latemodelamerica.com - ILL - Apr 10 - Vermilion County Speedway "Illiana 40"
LateModelAmerica.com by Sam Holbrooks

 
 

Bold early move nets Feger his second win of 2010  

Quick Strike Vaults Feger to Vermilion Victory 

By: Eric Huenefeld 

OAKWOOD, Ill. -- April 10. Defending UMP Late Model National Champion Jason Feger has been dubbed the ‘Highside Hustler’ for his wild, go-for-broke style of driving on the short tracks of central Illinois. Sometimes Feger pounds the highside non-stop and all night en route to the checkers. But sometimes, it only takes a brief visit with the top shelf of the speedway for Feger to assert himself. 

 The latter fact was on display Sunday evening. 

 The Bloomington, Illinois driver threw his car to the high line of Pierce’s Vermilion County Speedway on the opening lap of the season opening Illiana 40

Jason Feger

Jason Feger's no-holds-barred style of racing yielded the Illinois champion his second win of the season in the  "Illiana 40" at Vermilion County. (Mike Ruefer

and stormed by heat race winners Steve Dimmick, Dennis Erb and Derek Chandler and stole the lead at the stripe and held off all challengers for the win, his second of the 2010 season. 

 With sunshine, warmth and wind beating down on the Speedway most of the day, the racing surface was predictably rubber filled and dusty early. However, at the midway point of the evening’s program, track officials decided to pelt the upper groove with water and pack it down, to try and improve the surface for the drivers and the show for the fans.  

 The Late Model feature rolled onto the speedway soon after intermission, and with the new moisture on the Speedway, as well as in-state rival Dennis Erb ahead of him in the feature line up, Feger knew his move to the front needed to be sudden and effective. 

 “I just knew Dennis would try to get to the bottom right away and I saw some traction up top in the warm up laps, and I didn’t know if I was gonna go forwards or backwards,’ stated Feger. ‘I got up there, it stuck, and was then able to get up to them and get by him and Chandler and make it work. I knew I wasn’t gonna have long to do it and was gonna have to do it right away and things just worked out.’ 

 Once Feger stormed to the lead, the jockeying for second and back was intense and somewhat physical. Pole sitter Derek Chandler quickly dropped from the front row and on lap 6 was turned around entering the back stretch. Chandler’s assisted spin set of a six car pileup behind Dirt Late Model Hall of Famer Dick Potts, who himself was trying to avoid the accident, but instead became one. 

 In those first six laps of racing, Pinconning Michigan driver Jeep Van Wormer had made a huge move, muscling from eighth place to third in short order. Van Wormer stated after the race “we had to do our passing early, because we had a pretty good idea that the track was gonna take rubber and then it was pretty much just a freight train. We set our car up accordingly and it turns out we got to the bottom and got by those guys.” 

 Van Wormer would then have a chance to pounce on Erb for second just past the races halfway point. It wasn’t a chance that Van Wormer was necessarily looking for, but a chance that he was most certainly not going to pass up. 

 “We got to third and I was just content and not wanting to run anyone over,’ Van Wormer recalled. ‘But then Dennis slipped up outta the rubber and made a mistake, and I just was fortunate enough to be there to take advantage of it.” 

 After stealing second, a late race caution would close the gap for Van Wormer and company on Feger. However, with the track wearing out, and with a long season still ahead, several key players, including Van Wormer, opted for the conservative approach. 

 “There comes a time when you can go up there and beat somebody up for the first spot, but tonight there really wasn’t much sense in it,” continued Van Wormer. ‘I didn’t wanna go up there and beat Feger up just to say I won the race. When the race track (deteriorates) you need to respect each other. And I don’t know if it looked like I ran Dennis over, but Dennis made a mistake and I was there to capitalize on it. I tried staying close enough to Jason where if he made a mistake I could capitalize on it, but I didn’t need to go beat and bang on him for it.” 

 Feger was happy to net another early season win, and was happy to do so in Danville, at the track his chassis builder now operates. Said Feger, “Things just worked out our way today. Couldn’t be happier…for Bob Pierce Race Cars…opening night at their track, that’s pretty awesome. That’s something I’ll remember and I’m sure they will too. It sure is good to be back home, on tracks I know and places I like. This one feels good.” 

 Erb would hold on to third, behind Feger and Van Womer. Lexington Illinois youngster Jimmy Dehm would nab an impressive fourth place finish ahead of Ryan Unzicker, who placed fifth. Unzicker did not complete his qualifying lap and fought from the back of his heat to transfer to the main event, as well as advancing from ninth to fifth in the feature. Carbondale’s Jason McBride was the Hard Charger of the night, finishing 8th, after starting 18th. 

Lead Changes: One among two drivers (Chandler: Pole, Feger: 1-40) 

Yellows: 3 (L6, L28, L32) 

Finish - Vermilion Co

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