By CAREY FOXTimes Sports Editor
PUTNAMVILLE — Moweaqua, Ill. native Shannon Babb is quickly picking up steam in pursuit of his third career DIRTcar Summer Nationals championship.
Babb started fourth and surpassed current DIRTcar Late Model National points leader Ryan Unzicker on the 14th circuit at Lincoln Park Speedway on Tuesday night and went on to score his second consecutive feature victory on the tour.
Babb made his pass stick and was able to hold off Unzicker and Jason Feger over the remaining 26 laps to pick up a second $5,000 payday after winning at Lake Odessa, Mich. on Sunday evening at I-96 Speedway. Babb defeated Jeep VanWormer by holding him off the final three laps two nights earlier. After a night off from the hectic Hell Tour, Babb was back in the saddle at the Putnamville oval.
Group qualifying went to Babb, who topped overall qualifying with a time of 13.187 to edge Feger in group one. The second group was led by Frank Heckenast Jr. in 13.485 and Don O’Neal was quickest in the third group, but his night ended prematurely when he rolled several times during his second qualifying lap of the night.
Heckenast Jr. and Feger picked up heat race wins to set the feature for the night.
In the DIRTcar Summit Racing Equipment Modified Nationals event, Mike Harrison is now 3-for-3 as he led nearly wire-to-wire to earn the win in his Shaw Racecar No. 24, Rinders Farms, Aggressive Graphics, John’s Towing, Kehrer Brothers sponsored machine.
Harrison, the defending DIRTcar UMP Modified National Champion picked up a win in the second heat race and went on to win over Ryan Thomas of Gosport, Ind. and Clint DeMoss of Bloomington, Ind.
The win is Harrison’s third in as many starts during the Summitt Modified Nationals. John DeMoss placed fourth and closed to within five points of Forest, Ill. driver, Jeff Curl, who leads the series in points heading into last night’s race at Belle-Clair Speedway in Illinois. Gabe Menser wrapped the top-five on Tuesday.
Heat races went to Clint DeMoss, Harrison, Thomas and Chris Brewer. Craig Conyer claimed the win in the B-main.
In the open rules bomber class on Tuesday night, 28 cars were on hand for the festivities, but no one could catch up to Lee Hobbs, who won his second feature at LPS this season.
Hobbs earned a win in the second heat race as Jason Cox won the first and Blake Cross was the third heat race victor.
Cox and Hobbs started on the front row ahead of Cross and John Grenier Jr., but Cox night went sideways as he spun on the first lap on a slick racing surface. He wasn’t alone as several cautions flew before the first feature lap was completed.
Once the feature went fully green however, Hobbs secured the advantage and built his lead ahead of Grenier, who led a two-way dual between Joel Shores and Jordan Almanza with Cross in two.
Hobbs continued to build on his lead over the course of the feature as Almanza and Grenier settled into a fight for the runner-up spot. Harry Shephered moved into contention, dueling with Shores with David Bumgardner chasing fifth position.
Hobbs would go on to take the checkered flag as Almanza took second ahead of Daniel Foxworthy, Shores and Shepherd in the top-five.
Action resumes on Saturday with sprints, modifieds, super stocks and bombers on tap along with the annual fireworks extravaganza. General admission is $15, kids 10-and-under are free. Main gates open at 4:30 p.m. with hot laps at 6 p.m.
DIRTcar Summer Nationals Hell Tour
Lincoln Park Speedway
Late Model Feature (40 laps)
1. Shannon Babb, 2. Jason Feger, 3. Ryan Unzicker, 4. Scott James, 5. Brandon Sheppard, 6. Frank Heckenast Jr., 7. Dennis Erb Jr., 8. Brian Shirley, 9. Jack Sullivan, 10. Billy Moyer Jr., 11. Bobby Pierce, 12. Greg Johnson, 13. Dillan White, 14. Donny Walden, 15. Greg Kendall, 16. Kevin Weaver, 17. Joe Deckard, 18. Kent Robinson, 19. Kenny Carmichael Sr., 20. Jon Dome, 21. Bob Robinson
Heat winners: Frank Heckenast Jr., Jason Feger
Group Qualifying winners: Shannon Babb (13.187), Frank Heckenast Jr. (13.485), Don O’Neal (13.657)
DIRTcar Summit Racing Equipment Modified Nationals
1. Mike Harrison, 2. Ryan Thomas, 3. Clint DeMoss, 4. John DeMoss, 5. Gabe Menser, 6. Chris Brewer, 7. Jeff Curl, 8. Carlos Bumgardner, 9. Michael Fox, 10. Brian Hayden, 11. McKay Wenger, 12. Schuyler Nahre, 13. Paul Bumgardner, 14. Kenny Carmichael Sr., 15. Jacob Hines, 16. Craig Conyer, 17. Bryce Jewell, 18. Kelby Simmons, 19. C.J. Bryan, 20. Levi Kissinger
1. Lee Hobbs, 2. Jordan Almanza, 3. Daniel Foxworthy, 4. Joel Shores, 5. Harry Shepherd, 6. David Bumgardner, 7. Josh Foxworthy, 8. Blake Cross, 9. JR Watkins, 10. Bob Farris, 11. Marlin Burns, 12. Corey Gregory, 13. Jason Cox, 14. Kevin Kemp, 15. Josh Fagg, 16. Michael Harris, 17. John Grenier Jr., 18. Greg Leitzman, 19. Frank Cotton, 20. Kyle Laughlin
B-main winner: Josh Foxworthy
Heat winners: Jason Cox, Lee Hobbs, Blake Cross