Babb now ties Billy Moyer atop the all-time wins list
Ever since winning #99 three weeks ago, the Dirt Late Model world had been waiting for the moment when one of its biggest icons would finally achieve one of the greatest career accomplishments in the sport’s history. And now, the wait is over.
Shannon Babb has won 100 DIRTcar Summer Nationals Features.
With his friends, family and his faithful fanbase all in attendance Friday night at Farmer City Raceway, Babb drove his Dyna-Gro Team Zero Race Cars #18 to victory against a strong field of frontrunners and denied them all to collect one of his most historic victories and the $10,000 grand prize.
“I knew this week right here – we had a really good shot at getting us a win. This place… we’ve always considered it one of our favorite places to race, and it’s always been really good to me,” Babb, of Moweaqua, IL, said.
Looking back on all the years he’s spent in the sport and the highlights along the way, from his very first Summer Nationals win in June 1999 in Haubstadt, IN, to his 99th just three weeks ago in a thriller at FALS, Babb said he knew his passion for the sport was there right away but never imagined the kind of success his career would have at this point.
“I knew that’s what I wanted to do. I knew I really enjoyed racing and I felt like I could run with ‘em if we had the sponsors and the money to continue doing it. We’ve been blessed to have a lot of great people behind us this entire time,” Babb said.
He had plenty of competition on his hands over the 40-lap event, coming from third on the starting grid. McKay Wenger jumped out to the early lead from the pole and led the first 23 laps, keeping a strong pace ahead of outside polesitter Garrett Alberson and Babb in third.
The deeper they climbed into lapped traffic, the tighter the gaps got. Babb was able to get around Alberson at the halfway point and immediately set his sights on Wenger.
On Lap 24, Babb got a great run off of Turn 2 and charged into Turn 3 with a full head of steam. He dove underneath Wenger and slid up in front of him at the exit of Turn 4 to grab the lead.
From that point forward, it became Babb’s race to lose. He opened up a sizable advantage over Wenger in traffic and rode it all the way back to the finish line for his second Summer Nationals Feature win of the season.
His historic victory places him in a tie with the one and only six-time champion Billy Moyer for most Feature wins on the all-time wins list.
“Me and Billy have always raced really good together, and he was really somebody that we always looked up to. I drove for him for seven years, so we’ve got a lot of respect for him and a lot of time racing with him,” Babb said.
And now, the agony of anticipation has been put to rest. Thinking of all the great drivers he raced against over his decorated career, Babb has been grateful for all that he’s learned from them.
“It hasn’t sunk-in yet, but it will down the road, probably,” he said. “We’ve had a ton of great competition over the years to race against and a lot of people that were here before me that taught us a lot about this deal.”
ABBREVIATED RESULTS (view full results)
Feature (40 Laps) 1. 18-Shannon Babb; 2. 42-Mckay Wenger; 3. 59-Garrett Alberson; 4. 3S-Brian Shirley; 5. 14G-Joe Godsey; 6. 81E-Tanner English; 7. 24-Ryan Unzicker; 8. 86-Kyle Beard; 9. 25-Jason Feger; 10. 41-Jeremiah Hurst; 11. 11-Gordy Gundaker; 12. 12-Ashton Winger; 13. 32-Bobby Pierce; 14. 7R-Kent Robinson; 15. 74-Mitch McGrath; 16. 19X-Cody Bauer; 17. 4G-Bob Gardner; 18. 334-Billy Hough; 19. 10J-Jordan Bauer; 20. B12-Kevin Weaver; 21. 89-Mike Spatola; 22. J12-Jason Wagner