The Iceman Claims $10,000 at Fairbury
Jeffrey A. Bayless
  Fairbury, IL (July 16) Round 23 of DIRT Motorsports UMP Summer Nationals rolled into Fairbury American Legion Speedway Saturday night with 46 of the areas best in attendance to try their hand at the $10,000 top prize that was on the line for the night's winner.  When the checkers flew it was Menomonie, Wisconsin native "The Iceman" Jimmy Mars riding his Deppe Enterprises, T. I. Sinz Plumbing Inc., Heeg Well Drilling, Keyes Chevytown, Jimmy's Pub sponsored Pro Power driven Mastersbilt horse to a hard fought victory.
      The 9 car dash that would transfer 6 contestants to the 50 lap main event saw Shannon Babb jump to the early lead with Mars right on his bumper.  The duo would stay this way for the duration of the event pulling away from the field with fast qualifier Dennis Erb Jr., Billy Moyer, Kevin Weaver, and Rodney Melvin grabbing the other transfer spots.  Four heats would transfer three each to the main event with 2 last chance races bringing 1 each and 1 provisional to make a 21 car starting grid for the feature.  In the first heat Terry English would lead the way coming home ahead of Steve Hillard, Patrick Sheltra, and Ryan Unzicker who battled for 2nd most of the latter stages of the race.  In the second heat Randy Korte would claim the early lead but would find himself sitting in the wrong direction in turn 3 on the 4th lap after contact from second running Eric Smith.  Smith would inherit the lead but would come up 2 laps short of victory as Brian Shirley would slide by for the win with 2 laps to go.  Smith, Billy Drake, and Jr. Shickel would come home behind him.  In the 3rd heat Daren Freidman would lead the first 2 laps before pole sitter Mike Mullvain grabbed the point and went on to victory leading Richie Hedrick, Mark Voight, and Freidman to the stripe.  In the last heat Jeep VanWormer led the entire distance taking the checkers ahead of Mike Marlar, Roger Long, and Wes Steidinger.  In the 1st conci Freidman would lead the way as local favorite Joe Harlan came up short in a late race charge to take the win.  Jim Felker Jr., and Jay Sparks would round out the top 4.  In the second conci Wes Steidinger grabbed the point and sped away from the field with Randy Korte, Jr. Shickel, and Donnie Walden coming home behind him.  Korte would then be added to the field as the provisional and the field was set for some tooth and nail action.
     Babb would lead the pack into turn 1 with a 3 way contest for second right behind him with Mars on the outside, Moyer in the middle, and Erb on the bottom.  Mars would find some excellent grip on the rim and blast by Babb down the back stretch like a rocket sled on rails to lead the pack at the completion of the first lap and immediately began putting real estate between himself and the competition.  By the 5th lap, the rim riding Mars was well in command with a 10 car length lead over Babb who in turn was leading Erb, Moyer and Melvin by a considerable distance.  However, the field would be slowed on the 6th circuit when Long would find the turn 4 wall brining out the races first caution.  When the action resumed, Mars would return to the rim and once again take command of the field as 13th starting Hedrick was moving forward in a hurry joining the battle for 3rd between Moyer and Erb on the 10th circuit.  Hedrick would blow past this battle into 3rd and would chase down and bypass Babb just a few laps later.  With Mars tied up in traffic on the 20th lap, Hedrick was leading Babb, Erb, Shirley, and Moyer as this group was quickly erasing the cushion that Mars had built.  Mars' lead was down to just a few car lengths on the 23rd circuit and it appeared a battle would soon emerge for the point when the caution flew for a second time as Drake slowed on the front stretch.  When the green flew again Mars, sensing his preferred line was going away, would not return to the high side but chose to run on the hub as Hedrick, Babb, Shirley, Erb, and Moyer did likewise forming a single file line on the hub.  The field would stay this way for several laps until Babb would make his move to reclaim second on the 34th circuit diving under Hedrick into turn 3 and making the pass.  When a caution with 11 to go slowed the field, Babb decided it was all or nothing on the restart breaking from the trend and charging to the rim into 1 and 2 challenging Mars for the lead and bringing the capacity crowd to it's feet.  Mars would maintain the lead down the backstretch and Babb would try to cut across the track and dive under him into 3 only to see his efforts thwarted again by the determined veteran.  Babb would continue this trend to no avail until the 42nd circuit when he switched up and let it all hang out as he rode the rim in a wild fashion all the way around the track in a desperate attempt to wrestle the lead from Mars.  Babb who seemingly could do no wrong in his record setting Summer National performance to this point finally saw his fortunes turn sour as he got a little two high out of 4 on the 47th circuit climbing the front stretch wall near the flag stand and riding it to turn 1 ending his run.  With this incident a 3 lap dash to the finish would be in store.  On the restart, Mars and Hedrick would pull away from the competition but Hedrick could not find a path to the front as Mars would take the checkers with Hedrick glued to his bumper.  Shirley, Erb, Moyer, Melvin, Hillard, VanWormer, Voight, and Steidinger would round out the to 10.  Mars commenting on his first full time Summer National run said with a chuckle "It's been a long deal."  He then continued "This Summer National is probably the toughest deal I've ever done.  I ran the Hav-A-Tampa series (known as the now defunct Xtreme Dirt Car Series the last several years) but I'm seeing a lot of new tracks and a lot of smaller tracks on this deal.  I would like to thank the fans for coming out and supporting us to make it all possible."
     Round 24 of the 29 event series will be Sunday night at Tri-City Speedway near Granite City, IL on the 1/2 mile track at the facility.
     John Provenzano was originally in attendance at this event and was in line for the track provisional in the 9 car dash had he not been in the top 6 qualifiers but had to leave abruptly when he was notified of a family emergency before the night's action began.
     Winfield, Ky native, Mike Marlar in only his 3rd year of full time late model action caught the eye of Billy Moyer.  The result, Marlar now has some big time backing as he joins Shannon Babb in the Moyer Motorsports stable and will finish out the 2005 version of the UMP Summer Nationals.
     Local driver Joe Harlan started off the night with mechanical difficulties missing qualifications as a result.  He would start dead last in the first heat battling his way up to 6th and would fight from his 5th starting spot in the last chance race to come up just short of making the main event finishing 2nd in that race.
46 cars
Fast Time:  28 Dennis Erb Jr. 13.125
Dash (9 laps 6 transfer)
1. 18 Shannon Babb (2)
2. 28 Jimmy Mars (1)
3. 28 Dennis Erb Jr. (3)
4. 21 Billy Moyer (4)
5. B12 Kevin Weaver (5)
6. 27 Rodney Melvin (7)
7. 96 Terry English (6)
8. 00 Randy Korte (9)
9. 4 Mike Mullvain (8)
Heat 1 (10 laps 3 transfer)
1. 96 Terry English (1)
2. 34 Steve Hillard (6)
3. 23 Patrick Sheltra (3)
4. 24 Ryan Unzicker (2)
5. 43 Jim Felker Jr. (7)
6. Z Joe Harlan (11)
7. 05 Gary Schalmo (9)
8. 15 Lisa Shickel (10)
9. K9 Mike Glynn (4) DNF
10. 00 Snooky Dehm (5)
11. T33 Tim O'Donnell (8)
Heat 2
1. 3S Brian Shirley (4)
2. 9 Eric Smith (2)
3. 9 Billy Drake (3)
4. S10 Jr Shickel (7)
5. 6 Mark Anderson (5)
6. 00 Randy Korte (1)
7. 35 Derek Chandler (6)
8. 27G RJ Gall (8)
9. 45 Don Hammer (9)
10. 4 Cody Bauman (10)
Heat 3
1. 4 Mike Mullvain (1)
2. 0 Richie Hedrick (2)
3. 30 Mark Voight (6)
4. 89 Daren Freidman (2)
5. 22 Chris Dick (9)
6. 7 Jay Sparks (4)
7. CJ1 Christian Rayburn (5)
8. 19 Chad Smith (10)
9. 72 Jay Fiene (8)
10. 99 Johnny Johnson (7)DNF
Heat 4
1. 55 Jeep VanWormer (1)
2. 5M Mike Marlar (2)
3. 36 Roger Long (3)
4. 1S Wes Steidinger (4)
5. 5 Jay Johnson (6)
6. 1W Donnie Walden (5)
7. 45 Gary May (7)
8. 10S George Scheffler (8)
9. 12 Jordan Bland (9)
Conci 1 (10 laps 1 transfer)
1. 89 Freidman (2)
2. Z Harlan (5)
3. 43 Felker (3)
4. 7 Sparks (6)
5. 22 Dick (4)
6. 19 Smith (10)
7. 05 Schalmo (7)
8. K9 Glynn (11)
9. CJ1 Rayburn (8)
10. 72 Fiene (12)
11. 15 Shickel (9) DNF
12. 00 Dehm (13)
13. 24 Unzicker (1)
14. 99 Johnson (14) DNS
Conci 2
1. 1S Steidinger (1)
2. 00 Korte (5)
3. S10 Shickel (1)
4. 1W Walden (6)
5. 45 May (8)
6. 5 Johnson (4)
7. 6 Anderson (3)
8. 27G Gall (9)
9. T33 O'Donnell (14)
10. 10S Scheffler (10)
11. 35 Chandler (7)
12. 12 Bland (12) DNF
13. 4 Bauman (13)
14. 45 Hammer (13)
Feature (50 laps $10,000 to win)
1. 28 Mars (2)
2. 0 Hedrick (13)
3. 3S Shirley (8)
4. 28 Erb (3)
5. 21 Moyer (4)
6. 27 Melvin (6)
7. 34 Hillard (11)
8. 55 VanWormer (10)
9. 30 Voight (17)
10. 1S Steidinger (20)
11. 9 Smith (12)
12. 4 Mullvain (9)
13. 23 Sheltra (15)
14. 18 Babb (1) DNF
15. 5M Marlar (14)
16. 96 English (7)
17. 00 Korte (21)
18. B12 Weaver (5)
19. 9 Drake (16)
20. 89 Freidman (19)
21. 36 Long (18)
Lap Leaders:
1-40 28 Mars
Cautions:  6


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