Cory Dumpert is excited for the chance to test himself against strong competition.
Dumpert, 24, of York, Nebraska, recently earned what he called the biggest win of his career at I-80 Speedway in Greenwood, Nebraska. And it’s put him in position to go after the prestigious prize of a NASCAR Whelen All-American Series state championship.
Dumbert leads the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series Nebraska points race and the dirt late model standings at Junction Motor Speedway, a .375-mile clay oval in McCool Junction, Nebraska. And he’s eighth in dirt super late model points at I-80, a .4-mile clay oval.
He races the same car and same crate engine at both tracks. Junction requires a crate engine, while I-80 has an “open” engine rule. Despite his horsepower disadvantage at I-80, he aims for top-five finishes there to maintain traction in the state points race. But a win there on May 9 was a big boost for his confidence.
“Things are lining up now,” said Dumpert, who posted his fourth win of the season Saturday night at Junction. In 11 races between the two tracks, he has five wins, six top-fives and 10 top-10s. He’s ranked 24th in this week’s NASCAR Whelen All-American Series Top 500.
Season-long points leader Anthony Anders and two-time defending national champion Lee Pulliam each won pavement late model double features over the weekend. The results helped Pulliam move to second behind Anders in the national standings. Anders has 668 points and Pulliam has 585.
NASCAR Whelen All-American Series Division I drivers are ranked by their best 18 NASCAR points finishes in series-sanctioned events.
Anders, of Easley, S.C., won twin 40-lap features at Greenville (South Carolina) Pickens Speedway Saturday; Pulliam, of Alton, Va., won twin 75s at Southern National Motorsports Park in Lucama, North Carolina.
Peyton Sellers of Danville, Virginia, the 2005 national champion, was second in national points last week. He did not race over the weekend and fell to fourth place.
Just nine points separate third through fifth in national standings. Pavement modified driver Ryan Preece had the biggest gain in the national top-10 this week. He moved from eighth to third in points. Preece, of Berlin, Connecticut, won the SK Modified feature at Stafford (Connecticut) Motor Speedway Friday night. He then posted finishes of fifth and sixth in twin 50s at Riverhead (New York) Raceway Saturday. Preece has 518 points, 67 behind Pulliam.
Sellers holds fourth in standings with 513 points. Keith Rocco, the 2010 national champion, broke into the top-five this week and has 509 points. Rocco, of Wallingford, Connecticut, placed fourth in the SK Modified feature at Stafford Friday and won Saturday at Waterford (Connecticut) Speedbowl.
Positions six through eight in national standings were all affected by their double feature results at Southern National. Tommy Lemons Jr. dropped from fourth to sixth in national ranking with finishes of second and 12th. Matt Bowling lost one position and is seventh following finishes of ninth and sixth. Dillon Bassett dropped from fifth to eighth in points with finishes of sixth and 10th. Kres Vandyke and Chad Finchum remained steady at ninth and 10th in national points. Late models did not race last weekend at their home tracks, Kingsport (Tenn.) Speedway and Lonesome Pine Raceway in Coeburn, Va.
For Dumpert, his win at I-80 last month was one of the biggest of his career.
He started near the front of a 25-lap super late model feature on May 9, but was overtaken almost immediately. When the field hit the third turn for the first time, though, most cars pushed up the track.
“I hit the brakes, turned left and came out of turn four with the lead,” Dumpert said. “My brother Kyle was giving me signals from the infield through the race. I was watching because I didn’t want to be in anyone’s way. With five laps to go I realized I could win.
“I got nervous and messed up a little and Jase Kaser was closing in. I started hitting my marks again. There were tears in my eyes when I saw the checkered flag. We’re down 300 horsepower and have half the budget of some.
“That was the most meaningful win of my career. Three-quarters of the drivers came to congratulate us. We were the last ones to leave the track that night.”
Kaser won the state title and both track championships in 2013. Dumpert placed second in the Junction Motor Speedway and state point races.
Dumpert said racing at both tracks last year helped prepare him for this season.
“We had four top-fives at I-80 and won nine at Junction. We thought with a little luck we could be competitive this year. We thought we had a pretty good chance,” Dumpert said.
Dumpert raced go-karts from 1997-2007. He started his stock car racing career in hobby stocks at Junction in 2008. He won four features and the rookie-of-the-year award. He moved up to street stocks in 2009 and won the division championship in 2011. He moved to late models and won the state and both track rookie-of-the-year awards in 2012.
Dumpert drives a Swartz chassis by Kyle Berck. Clay Engleman of A&E Motorsports maintains the engine. Sponsors include Dickinson Farms and the Best Western hotel in York. The driver’s dad Cary Dumpert is chief mechanic. Team members include Brandon Lambert, Brian Petro, Jeremy Davis, Kenneth Shepard, Steve Hinz, mom Debbie Dumpert and brother Kyle.
Under the NASCAR point structure, drivers receive two points for every car they finish ahead of in an event, up to 18 cars. Three bonus points will be awarded to a race winner with a single-digit starting position and five bonus points will be awarded to a race winner with a double-digit starting position.
Drivers must be NASCAR-licensed and cars will be verified for display of requirederies sponsor decals to be eligible for NASCAR points and awards.
Established in 1982, the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series is NASCAR’s national championship program for weekly short track auto racing. In all, 58 paved and dirt tracks throughout the United States and Canada participate.
Connecticut-based Whelen Engineering is the series’ title sponsor. Whelen Engineering is a leading manufacturer of automotive, aviation, industrial and emergency vehicle lighting. NASCAR tracks and pace cars across North America are among the many showcases for Whelen products.
– By Paul Schaefer, NASCAR. Photo credit: Speedshutters
|6||Tommy Lemons, Jr||21||3||11||15||491|
|36||Bill Leighton, Jr||11||1||8||11||253|
|37||David Garborcauskas, Jr||13||1||6||9||251|
|48||Tom Rogers, Jr||10||0||7||8||232|
|58||Craig Von Dohren||9||2||5||6||220|
|78||Rob Janovic, Jr||9||0||5||5||204|
|88||Garrett Bunch, Jr||12||0||1||5||198|
|89||Justin T Johnson||10||0||4||7||198|
|96||Bruce Anderson, Jr||10||0||3||7||186|