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Brady Smith Scores Thrilling DIRTcar Summer Nationals Victory at Lincoln Speedway

Brady Smith captured his second career DIRTcar Summer Nationals victory on Sunday night at Lincoln Speedway after leader Chase Junghans spun with 15 laps to go while trying to navigate through lapped traffic.

Smith grabbed the pole for the 40-lap feature with Saturday night winner, Brian Birkhofer, starting on his outside. Smith secured the lead and an early advantage on the opening lap as Birkhofer came under fire from the rest of the field. A hard charging Brian Shirley, who started in the fifth position, made his way around Birkhofer and challenged Smith for the lead early, but was unsuccessful at securing the top spot.

As Smith and Shirley battled for the lead, Chase Junghans who started in the third position, lurked behind the two leaders, staging his move for the top spot. On lap 16, Junghans took advantage of lapped traffic, making a daring pass to the inside of both Shirley and Smith for the lead. Smith held his line on the outside as the two fought for the lead, but Junghans would prove to be too tough and pulled away from Smith by the halfway point of the race.

Junghans looked to have the car to beat in his DIRTcar Summer Nationals debut, but on lap 24 he spun while trying to pass a slower Mike Spatola, handing the lead back over to Brady Smith. On lap 38, the race would be temporarily red-flagged after 2013 DIRTcar Summer Nationals champion Brandon Sheppard flipped while running in the top five. Fortunately, Sheppard escaped the wild ride without any injuries.

Following the short stoppage, Smith held off a late-race charge from Brian Birkhofer, leading the races final 15 laps en route to capturing his first DIRTcar Summer Nationals victory in seven years.

(Click here for news and information on the DIRTcar Summer Nationals.)

Shirley, Dennis Erb Jr., and Ryan Unzicker rounded out the top five.

Heat race winners included Birkhofer, Smith, Brandon Sheppard, and Junghans.

The DIRTcar Summer Nationals continues on Tuesday night as they join the DIRTcar Summit Racing Equipment Modified Nationals at Belle-Clair Speedway in Belleville, Ill.

DIRTcar Summer Nationals Statistical Report; Lincoln Speedway; Lincoln, Ill.; June 29, 2014;

A-Main (40-laps): 1. 2S-Brady Smith ($5,000), 2. 15B-Brian Birkhofer, 3. 81-Brian Shirley, 4. 28E-Dennis Erb Jr, 5. 24-Ryan Unzicker, 6. 18J-Chase Junghans, 7. 21B-Rich Bell, 8. 81JR-Jason Riggs, 9. 1M-Jim Moon, 10. 89-Mike Spatola, 11. 91-Rusty Schlenk, 12. 84-Myles Moos, 13. B5-Brandon Sheppard, 14. 25L-Steve Lance Jr, 15. 27K-Greg Kimmons, 16. 21JR-Billy Moyer Jr, 17. 24T-Matt Taylor, 18. 6K-Michael Kloos, 19. 75D-Billy Drake, 20. 18-Shannon Babb, 21. 42-MCKay Wenger, 22. 12B-Kevin Weaver.

2014 DIRTcar Summer Nationals Schedule

Date Day Track Location Win
June 11 Wed Brownstown Speedway Brownstown, Ind. RAIN
June 12 Thur Kankakee Co. Speedway Kankakee, Ill. Billy Moyer
June 13 Fri Cedar Lake Speedway Somerset, Wis. Rick Eckert
June 14 Sat Cedar Lake Speedway Somerset, Wis. RAIN
June 15 Sun Wilmot Raceway Wilmot, Wis. Rick Eckert(2)
June 16 Mon Off
June 17 Tue Farley Speedway Farley, Iowa Shannon Babb
June 18 Wed Spoon River Speedway Canton, Ill. Jason Feger
June 19 Thur Quincy Raceways Quincy, Ill. RAIN
June 20 Fri Tri-City Speedway Pontoon Beach, Ill. Billy Moyer(2)
June 21 Sat Fairbury Speedway Fairbury, Ill. RAIN
June 22 Sun I-96 Speedway Ionia, Mich. Brian Shirley
June 23 Mon Peoria Speedway Peoria, Ill. Brandon Sheppard
June 24 Tue Off
June 25 Wed Clarksville Speedway Clarksville, Tenn. Shannon Babb(2)
June 26 Thur Clayhill Motorsports Atwood, Tenn. Brian Shirley (2)
June 27 Fri Paducah Int. Raceway Paducah, Ky. RAIN
June 28 Sat Federated Auto Parts Raceway Pevely, Mo. Brian Birkhofer
June 29 Sun Lincoln Speedway Lincoln, Ill. Brady Smith
June 30 Mon Off
July 1 Tue Belle Clair Speedway Belleville, Ill. $5,000
July 2 Wed Jacksonville Speedway Jacksonville, Ill. $5,000
July 3 Thur LaSalle Speedway LaSalle, Ill. $5,000
July 4 Fri Fayette Co. Speedway Brownstown, Ill. $7,500
July 5 Sat Highland Speedway Highland, Ill. $10,000
July 6 Sun Tri-State Speedway Haubstadt, Ind. $5,000
July 7 Mon Off
July 8 Tue Florence Speedway Union, Ky. $5,000
July 9 Wed Terre Haute Action Track Terre Haute, Ind. $5,000
July 10 Thur Macon Speedway Macon, Ill. $5,000
July 11 Fri Farmer City Raceway Farmer City, Ill. $10,000
July 12 Sat 34 Raceway Burlington, Iowa $10,000
July 13 Sun Vermilion Co. Speedway Danville, Ill. $5,000
July 14 Mon Off
July 15 Tue TBA
July 16 Wed Atomic Speedway Chillicothe, Ohio $5,000
July 17 Thur Brushcreek Motorsports Complex Peebles, Ohio $5,000
July 18 Fri Attica Raceway Park Attica, Ohio $5,000
July 19 Sat Oakshade Raceway Wauseon, Ohio $10,000

The DIRTcar Summer Nationals “Hell Tour” is brought to fans across the country by many important partners including: Arizona Sport Shirts (Official Apparel Company), Hoosier Racing Tires (Official Racing Tires), Racing Electronics (Official Communication), Velocita (Official Uniform), VP Racing Fuel (Official Racing Fuel); in addition to these fine Contingency Partners: Beyea Headers, Cometic Gasket, Comp Cams, Dominator Race Products, Edelbrock, Fox Shocks, JE Pistons, JRI Shocks, Mobil 1, MSD, Quartermaster, Superflow Dynos, Summit Racing Equipment and Wrisco Aluminum; Promotional Partners include: Chevy Performance Parts, Indiana Decal, Intercomp and Petroff Towing.

by Jordan Morris

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