Drake claims Bud Series title
(Peoria, IL) Jason Feger captured his third consecutive “Jon Hamilton Memorial/ Illinois State Championship 100” Saturday night at Peoria Speedway, winning $5,000 in the process.
Kevin Weaver jumped out to the lead from his pole position, but encountered lapped traffic by lap 6. Feger was stalking from his 3rd starting spot, and challenged Weaver for the lead on lap 10 in heavy traffic. Feger made the winning pass on lap 11 on the front stretch. Weaver made runs at Feger on re-starts on laps 14 and 18, but could never get past Feger.
Brian Shirley, who started 5th, drove past Weaver on lap 33 following 2 more caution periods and began to chase down Feger. The duo sliced and diced through lapped traffic, with Shirley constantly applying pressure on Feger. Shirley briefly took the lead coming out of turn 2 on lap 42, but Feger slammed the door shut in turn 3.
The race went green over the next 30 laps, with Shirley following Feger entertaining the crowd all over the high banks until the caution waved again on lap72 for Weaver, who had mechanical problems. 2 more cautions slowed the action, with the final caution on lap 78. Shirely began to fade after the final re-start, and was passed by Kyle Logue, who had pitted for tires on lap 30. Only 4 cars ended up on the lead lap, as Feger, Logue, Shirley and Wes Steidinger crossed the line at the checkered flag. Shirely did not go across the scales, and was disqualified. Logue ended up 2nd, followed by Steidinger, Billy Drake and Ryan Unzicker, who also pitted for tires earlier in the race. Drake took the $5,000 Budweiser Late Model Series title by virtue of his 4th place finish.
“Brian sure made me work for that one”, Feger told the crowd. “I’m exhausted. I was glad to see that caution come out with 25 to go so I could catch my breath. You could run anywhere on this track tonight, but we really had to work lapped traffic. We are on a roll right now, so hopefully we can keep it up for these late-season races.”
24 UMP Late Models took time, with Feger setting fast time. Heats were won by Feger, Steve Lance, Jr and Shirley. John Gardner, Jr. won the B Main.
In the UMP Modified class, Ray Bollinger passed outside front row starter Gary Cook. Jr, with a pass in the middle of the track on lap 5, and survived 7 caution flags for the win. Cook, Jr. ended up 2nd, with Billy Tuckwell, Nathan Balensiefen and Tommy Duncan completing the top 5.
“The track was racy, and we found something in the middle we liked”, said Bollinger. “I knew Gary would be tough, but we are happy to get this win. We learned some stuff, racing the last 3 nights at Granite City we were able to use tonight.”
Billy Brickely fought off challenges from Austin Archdale, who won his fourth straight Illinois Lightning Sprint Series title, for the win. Archdale ended up 2nd, followed by Brad Funk, Andrew Funk and AJ Hill.
Zach Bollinger led flag-to-flag in the UMP Hornet feature, with Shane Kelley, Jeremy Kinglsey, Matt Machey and Tyler Benson the top 5.
Next Saturday, September 29, Peoria Speedway presents the “Mod Money 2012” special, paying $2,012 to win for the UMP Modifieds. UMP Street Stocks, Limited Late Models, UMP Hornets, and Illinois Lightning Sprints will also be racing.