KANKAKEE, IL – Stepping off the full-time national touring scene for the summer, Devin Moran decided to hit the trail of the DIRTcar Summer Nationals through its first week and see what he could do against some of DIRTcar’s best Late Model talent. He didn’t have to wait long to show just what he and the Tye Twarog Racing team are capable of.
Leading flag-to-flag in Thursday night’s visit to the Kankakee County Speedway, Moran held off a hounding Ryan Unzicker and Brian Shirley over 40 laps to win his second career Hell Tour Feature event – his first since June of 2018.
“We got our first Summer Nationals win of the week, so that’s pretty cool,” Moran said in Victory Lane.
The Dresden, OH-native led comfortably for the first half of the race, but saw it flash before his eyes after a scare in Turns 3-4. Polesitter Tanner English, of Benton, KY, got a great run to his outside while Moran held his ground on the inside, and the two made contact that slowed their momentum through the corner. Just ahead of them – Mike Provenzano got into the wall and stopped, bringing out the caution.
“The caution came out right when Tanner got by me, and I actually drove in too hard and got into him. The racing gods or someone was looking out for us tonight,” Moran said.
Shirley went under both of the leaders just after the caution flag was thrown, forcing him to go back to third for the restart. Both he and Ryan Unzicker got a terrific restart and got around English to take second and third before another yellow was thrown a few laps later. Unzicker, of El Paso, IL, took that opportunity to make the move around Shirley for second and set Moran in his sights.
The two engaged in a side-by-side battle for multiple laps, but Moran was able to pull away in the end to collect the $5,000 check while Unzicker crossed in second.
Shirley, of Chatham, IL, crossed the line in third but was later disqualified for failing to report to the scales after the Feature had concluded. This moved Bobby Pierce up into third with Tanner English in fourth and Frank Heckenast Jr. to fifth.
The DIRTcar Summer Nationals action continues Friday night at Tri-City Speedway in Pontoon Beach, IL, with Round #4 of the 2021 campaign. Join us at the track or live on DIRTVision presented by Drydene.
Feature (40 Laps) 1. 9-Devin Moran; 2. 24-Ryan Unzicker; 3. 32-Bobby Pierce; 4. 81E-Tanner English; 5. 99JR-Frank Heckenast Jr; 6. 89-Mike Spatola; 7. B12-Kevin Weaver; 8. 21JR-Billy Moyer Jr; 9. 12-Ashton Winger; 10. 25-Jason Feger; 11. 19X-Cody Bauer; 12. 18-Jeffrey Ledford; 13. 14G-Joe Godsey; 14. 4G-Bob Gardner; 15. 48- Tim Lance; 16. 116-Torin Mettille; 17. 14-Glen Thompson; 18. M27-Mike Provenzo; 19. 2-Allen Murray; 20. 16-Rusty Griffaw; 21. 10S-Taylor Scheffler; 22. 10-Paul Parker; 23. (DQ) 3S-Brian Shirley
THREE-PEAT: Hoffman Dominates Kankakee for Third-Straight Summit Modified Victory
With the single-season wins record of 14 in his goals for this year, three-time and defending DIRTcar Summit Racing Equipment Modified Nationals champion Nick Hoffman has gotten off to the best start he could have imagined.
A win in the opener at Brownstown Speedway, another Wednesday night at Peoria Speedway and now another winning night for Hoffman at Kankakee County Speedway Thursday night brings him to 41 career tour victories – 11 wins back of tying six-time tour champion Mike Harrison at 52 on the all-time Feature wins list.
Thursday night was, for the most part, just another night in the office for Hoffman. Except when he hit the ignition to get to staging before the Feature.
“Before I even came to staging, my stuff wouldn’t even start, I had to get a push start and I was late to staging… I made it before we rolled, but it was pretty nerve-wracking,” Hoffman said.
He did indeed promptly answer the bell and took right off at the drop of the green, opening up a comfortable gap between he and runner-up Curt Spalding.
Spalding, the Watervilet, MI-driver making his season debut with the Summit Modifieds, gave Hoffman a slight challenge the inside a few times, but was ultimately unable to make the move.
“[Spalding] showed me a nose a couple times down there on the bottom, and I didn’t really want to go down there because I felt like I was holding a decent pace up top,” Hoffman said.
Hoffman adjusted his line accordingly and was able to hold off Spalding and the rest of the field for 25 laps to collect another $1,500 check.
The DIRTcar Summit Modified action continues Friday night at Tri-City Speedway in Pontoon Beach, IL, with Round #4 of the 2021 campaign. Join us at the track or live on DIRTVision presented by Drydene.
Feature (25 Laps) 1. 2-Nick Hoffman; 2. 5CS-Curt Spalding; 3. 21A-Nick Allen; 4. 25-Tyler Nicely; 5. 8K-Levi Kissinger; 6. 22C- Nick Clubb; 7. 5-Steven Brooks; 8. 45-Kyle Hammer; 9. 94-Tom Pasek; 10. K67-Ian Keller; 11. 35-Jason Hastings; 12. 10-Shawn Scripter; 13. 5B-Timothy Bennett; 14. 19-Travis Thrasher; 15. 242-Brandon Bollinger; 16. 9H-John Demoss; 17. 0-Travis Kohler; 18. 59R-Jacob Rexing; 19. 27-Beau DeYoung; 20. 27A-Arby Burton