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DirtNews Digest Your Online News Source for Late Model Dirt Track Racing "Get Some Dirt On Your Computer!" Todd Turner, editor Email address: Web site: ...

DirtNews Digest Your Online News Source for Late Model Dirt Track Racing "Get Some Dirt On Your Computer!" Todd Turner, editor

Email address: Web site: =================================== CONTENTS: June 25 results (published June 26) UMP: Sellars wins rain-shortened Summernationals opener SCHEDULE: Updated dates of UMP Summernational races =================================== UNITED MIDWESTERN PROMOTERS UMP Summernationals

BENTON, Mo. (Wednesday) On the first night of the 20-race UMP Summernationals, the three R's ruled: Rough, Rain and Randy.

Randy Sellars, surviving a late-race charge from Wendell Wallace and a delayed ruling on which driver won the race, collected $5,000 at rough-and-tumble Missouri International Racepark in a feature shortened from its scheduled 30 laps because of intermittent rain showers.

Billy Moyer, driving an Ed Petroff-owned No. 21, finished third while UMP points leader Randy Korte and polesitter Bob Pierce rounded out the top five. Donnie Tudor, Billy Drake, Rick Aukland, Steve Ryan and Ed Dixon finished sixth through 10th on the 3/8-mile oval in southeastern Missouri.

The race was short on laps, but long on confusion.

Because rain forced the race to end under caution after 16 laps and the cars were sent to the pits, the checkered flag was never thrown for Sellars. And by the time the track announcer declared Sellars the official winner five minutes after the race, the main grandstand was clear of wet fans who had bustled to their cars.

Some fans may have left believing the winner was Wallace. The Arkansas driver led Sellars by inches as the leaders completed the 17th lap, but the caution was thrown when several drivers lost control on the wet surface entering Turn 1. Track officials ruled that because some cars didn't complete the 17th lap before the yellow flag appeared, the final officially scored lap was the 16th circuit, which Sellars led. Reverting to the previous lap gave the victory to the Mayfield, Ky., driver, whose last Summernationals victory came last July in Paducah, Ky.

Wallace, who drives for Monday Motorsports on the Hav-A-Tampa Dirt Racing Series but was piloting a Rolan Nix-owned car in the UMP event, rushed to the backstretch scoring tower to question to track's decision in a serious but amicable discussion. Wallace argued that his pass of Sellars coming out of Turn 4 for the 17th lap was akin to racing for the checkered flag. Track manager Terry Baker and the scoring crew explained the track's decision.

"I can see my case kinda but I can see theirs," Wallace said later. "Randy's a good guy ... I was just trying to plead my case nicely and let the people know where I was at."

The purse dropoff -- second place paid $2,000 compared to $5,000 for first -- caused Wallace to make issue of the controversial ending. "I'd (normally) laugh and say I got beat and go on to the next race." he said, "but that's a big difference."

Sellars, meanwhile, was happy to stay out front most of the race on a rough track where cars lurched, bumped and banged through the corners.

"It was pretty rough," he said. "I was just hoping the car would hold together for it. All in all I guess it turned out pretty good. Whenever it started raining, when my car went into the corner, it just went straight, and after that it just got worse. And I said 'Surely to God they'll stop the race.' "

When the race began, Sellars took the lead from his outside pole position as a few raindrops fell. Two cautions slowed things early as James Huff suffered a flat left-rear tire and Dennis Erb collided with Jon Tindall on the backstretch. Another caution on the fifth lap for Shannon Babb's flat tire halted the action again, and Aukland used the caution to duck into the pits, giving up his third spot.

The race enjoyed its longest green-flag stretch (eight laps) after that as Sellars was chased by Bill Frye, Pierce, Wallace, Moyer and Korte, a group that pulled away from the rest of the field as lightning and more sprinkles threatened. Sellars had built a half-straightaway lead on Frye by the 11th lap, and appeared to be in command two laps later when Frye pulled up in Turn 2 with a flat left rear. Simultaneously, the lights on the backstretch went out and the rain increased, sending the cars to the pits as fans scurried for cover after 13 laps.

The race resumed 20 minutes later after the rain stopped and lights were repaired, setting up the final Sellars-Wallace duel.

CAR COUNT: 37 late models.

FAST QUALIFIER: Billy Moyer, 14.43 seconds (track record on 3/8-mile oval; former track record 14.74 by Rodney Melvin on June 8, 1997).

FAST DASH (nine laps; sets first three rows of feature): Bob Pierce, Randy Sellars, Bill Frye, Rick Aukland, Jon Tindall, Joe Morris, Billy Moyer, Dennis Erb Jr., Donnie Tudor.

FIRST HEAT (10 laps; top four advance): Billy Moyer, Wendell Wallace, Gary Keeling, Shannon Babb, Billy Drake, Dan Sturgeon, Bobby Melvin, Dan Schlieper, Steve Rushin, Terry Johnson.

SECOND HEAT: Dennis Erb Jr., Steve Ryan, David Eaves, Lee Thomason, Mark Peppers, Charles LaPlant, Steve Karnes, Tony Izzo Jr., Randy Tomblin, Rodney Melvin.

THIRD HEAT: Donnie Tudor, Randy Korte, Ed Dixon, James Huff, Rich Gardner, Greg Hensley, Tate Davenport, Buddy Sisk, Jesse Davis, Robert Kirby.

CONSOLATION (12 laps; top two advance): Billy Drake, Mark Peppers, Dan Sturgeon, Rich Gardner, Steve Rushin.

FEATURE (30 laps shortened to 16 because of rain; results unofficial) 1. Randy Sellars (3), Mayfield, Ky., $5,000 2. Wendell Wallace (7n), Batesville, Ark., $2,000 3. Billy Moyer (21), Batesville, Ark., $1,200 4. Randy Korte (00), Pierrone, Ill., $1,100 5. Bob Pierce (32), Danville, Ill., $1,000 6. Donnie Tudor (14), Shawneetown, Ill., $700 7. Billy Drake (9), Bloomington, Ill., $600 8. Rick Aukland (12), Fargo, N.D., $500 9. Steve Ryan (69), Boaz, Ky., $450 10. Ed Dixon (50), Washington, Mo., $400 11. Bill Frye (66), Greenbrier, Ark., $230 12. David Eaves (44), Anna, Ill., $230 13. Jon Tindall (7), Fancy Farm, Ky., $230 14. Lee Thomason (53), Marion, Ill., $230 15. Joe Morris (83), Palatia, Ill., $230 16. Mark Peppers (58), hometown unavailable, $230 17. Shannon Babb (18), Decatur, Ill., $230 18. Dennis Erb Jr. (28), Carpentersville, Ill., $230 19. James Huff (5), Milton, Ky., $230 20. Gary Keeling (K5), Paducah, Ky., $230

NOTES: About half the fans left after the lap-13 rain delay .... those fans paid a steep $20 admission .... it was the final late model race of the year scheduled in Benton, which had been running late models every other Sunday .... the Missouri track was rough despite the addition of clay in the corners .... an attractive scoreboard displays the top three leaders, qualifying times and lap counts .... five UMP champions from the 1990s were on hand: Bob Pierce (1990), Randy Sellars (1993), Ed Dixon (1994), Tony Izzo Jr. (1995) and Donnie Tudor (1996) .... Friday's Summernationals race at Kentucky Lake Speedway was canceled when track officials notified UMP president Bob Memmer on Monday to say the new track wouldn't be complete .... there will be no replacement race.

CREDIT: Todd Turner <> of DirtNews Digest. ------------------------------------------------------------- UMP SUMMERNATIONALS SCHEDULE

June 25, Missouri International Racepark, Benton, Mo., $5,000 to win (RANDY SELLARS) June 26, Tennessee Motor Speedway, Baxter, Tenn., $5,000 to win June 27, Kentucky Lake Speedway, Calvert City, Ky., $5,000 to win (CANCELED BECAUSE TRACK CONSTRUCTION INCOMPLETE) June 28, Brownstown (Ind.) Speedway, "Jackson 100," $10,000 to win June 29, LaSalle (Ill.) Speedway, $5,000 to win June 30, Vermilion County Speedway, Danville, Ill., $5,000 to win July 1, K&L Raceway, Mount Vernon, Ill., $5,000 to win July 2, I-55 Speedway, Pevely, Mo., $5,000 to win July 3, Paducah (Ky.) International Speedway, $5,000 to win July 4, Central Park Raceway, McHenry, Ky., $5,000 to win July 5, Barren County Speedway, Glasgow, Ky., $5,000 to win July 6, Tri-State Speedway, Haubstadt, Ind., $5,000 to win July 7, Kankakee (Ill.) Speedway, $5,000 to win July 8, 67 Raceway Park, Godfrey, Ill., $5,000 to win July 9, Spoon River Speedway, Banner, Ill., $5,000 to win July 10, Macon (Ill.) Speedway, "Herald & Review 100," $5,000 to win July 11, Farmer City (Ill.) Speedway, $5,000 to win July 12, Fairbury (Ill.) American Legion Speedway, $5,000 to win July 14, Davenport (Iowa) Speedway, $10,000 to win July 15, Cresco (Iowa) Speedway, $10,000 to win July 16, Steele County Fairgrounds, Owatonna, Minn., "Gopher 50," $10,000 to win -------------------------------------------------------------

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Series Stock car
Drivers Bill Frye