Wallace edges Lodge in Modified thriller; Bauman and Kingsley get wins
(Peoria, IL, August 30) Jason Feger won Round 8 of the Budweiser UMP Super Late Model Series at Peoria Speedway Thursday night, passing pole sitter Brian Shirley in traffic for the win and the $2,000.
Shirley set fast time among the 21 UMP Late Models on hand, won his heat and the dash, and was trying to complete the sweep as he jumped to the lead at the start of the 30 lap feature. Jason Feger jumped into 2nd and followed Shirely over the first 9 laps as the 2 ran all over the Peoria high banks.
On a lightning fast racing surface, Shirley only needed 8 laps to get into lapped traffic. Shirley had been running the high groove exclusively, and had to drop to the middle of the track to get by lapped traffic on lap 9. Feger pounced on the opportunity, driving under Shirley coming out of turn 4 for the lead. Feger extended his lead and was never seriously challenged the rest of the race with Shirley finishing 2nd. Ryan Unzicker, Bobby Pierce and Tim Lance rounded out the top 5.
“Sometimes its better to be in 2nd”, Feger told the crowd of his pass for the lead. “When I was following Brian I had the chance to go to the middle and the bottom a little so I knew what I had. When he had to drop down to pass that lapped car, I knew that was my chance so I took it.”
The UMP Modified race may have been the race of the year so far as NASCAR driver Kenny Wallace survived a major league, toe-to-toe slugfest with Erik Bruce and Donovan Lodge. 27 UMP Modifieds were on hand, and it took 3 tries to get the race started, forcing a single file start. Scott May led the first lap before another caution bunched up the field. Wallace ran the high side exclusively, and drove past May for the lead in turn 4 on lap. Bruce,in a brand new car, drove past May and set sail for Wallace until another caution flew on lap 6.
Bruce led lap 7 and Wallace charged back by on lap 8. The final caution was thrown on lap 8, with Bruce and Wallace swapping the lead each lap until Wallace started to run away from Bruce on lap 13. Lodge shuffled past a fading Bruce on lap 14 and immediately challenged Wallace. Wallace was living on the edge on the top of the track, and Lodge could nudge ahead on both corners on the bottom. The duo swapped the lead 5 times until the white flag flew, and both went to their respective lines. Wallace won he drag race to he checkered flag, followed by Lodge, Bruce, Billy Tuckwell and Mike Chasteen, Jr.
“Man, that was one hell of a race!”, an excited Wallace said in victory lane. “32 drove me hard, we beat the crap out of each other but never spun each other out. I kept thinking of how Kenny Schrader beat me on the high side earlier this year, so I just stayed there. That was a lot of fun. The fans had to love that one!”.
Rob Bauman St. picked up his first win ever at the track over an 18 car field, surviving 5 caution flags and led all 15 laps. Kenny Egan, Brian Crebo, Jim Carmody and Steve Shannon rounded out the top 5.
“This has been a long time coming, t feels so good to finally get a win here”, Bauman said. “A big thanks to my son and Kevin Weaver for helping me with this car.. The car was great, and I appreciate all that Kevin has done for Junior.”
Jeremy Kingsley went the distance in the UMP Hornets, surviving a lap 3 caution and an excellent field of UMP Hornets for the win. Tyler Benson, Kenny Butterfield, Zac Bollinger and Brent Terry were the top 5.
“I’m glad I was up front because I realized after the re-start I had lost my brakes”, Kingsley said. “We had a good field of cars with all these guys chasing UMP points.”
Action returns to Peoria Speedway in 2 weks with the first of 3 season-ending special events. Saturday, September 15 will be Twin 50 lap features for the UMP Modifieds and Illinois State Championship races for the Limited Late Models and Street Stocks. Illinois Lightning Sprints and UMP Hornets will also be racing.
Saturday, September 22 will be the 58th Annual “Jon Hamilton Memorial/Illinois State Championship” for the UMP Late Models, with the 100 lap feature paying $5,000 to-win. The race will be the final points race for the Budweiser UMP Super Late Model Series and an Illinois State Championship for the UMP Hornets. UMP Modifieds will be the other support class on the 22nd.
The season will end at the track on Saturday. October 6 with the 2nd Annual “Al Archdale, Jr. Memorial Mini-Sprint Nationals”. UMP Modifieds and Limited Late Models will join the Lightning Sprints.