Doug Drown and his Weekly Racing team almost didn’t race at Attica Raceway Park Friday night. But a last minute decision paid off as the Wooster, Ohio driver battled with Brandon Sheppard and Bobby Pierce the entire 40 laps before taking the $5,000 victory for race #25 of the UMP DIRTcar Summer Nationals Hell Tour.
While the scorecard will say he led all 40 laps on Central Ohio Farmers/Summit Racing Equipment Night, Drown, Sheppard and Pierce raced side by side by side nearly the entire distance. In fact, Sheppard, who leads the Summer Nationals points, executed a slider for the lead as they exited turn four to complete lap 38, but the caution flew, keeping Drown at the point. Drown showed his savvy on the restart, diamonding off the fourth corner and swooping in front of Sheppard, breaking his momentum and then diving down to the bottom of turns one and two to block as “The Hammer” drove to his fifth career win at Attica.
|Doug Drown recorded his fifth career win at Attica Raceway|
“Every time I was looking out the corner of my eye I saw Bobby (Pierce) and I looked at the scoreboard and saw he was third and I was like, ‘oh man he must be on my butt.’ And then when he dove in there…I don’t know how many laps, I was trying to count, but I just had to hit my marks. The Weekly Electric, Efco Power Equipment, Wooster Glass, Rocket Chassis was unbelievable,” said Drown in the Engine Pro Victory Lane.
“Malcuit Racing Engines got us to victory lane again…I think this is number 11. I didn’t know how we were going to do tonight but Sean (Weekly) fine-tuned the car again and right tire choice and it just worked out for us,” continued Drown. “I feel like I’m young yet but obviously I have like 15 years on them (Pierce and Sheppard). I’m sitting there like on lap 30 and I’m like I could use a caution to regroup…I was a little wore out from the heat. Definitely got the job done and that’s all that matters.”
And if that weren’t good enough, the UMP Modifieds wrapped up the night with a spectacular feature. Dona Marcoullier, Jeff Babcock and Kevin Morehouse battled for the lead the last 21 laps of the 25-lap event. When the dust settled it was Newark, Ohio’s Morehouse who was in the Engine Pro Victory Lane.
“I’m not used to these UMP tires. This is the first time I’ve ever been here and I love it. We’re used to the open tires but I can get used to these because we don’t have to have as many,” said Morehouse beside his Morehouse Logging, Sam’s Used Cars-backed #88. “I would like to thank Larry Reed and his wife, Tommy Patten, Gary Clark and his boy Davey.”
Drown and Sheppard would bring the field to the green for the 40-lap late model feature with Drown gaining the advantage over Sheppard, Pierce , Devin Moran, Jon Henry and Jeep VanWormer. The first caution would fly on lap three when Matt Irey spun in turn four. When the green flew, Drown pulled away slightly from Sheppard who had his hands full with Pierce as Moran, Henry, VanWormer, Dustin Griffin and Jeff Babcock gave chase.
Drown would continue to hold a two car length advantage as Sheppard and Pierce raced each other hard for the runner-up spot. The caution would fly on lap 11 when Chris Ross and JR Gentry spun. Again Drown began to pull away slightly when the green reappeared as Sheppard and Pierce tried to stay close with Henry, Moran, Griffin, Ryan Missler, Babock and Rusty Schlenk gave chase.
However, as Drown caught the rear of the field, his advantage quickly shrank as Sheppard and Pierce both closed. At the halfway point, Sheppard was racing to Drown’s inside in turns one and two to challenge with Pierce right on their rear bumper. The trio ran side by side and nose to tail over the next handful of laps, thrilling the large crowd. By lap 30, the leaders were in heavy-lapped traffic and Drown made a gutsy move, splitting two lapped machines to maintain his lead.
Pierce would drive into second on lap 31, but Sheppard would return the favor two laps later as they raced to Drown’s inside. With three laps to go you could throw a tissue over the top three of Drown, Sheppard and Pierce. Just as Sheppard threw a flier at Drown in turns three and four as they came to the line on lap 38, the caution flew for Ryan Missler who sat on the front stretch.
On the ensuing restart with a clear track, Drown pinched Sheppard to the bottom when the green flew and then switched lines from top to bottom in turns one and two to block Sheppard’s advance. The move paid off as Drown drove away for the win over Sheppard, Pierce, Henry and Schlenk.
In the 25-lap modified feature, Jeff Babcock and Collin Thirlby would pace the field to the green with Thirlby getting the advantage. The caution flew for debris after one lap was complete with the running order Thirlby, Babcock, Dona Marcoullier, Morehouse, Mark Anderson and last year’s Attica winner Taylor Cook.
Disaster would strike for Thirlby as he lost the handle on his machine on lap three, spinning in turn one and handing the lead to Marcoullier with Babcock and Morehouse completing the top three. With Babock riding the outer rim and Marcoullier glued to the bottom, the duo raced side by side until the caution flew on lap six for a three car pile-up.
When the green came back out, Marcoullier and Babcock resumed their tremendous battle with Morehouse now joining the fun. The final caution would fly on lap 11 for Cook and Nathan Loney who tangled in turn one.
Marcoullier and Morehouse would continue their fight for the lead when the green reappeared and behind them was a fantastic battle for third involving Babcock, Anderson and 12th starter Brian Ruhlman. Morehouse would vault into the lead on lap 15 but Marcoullier wouldn’t give up and raced to his inside and actually regained the lead on lap 16. But Morehouse blasted back in front a lap later and the two raced side by side the next couple of laps. Behind them Babcock and Anders also raced side by side for third with Ruhlman moving into the top five.
As the leaders hit traffic with five laps to go, Morehouse began pulling away from Marcoullier with Anderson taking third. Morehouse would drive to the win over Marcoullier, Anderson, Babcock and Ruhlman.