(Peoria, IL) Season Championship night at Peoria Speedway saw championships decided in 4 divisions, with another all but wrapping up the title as well.
John Farris fought off Barry Sauder to win the UMP Street Stock feature, but Sauder won the track championship by a slim margin over Wally Zander. Sauder rode a 7 race win streak to his first UMP Street Stock title 3 years after his father Doug won the same crown. “My dad won this 3 years ago, so this is pretty cool standing here in the same spot he did. I want to thank dad and my crew for this title”, said Sauder.
Jason Wagner finished 2nd to Steve Shannon in the Steel Block Late Model feature, but clinched the championship. “I got in a great battle for 2nd there, but we squeezed it out”, Wagner told the crowd. “I think we had 2 wins and six 2nd place finishes, which is more than anyone else. I gotta thank my car owner for this one.”
Tyler Benson finished 2nd in the UMP Hornet feature behind Tyler Etherton, but wrapped up his final points title in the division as Benson revealed plans to move up to a different class in 2014. “I wanted to do this before we move up. We are going to move into either a Crate Late Model or E-Modified next year”, Benson revealed.
Billy Brickley drove past Josh Brienen on a lap 8 re-start, winning the feature and the points title as the Wataga driver completed the sweep in the Speedway Motors Illinois Lightning Sprint division. “We’ve been trying to win this the past few years, so this means a lot”, said Brickley.
Erik Bruce clinched the points title in the DuPont Pioneer UMP Modified division with his 8th straight win, leading all 20 laps over Charley Hess, Ray Bollinger, Derrick Doerr and Billy Tuckwell. “What can I say, the track prep has been unreal over the past 2 months, you can race anywhere you want here”, Bruce said in victory lane.
Sheffield driver Richie Bell picked up his first win of the year at the track in the Budweiser UMP Late Model class, but it did not come easy. Bell nearly collided with Todd Bennett on lap 1, and then had a wreck with Scott Schmitt, who was running 2nd at the time as the duo tried to avoid a lapped car. Bell survived 2 cautions, winning flag-to-flag over Bennett, Brian Diveley, Steve Lance, Jr., and Nathan Balensiefen.
“I’m sorry for Scott there, I hope doesnt think I came down on him on purpose, I was trying to get by the lapped car there and we got together. I knew he would be right on my bumper. It feels good to get a win here”, Bell told the crowd in victory lane.
Points titles for the Late Models and Modifieds will be on September 15 during “Illinois State Championship” races featuring twin 50 lap features.
Action resumes at Peoria Speedway this Sunday, September 8 with the “Fall 500” featuring $500 to-win for the Steel Block Late Models, UMP Street Stocks and UMP Hornets.