By Michael Despain
BELLEVILLE, ILLINOIS – May 4, 2018 – The MARS Super Late Model Racing Series would return to action with the first event of a weekend doubleheader in the Land of Lincoln as the tour would visit Belle-Clair Speedway in Belleville, Ill. and Brian Shirley of Chatham, Ill. would handle a racing surface with a lot of character on the evening and score a $3,000 victory.
The victory for Shirley would be his first of the season with the tour and his ninth career series checkered flag and it would come aboard the Bob Cullen owned Thomason Express, Kid’s Castle Learning Center, Jayco Construction, Cheap Cars, Vallejo Inc., KBC Graphics sponsored #3s Rocket Chassis, Andy Durham Race Engines powered entry.
Rusty Griffaw would take the lead at the start of the event, shortened to thirty laps, with Brian Shirley, Tanner English, Gordy Gundaker, and Tim Manville in pursuit. Dave Jacober would draw the first of four cautions in the event on lap two to slow the action and the top five would remain the same after the restart, which only saw one more circuit scored before Jason Zobrist slowed on the backchute to draw a caution. Action would resume and Griffaw and Shirley would scoot away from third place English a bit, while eighth-place starting Daryn Klein began to pressure Manville for the fifth position. Action among the top four would heat up on lap six when Shirley pressured Griffaw for the lead and Gundaker challenged English for the third position. The front pair were already working slower traffic and Shirley would make his move on lap seven and drive past Griffaw exiting turn two in traffic. Shirley would gain a bit of a lead on Griffaw at this point when Mark Rose would draw the caution after stopping on the backstretch. The restart would see Shirley, Griffaw, and English motor away from Gundaker, who was now being challenged by Klein, with Klein grabbing the fourth spot on lap thirteen.
As the halfway mark came, Shirley began to open his lead up once again until seventh place running Manville slowed on the backstretch to draw the final caution of the event on lap seventeen. The remainder of the contest would go caution-free and Shirley would build up a full straightaway lead over the field and would see the checkered flag first. Griffaw would settle for runner-up honors, while English would complete the podium finishers with a third-place effort. Klein would finish in the fourth position, while Gundaker completed the top five finishers. The remainder of the top ten finishers would be Myles Moos, Caleb Ashby, thirteenth starting Dean Carpenter, Charlie Cole, and fifteenth starting David Seibers.
The MARS Super Late Model Racing Series next event Saturday May 5 at Fayette County Speedway in Brownstown, Ill., paying $3,000 to win.
Further information on the MARS Super Late Model Racing Series can be obtained by calling Promoter/Race Director Chris Tilley at (606) 219-1723 or by visiting the official series website located at www.marsracingseries.com.
Official Summary of Results
Feature Results for MARS Super Late Model Racing Series at Belle-Clair Speedway in Belleville, Ill. on May 4, 2018
1. Brian Shirley-Chatham, Ill.
2. Rusty Griffaw-Festus, Mo.
3. Tanner English-Benton, Ky.
4. Daryn Klein-Fairview Heights, Ill.
5. Gordy Gundaker-St. Charles, Mo.
6. Myles Moos-Lincoln, Ill.
7. Caleb Ashby-Cunningham, Tenn.
8. Dean Carpenter-Coldwater, Miss.
9. Charlie Cole-Wynne, Ark.
10. David Seibers-Chapel Hill, Tenn.
11. Greg Kimmons-Pleasant Plains, Ill.
12. Mike Hammerle-St. Charles, Mo.
13. Tim Manville-St. Jacob, Ill.
14. Mark Rose-Dorchester, Wisc.
15. Dave Jacober-Highland, Ill.
16. Corey Ford-Belleville, Ill.
17. Dan Jacober-.Highland, Ill.
18. Jason Zobrist-Highland, Ill.
19. Brent McKinnon-Carlyle, Ill.
21. Jason Sohre-Highland, Ill.
22. Dave Armstrong-Wildwood, Mo.
Did Not Qualify- Rich Standridge, Michael Kloos, Matt Bailey, Dane Dacus
Time of Race: 14 minutes, 45 seconds
Margin of Victory: 2.595 seconds
Yellow Flags: 4 (lap 2, 3, 11 ,17)
Red Flags: None
Lap Leaders: Rusty Griffaw 1-6, Brian Shirley 7-30
Wiles Driveshafts Top Qualifier: Tanner English 10.988 seconds
Provisional Starters: None
Heat One Finish (10 laps/top 5 transfer)- Tanner English, Tim Manville, Charlie Cole, Brent McKinnon, Dean Carpenter, Greg Kimmons, Dave Jacober, Mike Hammerle (DNS-Matt Bailey)
Heat Two Finish (10 laps/top 5 transfer)- Rusty Griffaw, Gordy Gundaker, Daryn Klein, Jason Suhre, Jason Zobrist, Dan Jacober, Rich Standridge (DNS-Michael Kloos, Dane Dacus)
Heat Three Finish (10 laps/top 5 transfer)- Brian Shirley, Myles Moos, Caleb Ashby, Mark Voigt, David Seibers, Corey Ford, Mark Rose, Dave Armstrong
By Michael Despain