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DIRTcar UMP Weekly Points Update: Late Model & Modified National Titles Still Up For Grabs Entering Final Weekend Of Weekly Points

CONCORD, NC – Oct 1, 2010 – The final weekend of the 2010 DIRTcar Racing UMP weekly points season has arrived and there’s plenty of drama surrounding the national title battles in the circuit’s marquee Late Model and UMP Modified divisions.

Rusty Schlenk of Jackson, Mich., remains the leader of the DIRTcar Late Model national standings entering the weekend but must contend with a furious last-ditch comeback bid by defending champion Jason Feger of Bloomington, Ill. In the UMP Modified ranks, Mike Harrison of Highland, Ill., holds a precarious edge in a tight four-driver race that also includes Devin Gilpin of Columbus, Ind., Nick Allen of Wheatfield, Ind., and Clint DeMoss of Bloomington, Ind.

DIRTcar competitors have until the end of the Oct. 1-3 weekend of action to collect points at weekly sanctioned tracks. Late Model and UMP Modified drivers then have one final opportunity to earn points – the season-ending DIRTcar UMP Nationals on Oct. 8-9 at Eldora Speedway in Rossburg, Ohio.

Schlenk, the 23-year-old Michigander who has led the Late Model national standings since early in the season, is hoping his battle with Feger is resolved without a deciding showdown at Eldora. But Schlenk needs to shake out of a late-season slump to hold off Feger, who has surged back into contention for a second consecutive national crown.

Feger, 32, entered last weekend’s action trailing Schlenk by 80 points in the national standings, but he cut that deficit by more than half in a span of just four races. With the Late Model standings determined using drivers’ best 35 event points nights (feature finish plus car-count bonus points), Feger’s finishes of first, second and third in the three-day Monster Midwest Tour meet from Sept. 23-25 at Tri-City Speedway in Pontoon Beach, Ill., and a $6,000 victory in Wednesday night’s 57th annual Illinois State Championship 100 at Peoria (Ill.) Speedway allowed him to replace the four worst points nights on his ledger for a net gain of 49 points.

Schlenk, meanwhile, added no points to his total for the second consecutive weekend (he scored finishes of 19th, 12th and fifth in the Tri-City tripleheader), so his lead now unofficially stands at 31 points (2,798-2,767) over Feger entering this weekend’s racing. (Note: the official points standings listed below were released by DIRTcar UMP officials at mid-week and do not include the results of Wednesday’s rescheduled event at Peoria. )

Schlenk and Feger are scheduled to compete head-to-head this weekend (Oct. 1-2) in the two-day ‘ROCKtoberfest’ event at Kankakee (Ill.) County Speedway, a track where both drivers have won this season (Schlenk on Sept. 3, Feger on June 6 and July 30). Three points-paying races will be contested, highlighted by Friday night’s 60-lap, $9,000-to-win Triple Crown Late Model event held-over by rain from Aug. 13. Friday’s agenda also includes the 16-lap Silver Bullet Shootout for drivers who qualify through heat races for the 40-lap, $2,000-to-win ‘ROCKtoberfest’ feature scheduled for Saturday evening.

Feger has almost no room for error at Kankakee if he hopes to enter Eldora’s DIRTcar UMP Nationals with a shot at overtaking Schlenk for the title. With Feger’s three lowest remaining points nights at 70, 72 and 74 points, he can pick up a maximum of 29 points this weekend – if he wins all three events and the ‘ROCKtoberfest’ field numbers at least 30 to give him the max bonus points for Saturday’s 40-lapper (no bonus points will be available in the Silver Bullet Shootout because only 16 cars are scheduled to start). Provided Schlenk does not finish well enough to add any points to his total, Feger would then head to Eldora trailing Schlenk by just two points and need a win or runner-up finish – in combination with Schlenk not finishing in the top three – to steal the championship.

Friday’s Triple Crown Late Model feature is the most critical for Feger, who qualified through a heat on Aug. 13 and is scheduled to start seventh. Unofficial calculations show he must finish first or second in the event, which offers maximum bonus points, to keep himself mathematically alive for the title.

Of course, Schlenk, who is scheduled to start 14th in the Triple Crown event, could make all of Feger’s efforts a moot point if he’s able to add at least 10 points to his total at Kankakee. Schlenk’s lowest remaining points nights are two 70s and a 72, so he could push his points total beyond Feger’s highest possible total by finishing first or second in Friday’s 60-lapper; first or second in Saturday’s feature (provided max bonus points are available); third in both the 60- and 40-lap A-Mains (with max bonus points on Saturday); or winning the Silver Bullet Shootout and finishing third in either the 60-lapper or 40-lapper (again assuming max bonus points for the Saturday race).

The red-hot UMP Modified points battle, meanwhile, has multiple scenarios in play with four drivers vying for the championship. Just 13 points separate Harrison from fourth-place DeMoss in one of the closest national title races in the history of DIRTcar Racing’s UMP circuit.

Neither Harrison, Gilpin nor Allen gained any points last weekend, but DeMoss closed the gap by netting markers in two races. DeMoss was victorious for the 18th time in 2010 on Sept. 23 at Tri-City Speedway – adding 10 points to his total – and finished second on Sept. 25 at Brownstown (Ind.) Speedway to pick up another five points, pulling him within 13 points of Harrison. ( NOTE: the points below show DeMoss trailing by 18 points because Brownstown’s complete results were not received by the DIRTcar UMP office before the updated standings were released.)

DeMoss was the lone driver of the top four who had firm competition plans for this weekend, reporting to DIRTcar UMP officials that he would enter the Fall Classic on Oct. 1-2 at Ponderosa Speedway in Junction City, Ky. A UMP Modified feature will be contested both nights of the weekend.

Allen has the best chance to gain points this weekend because he still has three 70-point nights to replace. Harrison, Gilpin and DeMoss each have low points nights of 75 on their respective ledgers.

Other DIRTcar Racing national points leaders heading into the final weekend of weekly action include Scott Weber of Festus, Mo. (Pro Late Models), Jeff Herzog of Herculaneum, Mo. (Sportsman), Christy Georges of El Paso, Texas (Limited Modifieds), Joel Funk of Dwight, Ill. (Stock Cars), Brad Venhaus of Aviston, Ill. (Factory Stocks) and Rob Shaw of Highland, Ill. (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.

DIRTcar Racing UMP National Points Standings (as of Sept. 27, 2010; NOTE: UMP Modified results from Brownstown Speedway on Sept. 25 not included):

Late Models (driver/points/races):
1. Rusty Schlenk 2798 35
2. Jason Feger 2752 35
3. Ryan Unzicker 2579 35
4. Jeep VanWormer 2501 35
5. Brian Ruhlman 2487 35
6. Dennis Erb Jr. 2477 35
7. Alan Vochaska 2434 35
8. Michael Kloos 2429 35
9. Shannon Babb 2407 35
10. Brian Shirley 2357 35
11. Jack Sullivan 2222 35
12. Jeff Walston 2220 35
13. Rich Neiser 2214 35
14. Kevin Nelson Jr. 2142 35
15. Dillan White 2137 35
16. Eric Spangler 2134 35
17. Dona Marcoullier 2111 35
18. Brandon Sheppard 2093 35
19. Billy Moyer 2060 27
20. Curtis Roberts 2049 34

UMP Modifieds (driver/points/races):
1. Mike Harrison 2000 25
2. Devin Gilpin 1996 25
3. Nick Allen 1994 25
4. Clint DeMoss 1982 25
5. Rusty Griffaw 1947 25
6. Stormy Scott 1927 25
7. Todd Sherman 1927 25
8. Mike Spatola 1905 25
9. Randle Sweeney 1892 25
10. Jeff Leka 1876 25
11. Jim Farris 1871 25
12. Rich Robinson Jr. 1869 25
13. McKay Wenger 1830 25
14. Bobby Bittle 1816 25
15. Gabe Menser 1809 25
16. Brent Mullins 1801 25
17. Dave Crawley Jr. 1790 25
18. Marc Kurth 1783 25
19. Jason Russell 1783 25
20. Zach Fair 1773 25

Pro Late Models (driver/points/races):
1. Scott Weber 1175 15
2. Bobby Pierce 1156 15
3. Mark Oller 1116 15
4. Lee Gill 1095 15
5. Credence Mott 1092 15
6. Tait Davenport 1085 15
7. Dustin Griffin 1085 15
8. Bobby Dauderman 1084 15
9. Bobby Martintoni 1063 15
10. Tony Albright 1055 15

Sportsman (driver/points/races):
1. Jeff Herzog 1164 15
2. Randy Petro 1147 15
3. Steve Peeden 1125 15
4. Chris Hillman 1124 15
5. Russell Eilers 1123 15
6. Joey Ladouceur 1119 15
7. Louie Jackson 1111 15
8. David Crawley Jr. 1108 15
9. Christy Georges 1108 15
10. Jocelyn Roy 1105 15

Limited Modifieds (driver/points/races):
1. Christy Georges 1118 15
2. Jonathan Smith 1110 15
3. Jeff Lawson 1028 15
4. Howard Willis 1028 15
5. Tyler Nicely 1008 15
6. Sherman Barnett 997 15
7. Kevin Dupont 996 15
8. Clay Settles 970 15
9. Ronnie Cotton 960 15
10. Mercedes Harris 953 15

Stock Cars (driver/points/races):
1. Joel Funk 1161 15
2. Don Hilleary 1152 15
3. J.R. Mason 1125 15
4. Jerrad Krick 1107 15
5. Aaron Fields 1105 15
6. Dan Dykman 1099 15
7. Mike Lynn 1095 15
8. Andrew Funk 1092 15
9. Gary Vandermark 1069 15
10. Jeff Semmens 1066 15

Factory Stocks (driver/points/races):
1. Brad Venhaus 1157 15
2. Jim Scout 1135 15
3. Dave Grega 1133 15
4. Scott Mooers 1099 15
5. Rob Sternberg 1081 15
6. Bill May 1050 15
7. Cody Vanosdol 1047 15
8. Jeff Foks 1025 15
9. Mickey Hines 1010 15
10. Craig Dippman 991 15

Sport Compacts (driver/points/races):
1. Rob Shaw 1217 15
2. Lucas Jackson 1183 15
3. Dan Reimersma 1134 15
4. Jordan Suhre 1133 15
5. Ray Watts 1132 15
6. Blayne Ellis 1125 15
7. Michael Rittenberry 1125 15
8. Ryan Hamm 1100 15
9. Jason Maier 1099 15
10. Trevor Isaak 1096 15

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