(Peoria, IL, August 24) On “Bollinger Racing Night” at Peoria Speedway, Ray Bollinger kicked things off with a win in the twice-postponed UMP Modified feature, originally scheduled for July 26.
Pole sitter Austin May fought Bollinger, who started 2nd, racing side-bu-side over the first 2 laps until May took the lead on lap 3. May stuck to the bottom,and Bollinger started testing the high side of the track and was challenging for the lead again on lap 10. A lap 12 caution slowed the action, and May jumped back into the lead on the re-start. The duo was again racing side-by-side on lap 16, with Bollinger making the winning pass on the top of the track coming out of turn 2. May could never pass Bollinger and settled for 2nd, followed by Mike Chasteen, Jr., Mark Johnson and Erik Bruce.
“There’s a lot of pressure on me tonight”, Bollinger said in victory lane and addressing his throng of fans. “I started working the middle and top and finally was able to get by May there. A big thanks to all the fans for coming out tonight.”
In the second UMP Modified feature, Milo Veloz won his 3rd race in 3 starts at Peoria, Veloz first had to hold off Erk Bruce, and then Ray Bollinger over the last few laps for the win. Following a lap 15 caution, the car of Veloz started smoking and Bollinger was able to close up. The 2 came in contact going down the back stretch on the last lap, with Veloz holding his line on the bottom for the win. Bollinger, Bruce, Mark Johnson and Derrick Doerr were the top 5 finishers.
“I’m sorry I had to pee on his parade tonight”, Veloz said of Bollinger in victory lane. “We have a little bit of a history, so this one is sweet. The car was really good all night.”
Billy Tuckwell climbed into the number 80 Limited Late Model normally driven by Jeff Monroe and survived a 3 way battle for the lead to win his first Limited Late Model feature of the year. Front row starters John Traver and Carl Feger raced side-by-side over the first 3 laps, with Zach Kuhel also challenging for the lead. As Traver and Feger tussled on lap 5, Tuckwell made it 3 wide on lap 6 and came out with the lead. Tuckwell’s car began to sputter with 2 laps left, but he held on for the win over Feger, Kenny Egan, Steve Shannon and Traver.
“I want to thank the Monroe family for the chance to drive this car”, Tuckwell told the crowd. “It feels good to get a win in a Late Model again. It sure is fun with these big tires versus those little 8 inch Mod tires.”
John Farris charged from 4th to 1st on the first lap, passing pole sitter Virgil Nussel coming out of turn 4 and took home the win in the UMP Street Stocks. Nussel, Wally Zander, Greg Suader and Jim Carter completed the top 5.
“We really needed this win”, Farris said. “We are chasing (Mike) McKinney in the National Championship chase and he won last night. The car was great tonight”
Brad Funk led flag-to-flag in the Speedway Motors Illinois Lightning Sprints, holding off repeated charges from Austin Archdale for his first win of the year at Peoria. Shane Morgan, Billy Brickley and Brent Burrows completed the top 5.
“I’m a lot taller and fatter than most of these guys, as you can tell” said Funk. “It was a good night to start up front, but I knew Austin was behind me. I just held my line and tried to stay on the bottom”,
In the UMP Hornet division, pole sitter and 4th starting Zach Bollinger put on a great race over the first 3 laps until contact between the two sent Benson spinning down the back stretch on lap 4. Officials ruled the contact was intentional, and sent Bollinger to the back of the field. Benson was never seriously challenged, leading Jeremy Kingsley, Matt Musgrave, Brent Terry and Ketih Siegel across the finish line.
“I’ve won everywhere but here it seems like”, said Benson. “I don;t know what Zach was doing there, I guess he couldn’t get by me so he had to get into me. We will take the win”.
Action returns to Peoria Speedway this Thursday, August 30 with Round 8 of the Budweiser UMP Super Late Model Series. The 30 lap UMP Late Model feature will pay $2,000 to-win. Bloomington driver Billy Drake is the current Bud Series point leader, with Kevin Weaver in 2nd. UMP Modifieds, Limited Late Models and UMP Hornets will all be in action.