Bruce, Schoener, Sauder, Brickley, Etherton pick up wins
(Peoria, IL) Brian Diveley has been coming to Peoria Speedway for years, but on Saturday night he finally got to mark an item off the bucket list.
Diveley pulled a slide job on race leader Roger Rebholtz coming out of turn 2 on lap 12 and held off a charging Todd Bennett, who was seeking his 3rd straight win in the Budweiser UMP Late Models.
“I can finally mark this track off the list, we’ve been trying to win here for years”, Diveley told the crowd. “The high side was the place to be so it was hard to pass just following him (Rebholtz) around. I mounted a pretty good charge going into one, he got a little sideways, and I took my shot. I’m glad it worked out.”
After the pass, Diveley worked through heavy lapped traffic followed by Bennett, who had charged from his 11th starting spot. A lap 26 caution slowed the action, but Bennett could never mount a serious challenge and had to settle for 2nd, followed by Rebholtz, Steve Lance and Jay Sparks.
In the DuPont Pioneer UMP Modifieds, Erik Bruce won his 3rd straight race, blistering the high side in a flag-to-flag win over Diveley, Charley Hess, Derrick Doerr and Jake Griffin.
“The top and bottom were both good tonight”, said Bruce. “Starting outside front row helped for sure.”
Steve Shannon led the first 3 laps of the Steel Block Late Model feature, but blew an engine on lap 3. Scott Schoener and points leader Jason Wagner then put on a classic high-low battle for the lead until Schoener secured the lead after a lap 7 caution. Wagner held on for 2nd, with Carl Feger, John Traver and Cody Wisher completing the top 5.
“The car was a rocket off 1 and 2 tonight”, Schoener told the crowd. “I want to thank Joe Miller for getting the track in great shape over intermission.”
The best race of the night was in the UMP Street Stock division, with Barry Sauder and John Farris (driving the car of Jim Carter) going side-by-side over the first 3 laps and the last 3 laps of the 12 lap feature. Sauder held off a 3-wheeling Farris, who repeatedly tried to get under Sauder over the last 3 laps following a lap 9 caution, but could never make the pass. Farris settled for 2nd, with Jeff Semmens, Randy Cusack and Steve Brandt Sr. rounding out the top 5. The race was the final race for Brandt, who held a retirement ceremony over intermission.
“That was a great race with John, we never touched each other and I appreciate him racing me clean”, said Suader, who won his 3rd straight feature. “I’m glad we could put on a great show for the fans. That was a lot of fun.”
Billy Brickley won his 2nd straight Speedway Motors Illinois Lightning Sprint feature, taking the lead from Andy Baugh after a lap 13 re-start. Brickely held off Brad Funk, Austin Archdale, Baugh and Josh Brienen for the win.
“I knew he (Baugh) was bogging down on the re-starts so I knew it was my shot to get him”, Brickely told the fans.
In the UMP Hornets, Tyler Etherton led all 10 laps in heavily damaged car, winning over Tyler Benson, Shane Kelley, Adam Webb and Jeremy Reed.
“I screwed up the heat, being too impatient and tore the front end off the car. I should know better, so when I came back to the pits my dad calmed me down and got me ready for the feature”, said Etherton.
The track will present a doubleheader of racing action next weekend, featuring the AMA All-Star “Prelude to the Grand Nationals” motorcycle races next Friday, August 9. August 10 will be a regular UMP racing program.