10th Annual Illinois Fall Nationals Presented by Turbo Blue Racing Fuels Late Model Stock Cars and Modifieds Sunday September 16, 2001 Springfield, Illinois Moyer, Birkhofer, Webb, Ross, Provenzano, Gundaker, Dixon Expected For Late Model ...
10th Annual Illinois Fall Nationals Presented by Turbo Blue Racing Fuels
Late Model Stock Cars and Modifieds
Sunday September 16, 2001 Springfield, Illinois
Moyer, Birkhofer, Webb, Ross, Provenzano, Gundaker, Dixon Expected For
Late Model Action
Leka, Buck, Sherreck Expected To Contest Modified Race
Macon, Il Septmeber 11, 2001
Over 100 race cars and drivers are expected to fill the pit areas at the Illinois State Fairgrounds for the 10th Annual Illinois Fall Nationals in Springfield, Sunday September 16. The Fall Nationals created by promoter Bob Sargent of Track Enterprises in 1992, have become a late summer/early fall classic in Central Illinois and is one of the races marked on the calendar of many teams and fans. A total purse of fifty thousand dollars has been posted by the promoter, with the late model feature winner taking home $12,000, and the modified feature winner a cool $2,000. Once again the Fall Nationals come under the United Midwestern Promoters sanction, and are sponsored by Turbo Blue Racing Fuels.
Four-time Fall National late model winner Billy Moyer is expected to head a field of national and local entries that could number almost fifty by race morning. Moyer, driver of the Petroff Towing Special, has been very dominant on the dirt miles of the Midwest, taking four wins at Springfield, and win a the Indiana State Fairgrounds, and adding a UMP Summernational event at DuQuoin in July. The July win helped Moyer enter the history books, becoming one of the few men in history (along with the likes of A.J. Foyt, Al Unser, Mario Andretti, Butch Hartman and Don White to name a few) to post wins on the "Big 3" Midwest fairground mile race tracks. Moyer is the only late model driver to post wins at Springfield, DuQuoin, and the Indiana State Fairgrounds in Indianapolis. Moyer is currently the one-lap track record holder in the late model division at Springfield, and with a win could move to third on the all-time total Springfield win list behind Chuck Gurney (8) and the late Dean Roper (7).
Possible national stars theat may join Moyer in battle in the late model division are 1998 Fall Nationals winner Brian Birkhofer of Iowa, NASCAR Weekly Racing National Champion Gary Webb of Iowa, the always popular Ed Dixon of Missouri (a former UMP National Champion), Al Atkinson of Wisconsin, Don O’Neal of Indiana, Terry English of Kentucky, Terry Phillips of Missouri and Dan Schliper of WIsconsin.
Illinois late model drivers always draw a lot of attention from area fans, and if Shannon Babb of Decatur makes the trip, he has a good chance to become the first local driver to capture a late model event at Springfield. Babb, who finished second at DuQuoin, drives a team car from the Petroff stable of Billy Moyer.
Other Illinois drivers who could make the show are Chicago’s John Provenzano, Mt. Vernon’s Jimmy Burwell, Carlyle’s Charlie Schafer (a frequent ARCA competitor), Farmer City track champ Joe Ross, Jr. of Mechanicsburg, and Springfield favorites Matt Taylor and Ed Bauman.
In the modified division, Arkansas Jerry Buck is very talented on the dirt miles and should return to defend his 2000 race win. Competing with Buck should be former NASCAR Weekly National champ Jeff Leka of Decatur (winner of the Wynn’s Sportsman race in August), Kevin Gundkaer of St. Louis, Jim Sherreck of St. Charles, Missouri, Al Crawley of Decatur, Brian Collins of Missouri, Butch Garner of Forsyth and Springfield’s own Wes O’Dell.
Sherreck and the Dairy Queen Special won the July event on the "Magic Mile" in DuQuoin, while Collins won the Labor Day weekend Bill Oldani Memorial event at DuQuoin in spectacular style.
Last year’s events were closely contested, with over 130 race cars filling the pit area, 48 in the late model division and nearly 90 in the modified class. Steve Boley of Iowa went out first and set quick time for the day with a lap of 28.493 (126.347 MPH) for the late models. Heats in the late model division were won by Moyer, Jim Partipillo, Danny McGuire and Ed Bauman, with Partipillo setting a new unofficial 6 lap track record in the second heat race. The semi features were won by Jerry Buck and local driver Jeff Thrasher, with Buck setting a new 10 lap unofficial track record in the first consi.
In the 40-mile main event, Moyer started on the front row, and never looked back, leading all 40 laps for his 4th Nationals crown, and his first Springfield win since 1997. NASCAR champ Gary Webb took second, with Birkhofer, Boley, and Missouri’s Terry Phillips rounding out the top 5.
The modifieds have become one of the best divisions on the miles, and their events were no exception in 2000. Two and three wide racing was common through the day, as the modifieds lapped the historic mile at over 106 miles an hour. Heats were won by Jerry Buck, Jeff Trasher, Jack Hewitt, Danny Sissom, Jim Sherreck and Scott Orr, with Sherreck setting a new unofficial 8 lap modified record in the 5th heat. Mark Littleton and Scott Hutchinson won the two semi-features.
In the 20-mile main event, Jerry Buck started from the pole and led every lap, but received pressure from Jeff Leka and Scott Orr during the race.
This year’s Fall Nationals are set for Sunday the 16th, with practice slated to get underway around 10 a.m. and racing action around 1 p.m. Tickets and competition information can be obtained by calling Track Enterprises at 217-764-3200, more information can be obtained on the World Wide Web at www.trackenterprises.com. <pre> Illinois State Fairgrounds Track Records for Late Models and Modifieds
UMP AND OUTLAW LATE MODEL
1 Lap-28.175 (127.773 Mph) Set 9/15/96 By Billy Moyer In The Bazooka 21 6 Lap-3:54.45u (122.840 Mph) Set 9/17/00 By Jim Partipillo In His Own 14 10 Lap-5:10.32u (116.009 Mph) Set 9/17/00 By Jerry Buck In The Buck 45 12 Lap- No Record Established 40 Mi- No Record Established
UMP AND USMS MODIFIED
1 Lap- No Record Established 6 Lap&Mdash;3:15.53u (110.468 Mph) Set 9/15/96 By David Byce In The Byce 23 8 Lap-4:31.14u (106.218 Mph) Set 9/17/00 By Jim Sherreck In The Dairy Queen 17 20 Mi- No Record Established
U-Unofficial-Kept With Handheld Watch