Kankakee County Speedway
Moyer slips under foes for victory at Kankakee
By Todd TurnerDirtonDirt.com chief writer
KANKAKEE, Ill. (June 17) — Finding traction in a groove just a bit lower than the high-flying frontrunners, Billy Moyer went from third to first just past the midpoint of Thursday night’s feature at Kankakee County Speedway for his series-leading 74th career UMP DIRTcar Summernationals victory. | Complete Summernationals coverage
Moyer stayed perfect on the Summernationals tour after winning Wednesday’s opener at Brownstown (Ind.) Speedway. He’s won four consecutive starts and seven of his last nine events overall, including Sunday’s $100,000-to-win Dream XVI at Ohio’s Eldora Speedway.
“The car’s nice and consistent,” said the 52-year-old Hall of Famer from Batesville, Ark. "Believe it or not, we keep playing with little things every night ... I’m still tinkering with little things and it seems like we get a little bit better.”
The third-starting Moyer held that position midway of the 40-lapper feature, but he found traction lower on the track that allowed him to slip by second-running Jason Feger of Bloomington, Ill. He went by Feger on the backstretch on the 22nd lap, then duplicated the move exiting turn two on the 24th lap to get past race-long leader Frank Heckenast Jr. of Orland Park, Ill.
Feger took second from Heckenast on lap 28, but by then Moyer was a straightaway ahead and cruising toward a $5,000 victory. Feger cut the lead in half when Moyer was slowed by traffic, but he was never in danger of losing the lead or his hot streak.
“He’s better than everybody right now, I think,” said the runner-up Feger, who scored his best series finish since running second last July 10 in Waynesfield, Ohio. “There’s no stopping him. I don’t know, that guy’s just on a roll.”
Heckenast, aiming for his first-ever series finish, settled for third at the third-mile oval south of Chicago.
“Before that (lap-18) caution came out, I thought we were in pretty good shape,” Heckenast said. “I knew he was close and I knew he’d be coming. The streak he’s on, it’d be hard to keep him behind us.”
Jack Sullivan of Greenbrier, Ark., who believed a broken valve spring might’ve been the cause of his engine problems in the final laps, nursed his car home in fourth for his second straight top-five finish on the series, and Shannon Babb of Moweaqua, Ill., rounded out the top five.
The race’s lone caution appeared on the 18th lap when Bub McCool got into the turn-four wall, and Brian Shirley pulled off during the caution after dumping fluids on the track.
UMP @ Kankakee: (1) Billy Moyer, (2) Jason Feger, (3) Frank Heckenast Jr., (4) Jack Sullivan, (5) Shannon Babb, (6) Ryan Unzicker, (7) Matt Miller, (8) Jeep Van Wormer, (9) Billy Moyer Jr., (10) Rodney Melvin, (11) Mark Voigt, (12) Jason Jameson, (13) Dennis Erb Jr., (14) Tanner English, (15) Brandon Sheppard, (16) Frank Heckenast Sr., (17) Kerry Mathew, (18) Brian Shirley, (19) Rusty Schlenk, (20) Bub McCool, (21) Mike Provenzano, (22) Kevin Weaver. Fast qualifier (among 48 cars): Feger, 14.133 seconds. Heat race winners: Feger, Sullivan, Moyer, Heckenast Jr. C-Main winners: Dillan White, Bobby Pierce. B-Main winner: Shirley. Provisional starters: Jameson, Weaver, Mathew, Provenzano.
Polesitter Brian Shirley led all the way to earn a starting spot in the main event. Ted Loomis, Brandon Sheppard and Jason Jameson had a tight battle for the second spot throught the first half of the race, with Jameson eventually dropping back. Loomis slipped up midway through the race, and Sheppard cruised the rest of the way for the final transfer spot. Jameson was third. Provisionals still must be set and the redraw for the main event will be done on the frontstretch just prior to the feature.
Finish: Brian Shirley, Brandon Sheppard, Jason Jameson, Derek Chandler, Ted Loomis, Jason McBride, Steve Thorsten, Donny Walden, Bobby Pierce, Richie Hedrick, Brandon Thirlby, Jimmy Dehm, Scott Bull, Dave Hartman, Dillan White, Kevin Weaver. Scratched: Wendell Wallace, Kevin Weaver.
In the first C-Main, Dillan White made a last-lap pass of Kevin Weaver to win; both transfer to the B-Main. Bobby Pierce won the second C-Main over Scott Bull, and they'll also transfer to the B-Main. Here's the B-Main lineup:
Row 1: Brian Shirley, Brandon Sheppard
Row 2: Ted Loomis, Wendell Wallace
Row 3: Dave Hartman, Jason Jameson
Row 4: Derek Chandler, Jason McBride
Row 5: Donny Walden, Steve Thorsten
Row 6: Jimmy Dehm, Brandon Thirlby
Row 7: Dillan White, Bobby Pierce
Row 8: Kevin Weaver, Scott Bull
Polesitter Frank Heckenast surged into the lead when Mike Provenzano got hung up on the turn-four cushion on the first lap, then edged away for a victory. Third-starting Tanner English and sixth-starting Rodney Melvin briefly challenges Heckenast before he pulled away to an easy victory. Melvin's low groove led to a runner-up finish with a higher-running English in third. Provenzano, who started outside the front row, was fourth but slipped back two more spots late in the race and pulled off before the finish. Rusty Schlenk got the final transfer spot.
Finish: Frank Heckenast Jr., Rodney Melvin, Tanner English, Rusty Schlenk, Wendell Wallace, Jason McBride, Brandon Thirlby, Bobby Pierce, Kenny Carmichael, Zack Busch, Russ Adams, Mike Provenzano.
Billy Moyer's first-lap momentum on the outside carried him into the lead over polesitter Shannon Babb, and Moyer cruised the rest of the way in the 10-lapper. Only Babb could remotely keep up with Moyer while Frank Heckenast Sr. edged away from a group of challenges for the third spot. Mark Voigt got the fourth and final transfer spot, fighting off Ted Loomis and Derek Chandler in the caution-free affair.
Finish: Billy Moyer, Shannon Babb, Frank Heckenast Jr. Mark Voigt, Ted Loomis, Derek Chandler, Jimmy Dehm, Scott Bull, Kerry Mathew, John Quill. Scratched: Ryan Dauber, Charley Hess.
Polesitter Jack Sullivan held off challenges from third-starting Matt Miller throughout the race for a 10-lap victory in the caution-free prelim. Miller was a solid second with fourth-starting Dennis Erb Jr. in third. Billy Moyer Jr. worked the low groove early and moved up later after securing the fourth and final transfer spot. Front-row starter Brandon Sheppard faded to fifth. Steve Dimmick spun out of turn four on the final lap with Steve Thorsten narrowly missing a major accident.
Finish: Jack Sullivan, Matt Miller, Dennis Erb Jr., Billy Moyer Jr., Brandon Sheppard, Jason Jameson, Steve Thorsten, Jim Moon, Steve Dimmick, Lee Thomason, Chuck Hummer, Lyle Zanker Jr.
Polesitter Jason Feger outdueled fellow front-row starter Ryan Unzicker on the first lap and cruised to victory. Unzicker finished a straightaway behind in second while Bub McCool, who pinched Jeep Van Wormer into the frontstretch wall early, was further back in third. Van Wormer held on for the fourth and final transfer spot. A first-lap accident involved several cars when fifth-starting Brian Shirley got sideways between turns three and four, collecting Donny Walden Jay Morris, Richie Hedrick and Kevin Weaver in an accordion-like stackup; everyone was able to continue. The first start was called back and Dillan White pulled off the track.
Finish: Jason Feger, Ryan Unzicker, Bub McCool, Jeep Van Wormer, Brian Shirley, Dave Hartman, Donny Walden, Kevin Weaver, Bret Sievert, Jay Morris, Dillan White.
Jason Feger of Bloomington, Ill., topped 48 qualifiers Thursday night at Kankakee County Speedway for the second round of the UMP DIRTcar Summernationals. Feger’s lap of 14.133 seconds puts him on the pole of the first of four heat races at the third-mile oval.
Other heat race polesitters after group qualifying: Jack Sullivan of Greenbrier, Ark.; Shannon Babb of Moweaqua, Ill.; and Frank Heckenast Jr. of Orland Park, Ill.
Four heat races will send four cars apiece to the feature event. Two C-Mains and a B-Main, with two drivers apiece transferring to the feature, are also scheduled. The night’s 40-lap feature pays $5,000 to the winner.
Kevin Weaver of Gibson City, Ill., slipped over the turn-one banking and didn’t get a qualifying time. ... Richie Hedrick had a flat left-rear tire on his lap. ... Charley Hess pulled off the track in hot laps and didn’t come out for time trials. ... Jason McBride got hung up on the turn-one cushion, slowing his qualifying lap. ... Russ Adams spun in turn two on his lap. ... The track’s scoreboard was zapped by lightning two weeks ago but has already been repaired. ... Kankakee plans a six-car dash to set its provisional starting spot. ... UMP weekly and tour provisionals are also part of the 21-car starting field. ... Modifieds are the only other division in action with about 50 entries; the track is also running a $1,500-to-win modified special on Friday, its regular night of racing. ... Officials reversed the seventh- and eighth-place finishers from Brownstown’s opener, giving Dennis Erb Jr. a seventh-place finish and Jason Jameson eighth. ... Thirty of 48 entries competed Wednesday at Brownstown.
Time trials (unofficial)
(Heat race lineups start straightup by qualifying)
Jason Feger (25), Bloomington, Ill., 14.133
Ryan Unzicker (24), El Paso, Ill., 14.191
Jeep Van Wormer (55), Pinconning, Mich., 14.268
Dillan White (54), Crofton, Ky., 14.405
Brian Shirley (3s), Chatham, Ill., 14.501
Bub McCool (57j), Vicksburg, Miss., 14.549
Bret Sievert (5s), New Berlin, Wis., 14.66
Donny Walden (1w), Towanda, Ill., 14.885
Jay Morris (77), Pittwood, Ill., 15.046
Dave Hartman (12), Howard City, Mich., 15.610
Richie Hedrick (jp7), Urbana, Ill., 18.987
Kevin Weaver (B12), Gibson City, Ill., no time
Jack Sullivan (1), Greenbrier, Ark., 14.42
Brandon Sheppard (B5), New Berlin, Ill., 14.515
Matt Miller (7), Waterville, Ohio, 14.727
Steve Thorsten (7t), Chebanse, Ill., 14.74
Dennis Erb Jr. (28), Carpentersville, Ill., 14.763
Billy Moyer Jr. (21jr), Batesville, Ark., 15.013
Jason Jameson (12), Lawrenceburg, Ind., 15.133
Steve Dimmick (11), Joliet, Ill., 15.173
Jim Moon (1m), Zionsville, Ind., 15.374
Lyle Zanker Jr. (9jr), Ingleside, Ill., 15.505
Lee Thomason (53), Marion, Ill., 15.771
Chuck Hummer (85), Ottawa Lake, Mich., 16.597
Shannon Babb (18), Moweaqua, Ill., 14.377
Billy Moyer (21), Batesville, Ark., 14.459
Mark Voigt (30), Marine, Ill., 14.779
Frank Heckenast Sr. (99sr), Lockport, Ill., 14.797
Derek Chandler (35), Pontiac, Ill., 14.879
Jimmy Dehm (99j), Lexington, Ill., 14.932
Scott Bull (83), Fairbury, Ill., 14.943
Ted Loomis (23), Kingston, Ill., 15.294
Ryan Dauber (64), Tonica, Ill., 15.295
Kerry Mathew (14k), Rensselaer, Ind., 15.531
John Quill (24), Lowell, Ind., 15.864
Charley Hess (40), Peoria, Ill., no time
Frank Heckenast Jr. (99jr), Orland Park, Ill., 14.472
Mike Provenzano (m27), Marseilles, Ill., 14.656
Tanner English (96), Benton, Ky., 14.673
Wendell Wallace (88), Batesville, Ark., 14.721
Rusty Schlenk (91), Jackson, Mich., 14.741
Rodney Melvin (27), Benton, Ill., 14.817
Zack Busch (45), St. Charles, Ill., 14.837
Brandon Thirlby (m14), Traverse City, Mich., 15.215
Bobby Pierce (32), Danville, Ill., 15.428
Kenny Carmichael (39x), Terre Haute, Ind., 15.800
Jason McBride (77), Carbondale, Ill., 16.257
Russ Adams (74), Princeville, Ill., 40.66