- July 10 - Fairbury American Legion Speedway by Sam Holbrooks


Shannon Babb - Fairbury Summer Nationals

Shannon Babb after a long awaited Summer Nationals win at Fairbury, Ill. (Darrel Unzel)

DIRTcar Summer Nationals: Babb Dominates at Fairbury; Feger Gains in Standings 

 Rocky Ragusa and Kellen Burns

FAIRBURY, Ill. - July 10.  Ending an uncharacteristically long winless streak on the DIRTcar Summer Nationals tour, Shannon Babb powered his way to a $10,000 victory on Saturday at Fairbury American Legion Speedway, tightening the overall points standings entering the final week of action.

Erb-Kevin Weaver - Fairbury Summer Nationals Late Models

#28 Dennis Erb, Jr. races #12 Kevin Weaver before succumbing to a late-race flat while running near the front. (Shawn Crose)


Matt Miller trailed Babb throughout for a 2010 series-best second place at Fairbury. (John Vass)

While Babb was trying to hold off the field on the 22nd night of the "Hell Tour", series leader Dennis Erb, Jr. had a right rear tire go down late in the feature, dropping him to 14th. It was also costly in his quest for a fourth consecutive DIRTcar Summer Nationals crown. Jason Feger capitalized on Erb's misfortune and drove to a fourth-place finish. Feger now has a slim 10-point lead in the Summer Nationals standings after trailing Erb by 13 points entering Fairbury.

Joe Harlan - Shannon Babb - Fairbury Summer Nationals Late Models

Local Track Champion Joe Harlan goes a lap down to Summer Nationals winner Shannon Babb Saturday at Fairbury American Legion Speedway. (Darrel Unzel)

As the field took the initial green flag, Babb caught Miller off guard and took the lead to remain unchallenged throughout the race. Feger charged from his 16th starting spot and was into the top five by lap ten, while Babb began to lap slower cars by lap 15. That allowed second running Miller and Ryan Unzicker to close the gap, but neither could stay with Babb. The track began to take rubber around the halway mark, making passing difficult. Babb again caught the slower cars, but was unable to move around them.  

Ryan Unzicker - Rodney Melvin - Daren Friedman

( r.) Could this be Ryan Unzicker, Rodney Melvin, and Daren Friedman playing the accordion after Unzicker failed to pick up the pace  in heat race action at Fairbury, Ill., or did Melvin just fail his parallel parking test? (Darrel Unzel photo

The caution fell on 43 as Erb stopped on the track with a flat right rear tire, and back under way, Babb was able to maintain his lead over Miller at three lengths at the finish. Unzicker, Feger and 12th starting Jeep Van Wormer followed in the top five, aided somewhat by Doug Drown's flat tire that dropped him from that position well in to the race.

DIRTcar Summernationals - Fairbury American Legion Speedway
(1) Shannon Babb, (2) Matt Miller, (3) Ryan Unzicker, (4) Jason Feger, (5) Jeep Van Wormer, (6) Jack Sullivan, (7) Billy Moyer, Jr., (8) Kevin Weaver, (9) Steve Lance, Jr., (10) Scott Bull, (11) Mark Burgtorf, (12) Jay Morris, (13) Daren Friedman, (14) Dennis Erb Jr., (15) Aaron Ricketts (prov.), (16) Joe Harlan, (17) Doug Drown, (18) Brandon Sheppard, (19) Frank Heckenast Jr. (prov.), (20) Mike Glynn, (21) Brian Shirley (prov.).
Fast Time (41 entries): Unzicker (13.02); Heat winners: Unzicker, Babb, Drown, Miller.; B-Main: Sheppard.

John Vass photo

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Updated 11/17/10

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