Bruce and Tuckwell take Modified “Twin 50’s”
(Peoria,IL) It was a very emotional night at Peoria Speedway on Saturday as the track honored Peoria racing legend Herb Shannon, Sr., who passed away one week ago. Beginning with a touching tribute by his daughter-in-law Cyndi Shannon, to the Parkinson’s Research $20,000 check to Bradley University presented in his honor by the Bohlander family, to the win by grandson Steve in the Limited Late Model feature and finally a win by Billy Tuckwell, who dedicated the win to Herb Sr.
Steve Shannon started 3rd in the Limited Late Model feature, passed 2nd place Jack Siegel on lap 3 and began pursuit of race leader Carl Feger. Shannon drove like a man possessed, but briefly surrendered 2nd to Kenny Egan until a caution wiped out the pass on lap 7. Using the high side of the track, Shannon finally blasted past Feger on lap 10, and survived a final caution on lap 13 for the win. Egan ended up 2nd, followed Brian Crebo, Feger and Siegel.
Swarmed in an emotional victory lane by family members, tears flowed everywhere as Shannon addressed the crowd. “I usually never run the high side, and it was rough there, but Grandpa was riding with me tonight. It’s been a tough week, but I want to dedicate this win to my Grandma and Grandpa. Our family really needed this win and I’m glad we could bring it home. This is special, winning the State Championship tonight”.
The first of 2 Illinois State Championship “Twin 50’s” for UMP Modifieds was won by Erik Bruce, who passed Mark Johnson for 2nd on lap 8 and then inherited the lead when race leader Brian Diveley stalled in turn 4 with mechanical problems on lap 9. Bruce led by as much as half a lap, surviving 4 cautions and a furious rally by 16th starting Ray Bollinger for the $1,000 win. Bollinger, Allen Weisser, Donovan Lodge and Billy Tuckwell completed the top 5.
“We really had the car dialed in”, said Bruce. “I could go anywhere I needed to, so I hope we are as good for the 2nd 50”.
The second 50 lap saw the top 10 from the first 50 pull a frisbee on the track before the race to determine the top 10 starting spots , Mike Chasteen, Jr drew the pole and led the first lap until 3rd starting Donovan Lodge squeezed by on the bottom the next lap for the lead. Lodge was steady out front as battles raged for positions 2-5, with Tuckwell finally passing Weisser for 2nd on lap 25. Tuckwerll started closing the gap on Lodge as they raced through traffic. On lap 39, Lodge got caught by 2 lapped cars, and Tuckwerll used the cars as a pick, driving through the middle of the track for the lead. Tuckwell held on for the $2,000 win, followed by Tuckwell, Weisser, Bruce and Bollinger.
“We changed a bunch of things after the first 50-shocks ,springs- we took a huge swing at it so we could run the middle and it paid off”, Tuckwell told the crowd. “I want to dedicate this win to Herb Shannon. That tun by Steve was sure inspiring”.
Danny Glover ran side-by-side with Wally Zander, taking the lead on lap 2 and then led all 15 laps of the UMP Street Stock feature event. Glover held off a furious rally by John Farris, who currently sits 2nd in the nation in UMP points. Zander, Jim Bolen and Jeff Massey completed the top 5. “I want to thank the Simpsons for letting me drive this car”, said Glover. “We had the car hooked up, and this track was incredible tonightt”.
Shane Morgan took the lead in the Illinois Lighting Sprint feature, only to be overtaken by Brad Funk on lap 2. Billy Brickley blew past Funk on a lap 6 re-start and dominated the rest of the way for the win, with Funk, Austin Archdale, Andrew Funk and Mark Billings completing the top 5.
“This was my kind of track tonight”, Brickley told the crowd. “I like the heavy, hammer-down tracks, so this really suited how I want to run.
Jeremy Kingsley made it 2 in a row in the UMP Hornet feature, besting Cameron Poci, Tyler Benson, Matt Machey and Kenny Butterfield in a flag-to-flag performance. “It feels good to get an Illinois State Championship, this car was hooked up”, Kingsley said in victory lane.
Next Saturday, September 22 is the 59th Annual “Jon Hamilton Memorial/ Illinois State Championship 100” for UMP Late Models, paying $5,000 to-win. The race will be the finale for the Budweiser UMP Super Late Model Series. UMP Modifieds and UMP Hornets will also be racing.