Babb tops Shirley, bags UMP victory at Quincy
By Joshua JoinerDirtonDirt.com staff writer
QUINCY, Ill. (July 2) — Shannon Babb of Moweaqua, Ill., topped a back-and-forth battle with Brian Shirley of Chatham, Ill., midway through the Tuesday’s UMP DIRTcar Summernationals main event at Quincy Speedway and led the second half of the 40-lap race for his second victory on the month-long series.
The fourth-starting Babb took the lead for good from Shirley on lap 22 and pulled away through traffic over the remaining distance on his way to claiming $5,000 in the 13th leg of the 31-race tour. Shirley settled for second, holding off a late charge from Bobby Pierce of Oakwood, Ill. | Complete Summernationals coverage
Polesitter Brian Diveley of Springfield, Ill., slid back to fourth at the finish, while series points leader Brandon Sheppard of New Berlin, Ill., advanced from the 12th starting spot to finish fifth in a race slowed by one caution.
While Shirley got out front on the start of the race, Babb also showed his speed early with a high-side charge to move around by Pierce and Diveley into second by lap seven.
Continuing to run the track’s high groove, Babb quickly erased Shirley’s half-straightaway lead and began looking under the leader on lap 10. Babb made multiple low-side attempts to get by Shirley but came up empty each time.
A move back to the high side just before the leaders caught lapped traffic gave Babb the run he needed as he charged around Shirley though turns one and two on lap 15 and pulled ahead down the back straightaway.
Shirley battled back after losing the lead, keeping pace with Babb before pulling back ahead on lap 21. The two leaders were side by side as they caught the slower car of Jerry Lierly on the next lap and contact between Lierly and Shirley allowed Babb to pull ahead for good.
Babb pulled away as the second half of the race ran caution free, cruising to the 78th Summernationals victory of his career.
Tuesday’s race was the first in a stretch of six races in six nights for the tour. Action moves to Jacksonville (Ill.) Speedway Wednesday for another $5,000-to-win event.
Notes: Babb’s Victory Circle Chassis is sponsored by Petroff Towing, Donley Trucking, Allstar Performance and PRC. ... The race’s lone caution appeared on lap three when Jerry Lierly, Michael Long and Ricky Frankel tangled in turn four. ... Babb has a series-best three Summernationals victories at Quincy. ... Babb’s 78 Summernationals victories is second to Billy Moyer’s 82 wins on the tour’s all-time wins list.
UMP @ Quincy: (1) Shannon Babb, (2) Brian Shirley, (3) Bobby Pierce, (4) Brian Diveley, (5) Brandon Sheppard, (6) Jason Perry, (7) Kevin Weaver, (8) Tyler Reddick, (9) Randy Korte, (10) Denny Woodworth, (11) Matt Furman, (12) Scott Schmitt, (13) Frank Heckenast Jr., (14) Ryan Unzicker, (15) Dustin Griffin, (16) Jason McBride, (17) Mark Burgtorf, (18) Jerry Lierly, (19) Rusty Schlenk, (20) Rickey Frankel, (21) Michael Long, (22) Clint Kirkham. Fast qualifier (among 37 cars): Pierce, 14.025 seconds. Heat winners: Shirley, Pierce, Diveley, Babb. B-main winner: Long. C-main winner: Genenbacher. Provisional starters: Griffin, Schlenk, Burgtorf, McBride.
Blog-style updates of Tuesday's prelims:
Redraw and provisionals
Brian Diveley will lead the 22-car feature starting field to green after drawing the pole in a redraw among heat race winners. Brian Shirley will starting alongside Diveley on the front row with Bobby Pierce and Shannon Babb sharing the second row. Dustin Griffin will use a series provisional to start 19th with Rusty Schlenk using a UMP points provisional to start 20th. Track provisional Mark Burgtorf will start 21st with Jason McBride using the second series provisional to round out the 22 feature starters.
B-main (top two to feature): Michael Long, Matt Furman, Tim Lance, Tanner English, Jason Riggs, Justin Reed, Jared Schlipman, Jason Jaggers, Billy Genebacher, Ron Elbe, Mike Hammerle, Terry English, Jason McBride, Mark Burgtorf, Lake Knutti, Rusty Schlenk.
C-main (top four to B-main): Billy Genenbacher, Ron Elbe, Lake Knutti, Mike Hammerle, Terry Knutti, Cliff Powell, Joseph Joiner, Dustin Griffin.
Shannon Babb dominated the fourth and final heat, leaving Ryan Unzicker and Brandon Sheppard to battle for second. Sheppard pressured Unzicker the entire distance, with the two cars running side by side through the final two laps. But the low-running Sheppard couldn’t get a run strong enough to take the spot, settling for third with Denny Woodworth a distant fourth to also make the feature lineup.
Finish: Shannon Babb, Ryan Unzicker, Brandon Sheppard, Denny Woodworth, Matt Furman, Rusty Schlenk, Jason Jaggers, Billy Genenbacher. Mike Hammerle.
Polesitter Brian Diveley got the jump on Terry English on the start of the third heat and held of challenges from Scott Schmitt and Tyler Reddick in leading the caution-free race all the way. Schmitt and Reddick both moved by English early and chased down Diveley by halfway. Schmitt took multiple looks under Diveley, but a push exiting turn four with two laps to go cost him the second spot. Diveley topped Reddick at the finish with Schmitt third. Jerry Lierly moved by Terry English midway through to earn the final transfer spot.
Finish: Brian Diveley, Scott Schmitt, Tyler Reddick, Jerry Lierly, Terry English, Tanner English, Jason Riggs, Terry Knutti. Scratch: Todd Frank.
Bobby Pierce dominated the second heat, winning the caution-free race by nearly a straightaway. Rickey Frankel used a strong move to jump from fourth to second early, topping Kevin Weaver at the finish, while Clint Kirkham outdueled Michael Long for the fourth and final transfer position. Outside polesitter Dustin Griffin pushed hard through the first corner and dropped to sixth on the opening lap. He struggled the rest of the way, finishing eighth.
Finish: Bobby Pierce, Rickey Frankel, Kevin Weaver, Clint Kirkham, Michael Long, Mark Burgtorf, Jared Schlipman, Dustin Griffin, Lake Knutti.
Polesitter Brian Shirley cruised in the first of four heat races, leading every lap of the caution-free 10-lapper. Jason Perry kept Shirley in his sights but couldn’t get close enough to mount a series challenge. Frank Heckenast Jr. was farther back in third with Randy Korte grabbing the fourth and final transfer spot.
Finish: Brian Shirley, Jason Perry, Frank Heckenast Jr., Randy Korte, Tim Lance, Jason McBride, Justin Reed, Ron Elbe, Joseph Joiner, Cliff Powell
Looking to keep the momentum of his first series victory rolling, Bobby Pierce of Oakwood, Ill., topped 37 qualifiers for Tuesday’s UMP DIRTcar Summernationals event at Quincy Raceway with a lap of 14.025 seconds around the 3/8-mile track.
Pierce, who won the month-long tour’s most recent event Sunday at Lincoln (Ill.) Speedway, will start from the pole of one of four heat races coming up. Other heat race polesitters after group qualifying: Brian Shirley of Chatham, Ill.; Brian Diveley of Springfield, Ill.; and Shannon Babb of Moweaqua, Ill.
Each 10-lap heat will transfer the top four finishers into the main event with the heat winners all redrawing for their starting spots. Two more drivers will make the feature through consolation races with four provisional starters rounding out the 22-car starting field.
Brandon Sheppard of New Berlin, Ill., leads the series standings with 807 points. Fresh off his first series victory Sunday at Lincoln (Ill.) Speedway, Bobby Pierce of Oakwood, Ill., is tied with Ryan Unzicker of El Paso, Ill., for second at 713 points. Three-time series champion Shannon Babb (679) of Moweaqua, Ill., is fourth with Randy Korte (571) of Highland, Ill., fifth. ... Quincy is hosting it’s sixth Summernationals event. All the tour’s visits to the track have come since 2006. ... Brian Shirley, who is competing tonight in Tim Lance's backup car, won last year’s race at Quincy with Shannon Babb (’07 and ’09) and Randy Korte (’06) among the other former winners competing tonight. ... Two former Summernationals race-winning drivers are at tonight’s event as crew members for other drivers. Scott James of Lawrenceburg, Ind., is assisting Todd Frank while Jon Henry of Ada, Ohio, is crewing for Frank Heckenast Jr. Henry plans to travel with Heckenast as he makes sporadic Summernationals appearances over the next 10 days before entering the tour’s final two events at Attica (Ohio) Raceway Park and Oakshade Raceway in Wauseon, Ohio. James plans to spend the next week working with Frank, while his Warrior house car team takes some time off. ... The father-son due of Terry and Tanner English of Benton, Ky., are still with the tour. They started with the series last week at Clarksville and plan to run through Sunday’s race at Tri-State Speedway in Haubstadt, Ind. Tanner is making his first appearance at Quincy, while Terry visited the track once a few years ago. ... Former series regular Jerry Lierly of Camp Point, Ill., is making his second appearance on this year’s tour at his home track.
Brian Shirley (48x), Chatham, Ill., 14.105
Jason Perry (27), Payson, Ill., 14.121
Frank Heckenast Jr. (99jr), Frankfurt, Ill., 14.270
Tim Lance (48), Brimfield, Ill., 14.449
Randy Korte (81), Highland, Ill., 14.505
Justin Reed (1st), Colllinsville, Ill., 14.511
Jason McBride (77), Carbondale, Ill., 14.511
Joseph Joiner (10), Milton, Fla., 14.554
Ron Elbe (3), Augusta, Ill., 14.600
Cliff Powell (6c), Hannibal, Mo., 16.859
Bobby Pierce (32) Oakwood, Ill., 14.025
Dustin Griffin (20), Camp Point, Ill., 14.228
Kevin Weaver (B12), Gibson City, Ill., 14.286
Rickey Frankel (33F), Quincy, Ill., 14.323
Michael Long (56J), Quincy, Ill., 14.371
Clint Kirkham (33), Camden, Ill., 14.415
Mark Burgtorf (7b), Quincy, Ill., 14.458
Jared Schlipman (42) Mendon, Ill., 14.647
Lake Knutti (07), Lanark, Ill., 15.385
Brian Diveley (11D), Springfield, Ill., 14.287
Terry English (33), Benton, Ky., 14.354
Scott Schmitt (10s), Tonica, Ill., 14.400
Tyler Reddick (11), Corning, Calif., 14.421
Jerry Lierly (7L), Camp Point, Ill., 14.470
Jason Riggs (81jr), Harrisburg, Ill., 14.498
Tanner English (96), Benton, Ky., 14.539
Todd Frank (21), Mellen, Wis., 14.778
Terry Knutti (07), Lanark, Ill., 15.867
Shannon Babb (18), Moweaqua, Ill., 14.254
Ryan Unzicker (24), El Paso, Ill., 14.282
Brandon Sheppard (B5), New Berlin, Ill., 14.311
Jason Jaggers (32), Wyanet, Ill., 14.353
Denny Woodworth (45), Mendon, Ill., 14.446
Rusty Schlenk (91), Weston, Ohio, 14.529
Billy Genenbacher (72), Camp Point, Ill., 14.624
Matt Furman (51), Columbus, Ohio, 14.835
Mike Hammerle (16), St. Charles, Mo., 15.312