August 13, 2006 Results

PHOTOS FROM TRI-CITY SPEEDWAY 

PONTOON BEACH, IL – Aug. 13, 2006 – The hometrack advantage paid off for Steve Sheppard Jr.

Proving he knows the fast way around Tri-City Speedway’s inner quarter-mile oval, the defending track champion made a stirring late-race charge to capture Sunday night’s 40-lap Mid-America Racing Series (MARS) feature.

Sheppard, 31, of New Berlin, Ill., reached Victory Lane in dramatic fashion, passing three-time MARS titlist Bill Frye for the lead on the 38th lap and then beating Frye to the finish line by barely a car’s length.

Defending MARS champ Terry Phillips of Springfield, Mo., finished third, followed by UMP national points leader Randy Korte of Highland, Ill., and Jeff Taylor of Cave City, Ark., who started fourth but restarted at the rear of the field after two early spins.

“I feel like I’ve got how to drive this place really figured out,” summed up Sheppard, smiling broadly after registering his first career triumph on DIRT MotorSports’ MARS tour. “I’ve learned how to get around the bottom (groove).

“Everybody else kind of slides in there (the corners), but I keep it straight and drive it like it’s asphalt.”

Sheppard, who started 10th in his father’s Pro Power-equipped Rayburn No. 5s, took off after the event’s halfway point. He made his presence known on lap 26, when he glided by Korte and Phillips in one powerful inside sweep to reach second place.

The track surface had finally come to Sheppard.

“You have to have patience here, wait for the bottom to come in,” said Sheppard. “I was good in the middle at first, but you can always feel the middle at this place starting to go away because it gets crumbly. Then you know it’s time to get to the (infield) tires.”

And according to Sheppard, to make that inside groove work, “you gotta graze those tires with the front clip.”

Which is what Sheppard did to pass Frye, who had led the entire distance from the pole position.

After Billy James of Sikeston, Mo., slowed on lap 36 to bring out the race’s seventh and final caution flag, Sheppard was deposited directly on Frye’s rear bumper for the restart. He chased Frye for two circuits before ducking underneath the veteran racer between turns one and two on the 38th lap and emerging as the leader on the backstretch.

“Billy Frye was there (running the bottom),” said Sheppard, who was several car lengths behind Frye in lapped traffic when the final caution flag came out. “But he let ‘er slip up just a little bit and I got a run on him.”

Sheppard was thrilled inside his cockpit when he passed Frye, but he was also a bit surprised.

“Honestly, I didn’t think I’d pull it off after the yellow (flag),” said Sheppard, who has been driving dirt Late Models for just over a decade. “I knew we were pretty good, but Frye’s one of the best in the business.”

The 45-year-old Frye made a rare slip, however, and it left him a runner-up in MARS competition for the second consecutive night. He finished second to Brian Shirley of Chatham, Ill., on Saturday night at I-55 Raceway in Pevely, Mo.

“I was too loose and just kinda hanging on at the end,” said Frye, who made his first career start on Tri-City’s quarter-mile oval after many appearances over the years on its trademark half-mile. “Then I got in the corner just a touch hot, slid off the bottom and gave (Sheppard) a good line.

“I think I was still good enough to get back around him on the top, but I waited a lap (to try it) and then it was over. He won, and he did a good job.”

Sheppard’s win was worth $3,000, making it the richest triumph of his racing career.

“I’ve won $2,000 shows, but I’ve never won a $3,000 race until tonight,” said Sheppard, who has competed in all but a handful of Tri-City’s Sunday-night events on the quarter-mile this season. “I won $4,000 one time at Highland (Ill.), but that was for finishing second to (Shannon) Babb.”

Phillips came from the eighth starting spot to finish a solid third in his GRT mount, but he couldn’t keep pace with Sheppard and Frye after the lap-36 restart.

“I tried a different setup I ain’t run in 10 years, and it wasn’t bad,” said Phillips. “But I needed to get the car just a little freer.

“(Sheppard’s) car was free and could turn. Everybody else was pushing.”

Korte also was a bit off the leaders’ pace at the end of the race, thanks largely to a tire problem.

“Our right-rear tire got all chewed up on the right-side edge and we can’t quite figure out why it did that,” said Korte, who advanced from the sixth starting spot to challenge Frye for the lead early in the distance before losing a couple positions. “It’s almost like something cut it.

“When I started running the outside of Bill (Frye) I was good, then all of a sudden I was hanging on and trying to get a good finish.”

Taylor, meanwhile, authored a memorable drive through the field in his No. 5T. An unusual steering problem caused him to slide off the track in turn three on lap two and spin in the second turn one lap later.

“We put a piece of lead on the front end of the car (to add weight),” explained Taylor. “But we haven’t been anywhere where we back-steer as much as you do at this place. When I steered hard to the right (to slide), the steering locked solid against that lead, and off (the track) I went. It was just, Hang on.

“I took a chill pill after the second time it happened. I got back close to the front, but I was a fourth- or fifth-place car because I couldn’t drive it the way I needed to.”

Thirty-eight cars entered the event, which used the passing-points system to line up the top-16 positions in the feature.

Heat winners were Justin Wells, Michael Kloos, Taylor and Bryan Collins, and Rodney Melvin and Jason Bodenhammer captured the B-Mains.

Frye ended the two-race MARS weekend holding a 42-point lead over Phillips.

MARS returns to action with a tripleheader weekend Aug. 25-27 – Friday night at Boliver (Mo.) Motor Speedway, Saturday at Missouri’s Lebanon I-44 Speedway and Sunday back at Tri-City Speedway (half-mile oval) for a MARS/UMP Clash event.

Late Models
HEAT 1
1 10 Justin Wells
2 75 Terry Phillips
3 5s Steve Sheppard
4 33p Al Purkey
5 8k Jason Bodenhamer
6 27m Rodney Melvin
7 21 Billy Moyer
8 82 Billy Laycock
9 45 Scott Bell
10 60j Jordan Jones

HEAT 2
1 6k Michael Kloos
2 66 Bill Frye
3 30 Mark Voigt
4 9Z Jayme Zidar
5 16H Mike Hammerle
6 OO Chris Smyser
7 52 Rylan Dagg
8 16 Rusty Griffaw
9 33 Tim Manville
10 32 Vince Grondzki

HEAT 3
1 5 Jeff Taylor
2 F1 Jeff Floyd
3 5JR Billy James
4 14 Steve Rushin
5 99 Frank Heckenast Jr.
6 81 Craig Smith
7 69 Dustin Korte
8 42 Brandon McCormick
9 25 Len Garson

HEAT 4
1 11 Bryan Collins
2 0 Randy Korte
3 54 Dane Dacus
4 1 Will Vaught
5 97 Joey Mack
6 11 Mike Bryant
7 5B Joe Dresch
8 10 Brad White
9 21JR Billy Moyer Jr DNS

SEMI 1 12 Laps (Top 2)
1 27 Rodney Melvin
2 1 Will Vaught
3 0o Chris Smyser
4 82 Billy Laycock
5 97 Joey Mack
6 69 Dustin Korte
7 42 Brandon McCormick
8 45 Scott Bell
9 21 Billy Moyer Sr.
10 32 Vince Grondzki
11 25G Lenny Garson DNS

SEMI 2 12 Laps (Top 2)
1 8 Jason Bodenhamer
2 81 Craig Smith
3 33 Tim Manville
4 11 Mike Bryant
5 60 Jordan Jones
6 16 Mike Hammerle
7 5 Joe Dresch
8 16 Rusty Griffaw
9 R52 Rylan Dagg
10 10 Brad White
11 99 Billy Moyer Jr

Feature
1 5S Steve Sheppard
2 66 Bill Frye
3 75 Terry Phillips
4 OO Randy Korte
5 5T Jeff Taylor
6 14 Steve Rushin
7 F1 Jeff Floyd
8 54 Dane Dacus
9 6K Michael Kloos
10 27 Rodney Melvin
11 97 Joey Mack
12 33 Al Purkey
13 30 Mark Voigt
14 1 Will Vaught
15 11 Bryan Collins
16 9 Jayme Zidar
17 81 Craig Smith
18 99 Frank Heckenast
19 5 Billy James
20 42 Brandon McCormick
21 10 Justin Wells
22 8 jason Bodenhamer dnf

Modified
HEAT 1
1 24 Mike Harrison
2 1A Steve Meyer Jr
3 11 John Stanton
4 19 Jimmy Cummins
5 0 Jeff Ely
6 37 Michael Monroe
7 7 Parker Williams
8 9S Tom Seets DNF

HEAT 2
1 44 Tim Hancock
2 1W Ray Walsh
3 1P Richie Biswell
4 21S Kenny Shaw
5 20 Matt Acord
6 51 Bob Stanton
7 12 Ken Myracle
8 292 Bobby Allen

HEAT 3
1 18 Bobby Dauderman
2 14 Leroy Haney
3 16 Tommie Seets Jr
4 56 Jim Lafferty
5 15 Kenny Collier
6 9 Larry Brown
7 11 Kyle Bierline DNF
8 48 Bobby Martintoni DNF

DASH
1 44 Tim Hancock
2 24 Mike Harrison
3 1w Ray Walsh
4 18 Bobby Dauderman
5 1A Steve Meyer
6 14 Leroy Haney

SEMI 1
1 11 Kyle Bierline
2 292 Bobby Allen
3 9S Tom Seets Sr
4 48 Bobby Martintoni
5 12 Ken Myracle
6 7 Parker Williams

FEATURE

1 44 Tim Hancock
2 11h John Stanton
3 24 Mike Harrison
4 19 Jimmy Cummins
5 1a Steve Meyers Jr
6 1w Ray Walsh
7 14 Leroy Haney
8 18 Bobby Dauderman
9 16 Tommie Seets Jr.
10 9s Tom Seets Sr.
11 11b Kyle Bierline
12 56 Jim Lafferty
13 48 Bobby Martintoni
14 20a Matt Acord
15 292 Bobby Allen
16 p1 Richie Biswell
17 51 Bob Stanton
18 15 Kenny Collier
19 0 Jeff Ely
20 37 Michael Monroe
21 9b Larry Brown
22 21s Kenny Shaw dnf

Sportsman
HEAT 1
1 77 Brandon Hogenson
2 32 David Walker
3 2 Robbie Eilers
4 21 Andy Beaver
5 3 Scott Henseler
6 57 Bobby Silkwood
7 56 Charlie McCaleb
8 93 Jeff Nash
9 69 Derek Bryant

HEAT 2
1 23 Dennis Wernle
2 40 Kevin Mosier
3 45 Trista Stevenson
4 41 Steve Maisel
5 55 Don Patton
6 155 Jason Keller
7 8 Ian Edgecombe
8 33 Nathan Bowman
9 72 Brad Yotter
10 3 Ryan Eilers

Dash
1 77 Brandon Hogenson
2 23 Dennis Wernle
3 32 David Walker
4 2 Robbie Eilers
5 45 Trista Stevenson
6 40 Kevin Mosier

Feature
1 77 Brandon Hogenson
2 23 Dennis Wernle
3 32 David Walker
4 2 Robbie Eilers
5 41 Steve Maisel
6 45 Trista Stevenson
7 21 Andy Beavers
8 55 Don Patton
9 3 Scott Henseler
10 72 Brad Yotter
11 8 Ian Edgecombe
12 69 Derek Bryant
13 40 Kevin Mosier
14 155 Jason Keller
15 3e Ryan Eilers
16 93 Jeff Nash
17 33 Nate Bowman
18 56 Charlie McCaleb
19 57P Bobby Silkwood

Street Stock
HEAT 1
1 5 Josh Jackson
2 1 Ricky Huebner
3 63 Richie Gabriel
4 69 Robby Benson
5 31 David Parker
6 18 Ben Davis
7 22 Josh Schrum

HEAT 2
1 22 Tommy Gegg
2 69 Sam Kizer
3 64 Brian Crawford
4 65 Kevin Loque
5 7 Steve Stonecipher
6 8H Matt Hancock
7 1B Coley Meyer

HEAT 3
1 2 Larry Marsala
2 7 Josh Miller
3 30 Kasey Govero
4 2J Greg Jones
5 51 Jason Stanton DNF
6 OO Tony King DNF
7 93 Todd Erickson DNF

FEATURE

1 w1 Ricky Huebner
2 5j Josh Jackson
3 22g Tommy Gegg
4 63 Richie Gabriel
5 69b Robby Benson
6 31 David Parker
7 51 Jason Stanton
8 30 Kasey Govero
9 00 Tony King
10 7 Josh Miller
11 93 Todd Erickson
12 22 Josh Shrum
13 64 Brian Crawford
14 07 Steve Stonecipher
15 2j Greg Jones
16 18 Ben Davis
17 1b Coley Meyer
18 65 Kevin Loque
19 2m Larry Marsala
20 69k Sam Kizer

Factory Stock
HEAT 1
1 8T T.J. Eilers
2 8P David Pulley Jr
3 10 Dave Racer
4 41 Nancy Petty-Smith
5 63 Robert Crawford Jr
6 21x Joh Ripperda
7 2 Rob Bussen
8 22 David St. Cin
9 191 DNS Leonard Nagger
10 3E DQ Ryan Eilers

HEAT 2
1 18 Rob Shaw
2 8E Russel Eilers
3 266 Aaron Wood
4 12 Bryan Garrett
5 1T Ryan Timmon
6 3W Chris Warren
7 3 Johnathon Schulte
8 14 Tommy Roady

Feature
1 18 Rob Shaw
2 8E Russell Eilers
3 266 Aaron Wood
4 3E Ryan Eilers
5 8T TJ Eilers
6 12 Bryan Garrett
7 10 Dave Racer
8 41 Nancy Petty-Smith
9 8P David Pulley Jr.
10 o3 Jonathon Schulte
11 21x John Ripperda
12 2 Rob Bussen
13 63 Robert Crawford Sr.
14 14 Tommy Roady
15 3W Chris Warren
16 1T DNS Ryan Timmen
17 22 DNS David St. Cin
18 188 DNS Gary Price
19 191 DNS Leonard Nagger

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