Gundaker Charges From 14th to Claim $10k in FALS Thriller

Jim DenHamer Photo

FAIRBURY, IL – In one of the most exciting runs to the front seen all year in a DIRTcar Late Model, Gordy Gundaker dazzled the crowd Saturday night at Fairbury Speedway, coming all the way from 14th to score his fourth career Summer Nationals victory.

Defending tour champion Brian Shirley jetted out to a commanding lead in the early going, but company was coming fast behind him. Shannon Babb found the fast groove right through the middle and had taken second by Lap 13.

A caution on Lap 32 re-stacked the field and gave Babb the shot he needed to grab the lead, which he did, hammering the cushion in Turns 3-4 to Shirley’s outside.

Jim DenHamer Photo

By this time, Gundaker had just made the pass for sixth. With one of the smoothest lines of anyone on the very bottom of the track, G-Man advanced to fourth on Lap 40, third on Lap 42, second on Lap 44 and finally underneath Babb for the lead on Lap 46.

From seemingly out of nowhere, Gundaker had shocked the field and picked up the $10,000 payday from his 14th starting spot.

“We were so good, I was just kinda biding my time,” a pumped-up Gundaker said in Victory Lane. “I know last year, I felt like we gave this race away. We just got rolling and the yellow came out at a perfect time. It was awesome!”

Brendon Bauman Photo

Punctuated by an epic display of fence-climbing after his backwards parade lap around the track, the St. Charles, MO-pilot soon arrived in FALS Victory Lane to a sea of applause and gave this memorable quote to his fans and those watching on DIRTVision presented by Drydene.

“You fans are badass, I love every single one of you! Let’s party, let’s drink beer, we won, baby!”

Pennsylvanian Rick Eckert climbed from ninth to finish second – his second consecutive podium finish after a third-place result on Friday night. Shannon Babb was able to hold on for third while Shirley and Ryan Unzicker rounded out the top-five.


The DIRTcar Summer Nationals action continues Sunday night with Round #5 from The Bullring at RICO Fairgrounds in East Moline, IL. Tune into DIRTVision presented by Drydene to watch all the action.

ABBREVIATED RESULTS (click here for full results)

Feature (50 Laps) 1. 11-Gordy Gundaker [14]; 2. O-Rick Eckert [7]; 3. 18-Shannon Babb [5]; 4. 3S-Brian Shirley [2]; 5. 24-Ryan Unzicker [13]; 6. 25-Jason Feger [9]; 7. 99JR-Frank Heckenast, Jr. [1]; 8. 32-Bobby Pierce [10]; 9. 28-Tyler Carpenter [8]; 10. 1ST-Johnny Scott [11]; 11. 25W-Allen Weisser [17]; 12. 4G-Bob Gardner [21]; 13. 48-Tim Lance [24]; 14. 30-Mike Glasscock [15]; 15. 6-Daryn Klein [20]; 16. 89-Mike Spatola [3]; 17. 10S-Scott Schmitt [23]; 18. 18L-Jeffrey Ledford [12]; 19. 19R-Ryan Gustin [4]; 20. 42-McKay Wenger [18]; 21. 21-Billy Moyer [6]; 22. 111L-Matt Lux [16]; 23. T4-Adam Tischhauser [22]; 24. 9-Eric Smith [19] Hard Charger: 11-Gordy Gundaker[+13]