USAR: Illiana race report

Schererville, IN - Brian Vickers rebounded from a bad night in the Hoosier State two weeks ago to win the Miller Lite 250 Saturday night at Illiana Motor Speedway in front of a standing-room only crowd. Vickers outdistanced Mardy Lindley and ...

Schererville, IN - Brian Vickers rebounded from a bad night in the Hoosier State two weeks ago to win the Miller Lite 250 Saturday night at Illiana Motor Speedway in front of a standing-room only crowd. Vickers outdistanced Mardy Lindley and Jeff Agnew for the win and were the only drivers to finish on the lead lap.

Regan Smith finished fourth on a lap by himself and Lonnie Rush, Sr. collected his first career USAR Hooters ProCup top-five finish. Bill Plemons, Jr. was sixth and Mario Gosselin, who won last week at Hickory in a Southern Division race, finished seventh in his first Northern Division start. Donnie Hill followed up his first win a couple of weeks ago with an eighth-place finish and Bobby Gegetskas finished ninth. Tim Bainey, Jr. collected his first top-10 finish of his career in the Series.

For Vickers, who won for the second time this season and fourth overall in the Series, the win was good medicine after his disappointing finish two weeks ago at Winchester Speedway.

"This win is so good for our team," said Vickers. "We worked about as hard as you could work on a car during our three-hour practice session. Patrick Donahue just came on board as our crew chief and he said he had never changed as much on a car in such a short time as we did today and it paid off for us. It also helps to have the best crew in the business working on the car."

Vickers was able to get around Jeff Agnew on lap 222 and held on the rest of way thanks in part to the set-up of his Stewart Components Chevrolet.

"I think we were the best on old tires and it paid off there at the end of the race."

Vickers was able to pull away on the final restart of the night after Bill Plemons, Jr. spun in turn three on lap 237. The final restart was single-file and Vickers was able to get a good jump on Lindley and hold on for the win and the $10,000 first-place prize.

"The track got real greasy there at the end," said Lindley. "The car was sliding all over the place. We got another top-three finish and held on to our lead in the points but Brian gained a little on us and we still have two more races in our division."

The race was slowed just five times by caution, with the only multi-car incident to create any major damage on lap 11 when Chad Beahr spun into the turn three outside wall. The spin created a chain reaction incident that collected Kyle Shoemaker, Bill Plemons, Jr., who was running third at the time, and Tim Fulford.

The race also provided the longest stretch of green flag racing this season during a race when 130 green flag laps were completed from 32-162 on the wide, flat, one-half mile track located about one hour east of Chicago.

"We had a good car at times tonight," said third-place finisher Agnew. "We just didn't have a good enough car there at the end of the night."

Agnew and Vickers had the near-capacity crowd on their feet numerous times during the race as the duo battled side-by-side, bumping sheet metal. The duo raced practically fender-to-fender between laps 213 and 222 until Vickers passed for the final time.

Vickers led at the midpoint of the race to collect the Lucas Oil Products Halfway Leader Award of $1,000. Rush, by way of his strong finish, won the Miller Lite Rookie of the Race Award. Bobby Gegetskas advanced 13 positions during the race to win the W.J. Plemons Investments Hard Charger Award.

The USAR Hooters ProCup Series Northern Division returns to action in two weeks when the Series goes international and makes its first visit to Canada when Cayuga Speedway hosts the Lucas Oil 250 on Saturday August 25th.

-USAR

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Series Stock car
Drivers Brian Vickers , Regan Smith , Mario Gosselin , Jeff Agnew