LASALLE, Ill. — Brian Birkhofer marched from his fourth starting position to overtake Wednesday night winner Jason Feger on lap 11 en route to his second victory of the season, claiming the $5,000 checkered flag Thursday night at LaSalle Speedway.
Feger, who started from the pole, slipped around Ryan Unzicker for the lead on the opening lap with Birkhofer, who started in the row right behind the leaders, falling back to fifth. Birkhofer managed to find grip on the inside line, which changed his race drastically as he rocketed back to the front of the field a few laps later.
Feger lead the opening 10 laps of the 40-lap feature, but he was no match for Birkhofer. Birkhofer quickly made his way to the front, and shot around the leader on lap 11. The leader quickly extended his advantage on the field as Feger faded back to fourth.
Birkhofer dominated the remaining 29 laps, only being challenged once on a late race restart by Unzicker, but he eventually pulled away from second place and secured his second DIRTcar Summer Nationals victory of the season at LaSalle Speedway.
“Right now I got a good feel for the car and I’m just confident in what it does,” said Birkhofer referring to his Rocket Chassis race car. “Any driver will tell you that they can do a lot with the car when they get that confidence level, and I kind of have that right now. It is racing, though, and it can turn in a heartbeat, so we’ll just keep taking it while it’s coming this way.”
Bobby Pierce, Jason Feger, and Curtis Roberts rounded out the top five. Heat race winners included Frank Heckenast Jr., Birkhofer, Feger and Unzicker.
Brian Birkhofer, Ryan Unzicker, Bobby Pierce, Jason Feger, Curtis Roberts, Frank Heckenast Jr., Brandon Sheppard, Billy Moyer Jr., Scott Schmitt, Randy Korte, Shannon Babb, Scott Bull, Tanner English, Brian Shirley, Jason Riggs, Jason Jaggers, Jim Moon, Mark Larson, Steve Thorsten, Kevin Weaver, Rich Bell, Chris Simpson, Mike Spatola.