Hell Tour SummerNationalsKankakee County SpeedwayPhoto GalleryPress Release

Kankakee Speedway “Hell Tour” 6-15-23; Stan Kalwasinski Photos/Recaps

Shirley captures another Summer Nationals Victory

By Stan Kalwasinski

Kankakee, Ill., June 15—Posting another flag-to-flag victory, Brian Shirley was the winner of the DIRTcar Summer Nationals “Hell Tour” 40-lap dirt late model stock car special at the Kankakee County Speedway Thursday night.  Starting on the outside of the front row of the feature field, Shirley led all 40 circuits around the banked, quarter-mile, dirt oval.

Winning the night before at Peoria Speedway, which hosted the “Hell Tour” opener, the 42-year-old, four-time Summer Nationals champion from Chatham, Ill., guided his Bob Cullen Racing, Thomason Express/Hoker Trucking LLC-sponsored No. 3 to the $5,000 win.

Jason Feger kept Shirley in his sights and finished second, 0.683-seocnds behind the winner, followed by fast qualifier Dennis Erb Jr., Frank Heckenast Jr., who started 10th in the 22-car field, Kevin Weaver and Bob Gardner.  The win was Shirley’s 40th career victory in Summer Nationals competition.

Four yellow flags and lapped traffic slowed Shirley’s charge to the checkered flag with Feger challenging Shirley from time to time as the race wore on.

“We got out there and set the pace.,” said Shirley.  “The curb on the outside got so big and treacherous.  It (the outside groove) was the fastest way around, but not the easiest way around. I probably wasn’t set up as good as I needed to (run the outside) but all in all we were good enough to get the win.”

Shirley, along with Feger, Weaver and Shannon Babb were 10-lap heat race winners.  Babb ran with the leaders until he clipped an inside tire marker which put him out of the race.

Jordan Bauer won the 12-lap “Last Chance Showdown” ahead of Mike Spatola and Rich Bell.  Oregon driver Thomas Hunziker captured the 10-lap consolation race.  37 entries were on hand.

Austin McCarty claimed top honors in the 20-lap feature race for DIRTcar Pro Late Models.  McCarty bested Chad Osterhoff and Amber Crouch.  Austen Hubbard won the stock car 15-lap headliner while Nathan Arterberry captured the 20-lap factory stock main event.

40-Lap Feature Finish:

Brian Shirley, Jason Feger, Dennis Erb Jr., Frank Heckenast Jr., Kevin Weaver, Bob Gardner, Tommy Sheppard Jr., Tyler Clem, Ethan Dotson, Rich Bell, Ashton Winger, Mike Spatola, Kyle Blight, Taylor Scheffler, Chase Osterhoff, Jordan Bauer, Doug Tye, Daryn Klein, Forrest Trent, Shannon Babb, Cody Bauer, Curtis Roberts


Nicely posts Summit Modified Win at Kankakee

By Stan Kalwasinski

Kankakee, Ill., June 15—Tyler Nicely, from Owensboro, Ky., was the winner of the DIRTcar Summit Racing Equipment Modified Nationals 25-lap main event at Kankakee County Speedway Thursday night.

Starting inside row two in the 24-car field, the 27-year-old Nicely raced to the checkered flag with a commanding margin over Kyle Steffens, Trevor Neville, early race leader Levi Kissinger and fast timer Frank Marshall.  Two yellow flags and two red flag incidents slowed the action. A multi-car pileup between turns one and two on lap 12 after a yellow flag restart took out contenders Zeke McKenzie, Jamie Lomax Nick Allen, Jason Hastings and Ray Bollinger.

The final 14 laps of the race saw green flag racing with Nicely in command and grabbing the $1,500 win.

“We started third and got to second and found a good line that I could make speed with,” said Nicely.  “I was able to keep a good momentum once I got into the lead.”

25-Lap Feature Finish:

Tyler Nicely, Kyle Steffens, Trevor Neville, Levi Kissinger, Frank Marshall, Mike McKinney, Steven Brooks, Deece Schwartz, Matt Fabrizius, Tanner Sullivan, Nash Hilmes, Jake Leitzman, Tom Pasek, Matthew Baker, Billy Knippenberg, Zeke McKenzie, Jamie Lomax, Nick Allen, Jason Hastings, Ray Bollinger, Lyndon Whitfill, Curt Spalding, Austin Friedman, Braiden Bohlmann