SANDUSKY, Ohio – Dave Shullick Jr. grabbed the lead just before the halfway point and never wavered en route to victory during the IMSA Hy-Miler Nationals Fast 40 Friday evening.
Setting a blistering pace, Shullick would take the victory by a large margin. Shullick, driving for team owner Steve Stout, will now look to put the finishing touches on the weekend with a victory in Saturday’s 100-lap Hy-Miler Nationals finale.
“This is why we are here,” said Shullick in victory lane Friday night. “We look forward to this race, this weekend every year. This is home and an important race for us. We look forward to tomorrow night and the 100 lapper.”
Starting the main event from the ninth position, Shullick would trail front row starters Danny Shirey and his Stout teammate, Trent Stephens, as the green flag waved as the field blistered into turn one.
Stephens fired off with Shirey and Timmy Jedrzejek trailing as Shullick sailed into seventh by the end of the first lap. Shullick would lay in wait as the front runners duked it out on lap six and Jedrzejek moved to the point and set sail.
Racing through two yellow flags, Jedrzejek maintained his lead, but those yellows gave way to restarts and Shullick would eat them up, gaining positions during each one. On lap 18 Shullick moved to the lead and began setting the pace.
The field would fade as Shullick seemed to get faster every lap until the checkered flag waved. Jedrzejek lost his brakes halfway through, but managed finish second. Mike Ordway Jr. was third, followed by Stephens and Shirey.
“You know what, I knew the first three laps I had a really good car,” said Shullick. “It just was up to me at that point to just get it there in one piece unscathed. I had to pick and choose my line all night. I was pushing hard around the outside to get by cars. Just trying to stay in clean air really helped. We know where this car needs to be, we have a good idea of what it needs.
“We were trying different stuff all day, but I knew after hot laps we were not as good as we hoped, or needed to be. So, we put the car back to where it was and it got good from there. We just put it back to exactly how it was. Tomorrow is a different race, but we have the same car. We will see what happens.”
Shullick is a four-time winner of the 100 lap Hy-Miler Nationals as is his father, Dave Shullick Sr., whom also won the first Hy-Miler back in 1978.
Dave Shullick Jr., Tim Jedrzejek, Mike Ordway Jr., Trent Stephens, Danny Shirey, Smokey Johnson, Mike McVetta, Jim Paller, Talon Stephens, Rich Reid, Jeffrey Battle, Kevin Feeney, Denny Fisher, Cord Ehrhart, Jon Lesiecki, Kyle Edwards, Brandon Bellinger, Keith Shampine.