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DIRTcar UMP Weekly Points Update: Unzicker Pads Late Model Points Edge, Hancock Takes Over UMP Modified Lead After Week 19

CONCORD, NC – June 10, 2011 – Ryan Unzicker of El Paso, Ill. (Late Models) and Tim Hancock of Mt. Olive, Ill. (UMP Modifieds) sit atop the DIRTcar UMP national points standings after Week 19 of the circuit’s 2011 campaign.

Unzicker continued to his extend his national points lead in the full-fender division while Hancock vaulted into the UMP Modified catbird’s seat following races completed through June 5.

The 28-year-old Unzicker nearly doubled his edge in the Late Model standings, pushing his lead from 104 to 184 points (1,305-1,121) over rising 18-year-old star Brandon Sheppard of New Berlin, Ill. Unzicker counted four races from May 30-June 5, including a runner-up finish in the Tri-State Challenge Series finale on June 4 at I-55 Raceway in Pevely, Mo., and a third-place run in the Memorial Day special on May 30 at Macon (Ill.) Speedway.

Sheppard moved to second place in the standings on the strength of two wins in his four starts during Week 19. He began the week with a victory on May 30 at Macon and ended it with the biggest triumph of his young career, taking the $5,000 top prize in the Tri-State Challenge event at I-55 on June 4.

The son of DIRTcar Late Model veteran Steve Sheppard Jr., Sheppard jumped up from fourth place in the national rankings. His surge pushed Brandon Thirlby of Traverse City, Mich., to third in the standings despite his pair of fourth-place finishes, on June 3 at Mt. Pleasant (Mich.) Speedway and June 4 at I-96 Speedway in Lake Odessa, Mich.

Another upward mover in the Late Model battle was 2009 national champion Jason Feger of Bloomington, Ill., who advanced from sixth to fourth. He was steady in four starts, registering runner-up finishes on May 30 at Peoria (Ill.) Speedway and June 2 at Highland (Ill.) Speedway as well as a fourth on June 3 at Paducah (Ky.) International Raceway and a seventh on June 4 at I-55.

Feger, who has the fewest counted races (17) of the drivers in the top five of the standings, will be among the circuit’s standouts competing in the DIRTcar UMP-sanctioned Dream XVII this weekend (June 10-11) at Eldora Speedway in Rossburg, Ohio. The race’s $100,000 first-place prize is the biggest of the year in dirt Late Model racing.

Hancock, meanwhile, shot from fourth to first in the UMP Modified national standings, supplanting Randle Sweeney of Clifty, Ky. The Land of Lincoln driver was victorious on June 3 at Tri-City Speedway in Pontoon Beach, Ill., and scored finishes of sixth on June 5 at I-55 and 10th on May 30 at Macon to end Week 19 leading Scott Weber of Festus, Mo., by 53 points and Sweeney by 54 markers.

Weber also made a nice advance, going from sixth to second in the standings following a week that saw him win on June 2 at Highland, place sixth on June 3 at Fayette County Speedway in Brownstown, Ill., and finish fourth on June 4 at I-55. Sweeney fell after making just one start, a ninth-place run on June 4 at Clarksville (Tenn.) Speedway.

There was just one change at the top of the national standings in DIRTcar UMP’s other six divisions. Credence Mott of Vienna, Ill., used a victory on June 3 at Paducah and a sixth-place finish on June 4 at Clarksville to overtake Clayton Miller of Elkton, Ky., for the lead in the Pro Late Model class.

Drivers remaining atop the national standings in their respective divisions were Troy Clark of North Vernon, Ind. (Sportsman); Kentucky’s Jeff Lawson (Limited Modifieds); Nate Zimmer of Mattoon, Ill. (Stock Cars); Rob Sternberg of Muskegon, Mich. (Factory Stocks) and Bradley McGhee of Hopkinsville, Ky (Sport Compacts).

Log on to www.DirtCar.com for more information on DIRTcar Racing’s UMP circuit and to view complete points standings for all divisions, including the current State points rankings.

New for 2011, the weekly DIRTcar UMP points update is powered by www.MotorStats.com. DIRTcar’s affiliation with the Durham, N.C.-based Web site is providing fans and competitors a more timely and detailed look at the points standings. National and State points standings for all divisions are typically updated by Thursday each week, and new features allow visitors to click on each driver’s name to see a complete race-by-race review of their finishes to date.

DIRTcar Racing UMP National Points Standings (as of June 5, 2011):

Late Models (rank/driver/races/points):

1. Ryan Unzicker 21 1305

2. Brandon Sheppard 20 1121

3. Brandon Thirlby 21 1091

4. Jason Feger 17 1082

5. Michael Kloos 20 1067

6. Dewayne Kiefer 22 1041

7. Rusty Schlenk 15 982

8. Mike Spatola III 17 977

9. Mike Hammerle 20 949

10. Jon Henry 15 938

11. Randy Korte 15 865

12. Bobby Pierce 17 861

13. Jeff Walston 18 843

14. Scott Schmitt 18 808

15. Dillan White 17 800

16. Mike Schulte 16 772

17. Mark Voigt 12 747

18. Roger Brickler 16 696

19. Charles Zimmerman 13 685

20. Caleb Ashby 12 676

UMP Modifieds (rank/driver/races/points):

1. Tim Hancock 19 1142

2. Scott Weber 19 1089

3. Randle Sweeney 18 1088

4. Jeff Mathews 16 1077

5. Brett Korves 21 1046

6. Mike Harrison 16 1036

7. Jamie Lomax 18 1031

8. Brian Lynn 16 1006

9. Dave Wietholder 20 1000

10. Mckay Wenger 19 998

11. Nick Allen 15 997

12. Dustin Isom 16 985

13. Dean Hoffman 16 952

14. Clayton Miller 15 929

15. Gabe Menser 18 928

16. Steve Lach 16 916

17. Jay Ledford 17 909

18. Steven Brooks 21 904

19. Kelby Simmons 21 902

20. Devin Gilpin 16 895

Pro Late Models (rank/driver/races/points):

1. Credence Mott 16 914

2. Clayton Miller 14 890

3. Evan Fink 14 840

4. Mark Oller 15 816

5. Nick Bauman 13 787

6. Randy Myers 14 771

7. Daniel Heck 17 740

8. Bobby Martintoni 15 736

9. Jerry Lierly 11 692

10. Dustin Griffin 11 682

Sportsman (rank/driver/races/points):

1. Troy Clark 15 963

2. Nick Macklin 12 780

3. Dave Crawley Jr. 11 729

4. Dan Flessner 11 688

5. Jeremy Hines 11 686

6. Robbie Eilers 12 627

7. Dustin Mounce 11 575

8. Mark Schaefer 9 514

9. Blaise Hetznecker 10 510

10. Alan Crowder 11 505

Limited Modifieds (rank/driver/races/points):

1. Jeff Lawson 15 767

2. Clay Settles 13 652

3. Haley Westerfield 13 649

4. John Wyble 11 641

5. Johnny Holden 11 632

6. Howard Willis 8 565

7. Christopher Geary 12 551

8. Todd Bates 9 530

9. Mark Anderson 8 484

10. Nick Tharp 11 417

Stock Cars (rank/driver/races/points):

1. Nate Zimmer 16 1017

2. Mike Hodges 12 885

3. Joeseph Hamm 13 773

4. Fred Perry Jr. 12 722

5. Chuck Barnes Jr. 11 706

6. John Farris 11 665

7. Darrel Dick 11 648

8. Don Hilleary 11 611

9. Joe Brown 11 609

10. Phillip Brown 11 605

Factory Stocks (rank/driver/races/points):

1. Rob Sternberg 12 789

2. Mike Epplett 14 766

3. Tom Hughes 11 745

4. Bobby McQueen 12 704

5. Dennis Bringedahl 12 691

6. Drue Bouwman 12 620

7. Alan Peacock 9 610

8. Jake Hewitt 11 596

9. Fred Traxler 11 592

10. Jeff Buss 10 569

Sport Compacts (rank/driver/races/points):

1. Bradley McGhee 16 1028

2. Kenny Butterfield 15 993

3. Michael Rittenberry 14 902

4. Jacob Rexing 14 886

5. Casey Feaster 14 847

6. Jordan Suhre 15 833

7. Trevor Isaak 15 820

8. Logan Brown 13 790

9. Jeremy Reed 15 774

10. Blayne Ellis 16 740

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