Brian Shirley Takes The Hell Tour Win At Thunderbird Raceway

Brian Shirley and crew celebrate in victory circle. Photos by Jim DenHamer

Defending DIRTcar Summer Nationals Champion Brian Shirley took the lead from polesitter Rusty Schlenk on lap 2 of the Feature and led all remaining laps for the $5,000 win at Thunderbird Raceway. Behind the leader, three-time Hell Tour Champion Bobby Pierce charged from his 24th starting position to second with 15 laps to go, and held on for a second-place finish. Frank Heckenast Jr. rounded out the podium. 

Brian Shirley splits the cars of #53 Hillard Miller and #3 Scott Wenell.

Left: #55 Jeep VanWormer and #32 Bobby Pierce. Right: #99 Frank Heckenast Jr. and #1 Rusty Schlenk.

Qualifying Flight-A – 1. O7-Shawn Reed, 12.776; 2. 3S-Brian Shirley, 12.861; 3. 23V-Ryan VanderVeen, 13.189; 4. 99JR-Frank Heckenast, Jr., 13.324; 5. O2-Jeramy Lange, 13.712; 6. 78-Drew Wilkerson, 13.949; 7. 25H-Chuck Hummer, 14.069; 8. 21S-Tom Sprague, 14.24; 9. P3-Truck Robertson, 14.617.

Qualifying Flight-B – 1. CJ1-Rusty Schlenk, 13.009; 2. 25F-Jason Feger, 13.043; 3. 41-Jason Playter, Jr., 13.147; 4. 87M-David Mielke, 13.19; 5. 31AUS-Paul Stubber, 13.441; 6. 79-Nick Kurtz, 13.695; 7. 1S-Andrew Sprague, 14.096; 8. 94-Bill Bray, 99.999.

Qualifying Flight-C – 1. 32-Bobby Pierce, 12.634; 2. 55-Jeep VanWormer, 12.867; 3. 27-Eric Spangler, 13.387; 4. O6-Jake Rendel, 13.715; 5. 41V-Mike VanderMark, 13.865; 6. 87-Richard Neiser, 14.218; 7. 53-Hillard Miller, 14.429; DQ. 3-Scott Wenell, 13.897.

#32 Bobby Pierce and #99 Frank Heckenast Jr.

Heat #1 – Flight (A) (10 Laps) – 1. 3S-Brian Shirley [2]; 2. 99JR-Frank Heckenast, Jr. [4]; 3. O7-Shawn Reed [1]; 4. 23V-Ryan VanderVeen [3]; 5. 78-Drew Wilkerson [6]; 6. O2-Jeramy Lange [5]; 7. 25H-Chuck Hummer [7]; 8. 21S-Tom Sprague [8]; 9. P3-Truck Robertson [9]

Heat #2 – Flight (B) (10 Laps) – 1. CJ1-Rusty Schlenk [1]; 2. 25F-Jason Feger [2]; 3. 41-Jason Playter, Jr. [3]; 4. 87M-David Mielke [4]; 5. 31AUS-Paul Stubber [5]; 6. 79-Nick Kurtz [6]; 7. 94-Bill Bray [8]; 8. 1S-Andrew Sprague [7]

Heat #3 – Flight (C) (10 Laps) – 1. 55-Jeep VanWormer [2]; 2. 27-Eric Spangler [3]; 3. 87-Richard Neiser [6]; 4. 41V-Mike VanderMark [5]; 5. O6-Jake Rendel [4]; 6. 53-Hillard Miller [7]; 7. 3-Scott Wenell [8]; 8. 32-Bobby Pierce [1]

Brian Shirley races to the win.

Late Model Feature (40 Laps) – 1. 3S-Brian Shirley [3]; 2. 32-Bobby Pierce [24]; 3. 99JR-Frank Heckenast, Jr. [4]; 4. 55-Jeep VanWormer [2]; 5. CJ1-Rusty Schlenk [1]; 6. 31AUS-Paul Stubber [14]; 7. 79-Nick Kurtz [17]; 8. 25F-Jason Feger [5]; 9. 23V-Ryan VanderVeen [10]; 10. 87M-David Mielke [11]; 11. 27-Eric Spangler [6]; 12. O6-Jake Rendel [15]; 13. 25H-Chuck Hummer [19]; 14. O2-Jeramy Lange [16]; 15. 41V-Mike VanderMark [12]; 16. 78-Drew Wilkerson [13]; 17. 1S-Andrew Sprague [23]; 18. P3-Truck Robertson [25]; 19. O7-Shawn Reed [7]; 20. 41-Jason Playter, Jr. [8]; 21. 21S-Tom Sprague [22]; 22. 53-Hillard Miller [18]; 23. 3-Scott Wenell [21]; 24. 87-Richard Neiser [9]; 25. 94-Bill Bray [20]

KSE Hard Charger Award: 32-Bobby Pierce[+22]

About the author

Bobby Kimbrough

Bobby grew up in the heart of Illinois, becoming an avid dirt track race fan which has developed into a life long passion. Taking a break from the Midwest dirt tracks to fight evil doers in the world, he completed a full 21 year career in the Marine Corps.
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