Brian Shirley picked up his first win of the grueling DIRTcar Summer Nationals tour on Friday night. Shirley drove his No. 3s Hoker Trucking/ Thomason Express/ J&J Ventures Gaming/ Rocket Chassis/ Durham Racing Engine Super Late Model to a dominating victory at Farmer City (Illinois) Raceway.
“It always feels good,” Shirley said of once again tasting victory. “It’s been a while since I’ve been able to put it together to get a $10,000-to-win race. I feel like we win $5,000-to-win races all the time, obviously the last couple of years. It’s just a good morale booster for the whole team.”
The team kicked off their busy week on Tuesday at Plymouth (Indiana) Speedway. Brian set the overall fast time of the 31 entries and won his heat race to earn the third starting position for the $5,000-to-win main event.
Shirley held the third spot until a lap-27 restart when he was able to grab second. Four circuits later he’d caught up with leader Tyler Erb and came within inches of taking command at the start-finish line on lap 32. Erb began to pull away over the remaining distance, leaving Shirley to settle for second. Devin Moran, Jason Feger, and Kyle Bronson completed the Top-5.
After a night off, Shirley followed the DIRTcar Summer Nationals to Spoon River Speedway in Banner, Ill. on Thursday. Brian picked up a heat race win to lock into the second starting spot for the $5,000-to-win feature.
Shirley grabbed the lead from polesitter Bobby Pierce at the initial green flag and held the point over the next 39 circuits. Ninth-starting Kent Robinson ducked underneath in turns one and two on the final lap. Shirley fought back around the outside of turns three and four but fell 0.326 of a second short at the finish line. Tyler Carpenter was third, with Billy Drake, and Tyler Erb rounding out the Top-5.
On Friday night, the action shifted to Farmer City Raceway with the winner’s share increased to $10,000. Winning his preliminary heat race, Brian earned the pole position for the night’s A-Main.
Turning back a mid-race challenge from Shannon Babb, Shirley led flag-to-flag in the 50-lap affair for his fourth win of the 2020 season. He took the checkered flag 1.204 seconds ahead of Babb, Frank Heckenast Jr., Jason Feger, and Ryan Unzicker.
Highland (Illinois) Speedway was the destination on Saturday night. A second-place run in his heat race positioned Brian starting seventh in the $10,000-to-win feature. Brian was in the mix of the Top-5 throughout the race before crossing the finish line in sixth.
Rounding out the weekend on Sunday, the team traveled to Randolph County Raceway in Moberly, Missouri. After finishing second in his heat race, Brian went on to a podium finish in the rain-shortened, $5,000-to-win feature. He crossed the finish line in third behind Bobby Pierce and Frank Heckenast Jr. Completing the Top-5 was Jason Feger and Rusty Griffaw.
Brian continues to lead the DIRTcar Summer Nationals standings after eight events. To learn more about these events, please visit www.DIRTcarSummerNationals.com.
Following a night off, the DIRTcar Summer Nationals continues on Tuesday at Peoria (Illinois) Speedway. From there, the tour travels to Springfield (Missouri) Raceway on Thursday. Lake Ozark Speedway in Eldon, Mo. will host the Summer Nationals on Friday before a doubleheader at Clarksville (Tennessee) Speedway closes out the weekend on Saturday-Sunday.
For the latest team news and updates on Bob Cullen Racing, please visit www.BobCullenRacing.com.