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DIRTcar UMP News & Notes: Sheppard (Late Models) & Gilpin (UMP Modifieds) Lead National Standings With End Of Points Season In Sight

UMP DIRTcarCONCORD, NC – Sept. 12, 2013 –

HOMESTRETCH: Brandon Sheppard of New Berlin, Ill. (Late Models) and Devin Gilpin of Columbus, Ind. (UMP Modifieds) have DIRTcar UMP national championships in sight as the circuit’s 2013 weekly points racing season draws to a close.

Sheppard enters this weekend’s action leading the DIRTcar UMP Late Model national standings by 79 points (2,511-2,432) over teenager Bobby Pierce of Oakwood, Ill., while Gilpin holds a 63-point edge (2,290-2,227) over Jacob Poel of Spring Lake, Mich., in his bid for a second consecutive UMP Modified title.

Just three full weekends of weekly points competition remain before the organization’s 2013 campaign ends with the annual DIRTcar UMP Nationals on Oct. 3-5 at Eldora Speedway in Rossburg, Ohio.

Sheppard, 20, is sitting at the doorstep of DIRTcar UMP history. Already the youngest DIRTcar Summer Nationals champion after claiming the ‘Hell Tour’ crown for the first time earlier this year, he could become the circuit’s youngest Late Model national champ as well.

In addition, Sheppard is bidding to become the fourth driver to win both the DIRTcar Summer Nationals and national Late Model championships in the same season, joining Brian Shirley of Chatham, Ill. (2012), Dennis Erb Jr. of Carpentersville, Ind. (2007-08) and Indiana’s John Gill (1986).

Sheppard has built his points lead in the national standings, which are determined using drivers’ best 35 finishes/points nights, by showing remarkable consistency and versatility behind the wheel of his family-owned Rocket No. b5. He has recorded 44 top-five finishes in DIRTcar UMP-sanctioned events through Sept. 8, and his 13 feature wins this season have come at nine different tracks.

The latest success on Sheppard’s ledger came on Sept. 8 at Quincy (Ill.) Raceways, where he earned his fourth feature win of 2013 after making a long overnight haul from Eldora Speedway following his 15th-place finish in last Saturday night’s prestigious World 100.

Pierce, 16, is making a late-season charge that he hopes will make him the youngest DIRTcar UMP Late Model national champion in history – and add his name to a list of titlists that includes his father Bob, who won the national crown in 1990. He has been steadily closing the gap on Sheppard since Aug. 10, when he began a sizzling 14-race stretch that has seen him accumulate three wins, six runner-up finishes, two thirds and one fourth.

With eight DIRTcar UMP-sanctioned feature wins at seven different tracks, 39 top-five finishes and a second-place performance in the DIRTcar Summer Nationals points battle to his credit, Pierce has put together a breakout season in his own right. He is coming off one of his biggest head-turning outings of the season: a fourth-place finish in last Saturday night’s World 100 in what was his first career start in the rich event.

Sheppard and Pierce are expected to race head-to-head this weekend in World of Outlaws Late Model Series events co-sanctioned by DIRTcar UMP on Friday (Sept. 13) at Belle-Clair Speedway in Belleville, Ill., and Saturday (Sept. 14) at Federated Auto Parts Raceway at I-55 in Pevely, Mo.

The 23-year-old Gilpin, meanwhile, is seeking to become just the fourth DIRTcar UMP Modified driver in two decades of racing to capture the national title in back-to-back seasons.

Gilpin, who won the UMP Modified national crown for the first time in 2012 on the strength of 37 feature wins, has reached Victory Lane 27 times this season to date. But while his checkered-flag total is lower in ‘13, he’s put up a hot streak for the ages: an incredible 13 consecutive wins from May 3 through June 13.

Still alive in the UMP Modified championship battle are Poel and Nick Allen of Wheatfield, Ind., who sits third in the standings, 81 points behind Gilpin. Both Poel and Allen have won 18 features this season.

Other Other divisional national points leaders through Sept. 8 are Aaron Heck of Mt. Vernon, Ill. (Pro Late Models); Steve Peeden of Paragon, Ind. (Sportsman); Brad DeYoung of Wheatfield, Ind. (Limited/Pro Modifieds); Josh Frye of Coopersville, Mich. (Stock Cars); Jason Worley of St. Genevieve, Mo. (Factory Stocks); and Adam Webb of Decatur, Ill. (Sport Compacts).

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.

GETTING DIRTY IN THE WOLVERINE STATE: The champion of the 2013 DIRTcar UMP-sanctioned Allstar Performance Michigan Dirt Cup Late Model Tour will be crowned this Saturday night (Sept. 14) at Berlin Raceway in Marne, Mich., a 7/16th-mile asphalt track that has been covered with over 300 truckloads of clay for a special ‘Down & Dirty’ series of races.

Saturday evening’s Michigan Dirt Cup show kicks off Berlin’s much-anticipated dirt-track action, which also includes the World of Outlaws Late Model Series Keyser Manufacturing Down & Dirty 100 Presented by NAPA on Sept. 20-21.

Rich Nieser of Fruitport, Mich., leads the Michigan Dirt Cup point standings by 12 points over J.R. Hotovy of Hartford, Mich., entering Saturday night’s competition at Berlin. Defending series champion Brandon Thirlby of Traverse City, Mich., is also mathematically alive, sitting third in the standings, 56 points behind Neiser.

ELDORA TIRES: Eldora Speedway and DIRTcar UMP officials have announced that the tire samples taken from the top-three finishers in the Sept. 8 World 100 – winner John Blankenship of Williamson, W.Va., runner-up Darrell Lanigan of Union, Ky., and third-place Scott Bloomquist of Mooresburg, Tenn. – underwent laboratory testing and were found to have met all benchmarks for Hoosier LM compounds.

DIRTcar UMP sanctioned the World 100 and the organization’s officials oversaw pre- and post-race technical inspection of the event’s entrants.

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.

DIRTcar Racing UMP National Points Standings (as of Sept. 8, 2013):

 

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

1. Brandon Sheppard 35 2511

2. Bobby Pierce 35 2432

3. Rusty Schlenk 35 2318

4. Eric Spangler 35 2214

5. Shannon Babb 35 2197

6. Alex Ferree 35 2176

7. Scott Schmitt 35 2157

8. Kevin Weaver 35 2140

9. Ryan Unzicker 35 2138

10. Michael Kloos 35 2036

11. Rich Neiser 32 2026

12. Brian Shirley 35 1966

13. Randy Korte 35 1965

14. Brandon Thirlby 35 1891

15. Scott Bull 32 1843

16. Michael Norris 35 1811

17. Dona Marcoullier 28 1798

18. Jason McBride 35 1761

19. Mark Burgtorf 34 1747

20. Rickey Frankel 35 1732

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

1. Devin Gilpin 30 2290

2. Jacob Poel 30 2227

3. Nick Allen 30 2209

4. Rusty Griffaw 30 2190

5. Jamie Lomax 30 2146

6. David Mielke 30 2140

7. Eric Bruce 30 2128

8. Allen Weisser 30 2102

9. Jeff Curl 30 2064

10. Collin Thirlby 30 2044

11. Michael Long 30 2019

12. Dave Wietholder 30 2003

13. Donovan Lodge 30 1960

14. Matt Westfall 30 1937

15. Todd Sherman 30 1919

16. Derek Losh 30 1896

17. Brian Lynn 30 1871

18. Lance Dehm 30 1822

18. Mike Harrison 30 1822

20. Jay Ledford 30 1801

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

1. Aaron Heck 20 1501

2. Nick Lyons 20 1496

3. Jeff Walston 20 1461

4. Nick Bauman 20 1405

5. Kolby Vandenbergh 20 1337

6. Credence Mott 20 1314

7. Logan Moody 20 1296

8. Evan Fink 20 1260

9. Evan Taylor 20 1201

10. Myles Moos 20 1155

Sportsman (rank/driver/races counted/points):

1. Steve Peeden 20 1395

2. Aaron Fields 20 1375

3. Roy Bruce Jr. 20 1347

4. Jon Ripperda 20 1324

5. Chris Hillman 20 1295

6. Jimmy Dehm 19 1282

7. Steve Hollars 20 1268

8. Rick Gumm 20 1239

9. Tim Clark 19 1222

10. Tyler Cain 20 1173

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

1. Brad DeYoung 20 1421

2. Jeremy Thoele 20 1344

3. Billy Knebel Jr. 20 1340

4. Rob Lee 20 1323

5. Tim Sullivan Jr. 20 1242

6. Rich Gynn 20 1193

7. Curtis Caldwell 20 1191

8. Mark Anderson 17 1150

9. Neil Martin 20 1073

10. Mike Kingma 17 1013

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

1. Josh Frye 20 1476

2. Jerrad Krick 20 1425

3. Mike Hodges 20 1415

4. Terry Miller 20 1394

5. Don Hilleary 20 1386

6. Josh Griffith 20 1370

7. Lukes Gash 20 1340

8. Matt Maier 20 1310

9. Greg Osman 20 1249

10. Rick Thomas 20 1238

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

1. Jason Worley 20 1414

2. Trevor Isaak 20 1300

3. Stephen Fohne 20 1263

4. Tony Walker 20 1250

5. David Gentry 19 1190

6. Gordon Parsons Jr. 19 1168

6. Randy Smyser 19 1168

8. Austin Isaak 19 1158

9. Jacob Tompkins 20 1141

10. Eric Harris 20 1121

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

1. Adam Webb 20 1465

2. Luke Bland 20 1398

3. Jeremy Reed 20 1389

4. Shane Kelley 20 1371

5. Tyler Benson 20 1367

6. Kenny Butterfield 20 1341

7. Greg Garrison 20 1320

7. Eldon Hemken 20 1320

9. Tyler Etherton 20 1300

10. David Lauritson 20 1278

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