Eckert Notches First Hell Tour Triumph

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Despite winning two DIRTcar Summer Nationals races this year, Rick Eckert is winless with the World of Outlaws Late Model Series thus far in 2014. (Jim DenHamer Photo)
Rick Eckert won his first DIRTcar Summer Nationals event Friday at Cedar Lake Speedway in New Richmond, Wis. (Jim DenHamer Photo)
Rick Eckert won his first DIRTcar Summer Nationals event Friday at Cedar Lake Speedway in New Richmond, Wis. (Jim DenHamer Photo)

NEW RICHMOND, Wis. – Rick Eckert claimed his first victory of the 2014 DIRTcar Summer Nationals tour, and his first at Cedar Lake Speedway since 2002, after completing a daring pass with two laps to go on 17-year-old Bobby Pierce to claim the $5,000 checkered flag Friday.

Defending Summer Nationals champ Brandon Sheppard started the race from the pole and jumped out to an early lead over Rodney Sanders and Billy Moyer. Sheppard controlled the lead for the first half of the race before surrendering it to Bobby Pierce, who managed to make his way to the front after starting fifth.

The two young stars dominated much of the race, with 48-year-old Rick Eckert giving chase. Eckert made his way to Pierce’s back bumper with less than 10 laps remaining, but Pierce’s high-line kept Eckert from completing the pass.

Finally with two laps to go, Eckert slung his car into the corner, sliding up in front of Pierce to secure the lead en route to claiming his first win since jumping into the Rocket Chassis house car nearly two months ago.

“Racing them two kids, they’re going to win a lot of races, no doubt about it,” said Eckert. “So it’s nice to steal one from them now while I still can.”

Rodney Sanders, Brian Birkhofer and Billy Moyer rounded out the top five. Heat race winners included Brandon Sheppard, Billy Moyer, Rick Eckert and Rodney Sanders.

The finish:

Rick Eckert, Bobby Pierce, Rodney Sanders, Brian Birkhofer, Billy Moyer, Brandon Sheppard, Jimmy Mars, Brady Smith, Tim McCreadie, Billy Moyer Jr., Gregg Satterlee, Tanner English, Jason Krohn, Shannon Babb, Adam Hensel, Jason Rauen, Scott Schmitt, Lance Matthees, Ryan Unzicker, Brian Shirley, A.J. Diemel, Pat Doar.