Shirk figures he needs to finish 14th or better in the feature to clinch the final modified track championship in CMS history. He won his first-ever track championship at CMS in 2011.
“It would be special knowing Columbus is closing its doors after this season,” Shirk said.
Shirk has nine feature wins in 16 starts at CMS. He also has three bad wrecks. He’s hoping Saturday is more of the former. He wants to race for that final win at CMS, but should the action get a little wild he’s willing to be a spectator in the bumping and banging. He expects a field of about 25 cars Saturday.
“We go to the track to win. Once you get used to winning that’s what you strive to do,” Shirk said. “I’m real conservative, though. If it’s pretty hectic and guys are getting crazy (up front) I’ll probably ride where ever I’m at to clinch the championship.”
Shirk’s first race at Columbus came in 2006. He won his first feature a year later.
Shirk – who is sponsored by McGunegill Engines, Maplewood Tree Service and Tilton Trucking – holds the modified track record for qualifying and thinks that will survive Saturday. Adding a track championship – and maybe a final victory – would be the perfect way to cap off his Columbus career.
“It’s such a fun track. They’re so professional over there,” he said. “The Nuckles family runs the track like a well-oiled machine. It’s a good program, they get it in and get you home at a decent hour. … That’d be neat to go down in history with the track record, and maybe win the last championship there.”
Taking on the World: Eldora Speedway kicked off the 46th World 100 – dirt late model racing's crown jewel event — on Thursday night with preliminary racing action. Eldora hosts racing tonight before heading into Saturday's main event.
Georgia’s Jonathan Davenport returns as the defending champion at the World 100. One driver that won’t be there is four-time champion Scott Bloomquist. He’s nearing the end of a three-month suspension after failing a post-race tire inspection after the Dirt Late Model Dream.