Week 1: DIRTcar Summer Nationals / Summit Modified Nationals
Peoria Speedway | Peoria, Illinois
Wednesday, June 14, 2023
Race Recap  

Shirley Wins 38th Summer Nationals Late Model Season Opener at Peoria

Though he now rolls on the national trail of the Outlaws, Brian Shirley hasn’t forgotten how to compete and win with the DIRTcar Summer Nationals.

The four-time Hell Tour champion led all 40 laps en route to his 39th career Feature win with the tour in the season opener Wednesday night at Peoria Speedway. For his efforts in holding off rivals Shannon Babb and Dennis Erb Jr. throughout the race, Shirley pocketed a $5,000 grand prize and his fifth Summer Nationals victory at the 1/4-mile of Peoria.

A win in Heat Race #4 set Shirley up to redraw the pole for the main event. He wasted little time at the drop of the green, winning the mad dash into the first corner with outside polesitter Chase Osterhoff and Erb Jr. right behind him.

Erb got first dibs in trying to get by Shirley for the lead, digging down low in signature Erb fashion. For nearly the entire first half of the race, Erb chased Shirley through lapped traffic, passing several cars in his efforts to hunt down the leader, but was unsuccessful.

Shirley (3s) and Erb Jr. (28) own a total of 64 Summer Nationals Feature wins and seven championships. (Terry Page Photo)

“I was confused – I knew Erb was behind me for a while, so I was definitely more protective of that bottom,” Shirley, of Chatham, IL, said. “I was definitely trying to keep him crowded down, keep my line bent to where [it wouldn’t] open the door for him to get by me.”

A caution for Summer Nationals championship contender Ashton Winger paused the action for the second time in the event at Lap 24. He appeared to have an issue on the right-rear corner of the car and took it pit-side but was unable to return to the track before the restart, leaving him with a DNF in 18th position.

As Babb and Erb swapped the second position back-and-forth after the ensuing restart, Shirley was able to drive out to a three-second lead with more lapped traffic ahead of him. One final caution on Lap 33 restacked the field and gave Babb and Erb one final shot at the leader, but it was not in the cards. Shirley was not to be touched in the bottom lane as he drove off to the tour-opening victory.

Babb (18) making the move around Erb (28) (Terry Page Photo)

“On that last restart, it did make me a little nervous because I knew Babb and how good he is at running the top,” Shirley said. “I definitely hesitated a little bit to run the top a lap or so, but at that point in time, I felt like my car was pretty good, so I was just going to stick to where I was running.”

Erb and Babb swapped the second spot twice again before the checkers, with Babb getting the last pass to take home the runner-up honors from his eighth starting position. Erb settled for third, while California-racer Ethan Dotson came home fourth and Bob Gardner rounding out the top-five.


The Summer Nationals Late Models head northward to Kankakee, IL, to race Kankakee County Speedway on Thursday, June 15. Get a ticket at the gate or stream the action live on DIRTVision.

ABBREVIATED RESULTS (view full results)

Feature (40 Laps): 1. 3S-Brian Shirley[1]; 2. 18-Shannon Babb[8]; 3. 28-Dennis Erb Jr[4]; 4. 174-Ethan Dotson[5]; 5. 4G-Bob Gardner[10]; 6. 24-Ryan Unzicker[20]; 7. 25-Jason Feger[6]; 8. 10J-Jordan Bauer[7]; 9. 31AUS-Kye Blight[18]; 10. 99JR-Frank Heckenast Jr[12]; 11. 9R-Curtis Roberts[13]; 12. 84-Myles Moos[14]; 13. 101-Forrest Trent[11]; 14. 4D-Doug Tye[22]; 15. 30-Mark Voigt[15]; 16. 130-Chase Osterhoff[2]; 17. T22-Tegan Evans[21]; 18. 12-Ashton Winger[3]; 19. 21B-Rich Bell[9]; 20. 27M-Rodney Melvin[16]; 21. 38J-Jake Little[17]; 22. 23NZ-Mick Quin[19]

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Feature Results
1103SBrian Shirley 400.0000Running80$5,000
28+618Shannon Babb 0-40 Laps0Running75$2,500
34+128Dennis Erb Jr0-40 Laps0Running70$2,000
45+1174Ethan Dotson 0-40 Laps0Running65$1,600
510+54GBob Gardner 0-40 Laps0Running60$1,400
620+1424Ryan Unzicker 0-40 Laps0Running55$1,200
76-125Jason Feger 0-40 Laps0Running53$1,000
87-110JJordan Bauer 0-40 Laps0Running51$800
918+931AUSKye Blight 0-40 Laps0Running49$700
1012+299JRFrank Heckenast Jr0-40 Laps0Running47$600
1113+29RCurtis Roberts 0-40 Laps0Running45$500
1214+284Myles Moos 0-40 Laps0Running44$500
1311-2101Forrest Trent 0-40 Laps0Running43$500
1422+84DDoug Tye 0-40 Laps0Running42$500
1515030Mark Voigt 0-40 Laps0Running41$500
162-14130Chase Osterhoff 0-40 Laps0Running40$500
1721+4T22Tegan Evans 0-40 Laps0Running39$500
183-1512Ashton Winger 0-40 Laps0Running38$500
199-1021BRich Bell 0-40 Laps0Running37$500
2016-427MRodney Melvin 0-40 Laps0Running36$500
2117-438JJake Little 0-40 Laps0Running35$500
2219-323NZMick Quin 0-40 Laps0Running34$500
Hard Charger: Ryan Unzicker
Last Chance Showdown Results
14+338JJake Little 120.0009Running0$0
22031AUSKye Blight 12-0.9963Running0$0
33026HDaryn Klein 12-2.0620Running33$350
48+4T6Tommy Sheppard Jr12-2.9950Running32$325
55058Tyler Clem 12-4.3280Running31$300
612+62Charlie Cole 12-7.3210Running30$250
76-138Thomas Hunziker 12-8.0100Running29$200
89+19Lyle Zanker 12-9.3770Running28$175
915+617SSBrenden Smith 12-9.6060Running27$150
101-933HRoben Huffman 12-9.7950Running26$125
1110-174Russ Adams 12-13.7560Running25$100
1213+110Paul Parker 11-1 Laps0Running24$75
1311-24DDoug Tye 6-6 Laps0DNF0$0
147-724Ryan Unzicker 5-7 Laps0DNF0$0
1514-1T22Tegan Evans 1-11 Laps0DNF0$0
Hard Charger: Charlie Cole
Consolation Race Results
11010Paul Parker Kaukauna, WI0.000
220T22Tegan Evans Clinton, IA-0.339
33017SSBrenden Smith Dade City, FL-1.465
440T2Todd Bennett Peoria, IL-1.864
57+219XCody Bauer Farwell, MI-5.598
69+323NZMick Quin Hawks Bay, NZ-7.125
75-222Dan Jacober Highland, IL-8.256
88011MRyan Miller Lincoln, IL-8.810
912+301Matt Mackey Delavan, IL-11.865
1011+1P3Jeff Robertson Definance, OH-4 Laps
116-5T8Tim Gauntt Brighton, IL-7 Laps
1210-293Allen Ellis Peoria, IL-10 Laps
Heat 1 Results
1212Ashton Winger 451.2740.000
24174Ethan Dotson 451.625-0.351
3121BRich Bell 452.083-0.809
439RCurtis Roberts 452.528-1.254
5733HRoben Huffman 453.988-2.714
6558Tyler Clem 454.175-2.901
769Lyle Zanker 456.571-5.297
81010Paul Parker 457.264-5.990
9922Dan Jacober 449.0612.213
10823NZMick Quin 449.0612.213
Heat 2 Results
12130Chase Osterhoff 336.6040.000
2110JJordan Bauer 337.277-0.673
34101Forrest Trent 337.647-1.043
4330Mark Voigt 339.109-2.505
5831AUSKye Blight 339.283-2.679
6538Thomas Hunziker 340.213-3.609
7774Russ Adams 341.364-4.760
86T22Tegan Evans 341.707-5.103
99T8Tim Gauntt 343.854-7.250
101093Allen Ellis 343.854-7.250
Heat 3 Results
1128Dennis Erb Jr231.2840.000
2425Jason Feger 231.365-0.081
334GBob Gardner 232.057-0.773
4284Myles Moos 233.086-1.802
5526HDaryn Klein 234.115-2.831
6624Ryan Unzicker 234.804-3.520
774DDoug Tye 236.167-4.883
8917SSBrenden Smith 236.699-5.415
9819XCody Bauer 237.108-5.824
1010P3Jeff Robertson 243.782-12.498
Heat 4 Results
113SBrian Shirley 0.0000.000
2518Shannon Babb 0.0000.000
3499JRFrank Heckenast Jr0.0000.000
4327MRodney Melvin 0.0000.000
5238JJake Little 0.0000.000
66T6Tommy Sheppard Jr0.0000.000
782Charlie Cole 0.0000.000
87T2Todd Bennett 0.0000.000
9911MRyan Miller 0.0000.000
101001Matt Mackey 0.0000.000
Qualifying Flight 1 Results
16+521BRich Bell 00.0000Running0$0
23+110JJordan Bauer 0-0.0140Running0$0
318+1512Ashton Winger 0-0.0180Running0$0
413+9130Chase Osterhoff 0-0.0450Running0$0
59+49RCurtis Roberts 0-0.0920Running0$0
65-130Mark Voigt 0-0.1120Running0$0
74-3174Ethan Dotson 0-0.1670Running0$0
817+9101Forrest Trent 0-0.2610Running0$0
920+1158Tyler Clem 0-0.3740Running0$0
1012+238Thomas Hunziker 0-0.4450Running0$0
1110-19Lyle Zanker 0-0.5100Running0$0
1215+3T22Tegan Evans 0-0.5440Running0$0
131-1233HRoben Huffman 0-0.6520Running0$0
1419+574Russ Adams 0-0.7380Running0$0
1516+123NZMick Quin 0-0.9630Running0$0
162-1431AUSKye Blight 0-1.0310Running0$0
178-922Dan Jacober 0-1.0960Running0$0
1814-4T8Tim Gauntt 0-1.4320Running0$0
197-1210Paul Parker 0-1.4320Running0$0
2011-993Allen Ellis 0-1.4320DNS0$0
Hard Charger: Ashton Winger
Qualifying Flight 2 Results
16+528Dennis Erb Jr00.0000Running0$0
21-13SBrian Shirley 0-0.1000Running0$0
317+1484Myles Moos 0-0.2240Running0$0
43-138JJake Little 0-0.2550Running0$0
516+114GBob Gardner 0-0.2850Running0$0
611+527MRodney Melvin 0-0.3490Running0$0
710+325Jason Feger 0-0.3680Running0$0
819+1199JRFrank Heckenast Jr0-0.3750Running0$0
918+926HDaryn Klein 0-0.3800Running0$0
109-118Shannon Babb 0-0.4120Running0$0
112-924Ryan Unzicker 0-0.4510Running0$0
1214+2T6Tommy Sheppard Jr0-0.5560Running0$0
134-94DDoug Tye 0-0.6690Running0$0
1412-2T2Todd Bennett 0-0.7230Running0$0
1513-219XCody Bauer 0-0.7560Running0$0
1615-12Charlie Cole 0-0.7590Running0$0
177-1017SSBrenden Smith 0-0.7670Running0$0
188-1011MRyan Miller 0-1.4760Running0$0
1920+1P3Jeff Robertson 0-1.6060Running0$0
205-1501Matt Mackey 0-1.7490Running0$0
Hard Charger: Myles Moos
Hot Laps 1 Results
113+12130Chase Osterhoff 00.0000Running0$0
26+421BRich Bell 0-0.1080Running0$0
33010JJordan Bauer 0-0.2020Running0$0
410+69Lyle Zanker 0-0.2480Running0$0
52-331AUSKye Blight 0-0.3490Running0$0
69+39RCurtis Roberts 0-0.5570Running0$0
75-230Mark Voigt 0-0.5880Running0$0
820+1258Tyler Clem 0-0.6970Running0$0
94-5174Ethan Dotson 0-0.9260Running0$0
101-933HRoben Huffman 0-0.9530Running0$0
1117+6101Forrest Trent 0-0.9660Running0$0
1216+423NZMick Quin 0-1.0790Running0$0
1312-138Thomas Hunziker 0-1.1120Running0$0
1419+574Russ Adams 0-1.1710Running0$0
157-810Paul Parker 0-1.4350Running0$0
1614-2T8Tim Gauntt 0-2.0560Running0$0
1715-2T22Tegan Evans 0-2.0630Running0$0
1818012Ashton Winger 0-2.6580Running0$0
1911-893Allen Ellis 0-2.6580DNS0$0
208-1222Dan Jacober 0-2.6580DNS0$0
Hard Charger: Chase Osterhoff
Hot Laps 2 Results
19+818Shannon Babb 00.0000Running0$0
26+428Dennis Erb Jr0-0.0390Running0$0
319+1699JRFrank Heckenast Jr0-0.0540Running0$0
410+625Jason Feger 0-0.1280Running0$0
517+1284Myles Moos 0-0.2090Running0$0
616+104GBob Gardner 0-0.2450Running0$0
718+1126HDaryn Klein 0-0.2490Running0$0
811+327MRodney Melvin 0-0.2640Running0$0
92-724Ryan Unzicker 0-0.2730Running0$0
1015+52Charlie Cole 0-0.3010Running0$0
111-103SBrian Shirley 0-0.3080Running0$0
127-517SSBrenden Smith 0-0.3190Running0$0
1312-1T2Todd Bennett 0-0.3680Running0$0
143-1138JJake Little 0-0.3750Running0$0
154-114DDoug Tye 0-0.9670Running0$0
1620+4P3Jeff Robertson 0-1.4280Running0$0
1713-419XCody Bauer 0-1.4280Running0$0
185-1301Matt Mackey 0-1.4280Running0$0
198-1111MRyan Miller 0-1.4280Running0$0
2014-6T6Tommy Sheppard Jr0-1.4280Running0$0
Hard Charger: Frank Heckenast Jr
DIRTVision Highlights  
Event Info  

Week 1: DIRTcar Summer Nationals / Summit Modified Nationals
Wednesday, June 14, 2023
Peoria Speedway
3520 West Farmington Road
Peoria, Illinois 61604 

Event Description
The Hell Tour returns to Peoria, one of DIRTcar's longest-running weekly racing venues, for the 23rd time in history to kick off the 2023 season.

Series Racing
DIRTcar Summer Nationals

Support Divisions
Summit Modified Nationals

To Win Amount

Feature Laps Length

Event Schedule
Pit Gates Open: 3:30PM
Drivers Meeting: 5:30PM
Hot Laps: 6PM

DIRTcar Late Model Hot Laps
DIRTcar Modified Hot Lap/Qualifying - 1/2 of each group - 3 Laps
DIRTcar Late Model Qualifying - 2 Cars / 2 Laps
B-Mod Hot Lap/Qualifying
Opening Ceremonies
Kid Modz Heat Races - 6 Laps
DIRTcar Late Model Heat Races - 10 Laps
DIRTcar Modified Heat Races - 8 Laps
B-Mod Heat Races - 8 Laps
DIRTcar Late Model Consolation Race - 10 Laps (if needed)
DIRTcar Modified Last Chance Showdown - 10 Laps (if needed)
DIRTcar Late Model Last Chance Showdown - 12 Laps (if needed)
Kid Modz Feature - 10 Laps
Intermission / Track Prep (if needed)
DIRTcar Late Model Feature - 40 Laps
DIRTcar Modified Feature - 25 Laps
B-Mod Feature - 15 Laps
*All times Central

Event Hashtag

Track Info  

Peoria Speedway
3520 West Farmington Road
Peoria, Illinois 61604 

Track Phone
(309) 357-3339

Track Email

Track Type

Late Model Track Record
11.460 seconds by Bobby Pierce on 6/27/20

Track Map
Competitor Info