DIRTcar Summer Nationals / Summit Modified Nationals
Merritt Speedway | Lake City, MI
Saturday, July 23, 2022

Tickets can be purchased at the gate.

For more information, call the track at (231) 842-7223

Event Info

DIRTcar Summer Nationals / Summit Modified Nationals
July 23, 2022
Merritt Speedway
4430 East Houghton Lake Road
Lake City, MI 

Event Description
Championship night for the DIRTcar Summer Nationals at Merritt Speedway will cap off the Late Model tour with the crowning of a champion!

The DIRTcar Summit Racing Equipment Modified Nationals will continue their own Hell Tour before crowning their champion at Prairie Dirt Classic.

$10,000 to win for Late Models, $1,500 for UMP Modifieds.

Series Racing
DIRTcar Summer Nationals DIRTcar UMP Modifieds

Late Model Track Record
12.950 seconds by Eric Spangler in 1999

To Win Amount

Feature Laps Length

Frequently Asked Questions
Support Divisions
DIRTcar UMP Modifieds

To Win Amount

Track Info
Track Phone
(231) 842-7223

Track Email

Track Size & Type

Late Model Car Track Record
12.950 seconds by Eric Spangler in 1999

Competitor Info
DIRTVision Highlights
Race Recap

SEND IT: Thirlby Passes Spangler with Slider in Turn 4 to Win at Merritt

A run, a dive, a bump, a pass, and a victory. That was Brandon Thirlby’s 40th lap around Merritt Speedway Saturday night – one that made him $10,000 richer and a first-time DIRTcar Summer Nationals Feature winner.

“It was definitely interesting,” said Thirlby, of Buckley, MI. “It was going to be wreckers or checkers down there.”

Polesitter Eric Spangler looked to be well on his way to a dominant first career Hell Tour Feature win at his home track, leading 39 laps of the race largely unchallenged. But a hungry Thirlby was driving hard behind him in a run all the way from 10th and had closed a gap that stretched nearly a full second with five laps remaining.

Spangler (27) led 39 of 40 laps Saturday night. (Terry Page Photo)

“With three-to-go, it stuck pretty good going into Turn 1,” Thirlby said. “The harder I charged the corner, this Longhorn [Chassis] race car just hooked up and took that Pro Power engine, put it to the floor and that’s where we went.”

Spangler had led the entire way using mostly the bottom and middle lanes around the 3/8-mile course before switching to the top lane in Turns 3-4 after the final restart with six-to-go. Thirlby also opted to go to the top side in favor of the momentum, leaning on the cushion in Turns 1-2 which propelled him within a car-length of Spangler by the time they came around to get the white flag. It was then that Thirlby knew he needed to go for it.

With a great launch off the top of Turn 2, Thirlby dove under Spangler into Turn 3 and gassed it, sliding his #M14 up in front of Spangler, making contact as he completed the pass in Turn 4 and crossed the finish line to steal the victory.

The crowd came to their feet as they crossed the stripe, in awe of what transpired. Spangler took the opportunity on the cooldown lap to express his displeasure with Thirlby, to which Thirlby had one comment after Victory Lane.

“[Spangler] was waving at me with one finger, not five, as I went by and kinda swerving at me. He can be pissed all he wants, but he would’ve done the same to me.”

Thirlby races across the finish line in his first career DIRTcar Summer Nationals victory. (Terry Page Photo)

Coming from 10th on the starting grid, Thirlby didn’t think it was possible from the fifth row before taking the green. But he kept picking one off every few laps, and with some help from the yellow flags, he was in position at the end to take the opportunity.

“I didn’t even know who was leading the race, honestly, because I couldn’t even see first or second, I was so far out,” Thirlby said. “Cautions definitely played a part in favor of myself, gathering everybody back up. But originally, no. I thought there was no way in hell.”

It’s a great kick of momentum before Thirlby and the team compete in one of Merritt’s biggest events of the season in two weeks – the 34th annual Ed Vanduinen & Dan Salay Memorial Wood Tic. It’s a special race to Thirlby’s friends and family, one they’d love to win as well.

“It’s definitely the biggest win of my career,” Thirlby said. “It’d be real nice to gather another one up here in a couple of weeks for my crew chief’s memorial race. I know that’d be huge.”


The DIRTcar Summer Nationals is still scheduled to contest one final race in the 37th annual campaign on Sunday, July 24 – the remainder of the program from Wednesday night’s rainout at Thunderbird Raceway in Muskegon, MI. Gates open at 2pm, racing picks up where it left off at 5pm.

If you can’t be there in person, watch all the action live on DIRTVision.

ABBREVIATED RESULTS (view full results)

Feature 40 Laps | 00:14:17.836

  1. M14-Brandon Thirlby[10]; 2. 27-Eric Spangler[1]; 3. 21-Billy Moyer Jr[3]; 4. 91-Rusty Schlenk[8]; 5. 14G-Joe Godsey[2]; 6. 19X-Cody Bauer[4]; 7. 21N-Logan Nickerson[5]; 8. 42-Chad Finley[6]; 9. 11X-Ryan Lanphierd[18]; 10. 44S-Colin Shipley[12]; 11. 99JR-Frank Heckenast Jr[11]; 12. 55-Jeep Van Wormer[17]; 13. 4-Travis Stemler[9]; 14. 50-Greg Gokey[21]; 15. F1-Payton Freeman[7]; 16. 4T-Andrew Terrill[13]; 17. 14R-Jeff Roth[15]; 18. 23NZ-Mick Quin[22]; 19. 30- Mark Voigt[19]; 20. 07-Rylee Knoll[14]; 21. 6M-Dona Marcoullier[16]; 22. 33B-David Hilliker[20]
[Read More]
Feature Results
110+9M14Brandon Thirlby 400.0001Running80$10,000
21-127Eric Spangler 40-0.34139Running75$5,000
33021Billy Moyer Jr40-2.3330Running70$3,000
48+491Rusty Schlenk 40-3.0140Running65$2,000
52-314GJoe Godsey 40-4.3700Running60$1,800
64-219XCody Bauer 40-5.0120Running55$1,600
75-221NLogan Nickerson 40-5.4880Running53$1,400
86-242Chad Finley 40-5.4990Running51$1,200
918+911XRyan Lanphierd 40-6.1390Running49$1,000
1012+244SColin Shipley 40-6.2940Running47$700
1111099JRFrank Heckenast Jr40-7.2090Running45$500
1217+555Jeep Van Wormer 40-7.3420Running44$500
139-44Travis Stemler 40-7.9210Running43$500
1421+750Greg Gokey 40-8.4430Running42$500
157-8F1Payton Freeman 40-8.5620Running41$500
1613-34TAndrew Terrill 40-9.6240Running40$500
1715-214RJeff Roth 39-1 Laps0Running39$500
1822+423NZMick Quin 38-2 Laps0Running38$500
1919030Mark Voigt 32-8 Laps0DNF37$500
2014-607Rylee Knoll 20-20 Laps0DNF36$500
2116-56MDona Marcoullier 20-20 Laps0DNF34$500
2220-233BDavid Hilliker 17-23 Laps0DNF33$500
Last Chance Showdown Results
11055Jeep Van Wormer 120.00012Running0$0
24+211XRyan Lanphierd 12-0.3560Running0$0
36+333BDavid Hilliker 12-1.6610Running0$0
45+130Mark Voigt 12-2.4990Running0$0
53-27LLogan Love 12-2.5310Running350$33
612+638Thomas Hunziker 12-3.3840Running325$32
713+615Dave Baker 12-3.8280Running300$31
88031AUSPaul Stubber 12-5.1090Running250$30
916+720Jim Plotts 12-5.7010Running200$29
109-123NZMick Quin 12-6.1030Running0$0
1115+425Jim Billett 12-8.0210Running175$28
1211-129Dan Hersey 12-9.5660Running150$27
132-1150Greg Gokey 9-3 Laps0DNF0$0
1410-40SRonnie Smith 9-3 Laps0DNF125$26
157-806Josh Hendershott 5-7 Laps0DNF100$25
1614-233TBob Timmer 0-12 Laps0DNS0$24
Heat 1 Results
12+119XCody Bauer Farwell, MI0.000
21-121NLogan Nickerson Vestaburg, MI-0.478
3304Travis Stemler Ionia, MI-2.048
46+24TAndrew Terrill Sanford, MI-2.466
55055Jeep Van Wormer Pinconning, MI-2.799
68+230Mark Voigt Marine, IL-4.154
74-323NZMick Quin Hawks Bay, NZ-4.614
87-115Dave Baker Grand Rapids, MI172.213
Heat 2 Results
12+114GJoe Godsey Bedford, IN0.000
21-142Chad Finley St Johns, MI-0.680
34+1M14Brandon Thirlby Buckley, MI-2.087
43-107Rylee Knoll Lake, MI-3.253
55050Greg Gokey Buckley, MI-3.960
66033BDavid Hilliker Midland, MI-4.384
7700SRonnie Smith Grand Rapids, MI-10.169
88033TBob Timmer Mcbain, MI-10.169
Heat 3 Results
12+127Eric Spangler Lake City, MI0.000
21-1F1Payton Freeman Commerce, GA-3.728
33099JRFrank Heckenast JrFrankfort, IL-4.242
44014RJeff Roth Bentonville, AR-7.063
5507LLogan Love Vestaburg, MI-9.423
66006Josh Hendershott Houghton Lake, MI-9.839
77029Dan Hersey Traverse City, MI-13.650
88025Jim Billett Mcbain, MI-14.602
Heat 4 Results
11021Billy Moyer JrBatesville, AR0.000
22091Rusty Schlenk McClure, OH-1.956
33044SColin Shipley Weston, OH-3.521
4406MDona Marcoullier Houghton Lake, MI-4.426
56+111XRyan Lanphierd Midland, MI-5.200
65-131AUSPaul Stubber Bunbury, WAU-7.550
77038Thomas Hunziker Bend, OR-8.594
88020Jim Plotts Holgate, OH-9.897
Qualifying Flight 1 Results
1221NLogan Nickerson 13.8760.000
2119XCody Bauer 13.924-0.048
384Travis Stemler 13.998-0.122
4623NZMick Quin 14.223-0.347
5755Jeep Van Wormer 14.236-0.360
644TAndrew Terrill 14.279-0.403
7315Dave Baker 14.287-0.411
8530Mark Voigt 14.354-0.478
Qualifying Flight 2 Results
1542Chad Finley 14.0670.000
2214GJoe Godsey 14.165-0.098
3307Rylee Knoll 14.192-0.125
47M14Brandon Thirlby 14.283-0.216
5650Greg Gokey 14.367-0.300
6133BDavid Hilliker 14.427-0.360
740SRonnie Smith 15.017-0.950
8833TBob Timmer 15.017-0.950
Qualifying Flight 3 Results
14F1Payton Freeman 13.8860.000
2127Eric Spangler 14.072-0.186
3899JRFrank Heckenast Jr14.183-0.297
4214RJeff Roth 14.625-0.739
567LLogan Love 14.775-0.889
6706Josh Hendershott 14.963-1.077
7329Dan Hersey 14.983-1.097
8525Jim Billett 15.071-1.185
Qualifying Flight 4 Results
1221Billy Moyer Jr14.3330.000
2391Rusty Schlenk 14.357-0.024
3144SColin Shipley 14.370-0.037
456MDona Marcoullier 14.464-0.131
5431AUSPaul Stubber 14.578-0.245
6611XRyan Lanphierd 14.588-0.255
7738Thomas Hunziker 14.776-0.443
8820Jim Plotts 15.199-0.866