Erb Breaks Through in Round 2 of the Summer Nationals
Jeffrey A. Bayless
  Boswell, IN (June 25)  The second round of DIRT Motorsports' UMP Summer Nationals rolled into the 3/8ths mile red clay covered speed plant known as Kamp Motor Speedway Saturday night with 44 of the Midwest's finest on hand to compete for the $10,000 top prize.  A late afternoon shower delayed the start of the program, but once under way the packed house was treated to a top notch program.  When the checkers had flown it was Carpentersville, IL native, Dennis Erb Jr. driving his Malcuit powered CJ Rayburn Chassis Petroff Towing, BK Sportswear, Hoosier Racing Tire, and Reaber Transport sponsored race car to victory lane.
     The dash for the pole saw Shannon Babb take the checkers ahead of Dennis Erb Jr., Terry English, Billy Moyer, Roger Long, and Billy Drake.  Those 6 drivers would make up the first three rows of the main event.  Four heats then would transfer 3 each to the feature with everyone else going to 1 of two concis which would transfer 1 each.  In the first heat Kevin Weaver powered away to the victory ahead of Jeep VanWormer, Ryan Dauber, and Duane Chamberlain.  The second heat saw Jimmy Mars take an impressive win over Michael Bradley, Patrick Sheltra, and Randy Korte.  In the third heat Jason Feger would hold Darren Miller at bay to claim the checkers with Brett Seivert and Rob Starkey coming home behind them.  The fourth and final heat saw local hot shoe, Dan Walden, claim the victory ahead of Shawn Negengard, Zach Carney, and Jim Laws.  The first conci would see pole sitter Duane Chamberlain storm away to the victory followed by Frank Heckenast Jr., and Ted Loomis.  In the second conci Jim Laws would hold Randy Korte at bay for 11 laps only to see the wily veteran slip by on the final circuit to claim the victory.  Brian Shirley came home 3rd after starting 11th in this conci.  Ted Loomis and Chuck Haga were added to the field as the track provisionals with Wes Steidinger getting the Series provisional to complete the 23 car field.
     The fireworks lighting up the sky in the third turn before the start of the main event served as a precursor to what the fans had in store for them.  Erb would edge out Babb down the back stretch to lead the first lap with Moyer, English, and Drake in tow.  Erb, riding the rim, powered away to an 8 car length lead and was approaching the back markers on the 8th circuit when his lead evaporated with Ted Loomis finding the turn three wall to bring out the races first caution.  On the restart Babb would dive under Erb to challenge for the lead, but Erb would have none of it as he powered away down the back stretch as Weaver used the restart to bound from his 8th position to challenge Drake for 5th.  Erb would once again cruise to a comfortable lead, having a 10 car length lead at the half way point as Babb and Moyer were falling further behind entangled in slower traffic.  This slower traffic would result in the next caution as Babb, being harassed by Moyer and seeing Erb's bumper growing smaller in the distance, would grow impatient and nudge his way through the pack of slower cars sending Haga spinning in turn 1 on the 21st circuit collecting the machines of  Carney and Bradley in the process.  When the action resumed Erb would not return to his comfortable lead as Babb would remain a thorn in his side the remainder of the way.  Babb would constantly dive under Erb through the turns but Erb would use the momentum of the high side to power back to the front down the straights.  The battle began to escalate with 10 laps to go as Moyer was now in contact with the lead duo who were dicing it up in lapped traffic putting on a supreme show for the fans.  Erb would clear the lapped traffic first and would establish a 2 car length lead but had it all erased when Long stalled in turn three 5 laps from the finish setting up a 5 lap dash paying 10 grand to the winner.  Moyer would challenge Babb on the restart allowing Erb some breathing room.  But that room for error quickly dissipated as Babb quickly shook off the challenge from Moyer and reeled in Erb again.  As the leaders took the white flag the crowd came to their feet as Babb would take one last shot at overtaking the race long leader.  Babb dove under Erb heading into the first set of turns and the duo would drag race down the back stretch entering turn three neck and neck.  Exiting turn 4, Erb would edge ahead and cross the stripe one half of a car ahead of Babb to claim his first career Summer National win.  Moyer, English, Weaver, Mars, Drake, Miller, VanWormer, and Feger would comprise the rest of the top 10 finishers.  Exiting his car in victory raising his hands in the air in celebration a jubilant Erb proclaimed "I had one of the best following me there.  I was just trying to hold my own.  I just tried to stay smooth and hoped everything worked out."  Work out it did, as Erb would leave the facility $10,000 to the better than when he had entered.
     The series now heads south down Highway 41 for round three of the traveling marathon as Tri-State Speedway in Haubstadt, IN will host the Sunday night event paying $6000 to the winner.
     Brian Shirley struggled in qualifications only earning a 7th starting position in his heat.  He would charge forward in his heat only to loop his mount in turn three on the final circuit while racing Patrick Sheltra for the third and final transfer spot.  He would then follow suit in his conci advancing from 11th to third in 4 laps only to stagnate at that position failing to improve any further and missed the feature.
     Dick Potts, who had mechanical issues at Crown Point in the first round of the series, stepped into the 5C numbered machine normally driven by Barry Carlson to try his hand  at making the second round of the series.  He was unsuccessful.
     UMP National point leader, Rodney Melvin, abruptly slowed and headed pit side during the dash.  He then would fail to appear for any of the remainder of the contests and miss the show.
44 Cars
Fast Time:  18 Shannon Babb 13.162
Dash (9 laps 6 Transfer)
1. 18 Shannon Babb (2)
2. 28 Dennis Erb Jr. (1)
3. 96 Terry English (3)
4. 21 Billy Moyer (5)
5. 36 Roger Long (4)
6. 9 Billy Drake (6)
7. B12 Kevin Weaver (7)
8. 7M Michael Bradley (8)
9. 27 Rodney Melvin (9) DNF

Heat 1 (10 laps 3 transfer)

1. B12 Kevin Weaver (1)
2. 55 Jeep VanWormer (4)
3. 64 Ryan Dauber (2)
4. 1C Duane Chamberlain (3)
5. 23 Ted Loomis (9)
6. 99JR Frank Heckenast Jr. (5)
7. 18W Mark Weisnicht (6)
8. 7 Elvin Herschberger (10)
9. 22R Cory Rolfe (7)
10. D1 Turk Letizia (8)


Heat 2

1. 28 Jimmy Mars (2)
2. 7M Michael Bradley (1)
3. 23 Patrick Sheltra (3)
4. 00 Randy Korte (6)

5. 1H Chuck Haga (4)
6. 5C Dick Potts (8)
7. 72 John Mason (5)
8. 25 Kyle Rodrick (9)
9. 3S Brian Shirley (7)
10. 91SR Bill Workman Sr. (10) -1 lap



Heat 3

1. 25 Jason Feger (2)
2. 32D Darren Miller (3)
3. 5 Bret Sievert (4)
4. 4* Rob Starkey (5)
5. 30 Mark Voigt (7)
6. 56 Rohn Moon (6)
7. Bill Workman Jr. 91
8. P1 Tim Prince (9) DNF
9. 27 Rodney Melvin (1) DNS


Heat 4

1. 25W Dan Walden (2)
2. 16 Shawn Negengard (1)
3. 56 Zach Carney (3)
4. 15 Jim Laws (5)
5. 1S Wes Steidinger (6)
6. 12 Jordan Bland (8)
7. 2F Josh Ferguson (7)
8. 27P Bob Pohlman Jr. (4)
9. 7 Jim Letizia (9)


Conci 1 (12 Laps Winner Transfer)

1. 1C Duane Chamberlain (1)
2. 99JR Frank Heckenast Jr. (5)
3. 23 Ted Loomis (3)
4. 7 Elvin Herschberger (9)
5. 18W Mark Weisnicht (7)
6. 4* Rob Starkey (2)
7. 22R Cory Rolfe (10)
8. 91 Bill Workman Jr. (8)
9. D1 Turk Letizia (11)
10. 30 Mark Voight (4) DNF
11. 56 Rohn Moon (6)
12. 27 Rodney Melvin (12) DNS
13. P1 Tim Prince (13)


Conci 2

1. 00 Randy Korte (1)
2. 15 Jim Laws (2)
3. 3S Brian Shirley (11)
4. 1S Wes Steidinger (4)
5. 2F Josh Ferguson (8)
6. 1H Chuck Haga (3)
7. 27P Bob Pohlman (10)
8. 7 James Letizia (12)
9. 25 Kyle Roderick (9)
10. 91SR Bill Workman Sr. (13)
11. 12 Jordan Bland (6)
12. 72 John Mason (7) DNF
13. 5C Dick Potts (5)


Feature (40 laps $10,000 to win)

1. 28 Dennis Erb Jr. (2)
2. 18 Shannon Babb (1)
3. 21 Billy Moyer (4)
4. 96 Terry English (3)
5. B12 Kevin Weaver (7)
6. 28 Jimmy Mars (8)
7. 9 Billy Drake (6)
8. 32D Darren Miller (13)
9. 55 Jeep VanWormer (11)
10. 25 Jason Feger (9)
11. 00 Randy Korte (20)
12. 16 Shawn Negengard (14)
13. 1S Wes Steidinger (23)
14. 64 Ryan Dauber (15)
15. 1C Duane Chamberlain (19)
16. 25W Dan Walden (10) -1 lap
17. 23 Patrick Sheltra (16)
18. 36 Roger Long (5) DNF
19. 56 Zach Carney (18)
20. 7M Michael Bradley (12)
21. 1H Chuck Haga (22)
22. 5 Bret Sievert (17)
23. 23 Ted Loomis (21)

Lap Leaders:

1-40 28 Erb

Cautions:  3


Unofficial Points After Rd 2

1. Shannon Babb 127

2. Dennis Erb 103

3. Kevin Weaver 101

4. Billy Moyer 80

5. Darren Miller 78

6. Jimmy Mars 77

7. Ryan Dauber 74

8. Terry English 64

9. Wes Steidinger 63

10. Jeep VanWormer 55

11. Billy Drake 52

12. Jason Feger 50

13t. Brian Shirley 45

13t. Randy Korte 45

15. Duane Chamberlain 43

16. Bret Sievert 40

17. Mark Voigt 31

18. Rodney Melvin 28



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