HIGHLAND, Ill. (July 4) — It was a very happy Fourth of July for Illinois driver Jason Feger.
Overtaking race leader Billy Moyer of Batesville, Ark., just one lap shy of the race’s halfway point, the Bloomington native led the remaining circuits in Saturday’s UMP DIRTcar Summernationals event at Highland Speedway, earning a $10,000 payday and his third series victory of the season.
Starting on the pole, Feger fell to Moyer in the early running, but working around the topside of the racetrack, was able to reel in the five-time Summernationals champion, charging to the front of the field on lap 24. After picking up wins at Cedar Lake Speedway in New Richmond, Wis., and Daugherty Speedway in Boswell, Ind., Feger became the first driver to post three victories on the 2015 Summernationals tour.
“The car’s been really good the last few nights,” Feger said. “I felt like we had a really good car last night, just missed a little something. It was awesome out there. I think there were a few different tire combinations going on and I was pretty worried there at the beginning. Billy (Moyer) got out on me pretty good and it wasn’t very good, and then it slowly kept getting better and better and better. The car was good and it was a good track for me tonight.”
Moyer shot to the front of the field on the second lap, sliding past front row starters Feger and Michael Kloos of Trenton, Ill., as the trio made their way down the backstretch. It appeared the veteran driver might be en route to his second victory of the holiday weekend.
“He’s (Moyer) arguably the best one ever,” Feger said. “He’s a great, clean racer. So it was good to race with him … you know you’re going to put on a good show. The leg still shakes a little bit on that gas pedal when I pass him. And it feels great any time you can beat him. That’s saying a lot.”
Holding off Brian Shirley of Chatham, Ill., Moyer notched a runner-up finish. Shirley finished third, with Kloos running fourth. Ryan Unzicker of El Paso, Ill., advanced from the ninth starting position to round out the top five.
“When it’s top-side dominant like that, he’s one of the toughest to get up there and ride that berm,” Moyer said of Feger’s victory. “He had his car real good where he could get around there. He just did a good job. When we fired ‘er off the start there, it was real good … I could run right through the center. Then as it kept getting slicker and slicker I just kind of chased it around there. I knew it was going away on that bottom. And he was a little better than us anyway.”
After facing tough luck in his first couple of Summernationals outings, Shirley was happy to notch a top-five finish for the second straight night.
“You just got to get a little bit of them gremlins out,” Shirley said. “A lot of people back home don’t see that the first couple nights there we broke a lift arm bracket and then at Boswell there we broke a starter. Just things that happen that don’t happen earlier in the year because we weren’t racing. But after last night, I felt like we had a good car … I feel like we’re gaining momentum. The car’s really coming to me a little bit.”
Preliminary notes and results:
Hunter Rasdon picked up the win in the B-main, leading by nearly a straightaway’s distance in the early running. A yellow flag waved on lap nine when Daryn Klein and Tim Manville collided on the backstretch while battling side-by-side for the second-place spot. A damaged Klein retired, with Manville finishing second to transfer to the main event.
Finish (top two transfer): Hunter Rasdon, Tim Manville, Daniel Jacober, Matt Weidner, Paul Kuper, Dan Schlieper, Jason Zobrist, Ryan Little, Shannon Kuhn, Richie Standridge, Paul Stubber, Jason Suhre, Ben Nicastri, Dave Jacober, Daryn Klein
(12 laps; top two transfer)
Row 1: Daryn Klein, Hunter Rasdon
Row 2: Paul Kuper, Matt Weidner
Row 3: Dan Schlieper, Tim Manville
Row 4: Daniel Jacober, Shannon Huhn
Row 5: Jason Zobrist, Jason Suhre
Row 6: Matt Bailey, Paul Stubber
Row 7: Ryan Little, Richie Standridge
Row 8: Ben Nicastri, Dave Jacober
Finish (top four transfer to B-main): Ryan Little, Richie Standridge, Ben Nicastri, Dave Jacober, Mike Hammerlee, Travis Horner, John Hahler
A yellow flag waved on the opening lap when Jim Moon spun in turn two, bringing the field to a complete restart. Polesitter Brian Shirley assumed the lead, but a second yellow would fly for third-running Bobby Pierce on the second lap when he slowed with a flat tire. Shirley picked up the heat race win, with Highland regular Chad Zobrist finishing second. Jim Moon grabbed the third-place spot, with Jason Riggs finishing fourth to transfer to the feature.
Finish (top four transfer): Brian Shirley, Chad Zobrist, Jim Moon, Jason Riggs, Matt Weidner, Shannon Kuhn, Paul Stubber, Brent McKinnon, Bobby Pierce
Outside front row starter Jason Feger charged to the lead at the drop of the green flag, dominating the third heat race. Timothy Culp advanced from his sixth starting position to finish runner-up, while polesitter Rick Salter slipped to finish third. Matt Westfall finished fourth to transfer to the feature.
Finish (top four transfer): Jason Feger, Timothy Culp, Rick Salter, Matt Westfall, Paul Kuper, Daniel Jacober, Matt Bailey, Dave Jacober, Travis Horner
Polesitter Michael Kloos fought back challenges from second-running Bobby Dauderman to win the second heat. Dauderman finished second, with fifth-starting Shannon Babb improving two spots to finish third. Rodney Melvin grabbed the fourth and final transfer spot.
Finish (top four transfer): Michael Kloos, Bobby Dauderman, Shannon Babb, Rodney Melvin, Hunter Rasdon, Tim Manville, Jason Suhre, Richie Standridge, Ben Nicastri
Polesitter Billy Moyer led all 10 laps to win the first heat race. Unable to find anything at the top of the racetrack, Billy Moyer Jr. slid to the bottom of the racing surface, working the lower groove to take the runner-up spot. Ryan Unzicker held on to his third-place starting spot, with Kevin Cole finishing fourth to transfer to the feature.
Finish (top four transfer): Billy Moyer, Billy Moyer Jr., Ryan Unzicker, Kevin Cole, Daryn Klein, Dan Schlieper, Jason Zobrist, Ryan Little, Mike Hammerlee, John Hahler
Heat race lineups
Row 1: Billy Moyer, Billy Moyer Jr.
Row 2: Ryan Unzicker, Daryn Klein
Row 3: Jason Zobrist, Kevin Cole
Row 4: Dan Schlieper, Ryan Little
Row 5: Mike Hammerlee, John Hahler
Row 1: Michael Kloos, Bobby Dauderman
Row 2: Hunter Radon, Tim Manville
Row 3: Shannon Babb, Jason Suhre
Row 4: Rodney Melvin, Ben Nicastri
Row 5: Richie Standridge
Row 1: Rick Salter, Jason Feger
Row 2: Matt Westfall, Matt Bailey
Row 3: Paul Kuper, Timothy Culp
Row 4: Dave Jacober, Daniel Jacober
Row 5: Travis Horner
Row 1: Brian Shirley, Chad Zobrist
Row 2: Bobby Pierce, Jim Moon
Row 3: Jason Riggs, Matt Weidner
Row 4: Paul Stubber, Shannon Kuhn
Row 5: Brent McKinnon
After a late Friday night at Fayette County Speedway in Brownstown, Ill., the UMP DIRTcar Summernationals tour makes the short trip to Highland (Ill.) Speedway on Saturday for its second $10,000-to-win event of the holiday weekend.
NASCAR driver Tyler Reddick was the winner of last year’s Summernationals stop at Highland, but is not expected to be on hand Saturday. Posting a third-place finish in Friday’s program, Bobby Pierce of Oakwood, Ill., enters Saturday’s event with a 45-point advantage in the series points standings over Billy Moyer Jr. of Batesville, Ark.
Saturday's program will be made up of hot laps, time trials, heat races consolation races and a 22-car main event. Modifieds and B-mods will also be in action.
With only eight races remaining on the 2015 schedule, only three drivers have posted multiple victories on this season's Summernationals tour, including Shannon Babb of Moweaqua, Ill., Bobby Pierce of Oakwood, Ill., and Jason Feger of Bloomington, Ill. After capturing his 90th career series victory on Friday at Fayette County Speedway, Billy Moyer of Batesville, Ark., will look to become the fourth repeat winner. … Moyer tops the series all-time win list, but with a Saturday night victory, Babb, who has 89 career victories, could once again tie-up the leader board. … Rodney Melvin of Benton, Ill., is a two-time Summernationals winner at Highland. He captured series victories at the racetrack in 2006 and 2012. … In a spectacular first half of the 2015 season, Michael Kloos of Trenton, Ill., has posted multiple victories at Highland, most recently in a June 13 weekly show. He’ll aim for his first career Summernationals victory on Saturday night. … Hometown driver Chad Zobrist currently tops the Highland weekly points standings.
Time trial results
Driver (car no.), hometown
Billy Moyer (21), Batesville, Ark., 13.473
Billy Moyer Jr. (21JR), Batesville, Ark., 13.810
Ryan Unzicker (24), El Paso, Ill., 13.890
Daryn Klein (10), Fairview Heights, Ill., 13.954
Jason Zobrist (87), Highland, Ill., 14.008
Kevin Cole (3C), Benton, Ill., 14.049
Dan Schlieper (8), Oak Creek, Wis., 14.152
Ryan Little (38L), Springfield, Ill., 14.329
Mike Hammerlee (16H), St. Charles, Ill., 14.760
John Hahler (124), New Florence, Mo., 14.837
Michael Kloos (6K), Trenton, Ill., 13.535
Bobby Dauderman (18D), Alhambra, Ill., 13.844
Hunter Rasdon (R5), Jonesboro, Ark., 13.922
Tim Manville (33X), Troy, Ill., 13.961
Shannon Babb (18), Moweaqua, Ill. , 13.991
Jason Suhre (4), Highland, Ill., 14.257
Rodney Melvin (27M), Benton, Ill., 14.306
Ben Nicastri (99), Camden, NS, 14.506
Richie Standridge (12), Caseyville, Ill., 15.079
Rick Salter (1S), Auiston, Ill., 13.800
Jason Feger (25), Bloomington, Ill., 13.818
Matt Westfall (54), Pleasant Hill, Ohio, 13.910
Matt Bailey (52), Highland, Ill., 13.986
Paul Kuper (56H), Breese, Ill., 13.992
Timothy Culp (C8), Sheridan, Ark., 14.135
Dave Jacober (5), Highland, Ill., 14.509
Daniel Jacober (22), Highland, Ill., 14.552
Travis Horner (9T), Alhambra, Ill., 14.922
Brian Shirley (3S), Chatham, Ill., 13.649
Chad Zobrist (78), Highland, Ill., 13.652
Bobby Pierce (32), Oakwood, Ill., 13.735
Jim Moon (1M), New Florence, Mo., 13.781
Jason Riggs (81JR), Harrisburg, Ill., 13.804
Matt Weidner (7), Highland, Ill., 13.925
Paul Stubber (31), Bunbury, WS, 14.094
Shannon Kuhn (11K), Highland, Ill., 14.307
Brent McKinnon (26M), Carlyle, Ill., no time
Saturday’s running order
- Late Model
- Modified (qualifying)
Late Model qualifying
- Modified (10 laps)
- Late Model (10 laps)
Modified C-main (10 laps)
Late Model C-main (10 laps)
B-mod heat races (8 laps)
Late Model B-main (12 laps)
Modified B-main (12 laps)
- Late Model (50 laps)
- Modified (25 laps)
- B-Mod (20 laps)