racing Engine and sponsored by Petroff Towing, Donley Trucking, Dyna-Gro, Douglas Dodge/Ram, CJI Piping & Fabricating, Hunting for Hope and Kuebler Ultra Oil.
Points chase: After Farmer City: 1. Bobby Pierce (1,060) 2. Tanner English (970); 3. Brian Shirley (878); 4. Ashton Winger (847); 5. Jason Feger (823); 6. Mitch McGrath (684); 7. Joe Godsey (675); 8. Tim Lance (645); 9. Ryan Unzicker (588); 10. Shannon Babb (565).
Current weather: Clear, 70°F
Car count: 41
Fast qualifier: Brian Shirley
Time: 12.832 seconds
Polesitter: McKay Wenger
Heat race winners: McKay Wenger, Garrett Alberson, Joe Godsey, Shannon Babb
Consolation race winners: Mitch McGrath, Jason Suhre, Bob Gardner, Billy Hough
Provisional starters: Bobby Pierce, Ashton Winger
Next series race: July 11, Tri-State Speedway (Haubstadt, IN) $5,000
Editor's note: Results and race details are unofficial.

FARMER CITY, Ill. — Chasing a milestone victory the last few weeks, Shannon Babb had a good feeling heading into Friday's DIRTcar Summer Nationals event at Farmer City Raceway, one of his best tracks.

The 47-year-old Moweaqua, Ill., driver's good feeling turned to reality as he overtook race-long leader McKay Wenger on the 24th of 40 laps and grabbed his 100th career victory on the long-running series where he's a four-time champion.

"I kind of a had a feeling this might happen tonight," Babb said in victory lane.

Not only did the $10,000 victory give him a mindboggling triple-figure victory total on the Bob Memmer-founded series, it knotted him atop the tour's all-time victories list with his longtime racing buddy, Hall of Famer Billy Moyer of Batesville, Ark.

Babb took the checkers 1.704 seconds ahead of the pole-starting Wenger, who had his hands full in a mid-race battle with Babb, outside front-row starter Garrett Alberson and Brian Shirley in a throw-a-blanket-over-'em showdown.

Babb emerged just past the halfway point with an inside pass of Wenger of turn four and led the rest of the way at the quarter-mile oval where Babb twice before won on the Midwest tour — but not since 2004.

"This Team Zero car has been awesome," said Babb, whose 99th victory came Juen 19 at Fairbury (Ill.) Speedway. "I just can't think everybody enough."

Wenger had a shot at not only denying Babb his milestone victory but capturing his first career Summer Nationals feature. But the Fairbury, Ill., driver misjudged how soon a traction strip was developing in the low groove in turns three and four.

"I knew it was coming, but I knew until the rubber (strip) came I was going to have to run the cushion down there," he said. "That's why I didn't really want to be leading that whole deal. I'd go down there to see if it was latching up yet or not, and it wasn't. And then (Babb) was probably experimenting there whole lot, and finally when it latched up, he hit it.

"I got down there a couple of laps two late. I thought I needed to protect the bottom and run through the moisture in (turns) one and two and I should've just moved up and rolled the middle," Wenger added. "Even at the end, I still think we were better than him in (turns) three and four, but I was just horrible in one and two. I just couldn't get on the gas off of (turn) two and on the backstretch really."

Alberson, of Las Cruces, N.M., ran second the first 19 laps but settled for third while Chatham, Ill.'s Shirley was fourth. Joe Godsey of Edinburgh, Ind., rounded out the top five for his best series run. Series points leader Bobby Pierce of Oakwood, Ill., had to take a provisional after suffering mechanical problems in time trials and ended up 13th, his worst finish on the tour as he ended a two-race winning streak.

In victory lane, Babb embraced the historical significance of the victory and remembered the nearly 25 years he's spent running tour events.

"It means a lot. I've got a ton of respect for everybody that did this before me, Moyer and (Don) O'Neal, (Rick) Aukland, just all them guys I raced with," Babb said. "Man, they showed me the ropes, and now I've got these kids behind me or beating me every night. I know how they feel, it just keeps getting tougher and tougher. I always loved Farmer City. They always have a great race here, and it's been an awesome place."

Thanking his family, sponsors and crew members, he realizes that competing on the series doesn't come as easy as it did during his best seasons, including 2005 when he tallied a series-record 15 victories.

"(Crew chief) Pat (Dempsey) beats the body out on this thing every day. It's just been me and him lately. I told him I don't know how we used to do this," Babb said. "Two or three days of this starts to get a little wearing on me a little bit. But anyhow, I'm glad to have my family here tonight. My mom and dad, my wife Emalie and my two little girls and all my friends and family are here. It's an awesome deal."

Notes: Babb has won dozens of races at Farmer City, but it's just his third in Summer Nationals action. His previous victories came in 2002 and 2004. ... Officials went into hurry-up mode with weather approaching and cut the race to 40 from 50 laps. ... Farmer City hosted the series for the 31st time. ... Fifteen of 22 starters finished on the lead lap.

Pre-feature notes

With rain beginning to draw close to Farmer City, officials gave starters for the 50-lap feature the eight-minute call to line up immediately after the B-main ended at 8:48 p.m. CT. … McKay Wenger won the first heat and drew the pole position for the 50-lap feature. The Farmer City regular has won the last three weekly features at the track. … Garrett Alberson drew the outside pole, putting him on the front row of a Summer Nationals A-main for the second time in three days. He was the polesitter for Wednesday’s headliner at Spoon River Speedway. … Riding a two-race win streak into Farmer City’s action, Bobby Pierce had his night get off to a rough start with a broken driveshaft on his second qualifying lap. While he was still second-fastest in his group, he was disqualified because he didn’t scale and had to start at the rear of the first heat after making repairs; he climbed to a sixth-place finish and then opted to use a provisional, giving him the 19th starting spot for the feature. … Ashton Winger was the fastest qualifier in the second group but spun off turn two on the first lap of the third heat. He fortunately was only grazed by one passing car, but the nose damage forced him to retire to the pits. He's starting the feature thanks to a provisional. … Joe Godsey enjoyed one of his best qualifying efforts of the Summer Nationals as he powered underneath both Tanner English and Winger to grab the lead in Heat 3 and went on to win the prelim. … Jordan Bauer and Kolby Vandenbergh tangled and spun in tandem across the finish line while battling for the fourth and final transfer spot in the fourth heat. Bauer ended up over the turn-one bank was was credited with the fourth-place finish. … Rob Mayea of Bend, Ore., joined the Summer Nationals at Farmer City to begin a stretch of action in the Midwest. He didn’t qualify.

Feature lineup

Row 1: McKay Wenger, Garrett Alberson
Row 2: Shannon Babb, Joe Godsey
Row 3: Brian Shirley, Tanner English
Row 4: Kevin Weaver, Jason Feger
Row 5: Ryan Unzicker, Kyle Beard
Row 6: Gordy Gundaker, Jeremiah Hurst
Row 7: Cody Bauer, Mike Spatola
Row 8: Jason Wagner, Jordan Bauer
Row 9: Mitch McGrath, Kent Robinson
Row 10: Bobby Pierce, Bob Gardner
Row 11: Billy Hough, Ashton Winger

Consolation results

B-main finish (12 laps; top 2 transfer): Mitch McGrath, Kent Robinson, Tim Lance, Kolby Vandenbergh, Logan Martin, Trevor Gundaker, Billy Hough, Jason Suhre, Jeff Herzog, Rob Mayea, Roben Huffman, Tim Lance Jr., Jeff Roth, Dean Carpenter, Robby Pierce, Bob Gardner.

C-main finish (10 laps; top four transfer): Jason Suhre, Roben Huffman, Tim Lance Jr., Rob Mayea, Thomas Hunziker, Dustin Vandermeir, David Marlow, Brandon Lance, Josh Heuiser, Tony Wolf, Brandon Carpenter (DNS) Ashton Winger, Ryan Warren.

Heat race results

(10 laps; top 4 transfer)

First heat: McKay Wenger, Brian Shirley, Ryan Unzicker, Cody Bauer, Mitch McGrath, Bobby Pierce, Logan Martin, Tim Lance Jr., Jason Suhre, Thomas Hunziker.

Second heat: Garrett Alberson, Kevin Weaver, Gordy Gundaker, Jason Wagner, Tim Lance, Dean Carpenter, Jeff Herzog, Dustin Vandermeir, Roben Huffman, David Marlow.

Third heat: Joe Godsey, Tanner English, Kyle Beard, Mike Spatola, Kent Robinson, Billy Hough, Jeff Roth, Brandon Lance, Josh Heuiser, Ashton Winger.

Fourth heat: Shannon Babb, Jason Feger, Jeremiah Hurst, Jordan Bauer, Kolby Vandenbergh, Bob Gardner, Trevor Gundaker, Tony Wolf, Rob Mayea (DNS) Ryan Warren.

Time trials

First group

  1. Brian Shirley (3S), Chatham, Ill., 12.832
  2. Kevin Weaver (B12), Gibson City, Ill., 13.056
  3. Ryan Unzicker (24), El Paso, Ill., 13.149
  4. Garrett Alberson (59), Las Cruces, N.M., 13.335
  5. McKay Wenger (42), Fairbury, Ill., 13.368
  6. Gordy Gundaker (11), St. Charles, Mo., 13.502
  7. Mitch McGrath (74), Waukesha, Wis., 13.615
  8. Jason Wagner (J12), Morton, Ill., 13.624
  9. Tim Lance Jr. (148), Brimfield, Ill., 13.682
  10. Jeff Herzog (11H), Festus, Mo., 13.691
  11. Logan Martin (36), West Plains, Mo., 13.695
  12. Tim Lance (48), Brimfield, Ill., 13.903
  13. Brandon Carpenter (51B), Coldwater, Miss., 13.967
  14. Dustin Vandermeir (20), Joliet, Ill., 14.029
  15. Cody Bauer (19x), Farwell, Mich., 14.162
  16. Dean Carpenter (51), Coldwater, Miss., 14.185
  17. Jason Suhre (4), Highland, Ill., 14.315
  18. Roben Huffman (33H), Clinton, Ill., 14.332
  19. Thomas Hunziker (38), Bend, Ore., 14.356
  20. David Marlow (M14), Heyworth, Ill., 14.697
  21. Bobby Pierce (32), Oakwood, Ill., 13.039 (DQ - did not scale after breaking driveshaft)

Second group

  1. Ashton Winger (12), Hampton, Ga., 13.283
  2. Shannon Babb (18), Moweaqua, Ill., 13.336
  3. Tanner English (81E), Benton, Ky., 13.379
  4. Kyle Beard (86), Trumann, Ark., 13.634
  5. Jordan Bauer (10J), St. Jacob, Ill., 13.655
  6. Joe Godsey (14G), Bentonville, Ark., 13.709
  7. Jason Feger (25), Bloomington, Ill., 13.775
  8. Jeremiah Hurst (41), Dubuque, Iowa, 13.879
  9. Kent Robinson (7R), Bloomington, Ind., 13.908
  10. Trevor Gundaker (11T), St. Charles, Mo., 13.912
  11. Mike Spatola (89), Manhattan, Ill., 14.031
  12. Kolby Vandenbergh (15), Ashland, Ill., 14.190
  13. Jeff Roth (14R), Bentonville, Ark., 14.287
  14. Bob Gardner (4G), East Peoria, Ill., 14.304
  15. Brandon Lance (248), Brimfield, Ill., 14.546
  16. Tony Wolf (16W), Highland, Ill., 14.572
  17. Josh Heuiser (1H), St. Jacob, Ill., 14.767
  18. Rob Mayea (37), Bend, Ore., 14.936
  19. Billy Hough (334), Thomasboro, Ill., 15.139
  20. Ryan Warren (52), Mattoon, Ill., 15.427

Friday's schedule

5:30 p.m. - Drivers' meeting
6 p.m. - On-track activity
- Super Late Model hot laps
- Modified hot laps/time trials
- Super Late Model time trials (2 laps)
- Crate Late Model hot laps/time trials (2 laps)
Opening ceremonies
- Super Late Model heat races (10 laps)
- Modified heat races (8 laps)
- Crate Late Model heat races (8 laps)
- Super Late Model C-main (10 laps; if necessary)
- Stock car heat races (8 laps)
- Super Late Model B-main (12 laps)
- Modified B-main (10 laps)
Intermission/track prep
- Super Late Model feature (50 laps)
- Modified feature (25 laps)
- Crate Late Model feature (20 laps)
- Stock car feature (15 laps)

Feature lineup

Row 1: Wenger, Alberson
Row 2: Babb, Godsey
Row 3: Shirley, English
Row 4: Weaver, Feger
Row 5: Unzicker, Beard
Row 6: G. Gundaker, Hurst
Row 7: C. Bauer, Spatola
Row 8: Wagner, J. Bauer
Row 9: McGrath, Robinson
Row 10: Pierce, Gardner
Row 11: Hough, Winger
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