UNION, Ky. — Jason Jameson scored his first career DIRTcar Summer Nationals victory in exciting fashion, as he passed 2012 DIRTcar Summer Nationals champion Brian Shirley with less than 10 laps to go, then held him off on a late-race restart en route to scoring the $5,000 checkered flag at Florence Speedway.
Jameson, of Lawrenceburg, Ind., started the 40-lap feature event from the pole-position but failed to secure the top spot on lap one as Shirley, who started to Jameson’s outside, jumped out to an early lead.
Shirley looked to have the car to beat as he led a race-high 31 circuits, but started fading late as Jameson caught back up to the leader and slid around him to claim the lead on lap 32. Jameson quickly extended his lead and looked as if he would cruise to the victory with only eight laps remaining.
That was before a late-race caution brought a hungry Brian Shirley, who hasn’t won since Clayhill Motorsports Park on June 26, back to the leader’s back bumper on lap 38. On both of the final remaining laps Shirley dove his car under Jameson in turn two, both times capturing the lead, before handing it back over to Jameson who crossed back under him on the backstretch.
Jameson recaptured the top spot from Shirley on each of the final two laps, eventually pulling away from Shirley coming to the checkered flag as he was passed by Eric Wells for the second position. Jameson fought hard with the 2012 DIRTcar Summer Nationals champion, but eventually came away with his first career victory in the grueling six-week long tour.
“Shirley, he was driving the wheels off that thing, and I was just chasing him the whole time,” said Jameson, who also crews for two-time World of Outlaws Late Model Series champion Darrell Lanigan. “His car, seemed like the longer the race went, the tighter it got. I could rotate the center better than he could, so I figured it was a matter of time when I could run him off [turn] two and get him in three and four, and that’s kind of what happened.”
Shirley, Kent Robinson and Justin Rattliff rounded out the top five.
Heat race winners included Shirley, Jameson and Eric Wells.
Jason Jameson; Eric Wells; Brian Shirley; ent Robinson; Dustin Rattliff; Shannon Babb; Jason Papich; Ryan Unzicker; Steve Casebolt; eff Babcock; Jim Moon; Robby Hensley; James Rice; Jason Riggs; Mike Marlar; Jesse Lay; Chad Smith; Austin Dillon; Brandon Sheppard; Ethan Burgess; Steve Kester.