PEORIA, IL (June 23, 2012) – Mike Chasteen, Jr. picked up his first UMP Modified win of the year in thrilling fashion Saturday night at Peoria Speedway as he edged Mark Johnson in a near photo-finish.
Ray Bollinger got the initial jump from the pole, but the first of 6 cautions slowed the action. On the re-start, Chasteeen, Jr. went side-by-side with Bollinger until taking control on the high side on lap 2. Bollinger made a great save after a lap 5 re-start, getting completely sideways in turn 4 on lap 6, but losing 4 spots in the process.
Caution periods on laps 6 and 8 bunched the field up, but Chasteen,Jr held the point until another caution on lap 18 set up a 2 lap shootout to the finish. Mark Johnson had taken over 2nd when Bollinger nearly spun out and had chased Chasteen on the top of the track the entire race.
As the white flag was displayed, Johnson dove to the bottom and pulled even with Chasteen down the back stretch. As the duo entered turn 3, Johnson nudged ahead on the bottom by driving hard into the corner and looked to have the win. Chasteen put the car on the cushion and pounded the gas out of turn 4 as the drag race to the checkers was on. Sqeezing through a small opening on the front stretch, Chasteen nipped Johsnon by a nose at the line for the win. Johnson settled for 2nd, with Billy Tuckwell, Erik Bruce and Bollinger completing the top 5.
An ecstatic Chasteen, who had been sick all day, told the crowd: “Man, Mark drove it in hard there going into 3, so I knew I had to stay on top and get a run on him. I just kept it on the top and got him there at the line. We are finally getting this car figured out, so this win feels great. It was really checkers or wreckers out there.”
Fans were treated to a tremendous display of speed by the Illinois Vintage Racing Association, with Dixon driver Tim Hamburg dominating in his 1970 Chevelle, leading all 15 laps for the win. John Provenzano, Gary Kohring, Ted Loomis and Ron Wilson followed Hamburg across the line.
“We ran last night at Grundy County on asphalt, but we had a lot of our dirt track setup on the car, so it made it easier to get ready for tonight”, Hamburg said.
John Farris continued his assualt on the UMP Street Stock National Championship, passing Jim Bolen on the front stretch on lap 2 and cruising to the win over Jeff Semmens, Wally Zander, Bolen, Rudy Oelberg and Greg Sauder.
“We are sitting 2nd in the nation right now, so this win will help us get to our goal of winning a national title. The track was excellent tonight”, Farris told the crowd in the winners’ circle.
“Buckshot” Billy Brickely dominated the Speedway Motors Illinois Lighting Sprint feature, suviving 5 caution periods, including one for a rollover by Shane Morgan. Morgan was not injured in the accident. Austin Archdale, Brent Burrows, Jake Sollenberger and Brad Funk follwed Brickely across the line.
“We love running with the wings off, it kinda makes it more driver than horsepower”, Brickley told the crowd. “I love running the top, and it seemed to be the place to be tonight.”
In the UMP Hornet division, Zack Bollinger fought off charges from Jeremy Kingsley and picked up the win, which padded his points lead. Bollinger took the lead from the pole position, but ran side-by-side Kingsley over the first few laps until taking the lead for good on lap 3. Kingsley ended up 2nd , followed by Michael Cusack, Shane Kelley and Eric Wisher.
“It feels go to win over Jeremy, he is such a clean driver to race with”, said Bollinger. “We had to split some lapped traffic there, but it all worked out. I want to thank my dad and crew for all their help.”
The Burris Go-Karts take to the Peoria high-banks next Friday and Saturday with a doubleheader before the UMP Summernationals “Hell Tour” makes its’ annual stop on Monday, July 2. The Summernationals also be a Budweiser Super Series points race. NASCAR driver Kenny Wallace will be in action in the UMP Modifieds and Limited Late Model classes on July 2.