MACON, Ill. – Shannon Babb continued his mid-season dominance Thursday night at Macon Speedway as he rallied from the ninth starting position to lead the second half of the 33rd annual Herald & Review 100, capturing his fifth checkered flag of the 2013 DIRTcar Summer Nationals “Hell Tour” season.
Babb, of Moweaqua, Ill., has proven why the three time champion should never be counted out. After starting the season relatively slow by his standards, Babb has scored four wins in seven races since the start of July and was just 50 points behind Brandon Sheppard entering the night.
Babb’s most recent victory would not be handed to him as he started from the inside of row five. Sheppard secured the pole-position but handed the lead over to Brian Shirley early in the feature. Babb reached Shirley and second-place running Kevin Weaver by the race’s halfway point.
Shirley was glued to the top and Weaver glued to the bottom, so the faster Babb made the middle lane work for him as he split the two leaders in a daring three-wide pass for the lead. Babb secured the top spot and led the rest of the way to score the $5,000 checkered flag. Sheppard worked his way back to second as he continues to hold onto the points lead.
“I found (the middle groove) right away,” said Babb, who is now just 45 points behind Sheppard in the current standings. “I didn’t know how long it was gonna last. It kind of went away there at the end, but once we were in the lead we were alright.”
Ryan Unzicker, Dustin Griffin and Steve Sheppard, Jr. rounded out the top five.
Heat race winners included Brandon Sheppard, Brian Shirley, Kevin Weaver and Ryan Unzicker.
The DIRTcar Summer Nationals Hell Tour continues on Friday night at Kankakee County Speedway in Kankakee, Ill.
Shannon Babb, Brandon Sheppard, Ryan Unzicker, Dustin Griffin, Steve Sheppard Jr., Kevin Weaver, Bobby Pierce, Tim Lance, Kyle Logue, Frankie Martin, Ryan Little, Greg Kimmons, Steve Kester, Joseph Hughs, Rich Bell, Jason McBride, Brian Divley, Brian Shirley, Jason Papich, Matt Taylor, Rick Standridge, Todd Frank.