Despite less than ideal temps, 109 race teams filled the pit area Friday night at Kankakee County Speedway as seven divisions of race cars took to the slick semi-banked 1/4-mile.
Kicking things off were the 3 Sons Auto Salvage UMP Stock Cars where Don Hilleary, racing with a heavy heart, jumped to the highside at the drop of the green flag and drove a masterful race, weaving his way in and out of traffic like he was late for work, leading all 20 laps on his way to victory lane. Last week's winner Austen Hubbard would hound Hilleary the entire distance, nearly shadowing his every move to finish runner-up while perennial power Zane Reitz, Cody Clubb and Joe Spiewak rounded out the top five.
In the night's headline event, the CR Towing UMP Modifieds, Dillon Nusbaum of Warsaw, IN got to the highside first from his outside pole starting spot to lead all 30 laps besting last week's winner Jamie Lomax to claim the $1500 top prize presented by Meineke of Bourbonnais. The seventh starting Lomax would pull alongside Nusbaum several times on the low side but was unable to complete the pass. Allen Weisser (started 11th) had himself a fine run ahead of Matt Mitchell and Jason Hastings to complete the top five.
The Romar Transportation UMP Pro Late Models saw third starting Chase Osterhoff grab the lead as the field exited turn two and never looked back as he held off the challenges from first his father Chad Osterhoff, then last week's feature winner Torin Mettille (I'm sensing a trend here with last week's winners) to lead all 20 laps. While Mettille claimed the runner-up spot, the elder Osterhoff broke a rear-end on the final circuit giving way to Matt Hammond, while Gary Schalmo of Nashville, TN claimed the fifth spot.
The Express Powersports UMP Factory Stocks were next on the card and it was former track champion Nathan Arterberry of Fowler, IN, starting outside row two who triumphed over Lee Joseph Hall by a margin of 3.853 seconds. Trevor Bitterling and Adam Williams, who swapped the lead early on finished third and fourth respectively, ahead of Landon Metcalf, who came home fifth.
In perhaps the nights most competitive feature the First Place Oils UMP Sport Compacts/Stock 4 cylinders, it was Peoria's Jimmy Dutlinger roughed up Jake Momper just enough to get around him on the final lap to claim top honors. Momper led most of the race after getting by pole-sitter David Lauritson and Dutlinger in the early stages of the 15-lap affair. Lauritson, last week's feature winner, would hang on to finish third ahead of Joshua Wright and Dale Kohler. Matt Radtke earned top honors in the Stock 4 cylinder division.
In Miller Hydraulic UMP Pro Modified action, it was defending track champion Deece Schwartz of Ashmore returning to the scene of his six wins of a year ago to score yet another relatively easy victory by a margin of 1.519 seconds over Ryan Kohler, who notched his second runner-up finish in as many weeks. Scott McDonald finished third ahead of Mark Rhoades and Curtis Caldwell.
The final checkered flag of the night flew at 1037pm for Verona's Jerry Legner who outran Billy Knippenberg III in the debut event of the Crown Victorias. A total of four Crown Vics were on hand (two of them for sale, race ready for $4500).
The local racing community is heartbroken to learn of the passing of local late model racer and sponsor Glen Thompson. Glen would consistently run in any and all Late Model events at Kankakee, as well as being a regular competitor at the Fairbury American Legion Speedway. Our thoughts and prayers are with the entire Thompson family during this difficult time.
The entire staff of Kankakee County Speedway would like to thank all the race fans and race teams who braved the cooler temps to support here this evening. See you all again next Friday night.