latemodelamerica.com - Apr 3 - Peoria Speedway Don Bohlander 50
LateModelAmerica.com by Sam Holbrooks

 
 

So many contenders. Only one winner. 

Frantic Feger Bags Bohlander Bucks in Peoria

By: Eric Huenefeld

PEORIA, Ill. - April 3. Saturday night's running of the Don Bohlander Tribute at Peoria Speedway was anyone's race throughout most of it's 50 lap lifespan, with several lead changes, drastic twists and turns, and no fewer than six cars battling for the top spot as the feature wound down.

When the dust finally settled on Farmington Road, the night ended as it had began, with the evening's fast timer and defending UMP National Champion

Jason Feger

Jason Feger after his win in the UMP "Don Bohlander 50"at Peoria Speedway. (Mike Ruefer)

Jason Feger standing tall above the rest and walking away from the high banked ¼ mile with a $4,000 first-place payday and a big early season feather in his cap.

Despite his blistering timed lap in the low 12-second range, Feger would still find himself starting fifth in the 20-car feature field, which was paced to green by rising star Ryan Unzicker and three-time UMP Summernationals champ Dennis Erb. As the field sped into turn one, Unzicker stole the lead ahead of

Unzicker - Shirley

Ryan Unzicker and #3 Brian Shirley exchanged the lead several times before Unzicker's bout with the wall interrupted the momentum for both and opened the door for a Jason Feger victory at Peoria. (Mike Ruefer)

Erb and held off the veteran's early advances for the top spot. Former Peoria Summernational Feature winner Brian Shirley slipped into the third spot and behind him, a fourth place battle was brewing between Feger and Shannon Babb. Babb would dispose of Feger, then turning his attention to Shirley and the top three.

After a restart on Lap 13, though, tire issues forced Babb pitside and spoiled his chances for the checkered flag.  But, as one contender fell to the wayside, several more would come into focus. This included Feger, who had slipped back to sixth by the 13th circuit, as well as Peoria ace's Todd Bennett and Tim Lance and the savvy veteran Kevin Weaver, who was suddenly a contender after starting deep in the field.

Over the final 30-plus laps of caution free racing, the large crowd was treated to wild, three wide, close quarters action within the top 10. Unzicker would see a new challenge for the lead, this time from Shirley. The two swapped the lead as well as grooves several times between laps 15 and 28, but as the race

Lance - Weaver

With a tenuous hold on second at Peoria, #24 Tim Lance had to be concerned with #12 Kevin Weaver, who advanced from 13th to claim third in the later laps. (Mike Ruefer)

Bennett - Erb

Dennis Erb (#28) settled for a fifth place finish at Peoria after having to get by local standout Todd Bennett (#T2). (Mike Ruefer)

neared the 30 lap mark, it was Feger who would again enter the fray to make the lead battle a three-way duel. The 'Highside Hustler' sneaked into the lead on lap 36, working by Unzicker briefly. The two then toiled side-by-side until lap 40, when Feger captured the top spot for good, capitalizing on an Unzicker encounter with the wall, which would also break Shirley's momentum and set both drivers backwards..

Through all that, a quick-closing Tim Lance made ground on the lead pack and in the final laps, nabbed second spot, ahead of Weaver, who was the race's 'hard charger' after advancing ten spots, from 13th to third. Unzicker settled for fourth, with Erb rallying for fifth, after dropping as far back as eighth. Shirley settled for a disappointing sixth.

 Lead Changes: 7 among 3 drivers (Unzicker: Pole-14, Shirley: 15-22, Unzicker: 23-26, Shirley: 27, Unzicker: 28-35, Feger: 36-38, Unzicker: 39, Feger: 40-50) Cautions: 2 (L9, L13)

Peoria Finish

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