Shannon Babb Prevails In UMP Summer Nationals Hell Tour Only Michigan Appearance
Lake Odessa, Michigan (Sunday, June 24th, 2012): One the Biggest Shows of the Season for the UMP Super Late Models in the state of Michigan was on a special Sunday Night, June 24th at I-96 Speedway, located east of Grand Rapids and West of Lansing in Lake Odessa, Michigan as the annual appearance by the UMP Summer National Hell Tour invaded to take on the tracks Miller Lite UMP Super Late Models in the tours’ ONLY appearance in the State of Michigan during its’ marathon 29 races in 32 days jaunt.
They were joined by their companion tour, the Summit Racing Equipment Modifieds Nationals as the best Mod drivers in the country went head to head with the tracks Accurate Engines UMP Modifieds. Plus the Rained Out Accurate Engines UMP Modifieds Feature from June 2nd was also made up on this night and was the first race of the Evening. If that wasn’t enough, the Rudd’s Septic Service UMP Street Stocks and Smyrna Bar & Restaurant UMP Sport Compacts were also on the card for an action packed night of racing. 109 cars were in the pits and the great crowd on hand got their monies worth.
The first race of the night was the Make-Up Accurate Engines UMP Modifieds 25-Lap Feature that was rained out on June 2nd during the World of Outlaws Sprint Cars Series appearance and after a spirited “Wave Lap” to kick off the action packed evening, the field was led to Chief Starter, Brett Farmer’s green flag by Former Two-Time Track Champion Todd Feutz and Kyle Roberts and it would be Feutz pacing the field for the first five laps before Mark Anderson drove by on lap six.
Anderson set a torrid pace before suddenly dropping out on lap 14 which handed the lead to Zak Olger who made no mistake the rest of the way as the St. Johns, Michigan driver in his #0x Mid-States Sales & Service / Xtreme Racecars machine would walk away with his second Overall Feature Win of the season and first of the season in a Mod.
Feutz finished second ahead of Defending Track Champion Jacob Poel while 2010 Track Champion Rich Robinson Jr., and 2007 Track Champion Shannon Fisk completed the top five. Aaron Morey was sixth while Travis Stemler, Mike Wilbern, Jared Guinn, and Tim Stemler would complete the final top 10 in the make-up A Main.
In the regularly scheduled UMP Modifieds 30-Lap Feature which served as Night #11 for the Summit Racing Equipment Modifieds Nationals Series, the companion tour that travels with the UMP Summer Nationals Hell Tour, Travis Stemler and David Mielke would lead the field to the green and it would be Mielke leading the field into the first corner. Mielke would pace the field for the first 15 laps setting a torrid pace.
That was until Defending Track Champion Jacob Poel worked his way up to Mielke’s back bumper from his ninth starting spot and rode the cushion around the outside of Mielke to take the lead and from there it was all Poel in his #82 Poel’s PRO-ACT Welding & Fabrication / Rocket Chassis machine as the Spring Lake, Michigan driver picked up his first I-96 Speedway Feature Win of 2012, his 10th overall of the year and third of the weekend to go with his wins at Winston Speedway on June 22nd and Merritt Raceway in June 23rd.
Andy Sprague would come home second while Zack Olger backed up his win earlier in the afternoon with a third place showing. Tim Stemler and Aaron Morey from 19th completed the top five. Rich Robinson Jr., was sixth as Brad Wilson, Cherry Raceway Points Leader John McCaul, 2007 Track Champion Shannon Fisk, and John Taylor were the top 10. There 33 UMP Modifieds as Tim Stemler, McCaul, Sprague, and Luke Olger won the Qualifier Heat Races as Fisk took the B Main to transfer into the Feature.
The 20-Lap Rudd’s Septic Service UMP Street Stocks Feature, which was actually the first regularly scheduled A Main of the evening and it would be 2010 Track Champion Gary Vandermark and Current Points Leader Josh Frye bringing the stout 20-car field to Chief Starter Brett Farmer’s green flag. Vandermark paced the field for the first four laps until mechanical problems forced him to the pits.
This handed the lead to Frye who has 2011 UMP DIRTcar Racing Series Northeastern States Champion Dan Dykman trailing him in second spot. Dykman brought Derek Poland and Robbie Sternberg with him and the battle was on between the four Muskegon, Michigan area drivers. As hard as the drivers behind him tried, they could not overtake Frye as the Coopersville, Michigan driver in his #44 Rhino Roofing & Construction / Chevrolet would walk away with his third Feature Win of the year.
Dykman settled for second with Sternberg, Mt. Pleasant Speedway Points Leader Rob Brillhart, and Ron Harper completing the top five. Kendall Marlink was sixth while Poland, Jim Beltz, Defending Track Champion Bill Brandt Jr., and Rookie Points Leader Max Ake finished off the top 10. Brillhart, Dykman, and Marlink would collect the Heat Race triumphs.
The main event of the evening, Race #11 of the UMP Summer Nationals Hell Tour for the Miller Lite UMP Super Late Models rolled out next and after an enthusiastic four-wide salute and wave lap, the green flag flew with Three-Time and Defending Summer Nationals Hell Tour Champion Shannon Babb and Jason McBride leading the stout 22-car field to the green.
Babb would escape McBride’s grasp leading into turns one and two to grab the early advantage while the rest of the field jockeyed for position behind him. Current Summer Nationals Hell Tour Points Leader Brian Shirley, fresh off his win the night before at Fairbury American Legion Speedway in Fairbury, Illinois, worked his way up to second and tried to chase down Babb.
Lapped Traffic played a key role throughout the duration of the 40-Lap main around the 3/8s (0.375) mile high-banked dirt oval as Babb would be able to keep lapped traffic between him and Shirley throughout the race. In the end, Babb’s #18 Petroff Trucking / Moyer Victory Circle Chassis entry would lead all 40 laps as the Moweaqua, Illinois driver would go on to defend his win in the Great Lakes State from a year ago and bring home Win #2 on the 2012 Hell Tour.
Shirley would finish second to maintain his Hell Tour points lead while Jason Feger, Three-Time Series Champion Dennis Herb Jr., and McBride were the top five. Ryan Unzicker was sixth while 19-year-old Brandon Sheppard, Curtis Roberts, Jon Henry, and Brian Ruhlman were the top 10. Babb shattered the Track Record by early a second in Summer Nationals Hell Tour Qualifying as he turned a 15.279. The old record was a 16.255. Shirley, Henry, Babb, and McBride won the Qualifier Heats as Jerry Lierly won the B Main.
The final race of the night was the 20-Lap Smyrna Bar & Restaurant UMP Sport Compacts Feature as 2010 Track Champion Dan Reimersma and Rich Lieb brought the 20-car field to the green flag. Reimersma led the first lap before Lieb took over on lap two. Defending Track Champion and Current Points Leader Rick Peck, who started fourth, maneuvered his way by both drivers to grab the lead on lap five.
Reimersma ad Leib stayed glued to Peck’s back bumper throughout the course of the entire race, but all the while, Peck would keep the two competitors behind him and when all was said and done, it would be Peck’s #14 A.R.D. Graphix / Saturn would see the checkered flag first giving the Hastings, Michigan driver his third Feature win of the 2012 racing season.
Reimersma finished second with Lieb, 18-year-old Terry Henderson Jr., and Randy Whitten were the top five. Scott Rumsey collected the sixth place honors as Colee Ruesink, Terry Henderson Sr., 16-year-old Jordan King, and Josh Sternberg were the final top 10. Lieb, Peck, and Reimersma were the winners of the Heat Races.
THIS Saturday, June 30th will be the second and final appearance by the Allstar Performance Michigan Dirt Cup Late Models Tour Presented by Lane Automotive as they’ll try their hand at dethroning the cars and stars of the United Midwestern Promoters (UMP) DIRTcar Racing Series weekly UMP Super Late Models just a few days after the UMP Summer Nationals Hell Tour appearance, giving the great fans of Western Michigan two GREAT UMP Super Late Models shows in just under a week in Lake Odessa, Michigan!
Traverse City, Michigan’s Brandon Thirlby is the current points leader in both the MDC Late Models Tour as well as being tied for the Tracks’ Miller Lite UMP Super Late Models Points Lead with Rich Neiser and will try to repeat his performance from May 19th as he won the Inaugural MDC Tour race which was also held at I-96.
The Rudd’s Septic Service UMP Street Stocks, Smyrna Bar & Restaurant UMP Sport Compacts, Spectator Drags, and a thrilling Stunt Show will also be on the schedule to wrap up the month of June in Lake Odessa, Michigan. Advance Tickets are on sale through ShowClix, the Official Ticket Outlet of I-96 Speedway and you can purchase them by clicking on this link: http://www.showclix.com/event/223128
I-96 Speedway is located at 3823 Portland Road in Lake Odessa, Michigan. For more information about the on-going 2012 racing season, please call: 1 (616) 642-0555 or visit the website at: www.i96speedway.com You can also follow along all season long by becoming a fan on the tracks Facebook Fan Page. Just go to: www.facebook.com/i96speedway and click on “Like” button. You can even follow us on Twitter as well, just go to: www.twitter.com/i96speedway and “Follow” us today.