RODNEY MELVIN wins TRI-STATE Round 3 of UMP Summer Nationals

By Terry Young
Rodney Melvin became the third winner in just the first three nights of UMP Summer National action at Tom and Loris Helfrich's class track TRI-STATE Speedway in Haubstadt, Indiana.

How fitting that the reigning UMP National Champion lay claim to victory lane at the track located just miles away from where UMP founder Bob Memmer was laid to rest last year during the Summer Nationals.

Melvin would run in the runner up position in the early stages of the event behind early leader Terry English. On lap 18, Shannon Babb worked past both Melvin and English to take over the point and Melvin followed suit relegating English to third place. Melvin would stay on Babb's back bumper until lap 29 when Babb put 3 cars a lap in arrears and Melvin was trapped behind the lapped traffic.

On lap 31 the caution flew as Babb rolled to a stop off of turn 2 with a broken driveshaft. This tuend the lead over to Melvin who led the remaining 9 circuits unchallenged.

Melvin drives a Runion Engine powered C.J. Rayburn Chassis under the watchful eye of Bob Melvin the Crew Chief and car owners Rick and Beverly Heck. The car is sponsored by Soapy Joe's, Exit 83 CB Shop, Rick's Towing,, Melvin Collision and Repair, Cingular of Mt. Vernon and Banshee Graphics.

Darren Miller began the evening by recording fast time with a lap of 13.462 of the 37 cars on hand.

The trophy dash was topped by Billy Drake over English, Miller, Melvin, Dennis Erb, Babb, Chad Zobrist, Kevin Weaver and Clay Baumann.

The first heat was won by Zobrist over Brian Shirley, Don O'Neal, Jay Brinkley, Frank Heckenast, Jr., Rohn Moon, Michael English and Patrick Sheltra.

Second heat honors went to Weaver over Jimmy Mars, Mark Faust, Duane Chamberlain and Jeff Sloan.

The third and final heat was captured by Billy Faust over Randy Korte, Steve Karnes, Jeep Van Wormer, Mark Voigt, Tim Prince, Ron Sensel and Darrel Bex.

The consi races were won by Voigt and Prince. Patrick Sheltra was added to the field as the UMP provisional to complete the A-Main roster.

Feature Finish: 40 Lap A-Main
1. Rodney Melvin
2. Billy Drake
3. Darren Miller
4. Don O'Neal
5. Chad Zobrist
6. Jimmy Mars
7. Terry English
8. Dennis Erb, Jr.
9. Mark Faust
10. Jeep Van Wormer
11. Mark Voigt
12. Kevin Weaver
13. Jay Brinkley
14. Tim Prince
15. Randy Korte
16. Shannon Babb
17. Billy Faust
18. Steve Karnes
19. Patrick Sheltra
20. Brian Shirley
21. Duane Chamberlain



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