LAKE ODESSA, MI -- Brian Shirley is seizing every opportunity in his quest to win a third DIRTcar Summer Nationals crown, holding off Frank Heckenast Jr. on Thursday night at I-96 Speedway for his second consecutive victory during Champions Week presented by Summit Racing Equipment.
The victory, his sixth overall during this tour, moved Shirley back atop the standings headed into Oakshade Raceway for the Series’ final two races on Friday and Saturday. Shirley has been battling three-time Summer Nationals champion Bobby Pierce for the championship lead, but Pierce missed the scales after winning his second heat race and was forced to come through the field from the Last Chance Showdown and into the 40-lap Feature, where he was up to third before a broken rear end halted his night on lap 24.
Several cautions helped to keep the field bunched, with Heckenast challenging Shirley for the lead on the bottom. Shirley edged ahead one thousandth of a second every lap to pull into Victory Lane.
DIRTcar Summer Nationals Feature (40 Laps) - 1. 3S-Brian Shirley ; 2. 99JR-Frank Heckenast, Jr. ; 3. 87M-David Mielke ; 4. 23V-Ryan VanderVeen ; 5. CJ1-Rusty Schlenk ; 6. 25F-Jason Feger ; 7. 2S-Travis Stemler ; 8. 55-Jeep VanWormer ; 9. 12-Scott Fisk ; 10. 113-Kyle Roberts ; 11. 5X-Bryant Dickinson ; 12. O6-Jake Rendel ; 13. P3-Truck Robertson ; 14. 25H-Chuck Hummer ; 15. M14-Brandon Thirlby ; 16. 53-Hillard Miller ; 17. 32-Bobby Pierce ; 18. 41-Jason Playter, Jr. ; 19. 31AUS-Paul Stubber ; 20. 8-Rob Anderzack ; 21. 51-Devin Shiels ; 22. 52-Brad Harden ; KSE Hard Charger Award: 23V-Ryan VanderVeen[+13]
-DIRTcar Summer Nationals Press Release
-Photo credit: Jim DenHamer