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Shannon Babb Blasts Forward >From 13th To Capture Wednesday’s Florida DIRTcar Nationals Main For UMP Late Models



BARBERVILLE, FL – Feb. 14, 2007 – Starting 13th in Wednesday night’s 30-lap UMP DIRTcar Racing Late Model feature at Volusia Speedway Park didn’t hamper Shannon Babb.



Wheeling a one-week-old C.J. Rayburn car, Babb stormed forward to claim a $5,000 victory in the 36th annual Florida DIRTcar Nationals Presented by Mopar Speedshop.

“This car has just been super-good every time we’ve raced it,” Babb said of his Billy Moyer Sr.-owned machine. “It’s a new-style 2007 Rayburn that has some little improvements on it, and we’re real happy with it.”

Babb, 33, of Moweaqua, Ill., made his key moves of the race following a lap-10 restart. Fifth when green-flag action resumed, he vaulted up to second in barely more than a lap, passing Chub Frank of Bear Lake, Pa., Josh Richards of Shinnston, W.Va., and opening-night Florida DIRTcar Nationals winner Earl Pearson Jr. of Jacksonville, Fla., in rapid succession.

Then Babb used the inside lane to slip by Dan Schlieper of Sullivan, Wis., for the lead on lap 18. The two-time defending UMP DIRTcar Racing Summernationals champion dominated the remainder of the distance, pulling away to defeat Frank’s Lester Buildings No. 1* by 3.335 seconds.

The pole-sitting Schlieper settled for third place after leading laps 7-17, while Darren Miller of Milledgeville, Ill., advanced from the 20th starting spot to place a strong fourth and the 18-year-old Richards was fifth.

Babb felt that the race’s second caution flag, on lap 10, played a pivotal role in his first career UMP Late Model win at the half-mile, D-shaped oval. His only previous checkered flag at VSP came on Feb. 6, 2004, in a 360 OTC World of Outlaws Late Model Series event.

“I think I was a little quicker after the restart,” said Babb, whose car now sports a gray-and-red paint scheme rather than his customary red-and-yellow hues. “I was able to get by three guys real quick.”

Besting Schlieper was a bit tougher, but Babb pulled that off after searching the racy speedway for the fastest lane.

“The racetrack was awesome,” said Babb, who this season is using a powerplant from Bullock Racing Engines in Somerset, Ky., for the first time. “I moved around and found a pretty good groove where I could roll onto the backstretch and not lose any momentum.”

Frank, who turned 45 on Jan. 22, seized second from Schlieper on lap 22, but without a caution flag to bunch the field he never had a chance to challenge Babb.

“I don’t think in open track (Babb) was that much better than us,” said Frank, who started ninth behind the wheel of a Rocket car. “But he got through traffic better.”

Frank pointed specifically to the lap-10 restart, when Babb made a couple breathtaking moves to reach second place.

“I thought we were in good shape until Babb went flying by everybody,” analyzed Frank, a regular on the 360 OTC World of Outlaws Late Model Series. “It looked like we all got bunched up for a second, and he made the right move to go scooting by.”

The driver who might have been Babb’s biggest obstacle to victory was Chris Madden of Grey Court, S.C. But moments after Madden, who started 10th, slid into second place on lap 10, his Bloomquist Chassis No. 44 came to a stop with terminal mechanical trouble.

Madden, who didn’t compete in the Florida DIRTcar Nationals opener on Monday night, looked like he was going to duplicate his dominant victory in last October’s 360 OTC WoO LMS ‘Gator 100’ at Volusia.

“It was a repeat of last October,” said Madden. “We ran the same car and the same motor, and it was perfect.”

Ricky Elliott of Seaford, Del., made a charge from 18th to finish sixth. Pearson, who led laps 1-6 from the outside pole, faded to seventh at the checkered flag, ahead of Darrell Lanigan of Union, Ky., Jimmy Owens of Newport, Tenn., and 24th-starter Tim Fuller of Watertown, N.Y.

An enormous 102-car field entered the second night of UMP Late Model competition during the Florida DIRTcar Nationals.

Justin Ratliff of Campbellsville, Ky., turned the fastest lap of the “group” qualifying sessions, circling the track in 16.239 seconds.

Heat winners were Schlieper, Pearson, Terry Casey of New London, Wis., Jonathan Davenport of Blairsville, Ga., Richards, Patrick Sheltra of Indiantown, Fla., and Jerry Rice of Verona, Ky. The B-Mains were captured by Dennis Erb Jr. of Carpentersville, Ill., Elliott, Lanigan and Miller.

The 360 OTC World of Outlaws Late Model Series takes center stage at the Florida DIRTcar Nationals on Thursday night (Feb. 15). A 50-lap event paying $10,000 to win will headline the program, which also includes the Advance Auto Parts Super DIRT Series for big-block Modifieds.



For more information on the Florida DIRTcar Nationals, visit www.volusiaspeedwaypark.com.



UMP DIRTcar Racing Late Model Feature Finish (30 laps):



1. Shannon Babb

2. Chub Frank

3. Dan Schlieper

4. Darren Miller

5. Josh Richards

6. Ricky Elliott

7. Earl Pearson Jr.

8. Darrell Lanigan

9. Jimmy Owens

10. Tim Fuller

11. Patrick Sheltra

12. Dennis Erb Jr.

13. Donnie Moran

14. Steve Shaver

15. Justin Ratliff

16. Dave Hess Jr.

17. Jonathan Davenport

18. Rick Eckert

19. Damon Eller

20. Shane Clanton

21. Jerry Rice

22. Ronny Lee Hollingsworth

23. Chris Madden

24. Terry Casey



DNQ: Mike Jackson, Mark Anderson, J.O. Nobles, Peyton Taylor, Duke Whisenant, Wayne Chinn, C.J. Rayburn, Christian Rayburn, Mike Balzano, Homer Leonard, Mike Mataragas, Ronnie DeHaven, Joe Ramey, Austin Dillon, Ricky Arms, Jackie Boggs, Greg Johnson, Eric Jacobsen, Michael England, Steve Sheppard Jr., Matt Miller, John Tindall, Frank Ingram, Stacy Boles, Jordan Bland, Chuck Julien, Jason Smith, Mike Williams, Kenny Adams, Brian Birkhofer, Mike Hammerle, Terry Lumley, Don Mihelich, Dale McDowell, Greggie Oliver, Brandon Kinzer, Steve Casebolt, Dan Stone, Bill Howe, Ivedent Lloyd, Billy Moyer, Larry Perry Jr., John Blankenship, Rodney Kiker, Joe Denby, Jake Redetzke, Eddie Carrier Jr., Jimmy Mars, Vic Coffey, Jeff Smith, Chris Hackett, Tim Manville, Mike Marler, Kenny Pettyjohn, Tim McCreadie, Josh McGuire, Clint Smith, Adam Hensel, Ray Cook, Jeep VanWormer, Rhon Moon, Bub McCool, Garrett Durrett, Jamie Eichels, Don O’Neal, Chris Wall, Brian Claudnic, Jason McBride, Jeff Alsip, Scott James, Mike Amell, Wendell Wallace, Billy Decker, Roy Mitchell, Terry English, Sherri Heckenast, Johnny Johnson, Devin Sebree



 

 

       

 

       
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