KALWASINSKI: Chicago Chips
CHICAGO — A trip down to the Peoria Speedway for another round of the DIRTcar Summer Nationals saw defending Hell Tour champion Brandon Sheppard capture his first Summer Nationals victory Monday night.
Heavy rains in the area flooded the track’s infield, but a good crowd and good car count were on hand for the eighth Summer Nationals program of the year. Sheppard bested Bobby Pierce and Brian Shirley in the 40-lap main event. Shirley won the night before at Michigan’s I-96 Speedway, while young Pierce is still looking for his first tour win of the season.
The Summer Nationals circuit travels to Tennessee’s Clarksville Speedway on Wednesday night. So far, Billy Moyer and Rick Eckert have won two features apiece. Single race winners, in addition to Sheppard and Shirley, are Shannon Babb and Jason Feger. With a lot of rain in the Midwest lately, four Summer Nationals events have had to be postponed and/or canceled so far.
David Wietholder added his name to the feature winners list of this year’s DIRTcar Summit Racing Equipment Modified Nationals by winning the circuit’s 25 lapper Monday at Peoria. Wietholder defeated Mike Harrison and Erik Bruce.
Seven Modified Nationals events have been held so far with Michigan’s Jacob Poel having claimed three wins. Tyler Nicely, Devin Gilpin and Harrison, who won at Illinois’ Tri-City Speedway last Friday, are the tour’s winners so far. Poel, Nicely and Gilpin were not on hand at Peoria.
Persistent rain storms in the area put a damper on local stock car racing this past weekend.
Rockford Speedway and Sycamore Speedway lost their Saturday racing nights to the weather as did Kankakee County Speedway on Friday because of extremely wet conditions.
Indiana raceways, Illiana Motor Speedway in Schererville and Shadyhill Speedway in Medaryville, were forced to cancel their entire programs on Saturday due to the rain. Indiana’s Plymouth Speedway was able to get in some heat races and a feature (the Super Street main event won by Michael Clark) until the rains came. Plymouth is slated to host its Open Wheel Wednesday tomorrow night. The event will see 410 non-wing sprint cars and 600cc sprint cars in action at the three-eighths-mile dirt track. Daugherty Speedway in Chase, Ind., was able to get their racing program in on Saturday.