GRANITE CITY, ILLINOIS – August 10, 2018 – Tri-City Speedway in Granite City, IL would be the next stop on the 2018 MARS Super Late Model Racing Series tour on Friday evening for the Russ Wallace Memorial and Brian Shirley would get the race lead from Frank Heckenast, Jr. on lap seventeen and drive to the $5,000 victory, plus garnered an extra $500 bonus that would be put up by Mike Wallace.
The win for Shirley would be his fifth of the season with the MARS tour, his second at Tri-City Speedway with the series, and his 13th career series victory and would come behind the wheel of the Bob Cullen owned Thomason Express, Kid’s Castle Learning Center, Jayco Construction, Cheap Cars, Vallejo Inc., KBC Graphics sponsored #3s Rocket Chassis, Andy Durham Race Engines powered entry.
Frank Heckenast, Jr. would take the lead at the start of the forty lap Russ Wallace Memorial event, with Daryn Klein, Brian Shirley, Gordy Gundaker, and Ryan Unzicker giving chase. Shirley would drive past Klein for second on lap four, while Unzicker would roll past Gundaker for fourth on the same circuit, however, the caution would wave one circuit later on lap five when Gundaker’s mount would slow on the backchute, ending his night. The restart would see the front four remain the same, while Brandon Sheppard would grab the fifth position. Heckenast, Jr. and Shirley would pull away from the field at this point and Heckenast, Jr. would start working slower traffic on lap fourteen. Shirley would close in on Heckenast, Jr. for the lead on lap fifteen and the pair would battle for the lead, with Shirley making a slidejob pass on Heckenast, Jr. for the lead in turn two on lap seventeen, with Heckenast spinning his machine in an attempt to work back under Shirley. The restart would see Shirley have the race lead at this point, with Unzicker, Sheppard, Tanner English, and Klein in pursuit. English would drive past Sheppard for third on lap nineteen, only to have Sheppard reclaim the position one lap later. The caution would wave once again on lap twenty-one when Kolby Vandenbergh would spin his machine in turn two, slowing the action. The restart would see the front-five remain the same, with Sheppard and English battling again for the third spot. Heckenast, Jr. would draw his second caution of the race on lap twenty-four and would pull to the pit area and be finished for the event. This restart would see Sheppard take the second position from Unzicker, while Michael Kloos would work past Klein for the fifth spot, only to see Kloos spin this mount in turn three on lap twenty-seven, while battling with Klein and Manville for the fifth position. On what would be the final restart of the race, Shirley controlled the pace, while Unzicker zipped past Sheppard for second, with that pair battling for the spot until Sheppard took the runner-up slot back on lap thirty-five. Shirley would encounter slower traffic on lap thirty-seven, but would not be challenged as he would see the checkered flag first, with Sheppard finishing second, and Unzicker settling for third. English would come home fourth, while Manville slipped by Klein on the final circuit to claim fifth. Klein would lead the second-five finishers home to the finish, trailed by Jose Parga, Jason Feger, Spencer Diercks, and Tony Jackson, Jr.
The MARS Super Late Model Racing Series next event will be Saturday August 11 at Fairbury’s American Legion Speedway in Fairbury, IL for the 4th Annual FALS Frenzy, paying $10,000 to win.
Further information on the MARS Super Late Model Racing Series can be obtained by calling Promoter/Race Director Chris Tilley at (606) 219-1723 or by visiting the official series website located at www.marsracingseries.com.
Official Summary of Results
Feature Results for MARS Super Late Model Racing Series at Tri-City Speedway in Granite City, IL on August 10, 2018
1. Brian Shirley-Chatham, Ill.
2. Brandon Sheppard-New Berlin, Ill.
3. Ryan Unzicker-El Paso, Ill.
4. Tanner English-Benton, Ky.
5. Tim Manville-St. Jacob, Ill.
6. Daryn Klein-Fairview Heights, Ill.
7. Jose Parga-New Berlin, Ill.
8. Jason Feger-Bloomington, Ill.
9. Spencer Diercksa-Davenport, Iowa
10. Tony Jackson, Jr.-Lebanon, Mo.
11. Billy Laycock-Marine, Ill.
12. Kolby Vandenbergh-Ashland, Ill.
13. Raymond Merrill-Sallisaw, Ok.
14. Dean Carpenter-Coldwater, Miss.
15. Myles Moos-Lincoln, Ill.
16. Michael Kloos-Trenton, Ill.
17. Frank Heckenast, Jr.-Frankfort, Ill.
18. Scott Crigler-Alton, Mo.
19. Billy Moyer-Batesville, Ark.
20. Jeff Roth-Bentonville, Ark.
21. Gordy Gundaker-St. Charles, Mo.
22. Mark Voigt-Marine, Ill.
Time of Race: 27 minutes, 25 seconds
Margin of Victory: 3.398 seconds
Yellow Flags: 5 (lap 5, 17, 21, 24, 27)
Red Flags: None
Lap Leaders: Frank Heckenast, Jr. 1-16; Brian Shirley 17-40
Wiles Driveshafts Top Qualifier: Frank Heckenast, Jr. 14.482 seconds
Provisional Starters: Dean Carpenter (series), Jeff Roth (series), Mark Voigt (track)
-MARS Racing Series Press Release
-Photo credit: Chris Tilley Twitter