Jason Feger and Jeep VanWormer are good friends and fellow competitors on the UMP circuit.
But it didn’t take long for it to get physical between the two racers Wednesday night in the 57th annual Late Model State Championships at Peoria Speedway.
Feger eventually won the battle in a 90-lap race.
The feature was shortened by 10 laps because of complaints about the noise. Drivers were warned at lap 60 the next caution flag would end the race.
“Jeep and I are really good friends and he’s good here and I’m good here and he’s not going to give me an inch — I know that,” said Feger. “He runs me hard and we were beating and banging quite a bit. I didn’t want to start beating and banging that early but it was a heck of a race.”
Feger knew he was running a harder tire compound than VanWormer and that his competitor’s would eventually fade — and it did. But what Feger didn’t know was when the race would end.
“They said the next yellow was when they would call the race and I didn’t know how long it was going to last and I started pushing it,” he said. “It was hard to be patient so we got up there and got it done. Big points night and big paycheck ($6,000).”
Feger hadn’t been scheduled to race at Peoria Speedway last Saturday, when the race was originally scheduled, because he was racing in St. Louis.
“I have a state championship trophy for my Sportsman car and now I have one for my Late Model, too,” he said.
Ryan Unsicker finished second, Mike Provenzano was third and Peoria Speedway season track champion Todd Bennett rallied from 19th starting spot to fourth.
VanWormer finished fifth.
Ray Bollinger won the Modified feature, taking the lead on lap five by running the middle.
But he’s focused on the Modified state championship, which will be finished Saturday.
“I’m starting sixth and I can’t wait,” he said.
Kenneth Butterfield won his 12th Hornet feature of the year.
“It was a real fast track,” he said.
Jane Miller can be reached at 686-3207 or email@example.com.