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Harrison closing in on 2nd DIRTcar Summit Modified Nationals crown


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Harrison Closing In on Second DIRTcar Summit Modified Nationals Crown - Former DIRTcar UMP Modified champion nearing a repeat title


CONCORD, N.C. - July 10, 2012 - For the second consecutive year, Mike Harrison enters the final week of the DIRTcar Summit Racing Equipment Modified Nationals looking to close out the championship.


Harrison, of Highland, Ill., earned his lone victory on this year's tour at his hometown Highland Speedway, but has been consistent enough build a 42-point advantage over Ray Bollinger, of Kewanee, Ill., and is now keeping a close eye on the standings. The formula for determining the champion takes a driver's 10-best finishes during the tour, which features 29 races in 32 days from June 13 to July 14. It also factors in the car count at each venue. Of the 10 races that have Harrison atop the standings, he's earned more than 70 points in six of them.


"I'm not really convinced it's in the bag just yet so I'm going to sit here and watch the points a little bit and see how it's going to play out," Harrison said. "If I have to go run a couple more I do, but the plans are to be done right now. I came back to work yesterday and I need to get back and do "normal work" again."


Meanwhile, second-place Bollinger has also run 10 events but has earned more than 70 points on only three occasions, including a victory on July 5 at Macon Speedway.


Gabe Menser, Steve Lach, Aaron Draege and Donovan Lodge are sitting third through sixth in the championship standings but will have their work cut out for them this week to catch Harrison.


Seven drivers have competed in at least 10 events so far this season, with two more having raced in nine events entering this week.


Harrison will certainly be on edge this week as DIRTcar UMP Modified drivers take aim at his points lead. Even Harrison admits this year's chase to the DIRTcar Summit Racing Equipment Modified Nationals title has been more challenging than his initial title run last season, but values the attention it brings to his team.


"It's the main thing we want to do for our program," Harrison said. "It gets you so many more little sponsors. I mean Summit Racing Equipment was really good to us last year after we won the championship, and there are some many other little things that come your way after the fact that you can show all the people who help you out. Any time you win championships it's always a plus for the team and getting deals on equipment. This definitely ranks right up there, obviously the national championships are what we chase but this is definitely up there if I truly end up winning it again. These DIRTcar Late Model guys have been doing this for years and there's a reason they call it The Hell Tour, now that I've done it for two years and I haven't even ran the full 29 races like they do. Last year I think I did 12 in a two-and-a-half week stretch, and when you combine that with the travel and the heat we've had this year, I'm telling you it's truly The Hell Tour and I give my respect to those guys that do the whole thing because it's hard on everything. It's hard on everybody, its hard on equipment, it's just hard on everything."


The schedule closes out with races tonight at Florence (Ky.) Speedway; Wednesday at Brushcreek Motorsports Park in Peebles, Ohio; Thursday at Terre Haute (Ind.) Action Track; Friday at Attica (Ohio) Raceway Park; and Saturday's finale at Oakshade Raceway in Wauseon, Ohio.

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