REACHING THE SUMMIT: DIRTcar Summit Racing Equipment Modified Nationals Champion Mike Harrison at the Head of Class
In an incredibly even series, the two-time champion emerges as a superstar
CONCORD, N.C. – Sept. 12, 2013 – There were 518 drivers who took a shot at winning the 2013 DIRTcar Summit Racing Equipment Modified Nationals championship this summer, but it was Mike Harrison who emerged as the first driver to win the title twice.
Harrison, of Highland, Ill., edged Rusty Griffaw by 38 points on the strength of four victories, most of any driver on the tour for DIRTcar UMP Modifieds that primarily competed in conjunction with the DIRTcar Summer Nationals “Hell Tour” for late models.
The competition level has never been higher in the series, which makes Harrison’s accomplishments stand out even more. With 30 races on the schedule that ran from June 8 through July 20, Harrison was one of only three drivers to win more than once. Defending national champion Devin Gilpin earned two quick wins and Ryan Thomas posted a couple of July victories. Of the 25 races that were completed, that meant there were 20 different drivers who celebrated a win.
Babcock Captures Win in DIRTcar Summit Racing Equipment Modified Nationals Finale at Oakshade Raceway
Harrison clinches his second championship in three seasons
WAUSEON, Ohio — July 20, 2013 — Jeff Babcock rallied from his ninth-place starting position to pass race-long leader Matt Hamilton on Saturday night en route to claiming his first win in the season finale of the 2013 DIRTcar Summit Racing Equipment Modified Nationals tour at Oakshade Raceway.
For the second time in three years, Mike Harrison, of Highland, Ill., captured the overall season title on the strength of his four victories in the series where a driver’s seven best finishes count toward the championship.
On Saturday night, Babcock, of Wayne, Ohio, was third in his heat race, resulting in a fifth-row starting position. Second-place starting Matt Hamilton pulled out to an early lead, shooting around the outside of pole-sitter Mark Anderson.
Hamilton dominated early and looked to be the car to beat, with Babcock slowly working his way to the front. Babcock stayed glued to the bottom as he made his way around Collin Thirlby, Dona Marcoullier and Steven Brooks before setting his sights on leader Hamilton, who had built a large advantage.
Babcock, using a lapped car as a pick, got to the inside of Hamilton with 8 laps left, but Hamilton held off the challenge to his inside. Hamilton cleared Babcock before lapped traffic would come into play again one lap later, and this time it cost Hamilton the lead and eventually the victory.
Babcock and Hamilton raced side-by-side for the next five laps as they diced through lapped traffic, with Babcock clearing Hamilton with two laps remaining. A caution waved as the leaders came to the white flag, resulting in the leaders being bunched back up and taking lapped traffic out of the equation. On the ensuing restart Babcock pulled away from Hamilton and secured the $1,000 checkered flag.
Morehouse Slides to His First DIRTcar Summit Racing Equipment Modified Nationals Win at Attica Raceway Park
ATTICA, Ohio. — July 19, 2013 — Kevin Morehouse slid his way around race leader Dona Marcoullier with just a handful of laps remaining en route to capturing the checkered flag at Attica Raceway Park in the second to last event of the six week-long Summit Racing Equipment Modified Nationals.
Morehouse, of Newark, Ohio, started in fifth, two rows behind Jeff Babcock and Collin Thirlby, who used the outside line to edge ahead.
Thirlby extended his lead before a spin ended his chances of claiming the victory. Thirlby’s spin allowed Dona Marcoullier to move in front with Morehouse challenging him from second.
Marcoullier ran the preferred high line all night as Morehouse raced the low groove. The two ran side-by-side for the next handful of laps with Morehouse finally completing the pass for the lead with only a few laps remaining. Morehouse moved to the top line and extended his lead en route to claiming the $1,000 checkered flag.
With just one race remaining, Mike Harrison looks to be in control of the 2013 Summit Racing Equipment Modified Nationals title as he sits 38 points ahead of Rusty Griffaw.