The 2020 UMP Sport Compact points race has kept Sorento’s Eldon Hemken busy, but the hard work has been worth it for the driver of the number WHO2.
Hemken finished first by a wide margin in the West Region of the standings, beating Bryan Gegg by 261 points, 1,258 to 997. He would also pick up enough points to finish eighth overall in the South Region, finishing the year with 693 points.
Nationally, Hemken rarely appeared outside of the top five and was often in the top one or two spots. He would end up fourth overall with 1,384 points, just four points behind Joe Reed in third. Dallas Strauch would be this year’s champion with 1,437 points, followed by Dave Lauritson with 1,412.
Hemken’s final charge at the standings came the weekend of Sept. 18-20, where he raced at Tri City Speedway in Granite City on Sept. 18 and 20, with a trip to Charleston Speedway in between on Sept. 19.
His first night in Granite City would be the best of the three as he worked his way up from a fifth place heat finish to take second overall in the feature. On Saturday, Sept. 19, in Charleston, he would have the reverse luck as he qualified well, placing first in the second heat, but finished third overall in the feature. Sunday’s trip to Granite City would yield another third place finish after he again qualified fifth at the venerable half-mile dirt oval.
With the national points race complete, Hemken focused on the next task at hand, the Tri City Speedway points race.
On Oct. 9, he won the second heat in the four-cylinder class, giving him a spot on the front row for the feature, but would drop back two spots to finish fourth in the 13-car event.
Those points gave Hemken 480 for the year and a 96 point cushion over Bryan Gegg of Sainte Genevieve, MO. The final two four-cylinder races of the year at Tri City Speedway will be on Oct. 23-24, during the track’s B-Mod Bash, with the winner receiving $1,000 each night.