Jason CrumpCLICK HERE FOR MORE PHOTOS FROM I-55 RACEWAY!
Pevely, MO (August 22nd, 2009) A full field of twenty-six UMP Late Models checked in the gate for competition and Brian Shirley of Chatham, Illinois raced to his second UMP Late Model feature win of 2009 at I-55 Raceway. The event was marred by a couple of big crashes, the first which happended on the opening lap when Shirley, who started on the outside of the front row, got sideways exiting turn two and made contact with Jeff Johns. That triggered a train reaction crash behind them that damaged several cars. Jeff Johns and Bryan Collins both had to go to the pit area for repairs as they both are also in a battle for the track championship. Both were able to return before the race restarted. The crash also severely damaged the car of Joey Mack as his car made heavy contact with the outside wall on the backstretch. On the next restart, another crash in turns one and two would eliminate Tim Ratajczyk, Dave Jumper, Paul Roider and Lou Dreimeier. The race finally got rolling and Shirley took the lead from the outside front row, but Mark Miner, who was making only his second start in the John and Jeanne Schrader owned car, kept constant pressure on Shirley for the top spot. The two had a great battle going until a lap fifteen crash involving Dewayne Keifer and Ed Dixon, who were running fourth and fifth at the time, slowed the field. Dixon's car got airborne during the crash and went over the hood of Keifer's car. Both suffered significant damage and were eliminated from the event. On the restart, Shirley would again assume the lead with Miner hot on his heels. Miner just didn't have enough to mount a challenge in the closing laps and Shirley took the win. Miner would take second with Craig Smith finishing third. Danny Haynes took the fourth spot and Brian Collins recovered for a fifth place finish. Jeff Johns also raced back to a sixth place finish.