Climbing to the Summit
Nicely, Harrison charging through DIRTcar Summit Racing Equipment Modified Nationals in quest for championship
CONCORD, N.C. – July 1, 2015 – When you win the DIRTcar Summit Racing Equipment Modified Nationals championship three times in four years, you get to know the sponsor quite well. For Mike Harrison, he’s become fast friends with Summit’s Jim Greenleaf and can’t thank the world’s largest mail order automotive performance equipment company enough for five years of involvement with DIRTcar UMP Modifieds.
With about half of the tour in the books this season, Harrison is once again taking aim at the championship, which counts a driver’s eight best finishes out of the 29 events on the schedule towards winning the crown. But if Harrison is to win again, he’s going to have to find a way around Tyler Nicely, who through the first rain-soaked portion of the schedule is leading Harrison by 14 points.
“It’s definitely been fun,” said Harrison, of Highland, Ill., who has three victories on this year’s tour. “Jim Greenleaf with Summit, I’ve been involved with him over the years talking to him about the whole deal. I think it’s great they gave us UMP Modified guys something extra for us to race for, and then the points package they put together for us. We all like coming to watch the late models, if we weren’t doing it we’d probably still be here just to watch the late models. It’s a bonus for us because we get to come and run for our own deal too. Jim and everybody at Summit have been great to me over the few years of doing the deal. It’s been a pleasure carrying the banner for them.
Nicely certainly would like to experience everything Harrison has seen as champion, and he’s been solid race in and race out.
“Summit stepped up and gave us a bunch of races to run for money, and everything they’re doing for us with the contingency program you just can’t beat it,” said Nicely, of Owensboro, Ky., who likes that a driver’s best eight finishes determine the crown. “It takes away from the guy having to take off work to go run every single race. You can pick eight races and hope for the best results or run as many as you can and take your eight best so it gives you a chance to throw out a bad night or two. I love it. If I could I would race every night.”
Harrison’s a big fan of the DIRTcar Summit Racing Equipment Modified Nationals tour setup, too.
“I ran around at home locally the first so many years, but I’ve always liked the adventure and the challenge of going out to all the different tracks and run against all the different guys every single night,” Harrison said. “You’re racing with the same handful of guys every night, but then you’ve got the 10, 15, 20 other guys that you’re racing with every night. I truly believe that brings the best out in all of the drivers because you’re not focused on beating the same drivers every week. You’re making yourself better by beating the best guys out here week in and week out.”
Harrison knows winning a fourth championship won’t be an easy task, but he’s confident in his team and experience.
“It’s always tough,” he said. “There are a lot of good modified drivers out there, a lot of good race cars. I tell my guys, our pride is we worry about ourselves, we worry about our racecar and we try not to worry about anybody else. We do what we need to do. If we do everything right I feel like we have a legitimate shot to win.”
Unlike the previous four seasons, this year’s tour will take a two-week break after racing July 11 at Oakshade Speedway, setting up a huge championship weekend July 24-25 at Fairbury American Legion Speedway run in conjunction with the World of Outlaws Late Model Series’ Prairie Dirt Classic.
Follow the Summer Nationals and DIRTcar Summit Modified Nationals on Twitter @SummerNationals or on Facebook at www.facebook.com/SummerNationals, or visit the series’ websites at www.TheHellTour.com and www.ModifiedNationals.com.
DIRTcar Summit Racing Equipment Modified Nationals Championship Top 20
2015 DIRTcar Summit Racing Equipment Modified Nationals Schedule
|June 6||Saturday||Tri-State Speedway||Josh Harris|
|June 7||Sunday||Terre Haute Action Track||Bradley Sterrett|
|June 10||Wednesday||Brownstown Speedway||Devin Gilpin|
|June 11||Thursday||Kankakee Co. Speedway||Jeff Curl|
|June 12||Friday||Kankakee Co. Speedway||Rain|
|June 16||Tuesday||Jacksonville Speedway||Mike Harrison|
|June 18||Thursday||Spoon River Speedway||Rain|
|June 19||Friday||Tri-City Speedway||Rain|
|June 20||Saturday||Fairbury Speedway||Chad Kinder|
|June 21||Sunday||Quincy Raceways||Rain/PPD June 22|
|June 22||Monday||Quincy Raceways||Rain|
|June 23||Tuesday||Peoria Speedway||Mike Harrison (2)|
|June 24||Wednesday||Belle-Clair Speedway||Mike Harrison (3)|
|June 25||Thursday||Clarksville Speedway||Lucas Lee|
|June 26||Friday||Paducah International Raceway||Rain|
|June 27||Saturday||Federated I-55 Raceway||Rain|
|June 28||Sunday||Lincoln Speedway||Rain/PPD July 6|
|June 30||Tuesday||I-96 Raceway||Rain|
|July 1||Wednesday||Daugherty Speedway||Bosell, IN|
|July 2||Thursday||La Salle Speedway||La Salle, IL|
|July 3||Friday||Fayette Co. Speedway||Brownstown, IL|
|July 4||Saturday||Highland Speedway||Highland, IL|
|July 5||Sunday||Tri-State Speedway||Haubstadt, IN|
|July 6||Monday||Lincoln Speedway||From June 28|
|July 7||Tuesday||Vermilion Co. Speedway||Danville, IL|
|July 8||Wednesday||Florence Speedway||Union, KY|
|July 9||Thursday||Macon Speedway||Macon, IL|
|July 10||Friday||Farmer City Raceway||Farmer City, IL|
|July 11||Saturday||Oakshade Raceway||Wauseon, OH|
|July 24||Friday||Fairbury A.L. Speedway||Fairbury, IL|
|July 25||Saturday||Fairbury A.L. Speedway||Fairbury, IL|
The Summit Racing Equipment Modified Nationals is brought to fans across the country by many important partners including: Summit Racing Equipment (Title Sponsor), Arizona Sport Shirts (Official Apparel Provider), Hoosier Racing Tires (Official Racing Tire), Racing Electronics (Official Communications Provider), VP Racing Fuels (Official Fuel); in addition to these fine Contingency Partners: MSD, TomCat Performance, Landrum Performance Springs, QuarterMaster, KSE Racing Products, Bilstein Shocks, Joe’s Racing Products, Wrisco Aluminum, Beyea Custom Headers, Fast Shafts, Bassett Racing Wheels, QA1, Auto Meter, Fluidampr, Fox Shocks, Impact Race Products, Penske Shocks, Performance Friction Brakes,
Schoenfeld Headers, Bell Helmets, Shafer Enterprises’ Cool Shirts; Promotional Partners include: Chevy Performance Parts, Indiana Decal and Intercomp.