latemodelamerica.com - June 16 - Kankakee County Speedway
LateModelAmerica.com by Sam Holbrooks

 
 

Mike Spatola VL interview

Mike Spatola discusses his first win in the "Summernationals" opener at Kankakee, Ill. (Charlie Lancour) 

UMP Summernationals: Spatola Rolls to Opening Night Win at Kankakee

Kellen Burns

KANKAKEE, Ill. - June 16. Mike Spatola doesn't have much experience in a Dirt Late Model, but that didn't prevent him from winning the opening night of the DIRTcar Summer Nationals 'Hell Tour' Thursday at Kankakee County Speedway.

The driver affectionately known as "Opie" to his friends and fans claimed the first Hell Tour win of his career, worth $5,000, by holding off fellow front row starter Chad Simpson of Mount Vernon, Iowa, and third place finisher Brian Shirley of Chatham, Ill.

Chad Simpson - Ryan Unzicker - Scott James

The night's fast qualifier, Ryan Unzicker (24), fnds himself in some fierce competition with #25 Chad Simpson and #81 Scott James. Simpson went on to finish the final in the runner up position behind Mike Spatola. (Charlie Lancour) 

Spatola, who has raced regularly at Kankakee, had a strong start to his night by earning quick time honors in his qualifying group, which he parlayed into a heat race victory and a front row starting spot in the 40-lap A-Main.

Overall quick timer Ryan Unzicker of El Paso, Ill., finished fourth while Waterville, Ohio, driver Matt Miller rounded out the top five.

June 16 - Kankakee Co. Speedway Summernationals
1. Mike Spatola, 2. Chad Simpson, 3. Brian Shirley, 4. Ryan Unzicker, 5. Matt Miller, 6. Scott James, 7. Dennis Erb Jr., 8. Shannon Babb, 9. Brandon Sheppard, 10. Greg Johnson, 11. Bret Sievert, 12. Donny Walden, 13. Bobby Pierce, 14. Jack Sullivan (prov.), 15. Billy Moyer Jr., 16. Jason Feger, 17. Rusty Schlenk (prov.), 18. Aaron Ricketts (prov.), 19. Keith Piano, 20. Brandon Thirlby (prov.), 21. Jay Morris, 22. Sean Toczek, 23. Scott Schmitt (prov.).
Heat winners (36 entries): Sheppard, Simpson, Shirley, Spatola, B-Main winner: Feger. C-Main winner: Ricketts.

Charlie Lancour photo

 

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