Flag-to-flag Feger grabs Peoria repeat, $5,000
By Jeff AdamsPeoria Speedway
PEORIA, Ill. (Sept. 24) — Jason Feger of Bloomington, Ill., led all 100 laps Saturday at Peoria Speedway to repeat his victory in the Jon Hamilton Memorial-Illinois State Championship, earning a $5,000 payday at the quarter-mile oval.
"It sure feels good to win two in a row here" said Feger, who survived a last-lap dash to the checkers after Jason Jaggers pounded the frontstretch wall. "You could run anywhere on this track, and I was really good in the middle getting by those lapped cars. I definitely did not want to see that last caution, but we were able to hang on." | Slideshow
Dennis Erb Jr. of Carpentersville, Ill., was second with hometown driver Todd Bennett in third. Frank Heckenast Jr. of Frankfort, Ill., and Mike Provenzano of Grand Ridge, Ill., rounded out the top five. Track champion Steve Lance Jr. of Cuba, Ill., was last in the 21-car field in the UMP DIRTcar-sanctioned non-touring event.
Feger started outside the front row and outgunned polesitter Billy Drake, although action was quickly slowed by a spinning Mike Mullvain.
Donny Walden and Drake swapped the second spot on the restart, with Walden eventually securing the position and pressured Feger as the frontrunners approached backmarkers on the 10th lap. Erb moved into the mix, dropping Walden to third on the 14th lap. Walden edged back ahead of Erb on lap 18, but lost the spot a lap later.
Up front it was all Feger, who built a four-second lead by the 35th lap. But Walden stopped on the backstretch a lap later to draw a yellow and Feger led Erb and Heckenast back to green.
Feger moved ahead comfortably by the halfway point before a lap-54 caution for debris bunched the field, and Bennett started making noise on the restart, challenging Heckenast for the third spot. The Heckenast-Bennett battle continued 16 laps until Drake slowed to draw a lap-73 yellow.
Another caution for Kevin Weaver on the 88th lap slowed the race but Bennett continued to work on Heckenast, making the pass stick on lap 95. Feger still had work to do with the last-lap caution for Jaggers, but Erb slipped in turn one on the restart. Bennett took a stab at second, but Erb slammed the door down the backstretch to secure the runner-up spot.
Jon Hamilton Memorial-Illinois State Championship: (1) Jason Feger, (2) Dennis Erb Jr., (3) Todd Bennett, (4) Frank Heckenast Jr., (5) Mike Provenzano, (6) Kevin Weaver, (7) Joseph Hughes, (8) Wes Steidinger, (9) Steve Thorsten, (10) Jason Jaggers, (11) Mike Mullvain, (12) John Gardner Jr., (13) Bob Gardner, (14) Billy Drake, (15) Gerry Reeder Jr., (16) Charley Hess, (17) Donny Walden, (18) Rick Standridge, (19) Tim Lance, (20) Greg Kimmons, (21) Steve Lance Jr.