latemodelamerica.com - Oct. 9 - Eldora Speedway
LateModelAmerica.com by Sam Holbrooks

 
 


Chatham, Illinois ace Brian Shirley after a big win at Eldora.

(Drew England)
 


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Brian Shirley - UMP Final at Eldora Speedway
Brian Shirley worked up a sweat by the finish of the Eldora event after being worried on the last lap by Van Wormer. (Jim Denhamer)
UMP: Shirley Nips VanWormer For First Eldora Win

Eldora p.r.

ROSSBURG, Oh. - Oct. 9. Not to be outdone by an earlier UMP Modified event that saw Ken Schrader win in dramatic fashion, Chatham, Illinois driver Brian Shirley found some drama of his own by scoring his first Eldora Speedway win in a close race with Michigan's Jeep Van Wormer. The UMP-sanctioned race closed out the season at the legendary speedplant.

Jon Henry charged into the early lead over Ben Adkins, but Henry’s lead was short-lived, as heavy contact with the outside retaining wall in turn three

Rusty Schlenk - Natl UMP Champ
Rusty Schlenk will replace Jason Feger as the reigning King of UMP. The young Michigan driverr was recognized for that feat at Eldora. (Jim Denhamer)

ended his hopes for a season-closing victory.

Adkins made the most of the moment by charging into the lead that he was to hold for three laps before Shirley slid under him to take over the top spot.

And, just like the Modified main event before it, the race went the remaining distance caution free to set up a high speed chase for leader Shirley. And again, lapped traffic created obstacles, but none too large for Shirley or Adkins.

While that duo was out front and charging towards the checkered flag, behind them, the action was brewing. Frank Heckenast, Jr. was holding down third place for much of the early going and eventually got up to and by Adkins for one lap before Adkins took back the second spot. Behind them, Matt Miller was fighting back the charge being put on by VanWormer.

Jeff Babcock - Sixth at Eldora Speedway UMP

While Jeff Babcock drives his #1 toward a very respectable sixth place against some regional heavy hitters at Eldora Speedway, Ben Adkins (below) bettered him by one.  (Drew England)

Ben Adkins - Eldora Speedway UMP

VanWormer completed his mission on lap 12, and two laps later the top five started to shake up as Adkins and Heckenast slipped off the pace somewhat. At this point, VanWormer, who ironically was behind the wheel of Schrader’s late model with a similar paint scheme to the Modified driven to victory moments before, moved into runner-up with still a lot of real estate behind himself and the leader. Shirley looked to have clear sailing, despite VanWormer’s positioning.

Again, history began to repeat itself, though, as with five laps to go, VanWormer began closing the gap. With each remaining lap, VanWormer inched closer and set himself into position to challenge for the lead. Using his knowledge as a former Eldora Late Model champion, VanWormer covered every inch of Eldora’s storied clay surface, only to fall short by a half-car length at the checkered flag. That second place finish was just one-point short of getting VanWormer another Eldora championship. That title was earned by third place finisher Matt Miller.

Brian Shirley - Eldora Speedway UMP

Brian Shirley takes it to the wall in typical Eldora fashion en route to his first career win at the historic Ohio speedway. (Drew England)

Jason Feger, the 2010 DIRTcar Summer Nationals champion, closed the night's program with a triumphant run in the Late Model Race of Champions. He held off a furious late-race onslaught from three-time DIRTcar Late Model national champion Dennis Erb Jr. of Carpentersville, Ill., to earn a $1,000 winner's check.

Erb settled for a close second ahead of a furious three-way battle for third. Double-duty driver Brian Ruhlman took the show position, followed by Rusty Schlenk of Jackson, Mich., who enters the weekend having already clinched the 2010 DIRTcar UMP Late Model national title, and Frank Heckenast Jr. of Orland Park, Ill.

Oct. 9 - UMP - Eldora Speedway
1). Brian Shirley; 2). Jeep Van Wormer; 3). Matt Miller; 4). Frank Heckenast; 5). Ben Adkins; 6). Jeff Babcock; 7). Jason Feger; 8). Scott James; 9). Brian Ruhlman; 10). Keith Berner; 11). Dennis Erb Jr.; 12). Curt Spalding; 13). Rusty Schlenk; 14). Dillan White; 15). Curtis Roberts; 16). Rick DeLong; 17). Phil Ausra; 18). Brandon Thirlby; 19). Dona Marcoullier; 20). Richie Hedrick; 21). Scott Orr; 22). Andrew Reaume; 23). Kenny Compton, Jr.; 24). Ryan VanderVeen; 25). Jeff Walston; 26). Jon Henry; 27). J.R. Hotovy; 28). Scott Schmitt.
Fast Time (53 entries): Erb (15.909); Heat winners: Shirley, Berner, Henry, Adkins, Compton, Heckenast; B Main winners: White, Ruhlman, DeLong; Race of Champions: Feger.

Jim Denhamer photo

 

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