Monday, July 21, 2014

Gress Takes TSM Tune-Up in NW Debut, Harris Handles Winged Division at Southern Illinois Raceway!

Story by Brian Walker – Walker Racing Promotions
Marion, IL | July 20, 2014 – It was a highly anticipated night for both the non-wing and winged micro divisions at Southern Illinois Raceway, as the final night of weekly point racing commenced before the POWRi Speedway Motors 600cc Outlaw Micro Series and the Terry Sprague Memorial stormed into town.

With this being the final chance for action in both of the two headlining divisions at SIR, drivers flocked from all over to compete at the action packed Marion, Illinois 1/8th mile. By the time the night was over, a total of 21 cars filled the Prairie Farms Non-Wing division while the BOSS Chassis Winged Outlaws saw 17 car pile into the pit area.

The non-wing division would kick the night off with three, eight-lap heat races that would set up the dash and feature event. Jeffrey Wallace claimed the first heat over Chris Hunter and Mike Vallette, Carlee Gress grabbed the heat two win ahead of Gabe Veradi and Luke Veradi, and Chris Cobin picked up the third heat win over Michael Bustamante and Matt Veatch. The biggest mover was Bustamante, who went from sixth to second and earned the pole of the dash.

In the BOSS Chassis Winged Outlaw divisions, a format of two heat races, a dash, and a feature was called upon. Current track point leader of Jimmy Wells would win heat one ahead of Nic Harris and Even Weyant, and Kyle Stubblefield claimed the second heat over George Hertter and Tyler Day. Stubblefield would earn the pole of the dash while earning high point man honors.

Carlee Gress would once again top the non-wing field as she claimed the six-lap dash from second and earned her #12C the pole position for the feature event. Kyle Stubblefield also backed up his heat win as he claimed the dash victory in the winged class as he claimed the pole position.

As the Prairie Farms Non-Wing division went green for 25-laps, Gress and Gabe Veradi led the field out of turn four. Gress immediately guided her #12C Aggressive Graphics machine into the lead and ahead of Veradi. Within a few laps the Alton, Illinois native was entering thick lap traffic while Chris Hunter, who charged from seventh was moving onto the podium.

Gress made quick work of early lappers, but soon found trouble as Hunter was reeling her in. The Salem, Kentucky native was hounding and stalking Gress as it looked like he would use the lap car to his advantage and power into the lead. Gress luckily caught a break on lap 19 when the first yellow flew and stuck a lap car in between her and Hunter.

Almost five failed restarts commenced before we finally going on the final restart with six laps remaining. Hunter quickly disposed of the back marker and set his sights on the #12C of Gress. Lap by lap Gress’ once strong lead was cut down and on lap 23 it was no longer as Hunter emerged with a fight for the lead.

Hunter took advantage of Gress’ slip coming out of turn four on lap 23 and slid under her heading into turn one. Gress refused to go down without a fight as the 15-year old would diamond the corner and cut back under Hunter down the backstretch. The two would run wheel to wheel through turns three and four as they came to the white flag almost dead even at the line.

Gress stuck her machine right around the inside berm while Hunter slid up in turns one and two, which allowed Gress some breathing room. Hunter had one final shot through turns three and four, but couldn’t mount another challenge as Gress took her Aggressive Graphics, Keller Construction, OSR Bikes, Yamaha powered Sawyer Chassis #12C to victory lane in her very first non-wing ever.

Chris Hunter had an incredible seventh to second run, but just fell one spot short. Michael Bustamante came home in third, Jake Palmisano stormed from 17th to fourth as he earned hard charger honors, and Mike Vallette rounded out the top five. Closing out the top ten finishers was Matt Veatch, Jeffrey Wallace, Collin Wece, Tony Lawrence, and Brett Cobin.

Right from the drop of the green flag in the BOSS Chassis Winged Outlaw class, it was a torrent battle for the lead. Mike Hudson quickly piloted his #40 Subway sponsored machine into the lead as he took the opening lap. Behind Hudson and charging fast was third place starter and Atlanta, Illinois native, Nic Harris.

As the fight for the lead began it was Hudson rolling the inside berm of the 1/8th mile while Harris was up to slamming the treacherous cushion. Around lap five is when Harris guided his#N2 machine around the outside of Hudson and into the race lead.

As Harris was slicing and dicing through the thick SIR lap traffic, Jacob Sanderson was carving his path to the front. As the laps started to tick off Sanderson put his #20 machine on the cushion and quickly reeled in Harris for the lead. The two were running bumper to bumper atop the 1/8th mile while still navigating through traffic.

A yellow with less than five to go gave both drivers a chance to catch their breath. Harris and Sanderson both rocketed straight to the cushion on the restart, but Harris had a much easier time defending his lead. Sanderson started to catch him once again as the white flag flew, but couldn’t reel him in fast enough as Nic Harris of Atlanta, Illinois piloted his #N2 machine to the exciting BOSS Chassis Winged Outlaw score!

Jacob Sanderson came home in a very close second, Evan Weyant grabbed third, Mike Hudson slipped back to finish fourth, and Paul Day rounded out the top five from ninth. Tyler Day claimed sixth, Kyle Stubblefield ended up seventh, George Hertter earned eighth, Jake Palmisano won hard charger honors with a 17th to ninth drive, and Jay Parks closed out the top ten.

The upcoming schedule for Southern Illinois Raceway is quite an exciting one, with two huge events in the next two weeks. This Saturday night will see the POWRi Speedway Motors 600cc Outlaw Micro Series tackle the Marion, Illinois 1/8th mile for the first time in years. The following week of July 31-August 2 will see the 7th annual Ike Honda Terry Sprague Memorial commence as drivers from across the country run topless for $5,000.

Full results from last night’s action at Southern Illinois Raceway can be found below.

Prairie Farms Non-Wing Results:
Heat One (8 laps): 1. Jeffrey Wallace (1), 2. Chris Hunter (2), 3. Mike Vallete (7), 4. Chad Elliott (6), 5. Jamie Hargraves (3), 6. William Lahna (4), 7. Tony Lawrence (5).

Heat Two (8 laps): 1. Carlee Gress (2), 2. Gabe Veradi (5), 3. Luke Veradi (4), 4. Tayler Hungate (7), 5. Leroy Carley (5), 6. Jason Perry (6), 7. Jeremy Anderson (3).

Heat Three (8 laps): 1. Chris Cobin (1), 2. Michael Bustamante (6), 3. Matt Veatch (5), 4. Austin Walker (2), 5. Collin Wece (7), 6. Jake Palmisano (4), 7. Brett Cobin (3).

Dash (6 laps): 1. Carlee Gress (2), 2. Gabe Veradi (3), 3. Jeffrey Wallace (4), 4. Michael Bustamante (1), 5. Chris Cobin (5), 6. Mike Vallette (6).

A-Main (25 laps): 1. Carlee Gress (1), 2. Chris Hunter (7), 3. Michael Bustamante (4), 4. Jake Palmisano (17), 5. Mike Vallette (6), 6. Matt Veatch (8), 7. Jeffrey Wallace (3), 8. Collin Wece (13), 9. Tony Lawrence (21), 10. Brett Cobin (20), 11. Jamie Hargraves (15), 12. Jason Perry (18), 13. William Lahna (16), 14. Leroy Carley (14), 15. Chris Cobin (5), 16. Austin Walker (12), 17. Gabe Veradi (2), 18. Chad Elliott (11), 19. Taylor Hungate (10), 20. Jeremy Anderson (19), 21. Luke Veradi (9).
Lap Leader(s): Carlee Gress 1-25
Hard Charger(s): Jake Palmisano +13

BOSS Chassis Winged Outlaw Results:
Heat One (8 laps): 1. Jimmy Wells (1), 2. Nic Harris (4), 3. Evan Weyant (3), 4. Jacob Sanderson (7), 5. Paul Day (9), 6. Jay Parks (2), 7. Eric Shelton (8), 8. Dakota Greer (5), 9. Jake Palmisano (6).

Heat Two (8 laps): 1. Kyle Stubblefield (2), 2. George Hertter (1), 3. Tyler Day (3), 4. Mike Hudson (8), 5. Jeffrey Wallace (5), 6. Jeremy Anderson (7), 7. Kendall Ruble (6), 8. Brian Nance (4).

Dash (6 laps): 1. Kyle Stubblefield (1), 2. Mike Hudson (5), 3. Nic Harris (3), 4. Jimmy Wells (2), 5. Jacob Sanderson (6), 6. George Hertter (4).

A-Main (25 laps): 1. Nic Harris (3), 2. Jacob Sanderson (5), 3. Evan Weyant (7), 4. Mike Hudson (1), 5. Paul Day (9), 6. Tyler Day (8), 7. Kyle Stubblefield (2), 8. George Hertter (6), 9. Jake Palmisano (17), 10. Jay Parks (12), 11. Jeffrey Wallace (10), 12. Brian Nance (15), 13. Eric Shelton (13), 14. Kendall Ruble (14), 15. Jimmy Wells (4), 16. Dakota Greer (16), 17. Jeremy Anderson (11).
Lap Leader(s): Mike Hudson 1-4, Nic Harris 5-25.
Hard Charger(s): Jake Palmisano +8


Shannon Clem and OSR Bikes have been one of the biggest supporters of SIR in the last couple of years. As a result there have been several of our weekly competitors use Shannon and his engine building expertise. They have now continued their large support of SIR by sponsoring the 7th Annual IKE Honda Terry Sprague Memorial!

OSR Bikes & Motors is a high performance race shop specializing in cylinder head porting and engine builds for Drag bikes and Micro / Mini Sprint race cars. OSR Bikes is a performance parts dealer for all major racing companies and can also supply OEM parts for Kawasaki, Suzuki, Honda, and Yamaha. Whether you have a street bike or a need to go fast, OSR Bikes & Motors is here to help, please call 317-523-4049 or email them at so they can assist you.

OSR has a history of great results. They were the POWRi National Championship engine builder with Trenton Beckinger in 2011. Last year OSR ended up with a grand total of 67 wins in Mini/Micro Sprints. This year alone OSR has racked up 43 Micro Sprint/ Mini Sprint wins already with customers on their engine packages, some of which run in the Southern Illinois/ St. Louis area! This is 30 more than when we announced OSR Bikes as a Sawyer Chassis Highbanks Hustle presented by Lightning Wings sponsor earlier in the season!

We would like to thank Shannon and everyone at SIR for their continued support of our events! As a reminder the 7th Annual IKE Honda Terry Sprague Memorial will take place July 31st - August 2nd, which is just 2 1/2 weeks away! The event will feature the Prairie Farms Non Wing Outlaw class only. Thursday night will have an open practice from 6-9pm to allow drivers to get their cars dialed in. Friday will be a preliminary night paying $500 to win/$50 to start and will lock 6 drivers in the Saturday dash and A-Main. Then, Saturday will be the final day which will conclude with a $5,000 to win/ $250 to start feature! We hope to see everyone come out to the 7th Annual IKE Honda Terry Sprague Memorial this year! Remember to use the hashtag#TSM14 when talking about the Sprague Memorial!