10.16.21 MLRA Late Models Results

Granite City, IL (October 16, 2021) – Brian Shirley’s 2021 season was supposed to be over, until a late season opportunity came knocking. Wheeling the Steve Lampley owned #33 Shirley took full advantage of the chance to race and parked the teams XR-1 Rocket in Cedar Creek Beef Jerky Victory Lane on Saturday night at the Tri-City Speedway.

After Friday night’s opener fell to rain, the Lucas Oil MLRA Championship came down to Saturday nights season finale, in which Tony Jackson Jr. clinched his second career MLRA title over Garrett Alberson by taking the green on Saturday.

A total of 25 cars checked in for the season finale with Garrett Alberson notching his second Illini Racing Supply Fast Time Award. At the drop of the green flag however it was pole sitter Jeff Herzog taking the early race lead in the 40 lapper. The nights first of five StopTech Brakes cautions would wave on lap two when Tim Simpson came to a stop at the bottom of turn one.

With the green in the air Herzog took back to the top side of the speedway only to see Brian Shirley who started in the third stop rocket past off the exit of turn four as the duo completed lap four. While Shirley was pacing the field, four time MLRA winner Tony Jackson Jr. was making his presence felt by running down the race leader from his 7th starting spot. As Jackson got to within striking distance of the leader in lapped traffic, disaster nearly struck as Brennon Willard spun directly in front of Jackson in turn one. Jackson made slight contact but never stopped on the track and maintained his runner up spot as the caution waved.

Another pair of cautions would slow the pace on lap 28 as Bobby Pierce came to a stop on the track after running in 5th and again on lap 36 when Chad Simpson spun in turns 3-4. The final caution set up a four lap dash to the checkered that would see Gordy Gundacker restarting in the second spot and Frank Heckenast Jr. in third.

Gundacker would chase Shirley on the low line while Heckenast charged along the high line of the 3/8 mile facility. Heckenast would clear the 11 of Gunaker coming to the white but fell just shy of the win at the line, finishing a mere .123 seconds behind Shirley. Shirley would pocket the $7,000 win over Heckenast Jr, and Gundaker. Alberson came home in fourth while series champion Jackson, Jr. would finish his night in fifth.

Shirley was excited to get the win for Lampley’s team which races with a handful of different drivers on a part time basis. Commenting on the run he said, “Once I got my rhythm going I felt like we were pretty good. And then I seen on that last restart and was like man–there was four to go and I seen that Gordy was on the bottom. I kind of got a little timid and tried to hit my marks too much and then I seen Frankie must have gotten around him (Gundaker) and then I was a little nervous. I just knew on that final lap that we had to go in there and try and hit our marks the best.”

“I’ve got to thank Bob and Lisa Cullen for letting me come race when we have been trying to get ready for 2022. At the end of the day it’s good to stay in the car and keep your feet wet,” he concluded.

Heckenast Jr. recorded his third MLRA top five of the season and noted, “The car wasn’t as good as I wanted and then I fell way back. I just decided to start driving it as hard as I could you know. I had to lift in the last corner there getting in because if you went in on the gas you know it just about shoots you into the wall. You’ve got to lift and roll the holes and after you get out of the holes you can go. Maybe one more corner would have done it but, that’s why its 40 and not 40 ¼ laps.”

Gundaker who started on the outside front row dropped out of the top five in the early stages only to rally back for a strong podium finish. “That first start I got hung out in the crumbs and those guys got by me. But with 40 laps here I just knew I had to get going again and that last restart when I got outside of Tony I got a good start and got back to the bottom. Frankie was just driving the wheels off that thing at the end and just got back by me. Overall it was a great night to run third behind these guys, it says something for our team,” he concluded.


Jackson claimed his second career Lucas Oil MLRA Championship on Saturday, with his first title coming in 2013. The driver from Lebanon, MO finished the MLRA regular season with four wins and only one finish outside of the top ten—that being an 11th place finish in the series second race of the year. Jackson stood atop the Midwest Sheet Metal standings in all but one event on the season.

Following the finale Jackson said from victory lane, “I just want to thank Casey and Tony and Luke. They are who gets this thing ready during the week and my wife and little girl—that’s just as important as anything else letting you be out there and do it.”

Tri City Speedway Contingencies 10/16/21
Lap Leaders— Jeff Herzog (1 – 4), Brian Shirley (5 – 40)
Stop Tech Brakes Cautions— (5) Laps 2, 4, 13, 28, 36)
Illini Racing & Supply “Fast Time” — Garrett Alberson ( 14.622sec)
Casey’s “Hard Charger of the Race” – Mason Oberkramer (+12)
DirtonDirt.com “Pole Award” – Jeff Herzog
Dynamic Drivelines Crew Chief of the Race – Aaron Mitchell
Gorsuch Performance Solutions “10th Place Finisher” – Justin Duty
Hooker Harness “11th Place Finisher”— Jason Papich
Midwest Sheet Metal “Points Leader Spoiler Challenge” – Tony Jackson Jr.
Performance Bodies “Performer of the Race”– Brian Shirley
Racing Junk “Hard Luck Award” – Chad Simpson
StopTech Brakes “6th Place Finisher”- Jeff Herzog
Sunoco “Rookie of the Race” – Mason Oberkramer
Swift Springs “Move of the Race”— Frank Heckenast Jr.
Wrisco Feature Winner– Brian Shirley

A Feature-Lucas Oil Products 40 Laps | 00:33:32.809 | Lucas Oil Products
1. 33-Brian Shirley[3]; 2. 99JR-Frank Heckenast Jr[6]; 3. 11-Gordy Gundaker[2]; 4. 59-Garrett Alberson[4]; 5. 56JR-Tony Jackson Jr[7]; 6. 11H-Jeff Herzog[1]; 7. 1X-Aaron Marrant[13]; 8. 22-Daniel Hilsabeck[9]; 9. 18B-Shannon Babb[8]; 10. 15-Justin Duty[18]; 11. 91P-Jason Papich[12]; 12. 0-Dewayne Kiefer[10]; 13. 93-Mason Oberkramer[25]; 14. 16-Rusty Griffaw[14]; 15. 51F-Matt Furman[21]; 16. 44W-David Webster[16]; 17. 50C-Kayden Clatt[19]; 18. 25-Chad Simpson[5]; 19. 14M-Reid Millard[22]; 20. (DNF) 32P-Bobby Pierce[11]; 21. (DNF) F15-Jeremy Conaway[15]; 22. (DNF) 11T-Trevor Gundaker[17]; 23. (DNF) 3W-Brennon Willard[24]; 24. (DNF) 18M-Jimmy Miller[23]; 25. (DNF) 17-Tim Simpson[20]

Heat 1-Dynamic Drivelines 10 Laps | 00:03:38.326 | Dynamic Drivelines
1. 11H-Jeff Herzog[2]; 2. 59-Garrett Alberson[1]; 3. 56JR-Tony Jackson Jr[3]; 4. 0-Dewayne Kiefer[6]; 5. 1X-Aaron Marrant[4]; 6. 44W-David Webster[7]; 7. 50C-Kayden Clatt[8]; 8. 14M-Reid Millard[9]; 9. (DNF) 93-Mason Oberkramer[5]

Heat 2-Midwest Sheet Metal 10 Laps | 00:04:12.482 | Midwest Sheet Metal
1. 11-Gordy Gundaker[2]; 2. 25-Chad Simpson[3]; 3. 18B-Shannon Babb[1]; 4. 32P-Bobby Pierce[4]; 5. 16-Rusty Griffaw[6]; 6. 11T-Trevor Gundaker[5]; 7. 17-Tim Simpson[7]; 8. (DNF) 18M-Jimmy Miller[8]

Heat 3- Caseys 10 Laps | 00:04:03.100 | Casey’s
1. 33-Brian Shirley[2]; 2. 99JR-Frank Heckenast Jr[1]; 3. 22-Daniel Hilsabeck[4]; 4. 91P-Jason Papich[3]; 5. F15-Jeremy Conaway[5]; 6. 15-Justin Duty[8]; 7. 51F-Matt Furman[6]; 8. 3W-Brennon Willard[7]

Please subscribe to our YouTube Channel, Follow us on Twitter and Like us on Facebook

Thanks for visiting Dirt Racing Report