Brian Shirley claims Tri-Track Challenge win at I-55 Raceway; Bittle, Naeger & Price also take wins!

Pevely, MO (June 2, 2007) I-55 Raceway dodged Mother Nature as rained and thunderstorms roared the much of the area all day and into the evening all throughout the area. A light drizzle fell at I-55 Raceway for about 30 minutes just before hotlaps were to begin and although it wasn't enough to stop the action, it provided the fastest laps ever recorded around the 1/3 mile high banked oval by dirt late models. Fifteen of the thirty-eight drivers that took qualifying times broke the old track record during qualifying for the second leg of the Northern All-Star Series/United Midwestern Promoter's Tri-Track Challenge. Billy Moyer ended up destroying the old track record by 4/10 of a second with his lap of 12.203 seconds. The old record was held by Justin Allgaier and was 12.610 seconds.

The four heat races provided lightning fast action with some great battles for the lead. In the first heat, Rodney Melvin jumped out front over Randy Korte as the two battled side-by-side for much of the event. Meanwhile Brian Shirley moved into the battle as the laps wound down. On the final lap, Korte would find trouble in turn three as he slapped the outside wall hard. Then Shirley would nearly spin coming out of turn four allowing Tim Manville to sneak by for the second place finish. Shirley would hold on to third.

The second heat saw Billy Moyer, Darren Miller and defending track champion Bryan Collins battle it out for the lead. With just one lap remaining, disaster would strike for Darren Miller as the right rear hub broke on his machine in turn two sending him flipping wildly. He would walk away uninjured. On the restart, Moyer would hang on and get the win with Collins second and Craig Smith third. The third heat saw another great battle, this time between Michael Kloos and Wes Steidinger. Steidinger led every lap until they exited turn four for the checkered flag when Kloos made the perfect slide job past Steidinger and picked up the win. Danny Haynes came home in third. In the fourth heat race it was Steve Sheppard rocketing to victory over Mark Faust and Billy Faust.

In the first last chance semi, Denny Woodworth stormed to victory. Randy Korte made repairs to his car after hitting the wall in his heat race and took second place. In the second last chance semi, Jeff Beyers would take the win with Kevin Cole earning the second spot.

The $6,000 to win main event provided some great racing action that fans won't soon forget. Rodney Melvin took the lead at the drop of the green flag. Pole sitter Michael Kloos stayed with Melvin and the two raced side-by-side lap after lap. It wouldn't take long for Brian Shirley to join the hunt for the lead. Meanwhile, new track record holder Billy Moyer was fading early, falling back as far as eighth place in the early going. Bryan Collins and Billy Faust also began moving toward the front as the forty lap event went green for the first thirty-two laps. At lap twenty, Shirley would take over the top spot and just that quickly Collins would move into the second spot. On the restart on lap thirty-two which had come out for a slowing Billy James, Shirley and Collins battled it out for the top spot. Meanwhile, Moyer and Randy Korte began a serious march toward the front. The caution would fly for a second time on lap thirty-eight when third place runner Kloos found the outside wall in turn two which ended his night. On the final restart, it looked to be a Shirley and Collins battle for the win, but all once Moyer looked as if he was shot out of a cannon as he blasted from sixth on the restart all the way into third and ran down the two leaders. However, Moyer would be about one or two laps short of having a chance to get the win as Shirley took the checkered first with Collins edging Moyer by a nose for the second spot. Korte would follow Moyer across the line in fourth and Billy Faust completed the top five.

The UMP Modifieds put on a spectacular show as well. Bobby Bittle, Mike Harrison, Bobby Martintoni and Ray Walsh kept the fans on their feet with great side-by-side battles up front. Harrison would take the early lead with Bittle glued to his bumper around the top. Soon, Bittle would drop to the low side and begin pulling along side Harrison. Harrison would jump the cushion on lap five and lose momentum and fall back to the third position behind Martintoni. Bittle moved back to the high side and soon Harrison would get back to second and pull along side Bittle on the low side lap after lap. Harrison couldn't find his way past as the two raced together with Martintoni right on their bumper. The big one would happen on lap eleven, a crash started in the middle of the pack in turn one and ended up involving twelve cars before it was over. Although many cars were involved, only three cars weren't able to continue on the restart. As the laps wound down, Walsh moved into the battle near the front. The final caution would wave on lap eighteen when second place competitor Mike Harrison found trouble. The rear-end in his car broke coming out of turn four for the white flag sending the drive-shaft and center-section of his rear-end onto the speedway. On the restart, Walsh would make a bid for the lead past Bittle using the low side, but Bittle was too strong around the top and picked up the win. Walsh would cross the line second with Martintoni third. Mark Miner would finish fourth and Jerry Grither fifth.

Troy Naeger would move past pole sitter Troy Medley on lap two and hang on for the win in the UMP Sportsman division. Jason Keller would finish third with Jeff Herzog fourth and Steve Maisel fifth.

Gary Price would take the win in the UMP/AARA Pro 4 Stock division. Jason Crump was second and Homer Mooney third.

UMP Late Models - 38 Entries
Qualifying
Name Driver Time
Group 1
00 Randy Korte 12.498
27 Rodney Melvin 12.506
3S Brian Shirley 12.510
33 Tim Manville 12.579
45 Denny Woodworth 12.603
5JR Billy James 12.700
95 Jeff Johns 12.725
67 Mark Oller 12.735
11D Brian Dively 12.949
56 Kevin Epperson 13.899

Group 2
21 Billy Moyer 12.203 *New Track Record*
32 Darren Miller 12.355
11Z Bryan Collins 12.512
81 Craig Smith 12.547
50 Ed Dixon 12.596
13 Dewayne Keifer 12.791
30 Mark Voigt 12.826
77 Clay Baumann 12.959
82 Billy Laycock 13.246
66 Allan Hammond 14.878

Group 3
6K Michael Kloos 12.357
J1 Wes Steidenger 12.475
24 Ryan Unzicker 12.946
27 Jeff Beyers 12.970
47 Danny Haynes 13.093
15 David Turner 13.206
69 Dustin Korte 13.226
59 Rich Whaley 13.283
7 Rich Lawson 13.352

Group 4
92B Billy Faust 12.543
5S Steve Sheppard 12.561
28 Dennis Erb 12.590
92M Mark Faust 12.641
91 Rusty Schlenk 12.723
81C Kevin Cole 12.663
2J Dave Jumper 12.759
DC3 Don Cisco 13.205
27 Kenny Helmick 13.244

Heat 1
1. 27 Rodney Melvin
2. 33 Tim Manville
3. 3S Brian Shirley
4. 5JR Billy James
5. 45 Denny Woodworth
6. 67 Mark Oller
7. 95 Jeff Johns
8. 11D Brian Dively
9. 56 Kevin Epperson
10. 00 Randy Korte

Heat 2
1. 21 Billy Moyer
2. 11Z Bryan Collins
3. 81 Craig Smith
4. 30 Mark Voigt
5. 50 Ed Dixon
6. 77 Clay Baumann
7. 82 Billy Laycock
8. 13 Dewayne Keifer
9. 32 Darren Miller
10. 66 Allan Hammond

Heat 3
1. 6K Michael Kloos
2. J1 Wes Steidenger
3. 47 Danny Haynes
4. 24 Ryan Unzicker
5. 27 Jeff Beyers
6. 69 Dustin Korte
7. 15 David Turner
8. 7 Rich Lawson
9. 59 Rich Whaley

Heat 4
1. 5S Steve Sheppard
2. 92M Mark Faust
3. 92B Billy Faust
4. 91 Rusty Schlenk
5. 27S Kenny Helmick
6. 2J Dave Jumper
7. 28 Dennis Erb
8. DC3 Don Cisco
9. 81C Kevin Cole

Semi 1 - Top 2 advance
1. 45 Denny Woodworth
2. 00 Randy Korte
3. 67 Mark Oller
4. 13 Dewayne Keifer
5. 82 Billy Laycock
6. 11D Brian Dively
7. 95 Jeff Johns
8. 56 Kevin Epperson
9. 66H Allen Hammond
10. 77 Clay Baumann
11. 50 Ed Dixon
12. 32 Darren Miller DNS

Semi 2 - Top 2 advance
1. 27 Jeff Beyers
2. 81C Kevin Cole
3. 27S Kenny Helmick
4. 2J Dave Jumper
5. DC3 Don Cisco
6. 7 Rich Lawson
7. 59 Rich Whaley
8. 69 Dustin Korte
9. 15 David Turner DNS
10. 28 Dennis Erb DNS

Feature
1. 3S Brian Shirley
2. 11Z Bryan Collins
3. 21 Billy Moyer
4. 00 Randy Korte
5. 92B Billy Faust
6. 5S Steve Sheppard
7. J1 Wes Steidenger
8. 27 Rodney Melvin
9. 47 Danny Haynes
10. 81 Craig Smith
11. 81C Kevin Cole
12. 27B Jeff Beyers
13. 33 Tim Manville
14. 11D Brian Dively (Track Provisional)
15. 24 Ryan Unzicker
16. 77 Clay Baumann (NALMS Provisional)
17. 6K Michael Kloos
18. 30 Mark Voigt
19. 45 Denny Woodworth
20. 92M Mark Faust
21. 5JR Billy James
22. 67 Mark Oller (Track Provisional)
23. DC3 Don Cisco (NALMS Provisional)
24. 91 Rusty Schlenk

UMP Modifieds - 37 Entries
Heat 1
1. 48 Bobby Martintoni
2. 1W Ray Walsh
3. 77 Rick Stevenson
4. 78C Alan Conner
5. 19 Mark Pfluger
6. 31P Mitch Parmeley
7. C4 Chris Soutia
8. 17T Brad Thurston
9. 14 Rick Conoyer
10. 113 Karl Hartung

Heat 2
1. 24 Mike Harrison
2. 99 Robbie Helms
3. 98 JD Rottler
4. 9S Tom Seets
5. 3R Leon Rakers
6. 67 Dylan Sharp
7. 45M Eric Mabery
8. 15R Danny Resinger
9. 29C John Campbell

Heat 3
1. 89 Bobby Bittle
2. 24 Paul Baumann
3. 15 Jerry Grither
4. 4B Neil Wade Jr.
5. 15P Jason Pritz
6. 17V Mike Vandereit
7. 46 Dave Wibbenmeyer
8. 89B Jim Brown
9. 88 Joe Puricelli DNS

Heat 4
1. 7M Mark Miner
2. 7C Tommie Seets, Jr.
3. 7Z Matt Zimmerly
4. 9W Doug Wood
5. 31 Ricky Horton
6. 21 Dennis Richards
7. 20Z Dan Zander
8. 72 Jeremy Roth
9. C6 Ray Wagner DNS

Dash
1. 89 Bobby Bittle
2. 24 Mike Harrison
3. 48 Bobby Martintoni
4. 7 Mark Miner
5. 1W Ray Walsh
6. 15 Jerry Grither
7. 24 Paul Baumann
8. 99 Robbie Helms
9. 7C Tommie Seets, Jr.

Semi 1 Top 3 Advance
1. 9W Doug Wood
2. 21 Dennis Richards
3. 14 Rick Conoyer
4. C4 Chris Soutia
5. 67 Dylan Sharp
6. 46 Dave Wibbenmeyer
7. 113 Karl Hartung
8. 17T Brad Thurston DNS
9. 89B Jim Brown DNS

Semi 2 Top 3 advance
1. 88 Joe Puricelli
2. 17 Mike Vanderiet
3. 19 Mark Pfluger
4. 20Z Dan Zander
5. 15R Danny Reisinger
6. 31P Mitch Parmeley
7. 29C John Campbell
8. 72 Jeremy Roth
9. 45M Eric Mabery

Feature
1. 89 Bobby Bittle
2. 1W Ray Walsh
3. 48 Bobby Martintoni
4. 7 Mark Miner
5. 15G Jerry Grither
6. 77 Rick Stevenson
7. 9W Doug Wood
8. 24 Paul Baumann
9. C4 Chris Soutia (Alternate)
10. 88 Joe Puricelli
11. 17V Mike Vanderiet
12. 98 JD Rottler
13. 20Z Dan Zander (Alternate)
14. 7Z Matt Zimmerly
15. 19 Mark Pfluger
16. 4B Neil Wade
17. 24 Mike Harrison
18. 31 Ricky Horton
19. 9S Tom Seets
20. 15P Jason Pritz
21. 78 Allen Conner
22. 3R Leon Rakers
23. 21 Dennis Richards
24. 99 Robbie Helms
DNS. 14 Rick Conoyer
DNS. 7C Tommie Seets, Jr.

UMP/AARA Sportsman - 26 Entries
Heat 1
1. 62 Troy Medley
2. 12 Troy Naeger
3. 66 Sam Lopretta
4. 55 Jason Keller
5. 20 Jimmy Miller
6. 19 Jimmy Cummins
7. 40 Steve Maisel
8. 43 Frank Melton
9. 36 Bob Schmidt

Heat 2
1. 96 Tim Hollerbach
2. 16 Joe McCain
3. 82 Pat Chalmers
4. 105 Matt Hancock
5. 36 Danny Ems
6. 27 Nathan Walsh
7. 87 Gary Haynes
8. 10 Dustin Homan
9. 8 Scott Hensler

Heat 3
1. 11 Jeff Herzog
2. 50 Kent Nations
3. 67 Ronnie Bader
4. 23 Kevin Mosier
5. 31 Brian Shuberg
6. 97 John Goodson
7. 811 Wade Sutter
8. 147 Kyle Stolzer

Dash
1. 62 Troy Medley
2. 96 Tim Hollerbach
3. 12 Troy Naeger
4. 50 Kent Nations
5. 11 Jeff Herzog
6. 55 Jason Keller
7. 82 Pat Chalmers
8. 67 Ronnie Bader
9. 16 Joe McCain

Feature
1. 12 Troy Naeger
2. 62 Troy Medley
3. 55 Jason Keller
4. 11 Jeff Herzog
5. 40 Steve Maisel
6. 67 Ronnie Bader
7. 36 Danny Ems
8. 96 Tim Hollerbach
9. 20 Jimmy Miller
10. 19 Jimmy Cummins
11. 8 Scott Hensler
12. 36 Bob Schmidt
13. 82 Pat Chalmers
14. 97 John Goodson
15. 87 Gary Haynes
16. 50 Kent Nations
17. 147 Kyle Stolzer
18. 31 Brian Shuburg
19. 23 Kevin Mosier
20. 27 Nathan Walsh
21. 16 Joe McCain
22. 105 Matt Hancock
23. 10 Dustin Homan
24. 66 Sam Lopretta
25. 811 Wade Sutter
26. 43 Frank Melton DNS

UMP/AARA Pro 4 Stocks - 20 Entries
Heat 1
1. 10H Homer Mooney
2. 186 Stephen Crump
3. 50 Trey Harris
4. 86 Jason Crump
5. 5 Chris Fisher
6. 20B Kyle Busch
7. 911 Tim Hoffman
8. 77 Ron Lyons
9. 29 Robin Linnenbrink
10. 105 Jason Hancock DNS

Heat 2
1. 74 Brandon Hedgecoth
27. 188 Gary Price
28. 97 Mike Dearing
29. 66 Jason Marquitz
30. 65 Gary Range
31. 22 Jerry Cover
32. 99 Chuck Johnson
33. 94 Jason Daugherty
34. 17 Andrew Nausley
35. 7 Conrad Miner

Feature
1. 188 Gary Price
2. 86 Jason Crump
3. 10H Homer Mooney
4. 50 Trey Harris
5. 5 Chris Fisher
6. 74 Brandon Hedgecoth
7. 7 Conrad Miner
8. 186 Stephen Crump
9. 20 Kyle Busch
10. 911 Tim Hoffman
11. 66 Jason Marquitz
12. 65 Gary Range
13. 77 Ron Lyons
14. 94 Jason Daugherty
15. 105 Jason Hancock
16. 17 Andrew Nausley
17. 29 Robin Linnenbrink
18. 99 Chuck Johnson
19. 97 Mike Dearing
20. 22 Jerry Cover

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