UMP director likes what he’s seen at Quincy, says changes likely for 2013 Hell Tour schedule, format

September 23, 2012 20 Comments

UMP director Sam Driggers has liked what he has seen this year at Quincy Raceways, which is completing its first season as a UMP late model facility. The above action was shot at the July 6 Hell Tour event at the Bullring.

Sam Driggers, who is the director of United Midwest Promoters (UMP) DIRTCar racing, stopped in at Quincy Raceways on Sunday night. He was in town to see track officials and evaluate the Bullring’s first year under UMP affiliation for its late models.

Driggers has been pleased with what has transpired at Quincy this and predicts a bright future for the facility at 8000 Broadway, which also sanctions its modifieds with UMP.

Driggers also said the famous UMP Hell Tour — a.k.a Summernationals — will take on a different look in 2013. The event will be stretched out over six weeks instead of five and take Mondays and Tuesdays off instead of racing virtually non-stop for 30-plus straight days.

“It will be better for the drivers — and me,” he said, with an obvious smile.

Oh, and in case you are wondering … yes, Driggers expects Quincy to be on next summer’s Hell Tour schedule. The Bullring hosted a $7,500-to-win tour event July 6, won by Brian Shirley.

DRIGGERS EXPECTS MORE ST. LOUIS AREA RACERS IN FUTURE

But back to Quincy’s first year as a UMP late model track. Late model car count is up 50 percent over a year ago for the weekly shows. The weekly average this season has been 18. (Ironically, the lowest late model count since late 2012 — 11 cars — was on hand Sunday night. But that was of little concern to Driggers. He knew track points ended the week before and there is always an immediate fall-off in most classes after that point in any season.)

“What happened in Quincy was what I expected this year,” Driggers said. “The car counts usually go up when a track switches to UMP. I was a little surprised (the count was not higher). I thought more of the St. Louis guys would come up.”

Driggers expects more of those St. Louis cars in the future.

“Quincy is the only Sunday night track in the region and I think (the drivers) just have to get used to that,” he said.

Despite the economy, Driggers said UMP late model car counts were higher this year than in 2011. It was the lower classes that have seemed to get hit harder by the after effects of the still-lingering recession. Driggers said it became more commonplace this year if a lower-class owner sustained major damage to his car, he was likely to miss several weeks rather than be back the ensuing week.

Driggers said 50 percent of all UMP cars and drivers are either in Illinois, or race in Illinois.

“Illinois is UMP,” he said. “Other than Pennsylvania, Illinois has more dirt tracks than any state in the nation.”

Including one at 8000 Broadway in Quincy.

AROUND THE HORN

There were plenty of familiar faces in victory lane Sunday night — and one newcomer:

Late models: Brian “The Squirrel” Shirley won for the second time this season in Quincy — his first came July 6 on Hell Tour night — when he ran down Jake Griffin and then pulled away. Griffin led for the first 10 laps, before Shirley used the high line to take over on lap 11 and eventually post a 1.45-second victory in the 30-lap main event.

Brian Shirley

Modifieds: Track champ Steven DeLonjay’s eighth feature victory was the first flag-to-flag effort in the series since July 8. Jake Griffin was also second in this feature.

Sport mods: With one lap to go, Tony Dunker sat third, but a backstretch crash involving then-leader Bobby Anders and a lapped car knocked Anders out of contention and set up a green-white-checkers finish. Dunker eventually got around Joe Bliven to post his 14th feature victory of the season. The win was also Dunker’s fifth straight and eighth in the last nine features. Dunker has now won more than $5,000 in this series, which would place him among the top 10 late model money winners.

Stock cars: Michael Larsen led from start to finish for his second feature victory of the year. Going into the season, The Walking Taco had not won a main event since 2005.

Hobby stocks: Justin Bevill was the night’s only first-time feature winner. The rookie inherited the lead following a an early-race crash that knocked Richie Wagy Jr. out of the top spot — and the race. Bevill withstood several challenges from Brian Hoener and Tanner Klingele to hold on for the win.

Sport compacts: Austen Becerra just keeps on winning. He won his ninth feature and series-best 14th race, taking over the lead from track champ Seth Woodruff on lap eight and then turning away repeated attempts by Woodruff to get around him in a classic door-to-door battle.

DUNKER ATOP FIRST CAREER SPORT MOD RANKINGS

Anyone surprised that Tony Dunker is the No. 1-ranked sport mod driver in the series’ brief history at the track has not been paying attention — or is related to blog contributor “flyby.” (If you need an explanation for that last comment, you really haven’t been paying attention!)

Dunker has completely dominated this year’s first full schedule of sport mods. A year ago, he was runner-up to Joe Bliven in the abbreviated schedule the series ran in its debut season.

Dunker won this year’s track title by 36 points over Bobby Anders, which under the IMCA scoring system could be considered a full-blown rout. Dunker’s 14 feature victories are more than double the amount of main events won (6) by the rest of the field.

SPORT MODS ALL-TIME TOP 10 RANKINGS (2011-12)

Drivers receive ranking points on a 15-10-8-7-6-5-4-3-2-1 scale for their position in the final top 10 points standing each season. Ties are broken by number of championships, second-place points finishes, top five points finishes, top 10 points finishes, etc.

1. Tony Dunker, 25 points (1 title)
2. Joe Bliven, 23 (1 title)
3. Bobby Anders, 10
4. Brandon Dale, 8
5. Tanner Klingele, 7
6. Rick Barlow Jr., 7
7. Brad Holtmeyer, 6
8. Bob Woodrow, 6
9. Jim Gillenwater, 5
10. Charles Van Zandt, 5

SUNDAY NIGHT FEATURE WINNERS

Late models: Brian Shirley (2nd).
Modifieds: Steven DeLonjay (8th).
Sport mods: Tony Dunker (14th)
Stock cars: Michael “Taco” Larsen (2nd).
Hobby stocks: Justin Bevill (1st).
Sport compacts: Austen Becerra (9th).

Fast feature laps

Late models:  (Fastest of season: Brian Shirley, 77.754 mph, Sept. 16)
Modifieds:   (Fastest of the season: Michael Long, 70.808 mph, June 17)
Sport mods:  (Fastest of season: Tony Dunker, 65.340 mph, Sept. 16)

QUALIFYING

Late models (top 6): 1. Brian Shirley 74.876 mph, 2. Michael Long 74.285, 3. Mark Burgtorf 73.500, 4. Jim Moon 73.002, 5. Dustin Griffin 72.344, 6. Jake Griffin 72.164.

Sept. 16: Brian Shirley, 76.054 mph.
Sept. 9: Michael Long 74.216 mph.

Modifieds (top 6): 1. Craig Spegal 65.332 mph, 2. Dave Wietholder 64.748, 3.Steven DeLonjay 64.708, 4. Mark Burgtorf 64.636, 5. Adam Birck 64.250, 6. Jared Schlipman 64.163.

Sept. 16: Jared Schlipman, 64.764 mph.
Sept. 9: Matt Dotson, 67.303 mph.

SUNDAY NIGHT HEAT WINNERS

Late models: Denny Woodworth (1st).
Modifieds: Troy Grotz (1st), Danny Lake (1st).
Sport mods: Tony Dunker (12th), Bobby Anders (7th).
Stock cars: Terry Houston (4th).
Hobby stocks: Richie Wagy Jr. (1st), Brian Hoener (7th).
Sport compacts: Austen Becerra (5th), Kim Abbott (5th).

Late model dash winner for pole position: Jake Griffin (1st).

Past dash winners
April 1: Brandon Sheppard
April 8: Dustin Griffin
May 6: Dennis Erb Jr.
May 13: Dustin Griffin
May 20: Mark Burgtorf
May 27: Mark Burgtorf
June 3: Jerry Lierly
June 10: Dustin Griffin
June 17: Dewayne Kiefer
June 24: Jason Perry
July 1: Late models did not run
July 8: Justin Reed
July 15: Matt Bailey
July 29: Mark Burgtorf
Aug. 5: Kevin Weaver
Aug. 12: Dustin Griffin
Aug. 19: Michael Long
Sept. 9: Steve Thorsten
Sept. 16: Brian Shirley

Modified dash winner for pole position: Steven DeLonjay (2nd).

Past dash winners
Sept. 9: Robbie Reed
Sept. 16: Steven DeLonjay

SUNDAY NIGHT STARS

10 stars: Dustin Griffin, who along with Griffin Sign Co., helped raised more than $7,000 for the family of the late Charles “PhotoBilly” Haffer, the Quincy Raceways track photographer who was killed last month in a two-vehicle crash in southeast Iowa. Griffin presented a check to members of the Haffer family Sunday night during intermission.
9 stars: Justin Bevill, for winning his first hobby stock feature.

Brian Shirley: Ka-ching!

8 stars: Jake Griffin, for finishing second in both the late model and modified feature. The 13-year-old also won the late model Fast 6 Dash.
7 stars: Tony Dunker, who I’m sure does not want to see this season end. He won his 14th feature and 26th race Sunday night.
6 stars: Austen Becerra, who rallied past track champ Seth Woodruff to win his ninth sport compact main event.
5 stars: Brian Shirley, the late model faeture winner who with Sunday night’s paycheck has earned more than $9,000 this season at the Bullring.
4 stars: Steven DeLonjay, who continued his second half of the season decimation of the modifieds. DeLonjay won his eighth feature, seven coming in the second half of the year.
3 stars: Michael Larsen, who won his second stock car feature of the year after going winless since 2005.
2 stars: Brian Hoener, who won his seventh hobby stock heat race and became the third series driver to win 13 or more races this season. Hoener had more second-half points this season than any other driver in that division.
1 star: Darin Weisinger, who raced the final event of his carer Sunday night. Enjoy your “retirement” as a car owner, Darin.

10-star recipients this season: Dustin Griffin 3, Steven DeLonjay 2, Jake Griffin 2, Dave Wietholder 2, Justin Reed 2. These drivers have all have one: Tanner Klingele, Pat Dunker, Matt Bailey, Jason Perry, Abe Huls, Robbie Reed, Jim Hurley (sprint cars). Special award: Hall of Fame inductees, Charles “Photobilly” Haffer.

CAR COUNTS

Late models: 11 (season average 17.8).
Modifieds: 22 (18.9)
Sport mods: 11 (11.3)
Stock cars: 6 (8.3)
Hobby stocks: 14 (12.3)
Sport compacts: 12 (15.1)

Season high car counts

Late models: 23, May 6. (regular weekly show only)
Modifieds: 25, Sept. 9.
Sport mods: 18, May 13.
Stock cars: 12, April 1.
Hobby stocks: 16, May 13 and June 10
Sport compacts: 18, May 30

CAUTIONS

Late models: 0 (72 for season).
Modifieds: 11 (183)
Sport mods: 2 (119)
Stock cars: 0 (45)
Hobby stocks: 5 (60)
Sport compacts: 3 (62)

Recent season caution totals
2012: 555 (through Sept. 16)
2011: 255
2010: 289
2009: 450
2008: 468
2007: 493
2006: 448

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Comments (20)

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  1. Dave Moore says:

    Its a toss up whether the stockcars get the boot or not but those boys sure know how to race without a lot of cautions. I know its hard for you to get the fast lap times in print but remember Stevie your are in Illinois and not Ohio and we expect better results.

  2. Ursa fan says:

    dave,

    yeah boy, those stock cars put on a great show … all six of them.

  3. michael larsen says:

    Well I guess this TACO thing has stuck with me…..even the announcer is sayin it……thanks Mr dirt.!!

  4. booger girl says:

    Why would you even consider the cautions, when you only have 6 cars on the track, I haven’t done the math but anyway you look at it that’s a lot of open area on the track for just 6 cars to run.

    Get rid of them next year and take their money and put it on the Late Models further back in the field and you will draw more Late Model cars, I have heard this at Granite and Peavly both.

  5. craig courty says:

    it would be interesting to know what the current stock cars would do if the class is eliminated shouldnt take much to do an unofficial poll on here i think all the drivers read this blog, would you quit, race another imca track or move to a different class sportmods would seem the logical choice for most but if a guy doesnt want to buy a different race car it would be nice to see if management could find some way to let them configure the cars they have now to race in the hobbys such as removing weight jacks additional weight for the stock cars maybe even allow the whole hobby class to run the sport mod tires see how the times stack up then make some tweaking to the rules like carb if necessary. the 48 changed class mid year not sure what equipment changes he made but wasnt like he was getting lapped every race he looked competitive so it cant be that hard to do

  6. Dave Moore says:

    ursa fan and booger girl thanks for helping me understand why the stockcars should be booted next year. I like the idea of taking the purse money saved and adding it to the late models payout. I bet it would run into the thousands. Why haven’t the track management thought about this great savings?

  7. ursa fan says:

    yo, dave … seriously, i like the stock cars and hope the track can figure out a way to keep them around, but there HAS to be more of them for the class to work … six-car features are just not cool, and i read on this blog darin wisinger is retiring, so there goes another driver …

    what do you suggest? i don’t think i have read anything you have written that offers a cure for the problem. if i missed it, i apologize.

  8. michael larsen says:

    I will race in Iowa if they drop them….as for the 48j….all we did was change engines, added triple disc and headers….same shocks and springs we ran in hobbies….same setup numbers.

  9. d-dub says:

    i may be retired as a driver, but not as a car owner, we will field one maybe two cars next year with drivers to be announced. Had a great time with the stockcar boys this year, great group of guys. CONGRATS Michael on the win

  10. chuck ancell says:

    what are the ump rules for there stock cars? i was in winchester il today and the service manager has a stock car his son drives they sure look like a imca car with mod tires to me. he tows to lincoln and macon to race .

  11. michael larsen says:

    Thanks d-dub!

  12. 06 Ford Racer Fan says:

    I do not think it would be good to do away with the stock cars. Granted, the car count is low, but they do have a good race. Every class but the Sports Mods put on a good show. The car count is low in Sports Mods too. There has only been about three good races in that class all year. Dunker’s car is so much better than the others that there is no competition. End the Sports Mods and let him go back to winning some heat races in the major leagues. He should be more proud of that than beating up on a bunch of kids starting out and under funded cars. Keep the stock cars, they are a good show.

  13. Dave Moore says:

    ursa fan, i’ve heard many many fans of the Modifies and Late Models are very discussed with the fast six races these cars put on. Theres only 6 cars out there what a sorry sight. I just tell the fans to make a beer or toilet run but to hurry because they run those races very fast. I think our fearless leader the Ohio Kid(S. Dirt) is so bored that he makes a food run when those 6 cars are out there is that right Kid.

  14. seighinger says:

    Well Dave, now that you asked, I love the Fast 6 dashes. I’ve said for years I wish all classes had the dashes. And concerning the concession stand, there’s never a bad bad time to visit any concession stand. I always miss the trackburgers during the winter.

  15. booger girl says:

    One thing is for sure Dave Moore would never be in a fast 6, maybe a half fast 6. How can one person be so ignorant to not understand the concept of the race. I don’t know the last sentence may be even to hard for him to understand.

  16. BULLRINGBANDIT says:

    DAVE MOORE IS LOST…..06FORDRACERFAN I CANT AGREE….SUNDAY HE WAS A 3RD PLACE CAR BUT ONE CAR WRECKED HIS SELF AND THEN DONKER BODY SLAMMED THE OTHER…..IF THAT WAS DONKER THAT GOT SLAMMED OH MY GOD HE WOULD HAVE BEEN DRIVING AROUND THE TRACK BACKWARDS TRYING TO HIT THE CAR THEN DRIVE TO THE TRAILER AND HIDE WHILE HIS DIRTY DOZEN AKA THE GANGBANGERS TRY TO FIGHT IF THATS WHAT YOU WANT TO CALL IT. I GUESS THERE WAS NO TIRE IRON HANDY FOR HIM AT DONNELLSON SPEEDWAY THAT NIGHT BECAUSE I HEARD HE LIKES TO USE THOSE AS A WEAPON.

  17. Dave Moore says:

    booger girl , I’m really slow so could you please explain that last sentence to me?

  18. SKIPP says:

    UUUUHH …HEY CLOWN ….
    THATS ALREADY BEEN DONE ….. OVER AND OVER AND OVER AND OVER AND OVER AND OVER
    TRY SOME NEW MATERIAL DUNCE ..

  19. rick sager says:

    bullringbandit you dont have a clue what happen at lee county speedway really tired of hearing the bull.flyby and a rest of you clowns want to talk on this blog but has never came to team 3 trailer or you can come to me i work the gate be more then happy to listen to ya. but i really dont see ya doing that. you rather hide behind a computer. and as you can see i put my real name on here

  20. Terry Houston says:

    chuck ancell,ump stock cars, if they follow the rules, most tracks have their own rules and still run under the ump sanction. ump stock cars can set their engine back in frame,no msd,and the brackets on rearend has to be one hole up close to stock position.they run a 500 holley. this is some of the more obvious diffs. there are no rules specific to allow a ford or dodge to run

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