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Daily Dirt 06/13/2024 22:20:04

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April 27
Peoria Speedway,
Peoria, IL
Sanction: MARS Late Model Championship Series (Garry Swibold Memorial) - $5,098
Information provided by: Series and track reports (last updated April 28, 5:45 am)
Shirley's late-race woes lift Unzicker to victory
Garry Swibold Memorial
  1. Ryan Unzicker
  2. Tommy Sheppard Jr.
  3. Jake Little
  4. Justin Duty
  5. Allen Weisser
  6. Frank Heckenast Jr.
  7. Mike Spatola
  8. Mitch McGrath
  9. Rich Bell
  10. Austin Howes
  11. Kye Blight
  12. Jason Feger
  13. Bob Gardner
  14. Russ Adams
  15. Brian Shirley
  16. Dennis Erb Jr.
  17. Brayton Wallace
  18. Roben Huffman
  19. McKay Wenger
  20. Colby Sheppard
  21. Daniel Adam
  22. Mark Voigt
  23. Jeffrey Ledford
presented by
Josh James/joshjamesartwork.com
Ryan Unzicker celebrates his MARS victory at Peoria Speedway.
What won the race: Inheriting the point when race-long leader Brian Shirley slowed on lap 35, 12th-starting Ryan Unzicker of El Paso, Ill., led the remaining circuits to win Saturday's 40-lap Garry Swibold Memorial at Peoria Speedway. Unzicker earned $5,098 for his first win of the season and his eighth career MARS Late Model Championship Series triumph. It's his second straight Swibold Memorial victory.
Quotable: "I can’t thank all my crew, my sponsors, the Swibold family for putting a lot of this money out and the MARS Series (enough)," Unzicker said. "We’ve been struggling a little bit the first couple of times out, a little miscommunication with the MB Customs team and myself. This is the very first night that we was able to make those changes.”
Key notes: It was Unzicker's first feature win since topping a $5,000 DIRTcar Summer Nationals stop last July at Butler Motor Speedway in Quincy, Mich., and his his first in MARS action since May 21, 2023, at Adams County Speedway in Quincy, Ill.... The second-starting Shirley led the opening 35 laps before slowing with apparent suspension failure, ending his night and relegating him to 15th. ... Eighth-starting Tommy Sheppard Jr. finished second after inheriting the spot with Shirley's departure. ... Fifth-starting Jake Little grabbed third on lap 38 and completed the podium finishers. ... Justin Duty improved 12 positions and placed fourth. ... Allen Weisser overcame a multi-car melee on lap two to complete the top five. ... Mitch McGrath gained 12 spots and finished eighth. ... After getting swept up in the same multi-car incident on lap two, Jason Feger recovered to run as high as fourth before a lap-32 flat ended his chances for victory. He settled for 12th after changing the tire, the last car running at the finish. ... Pole-starting Bob Gardner slipped steadily through the field until slowing from 12th to draw the race's seventh caution on lap 32. ... Third-running Dennis Erb Jr. suffered a flat tire under the stoppage for Gardner and retired. ... Fourth-starting Colby Sheppard spun to trigger the six-car pileup on lap two that necessitated a five-minute red flag for cleanup; he continued until tangling with Daniel Adam on lap 14, ending the race for both drivers. ... The 40-lapper was slowed by eight cautions and lasted 47 minutes. ... The race honred the late father of racer Cole Swibold of Fairview, Ill., who died Jan. 16, 2022; t
On the move: Frank Heckenast Jr. of Frankfort, Ill., started 21st and finished sixth.
Winner's sponsors: Unzicker’s MB Customs Race Car has a Pro Power Racing Engine and carries sponsorship from RJR Transportation, Brucker Farms, Mosquito Hero, Fairbury Fastener & Supply, Larimer Cows & Calves, Absolute Home Repair & Remodeling, Gary Miller’s Classic Auto, El Paso Outdoor Center, Unzicker Equipment, Renegade Fuels and Aftershock Decals & Design, Konstruction Services, Pro Tire and Automotive, Mackinac Valley Powder Coating, Logan Smith Collectibles, Clean It Up 843 Pressure Washing Professionals, A Solution HVAC & Construction, Budda by Bert, DirtcarLift, Keyser Manufacturing, Allstar Performance, NAPA El Paso, Action Suspension and Varsitee Screenprinting.
Points chase: After Peoria: 1. Ryan Unzicker (75); 2. Tommy Sheppard Jr. (70); 3. Jake Little (65); 4. Justin Duty (60); 5. Allen Weisser (57).
Current weather: Clear, 72°F
Car count: 36
Fast qualifier: Colby Sheppard
Time: 12.534 seconds
Polesitter: Bob Gardner
Heat race winners: Colby Sheppard, Bob Gardner, Brian Shirley, Dennis Erb Jr.
Consolation race winners: Daniel Adam, Austin Howes
Provisional starters: Frank Heckenast Jr., McKay Wenger, Russ Adams
Next series race: May 17, Kankakee County Speedway (Kankakee, IL) $5,000
Editor's note: Results and race details are unofficial.

Feature lineup

Row 1: Gardner, Shirley
Row 2: D. Erb Jr., C. Sheppard
Row 3: Little, Feger
Row 4: Ledford, T. Sheppard
Row 5: Weisser, Wallace
Row 6: Bell, Unzicker
Row 7: Blight, Voigt
Row 8: Spatola, Duty
Row 9: Adam, Howes
Row 10: Huffman, McGrath
Row 11: Heckenast, Wenger
Row 12: Adams

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