Miller Wins Finale, Sheppard Champ

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Miller Wins Oakshade DIRTcar Summer Nationals ‘Hell Tour’ Finale

Sheppard crowned youngest champion in series history

 

072013 SN Sheppard OakshadeWAUSEON, Ohio July 20, 2013 Matt Miller looked virtually unstoppable on Saturday night as he charged from ninth to take the lead from Jeep Van Wormer on lap 23 en route to claiming the victory in the finale of the six-week-long DIRTcar Summer Nationals “Hell Tour” at Oakshade Raceway.

 

Brandon Sheppard, a 20-year-old four-time winner this season, became the youngest DIRTcar Summer Nationals champion when he took the green flag.

 

Casey Noonan started the feature on the pole but outside starting Van Wormer quickly shot to the lead. Miller, of Whitehouse, Ohio, powered from row five into a battle for the top spot.

 

Van Wormer was forced to fend off several early charges, including one by Sheppard, who was trying to clinch the championship in style with a victory but his car eventually slowed and he settled for a 19th-place finish.

 

Miller caught Van Wormer by lap 20 of the 60-lap event and finally maneuvered around him on lap 23. Miller quickly expanded his lead by up to a half-track advantage as the second half of the race ran caution free as he dominated his way to the $10,000 checkered flag.

 

“We’ve been good all year, especially when we get in slick conditions,” said Miller, who earned his first Hell Tour victory since 2008. “We came here last week and got tore up and had to take the car to Rocket and get it clipped. My guys busted their butts, especially (car owner) Rick (DeLong) and Rodney and those guys, working till 1 in the morning every night. It feels good to pay them back. The car couldn’t have been any better.”

 

A 19th-place finish was a minor disappointment for Sheppard. The 20-year-old claimed the $25,000 title over 16-year-old Bobby Pierce in the 27th season of the six-week-long tour. Pierce became the youngest driver to win a DIRTcar Summer Nationals feature during this year’s tour, accomplishing the feat four times.

 

“We’ve been doing this for a long time and working really hard at it just trying to get to where we’re at now,” said Sheppard, of New Berlin, Ill. “It means a lot to me and it means a lot to my family cause they’ve been doing it just as long.”

 

 

NOTES: Dustin Griffin was named the DIRTcar Summer Nationals “Hell Tour” Rookie of the Year. … Sheppard, Pierce and Griffin are the only three drivers who survived each race in the series that ran from June 12 through Saturday night. … In all, 26 events were completed over the course of the six weeks. … Shannon Babb’s six victories were the most by any driver. …Among the winners during the course of this year’s series were former champions Billy Moyer, Scott Bloomquist, Kevin Weaver, Dennis Erb Jr., and Babb.

 

DIRTcar Summer Nationals Statistical Report; Oakshade Raceway; Wauseon, Ohio; July 20, 2013

A-Main (60-laps): 1. Matt Miller ($10,000), 2. Jon Henry, 3. Bobby Pierce, 4. Jeff Babcock, 5. Devin Moran, 6. Jeep Van Wormer, 7. Dona Marcoullier, 8. Dustin Griffin, 9. Brian Ruhlman, 10. Doug Drown, 11. Chris Keller, 12. Dusty Moore, 13. Casey Noonan, 14. Chris Ross, 15. Rusty Schlenk, 16. Steve Kester, 17. Devin Shiels, 18. Phil Ausra, 19. Brandon Sheppard, 20. Ryan Missler, 21. Wayne Chinn, 22. Herb Reich.

 

2013 DIRTcar Summer Nationals ‘Hell Tour’ Schedule

Day

Date

Track

Location

Winner

Wed.

June 12

Brownstown Speedway

Brownstown, IN

Dennis Erb, Jr.

Thurs.

June 13

Off

   

Fri.

June 14

Cedar Lake Speedway

New Richmond, WI

Brian Birkhofer

Sat.

June 15

Cedar Lake Speedway

New Richmond, WI

Cancelled (RAIN)

         

Sun.

June 16

Wilmot Speedway

Wilmot, WI

Kevin Weaver

Mon.

June 17

Off

   

Tues.

June 18

Off

   

Wed.

June 19

Spoon River Speedway

Canton, IL

Brandon Sheppard

Thurs.

June 20

Belle Clair Speedway

Belleville, IL

Brandon Sheppard (2)

Fri.

June 21

Tri-City Speedway

Pontoon Beach, IL

Chris Simpson

Sat.

June 22

Fairbury Speedway

Fairbury, IL

Ryan Unzicker

         

Sun.

June 23

I-96 Speedway

Lake Odessa, MI

Shannon Babb

Mon.

June 24

Peoria Speedway

Peoria, IL

Postponed (RAIN)

Tues.

June 25

Off

   

Wed.

June 26

Clarksville Speedway

Clarksville, TN

Brandon Sheppard (3)

Thurs.

June 27

Clayhill Motorsports Park

Atwood, TN

Brandon Sheppard (4)

Fri.

June 28

Paducah International Raceway

Paducah, KY

Billy Moyer

Sat.

June 29

Federated Auto Parts Raceway at I-55

Pevely, MO

Postponed/Rain

(Aug. 17)

         

Sun.

June 30

Lincoln Speedway

Lincoln, IL

Bobby Pierce

Mon.

July 1

Off

   

Tues.

July 2

Quincy Raceways

Quincy, IL

Shannon Babb (2)

Wed.

July 3

Jacksonville Speedway

Jacksonville, IL

Shannon Babb (3)

Thurs.

July 4

LaSalle Speedway

LaSalle, IL

Bobby Pierce (2)

Fri.

July 5

Fayette Co. Speedway

Brownstown, IL

Ryan Unzicker (2)

Sat.

July 6

Highland Speedway

Highland, IL

Postponed (RAIN)

         

Sun.

July 7

Tri-State Speedway

Haubstadt, IN

Shannon Babb (4)

Mon.

July 8

Off

   

Tues.

July 9

Florence Speedway

Union, KY

Scott Bloomquist

Wed.

July 10

Terre Haute Action Track

Terre Haute, IN

Cancelled (RAIN)

Thurs.

July 11

Macon Speedway

Macon, IL

Shannon Babb (5)

Fri.

July 12

Kankakee County Speedway

Kankakee, IL

Bobby Pierce (3)

Sat.

July 13

34 Raceway

Burlington, IA

Bobby Pierce (4)

         

Sun.

July 14

Vermilion County Speedway

Danville, IL

Shannon Babb (6)

Mon.

July 15

Peoria Speedway

Peoria, IL

Brian Shirley

Tues.

July 16

Off

   

Wed.

July 17

Brushcreek Motorsports Park

Peebles, OH

R.J. Conley

Thurs.

July 18

Off

   

Fri.

July 19

Attica Raceway Park

Attica, OH

Doug Drown

Sat.

July 20

Oakshade Raceway

Wauseon, OH

Matt Miller

The DIRTcar Summer Nationals “Hell Tour” is brought to fans across the country by many important partners including: Arizona Sport Shirts (Official Apparel Company), Hoosier Racing Tires (Official Racing Tires), Racing Electonics (Official Communication), Vicci (Official Uniform), VP Racing Fuel (Official Racing Fuel); in addition to these fine Contingency Sponsors: Beyea Headers, Butlerbuilt, Cometic Gasket, Comp Cams, Dominator Race Products, Edelbrock, Chevy Performance Parts, Integra Shocks, Intercomp, JE Pistons, JRI Shocks, Klotz Lubricants, MSD Performance, Petroff Towing, Quartermaster, Superflow Dynos, UNOH (University of Northwestern Ohio), and Wrisco Aluminum.