CLARKSVILLE, TN – June 30, 2007 – Jeep VanWormer is making up for a slow start on the 2007 UMP DIRTcar Racing Summernationals series.
The 32-year-old from Pinconning, Mich., continued his surge as the tour reached its halfway point, winning Saturday night’s 40-lap A-Main at Clarksville Speedway.
Coming off a strong second-place finish in the June 28 event at Paducah (Ky.) International Raceway, VanWormer took advantage of a pole starting spot to lead from flag-to-flag at the quarter-mile oval. He repelled periodic challenges from Wes Steidinger of Fairbury, Ill., to pocket $10,000 for his first victory of the 2007 Summernationals.
VanWormer, who entered the ’07 Summernationals as a favorite to win the $25,000 points title after finishing second in the ’06 tour standings, recorded just two top-10 finishes in the first 10 events of this year’s series. But Saturday’s triumph was his third consecutive top-five run, so it appears he’s finally hit his stride.
The win was the fourth of VanWormer’s career in UMP DIRTcar Racing Summernationals action. He won twice in 2006 and scored his initial victory in 2002.
Steidinger settled for second place as he continues to chase his first-ever Summernationals triumph. He started on the outside pole.
Jeff Taylor of Texarkana, Ark., finished third, followed by Jack Sullivan of Greenbrier, Ark., and Dennis Erb Jr. of Carpentersville, Ill.
UMP DIRTcar Racing Summernationals points leader Mike Marlar of Winfield, Tenn., experienced his second straight rough night. But after rallying to finish 11th after a spin forced him to the rear of the field, he was able to remain atop the point standings by eight markers over Erb and 18 over Don O’Neal of Martinsville, Ind., who finished ninth.
Forty-seven cars entered the event.
Heat winners were VanWormer, Steidinger, Wendell Wallace of Batesville, Ark., and Taylor, and the B-Mains were captured by Billy James of Sikeston, Mo., and Marlar.
UMP DIRTcar Racing Summernationals A-Main Finish (40 laps):
1. Jeep VanWormer
2. Wes Steidinger
3. Jeff Taylor
4. Jack Sullivan
5. Dennis Erb Jr.
6. Rodney Melvin
7. Billy Moyer
8. Randy Korte
9. Don O’Neal
10. Garrett Durrett
11. Mike Marlar
12. Eddie Kirchoff
13. Gil Smith
14. Kevin Weaver
15. Billy James
16. Chuck Proctor
17. Wendell Wallace
18. Mike Chandler
19. Rusty Griffaw
20. Jarryd Holshouser
21. Tony Albright
DNQ: Steve Sheppard Jr., William Glisson, A.J. Diemel, Duane Hodges, Gary Johnson, Brian Ashby, Rand Richardson, Perry Delany, Eddie Sykes, Chris Shelton, Kevin Cole, Steven Ashby, Dylan Thompson, Michael Steele, Caleb Ashby, David Miller, Jordan Bland, Marshall Austin Jr., Darren Baxter, Jason Mcbride, Mutt Trotter, Wendell Bratton, Charles Zimmerman, David Gentry, Joseph Lingauer, Terry Casey
2007 UMP DIRTcar Racing Summernationals Schedule
6/15 – Fri. – Kankakee Motor Speedway/Kankakee, IL (Dennis Erb Jr.)
6/16 – Sat. – Kamp Motor Speedway/Boswell, IN (Dennis Erb Jr.)
6/17 – Sun. – Tri-State Speedway/Haubstadt, IN (Randy Korte)
6/18 – Mon. – Jefferson County Raceway/Mt. Vernon, IL (Randy Korte)
6/19 – Tues. – Lebanon I-44 Speedway/Lebanon, MO (Mike Marlar)
6/20 – Wed. – Highland Speedway/Highland, IL (Dennis Erb Jr.)
6/21 – Thurs. – Morgan County Speedway/Jacksonville, IL (Kevin Weaver)
6/22 – Fri. – Farmer City Raceway/Farmer City, IL (Rain – Rescheduled to July 13)
6/23 – Sat. – I-55 Raceway/Pevely, MO (Mike Marlar)
6/24 – Sun. – Lincoln Speedway/Lincoln, IL (Don O’Neal)
6/25 – Mon. – Peoria Speedway/Peoria, IL (Dennis Erb Jr.)
6/26 – Tues. – Poplar Bluff Speedway/Poplar Bluff, MO (Billy Moyer)
6/27 – Wed. – Lake Ozark Speedway/Eldon, MO (Rain)
6/28 – Thurs. – Paducah International Raceway/Paducah, KY (Billy Moyer)
6/29 – Fri. – Western Kentucky Speedway/Nebo, KY (Rain)
6/30 – Sat. – Clarksville Speedway/Clarksville, TN (Jeep VanWormer)
7/1 – Sun. – Vermilion County Speedway/Danville, IL
7/2 – Mon. – Midway Speedway/Crooksville, OH
7/3 – Tues. – Lawrenceburg Speedway/Lawrenceburg, IN
7/4 – Wed. – Day Off
7/5 – Thurs. – Macon Speedway/Macon, IL
7/6 – Fri. – Tri-City Speedway/Pontoon Beach, IL
7/7 – Sat. – Fairbury American Legion Speedway/Fairbury, IL
7/8 – Sun. – Quad City Speedway/East Moline, IL
7/9 – Mon. – C.J. Raceway/Columbus Junction, IA
7/10 – Tues. – Quincy Raceway/Quincy, IL
7/11 – Wed. – Spoon River Speedway/Canton, IL
7/12 – Thurs. – LaSalle Speedway/LaSalle, IL
7/13 – Fri. – Farmer City Raceway/Farmer City, IL
7/14 – Sat. – Oakshade Raceway/Wauseon, OH