In perhaps the most highly anticipated UMP Pro Late Model event of the year, Mt. Vernon, IL driver Devin McLean took over the lead on lap 28 of the 50-lap marathon and cruised his way to victory lane for his first career win and a lofty $3000 payday at Kankakee County Speedway Friday night presented by Romar Transportation and Big Rig Oils.
Prohibitive favorite Jose Parga of New Berlin, IL jumped out front early on and began to turn it into a yawner building over a four second advantage. However, as Parga was working his way through lapped traffic at will, the caution flag flew on lap 23 when Austin McCarty suffered a flat right rear tire. On the ensuing restart, local hot shoe and current point leader Matt Hammond also was stymied with a flat right rear tire.
McLean grabbed the lead from Parga on lap 28 after getting a great single file restart while Parga was showing signs of wear as he repeatedly slapped the right rear of his car off the wallboards in turns three and four eventually completely knocking the spoiler off of his machine.
Caution came out again on lap 28 for debris in turn four.
Kyle Mcmahon pulled off on lap 39, while Ben Kirchner spun in turn two on lap 40 bringing out the final caution.
Parga, who at one point fell back to 8th in the running order, gave the fans what they paid for as he whistled his way back towards the front without the spoiler.
When the checkered flag flew it was McLean crossing the stripe first .906 seconds ahead of Steve Peedon of Martinsville, IN, Parga, Dakota Ewing and Jamie Lomax.
In CR Towing UMP Modified action it was the aforementioned Lomax of Lake Village, IN edging out Travis Kohler by .001 in what was perhaps the closest recorded finish in the history of Kankakee County Speedway.
Lomax looked to have the dominant car early on but couldn't shake Kohler who had set fast time earlier in the evening. Kohler threw a slider in turns three and four to wrestle the lead away from Lomax with a handful of laps remaining, but it was Lomax who through the haymaker that landed on the final lap as the duo exited turn four side by side both staring down Jim Whittington's checkered flag. Both drivers had thought they won, but the transponders would reveal Lomax victorious for the fifth time this season and 32nd time of his career.
Rounding out the top five were Braiden Bohlmann with a career best third place run, Mason Duncan and Scott Martin.
With the win, Lomax also secured his fourth track championship in the Modified division.
In the 3 Sons Auto Salvage UMP Stock Car action, point leader Jerrad Krick of Earl Park, IN was victorious for the 17th time in his career as he held off Kyle Anderson with Don Hilleary, Cody Clubb and Joe Spiewak rounding out the top five of the 15-lap affair.
Lee Joseph Hall of Oxford, IN claimed the Express Powersports UMP Factory Stock 15-lap feature in a tightly contested battle over Randy Smyser, David Hurst, Trevor Bitterling and Nathan Arterberry.
It was the fourth win of the season for Hall.
Deece Schwartz of Ashmore, IL notched his 11th win of the season in the Miller Hydraulic UMP Pro Modified 15-lap feature as he blasted to the point from his pole starting spot and never looked back.
Brandon Bollinger came home second while last week's feature winner Brayden Doyle finished third. Donnie Martin and Bryce Farr rounded out the top five. Doyle had earlier established a new track record in qualifying with a new one lap mark of 16.189.
In the First Place Oils UMP Sport Compact 15-lap feature it was Wilmington's Jake Momper recording his second consecutive win of the year and 46th of his career ahead of current track and national point leader Jimmy Dutlinger, Evan Eckhoff, David Lauritson and Dale Kohler.
Matt Radtke of Clifton, IL finished sixth overall but was the top Stock 4-Cylinder competitor notching his sixth top podium finish of the year.
Lastly, the Crown Victoria's yet again didn't disappoint as interest in the class seems to be flourishing. Sam Ingram of Donovan, IL making his second start, parked it in victory lane of the 12-lap event, holding off a couple of newcomers that included Ray Davis, Porter Waskosky, Eric Davis Jr. and Adam Thibo.
Race fans and race teams are reminded that we are off this Friday, September 8th but we return to action on Friday, September 15th for the first of two remaining events on the calendar year.