CLARKSVILLE, Tenn. – Ninety feature laps have been contested over the last two days with the DIRTcar Summer Nationals, and Brian Shirley has led every single one of them.
The three-time and defending series champion put on another dominant display of car control and finesse in lapped traffic Saturday night at Clarksville Speedway, leading all 50 laps of the main for his third Summer Nationals victory of 2020 and 29th of his career.
Shirley started on the pole of the Feature and took off immediately at the drop of the green, opening up a sizable advantage over Jason Feger and Jadon Frame.
Over the course of 50 laps, Squirrel was forced to deal with several restarts, supplying his competition with more opportunities to get by him.
“Being the leader helps a lot,” Shirley told tour announcer Ruben Mireles in victory lane. “With the way the corner was, it just worked out where I could just hit my mark right.”
A big name among that competition was fellow Illinoisan Frank Heckenast Jr., who caught and passed Shirley for the win just three two nights prior at Springfield.
Heckenast was right back at it on Saturday night after starting 11th and moving up as far as second before the final checkers, using both the high and low grooves to make moves on the head of the field.
By the race’s final stages, Heckenast had been locked in the middle of a close battle with Dennis Erb Jr. for second, which he surrendered for good on lap 42.
Back out front, it was simply another episode of Shirley’s domination, recorded. A couple late-race caution flags helped to restack the field in hopes of catching him, but to no avail.
Shirley went on to collect the checkered and the check, worth another $10,000.
Another great run came for Erb Jr. in second. Over three races, he hasn’t finished worse than sixth. Heckenast, Feger and Frame rounded out the top five.
1. 3S-Brian Shirley [$10,000]; 2. 28-Dennis Erb [$5,000]; 3. 99JR-Frank Heckenast Jr [$3,000]; 4. 25-Jason Feger [$2,000]; 5. J27-Jadon Frame [$1,500]; 6. 4G-Bob Gardner [$1,200]; 7. 54JR-Larry Barber [$900]; 8. 48-Tim Lance [$700]; 9. 27-Joe Denby [$600]; 10. 38-Dillon Tidmore [$550]; 11. 18-David Seibers [$500]; 12. 19-Gavin Schmidt [$500]; 13. 10J-Jordan Bauer [$500]; 14. O1-Steven Stehle [$500]; 15. 48L-Tim Lance Jr [$500]; 16. 21-Billy Moyer [$500]; 17. 11-Adam Elliott [$500]; 18. 127-Robert Ardry [$500]; 19. 4GR-Bobby Richey [$500]; 20. 61-Caleb Ashby [$500]; 21. 1A-Levi Ashby [$500]; 22. 16-Devin Black [$500]
Hard Charger: 19-Gavin Schmidt [+10]