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Daily Dirt 01/15/2021 08:26:48

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October 9
Peoria Speedway,
Peoria, IL
Sanction: MARS Racing Series - $5,000
Information provided by: Series and track reports (last updated October 10, 8:31 am)
Shirley repels Sheppard, earns $5,000 at Peoria
  1. Brian Shirley
  2. Brandon Sheppard
  3. Dennis Erb Jr.
  4. Jason Feger
  5. Bobby Pierce
  6. Ryan Unzicker
  7. Frank Heckenast Jr.
  8. Tanner English
  9. Rusty Schlenk
  10. Jesse Stovall
  11. Brett Swedberg
  12. Bob Gardner
  13. Roger Rebholz
  14. Rich Bell
  15. Jake Miller
  16. Mike Chasteen Jr.
  17. Taylor Scheffler
  18. Todd Bennett
  19. Billy Drake
  20. Brayton Wallace
  21. Chris Simpson
  22. Jimmy Mars
presented by
What won the race: Returning to racing after a string of bad luck sidelined him for nearly a month, second-starting Brian Shirley of Chatham, Ill., cruised to a $5,000 victory in Friday night’s Mars Racing Series feature at Peoria Speedway to win over Brandon Sheppard and Dennis Erb Jr. Shirley tallied his 17th career Mars win in the first leg of the tour's tripleheader weekend.
Quotable: “We had three weeks in a row where we unfortunately had some issues that took us out of racing for a couple weeks," Shirley said. "To sit at home and watch everybody is really tough and humbling. But me and (crew chief) Aaron (Mitchell) worked our butts off even through we weren’t at the the racetrack every weekend and made sure our cars were good.”
Key notes: Shirley blasted past polesitter Ryan Unzicker on the opening lap and led all 40 circuits to record his third Mars Racing Series victory in three series events at the quarter-mile oval this season. ... Sheppard twice pulled alongside Shirley after a lap-14 restart, but the low-running Shirley edged back ahead both times and pulled away. ... Erb twice spent time in second before Sheppard retook the position for good on the race's final restart with 14 laps remaining. … 11th-starting Jimmy Mars of Menomonie, Wis., was running in ninth when he tagged an infield tire, bringing out the first caution of the race on the seventh lap. ... Chris Simpson of Oxford, Iowa, ran among the top five before being the cause of a lap-14 yellow flag; he retired and finished 21st. ... The final caution on lap 26 was for Taylor Scheffler. … Frank Heckenast Jr. of Frankfort, Ill., set a track record in time trials with a 11.438 second lap, breaking Bobby Pierce’s previous mark.
On the move: Jason Feger of Bloomington, Ill., started 14th and finished fourth.
Winner's sponsors: Shirley’s Bob Cullen Racing Rocket Chassis is powered by an Andy Durham Racing Engine and sponsored by Thomason Express, Hoker Trucking, J&J Ventures Gaming and Integra.
Points chase: Entering the event, Frank Heckenast Jr. (417 points) of Frankfort, Ill., led Brian Shirley (384), Ryan Unzicker (363), Jason Feger (359) and Bobby Pierce (345).
Current weather: Clear, 70°F
Car count: 42
Fast qualifier: Frank Heckenast Jr.
Time: 11.438 seconds
Polesitter: Ryan Unzicker
Heat race winners: Ryan Unzicker, Brandon Sheppard, Chris Simpson, Brian Shirley
Consolation race winners: Billy Drake, Brett Swedberg
Provisional starters: Brayton Wallace, Mike Chasteen Jr.
Next series race: October 10, Fairbury Speedway (Fairbury, IL) $15,000
Editor's note: Results and race details are unofficial.

Feature lineup

Row 1: Unzicker, Shirley
Row 2: Sheppard, Simpson
Row 3: Stovall, Heckenast Jr.
Row 4: Erb Jr., English
Row 5: Scheffler, Pierce
Row 6: Mars, Bell
Row 7: Bennett, Feger
Row 8: Miller, Schlenk
Row 9: Swedberg, Drake
Row 10: Gardner, Rebholz
Row 11: Wallace, Chasteen Jr.
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