Hometown Heroes Babb & Feger Shine On Opening Night Of Illini 100 At Farmer City Raceway

By Kevin Kovac, WoO LMS P.R. Director

FARMER CITY, IL – April 9, 2010 – Shannon Babb and Jason Feger proved they’re ready to keep the Illini 100 trophy in the Land of Lincoln.

The two central Illinois hotshoes played starring roles during Friday night’s qualifying program for the biggest and richest dirt Late Model event in the state of Illinois, winning heat races to position themselves well to chase the race’s $20,000 top prize on Saturday night at Farmer City Raceway.

“I’d really like to win this thing,” said Moweaqua’s Babb, who has finishes of second and fifth in the two previous runnings of the blockbuster World of Outlaws Late Model Series at the quarter-mile oval. “You couldn’t ask for anything more exciting than winning a real big show at a track you grew up racing at.”

After turning the fastest lap of the 50-car time-trial session at 13.009 seconds, Babb, 36, held off 2008 Illini 100 winner Billy Moyer of Batesville, Ark., to win the first of four 15-lap heat races. Babb’s victory margin of less than a half car-length almost exactly matched the narrow distance he lost the inaugural Illini 100 to Moyer.

“I was a little free on exit (from the turns),” said Babb, who drove the Sheltra Construction Rocket No. 18. “Billy was a little bit better, but he was smart enough not to push the issue because he knew we would both be in the (A-Main) redraw.”

Feger, 31, of Bloomington ran his heart out to win the evening’s third heat in his one-race-old Pierce Chassis machine. The defending DIRTcar UMP Late Model national champion overtook WoO LMS regular Clint Smith of Senoia, Ga., for the lead on lap 10 and never looked back.

“I got a good run, drove it in hard (entering turn one) and it stuck,” said Feger, who finished eighth in last year’s Illini 100. “I think we have a real good car, but you don’t know what can happen in 100 laps. We’ll give it our best shot tomorrow.”

Dan Schlieper of Sullivan, Wis., and Don O’Neal of Martinsville, Ind., also won heat races. They will join Babb, Feger and the four runner-up finishers in the heats – Moyer, Brian Birkhofer of Muscatine, Iowa, defending WoO LMS champion Josh Richards of Shinnston, W.Va., and Brady Smith of Solon Springs, Wis. – in a redraw for the top-eight starting positions in the Illini 100 on Saturday night.

Richards moved forward from the fifth starting spot to transfer through the stacked third heat, which included four former WoO LMS titlists. Steve Francis of Ashland, Ky., also qualified by finishing fourth, while Tim McCreadie of Watertown, N.Y., fell one spot short and Darrell Lanigan of Union, Ky., finished ninth after pitting on lap one to replace a right-rear shock that had come loose on his car.

Jimmy Mars of Menomonie, Wis., suffered the night’s biggest heartbreak when he spun between turns one and two while holding third place on lap 13 of the second heat. His involvement in an original-start tangle bent his car’s left-rear sheet and ultimately ripped a line of tread off his left-rear, leaving him to battle an ill-handling mount.

With a sparkling spring forecast calling for clear skies and a high temperature reaching 70, a huge crowd is expected to pack the fairgrounds track for Saturday night’s Illini 100. The program, which kicks off at 6 p.m., includes two B-Mains, a 25-lap Non-Qualifiers’ Race and the Illini 100 plus regular shows for the DIRTcar UMP Modifieds and Pro Late Models.

More info on the Illini 100 is available by logging on to www.farmercityraceway.net or calling 309-634-5601.

For more information on the WoO LMS, visit www.worldofoutlaws.com.

Ohlins Shocks Time Trial Results (Position/No./Driver/Hometown/Best Lap):

1. 18-Shannon Babb/Moweaqua, IL 13.009
2. 15b-Brian Birkhofer/Muscatine, IA 13.095
3. 44-Clint Smith/Senoia, GA 13.287
4. 2-Brady Smith/Solon Springs, WI 13.314
5. 55-Jeep VanWormer/Pinconning, MI 13.340
6. s9-Dan Schlieper/Sullivan, WI 13.353
7. 25-Jason Feger/Bloomington, IL 13.414
8. 25-Shane Clanton/Locust Grove, GA 13.431
9. 21-Billy Moyer/Batesville, AR 13.441
10. 25L-Steve Lance Jr./Cuba, IL 13.452
11. 48-Tim Lance/Brimfield, IL 13.457
12. 71-Don O’Neal/Martinsville, IN 13.495
13. 35-Derek Chandler/Pontiac, IL 13.514
14. b5-Brandon Sheppard/New Berlin, IL 13.565
15. 15-Steve Francis/Ashland, KY 13.577
16. 1*-Chub Frank/Bear Lake, PA 13.586
17. 9-Eric Smith/Bloomington, IL 13.603
18. 32-Chris Simpson/Oxford, IA 13.619
19. 1-Josh Richards/Shinnston, WV 13.658
20. 24U-Ryan Unzicker/El Paso, IL 13.660
21. 21L-Matt Lux/Franklin, PA 13.664
22. 11-Tyler Reddick/Corning, CA 13.690
23. 29-Darrell Lanigan/Union, KY 13.697
24. 19H-Austin Hubbard/Seaford, DE 13.701
25. 24-Rick Eckert/York, PA 13.712
26. 28e-Dennis Erb Jr./Carpentersville, IL 13.724
27. 3s-Brian Shirley/Chatham, IL 13.760
28. 41-Brad Neat/Dunnville, KY 13.790
29. c9-Steve Casebolt/Richmond, IN 13.790
30. 28M-Jimmy Mars/Menomonie, WI 13.805
31. 39-Tim McCreadie/Watertown, NY 13.806
32. 12-Jordan Bland/Campbellsville, KY 13.807
33. 1w-Donny Walden/Towanda, IL 13.859
34. b12-Kevin Weaver/Gibson City, IL 13.886
35. 56-Russell King/Bristolville, OH 13.893
36. 19-Tim Fuller/Watertown, NY 13.893
37. 50-Denny Eckrich/Tiffin, IA 13.908
38. 25H-Kerry Hansen/Spencer, WI 13.923
39. 5s-Steve Sheppard Jr./New Berlin, IL 13.933
40. 10-Scott Schmitt/Tonica, IL 13.999
41. Z-Joe Harlan/El Paso, IL 14.001
42. 74-Russ Adams/Princeville, IL 14.042
43. 5-Bret Sievert/Mukwonago, WI 14.056
44. 91-Jeremy Nichols/Decatur, IL 14.057
45. 99J-Jimmy Dehm/Lexington, IL 14.119
46. 22-Jill George/Cedar Falls, IA 14.191
47. 30-Mike Glasscock/LeRoy, IL 14.334
48. 40-Charles Hess/Peoria, IL 14.347
49. 6K-Terry Casey/New London, IL 14.356
50. 3-Brent Robinson/Smithfield, VA 14.365

Heat No. 1 (15 laps – Top 4 Transfer): Babb, Moyer, Chandler, VanWormer, Lux, Eckert, E. Smith, Harlan, Dehm, Eckrich, Casebolt, Walden, Casey

Heat No. 2 (15 laps – Top 4 Transfer): Schlieper, Birkhofer, Erb, Weaver, B. Sheppard, Robinson, Mars, Hansen, George, Adams, S. Lance, Reddick, Simpson

Heat No. 3 (15 laps – Top 4 Transfer): Feger, Richards, C. Smith, Francis, McCreadie, Shirley, T. Lance, S. Sheppard, Lanigan, King, Glasscock, Sievert

Heat No. 4 (15 laps – Top 4 Transfer): O’Neal, B. Smith, Frank, Neat, Fuller, Clanton, Hess, Hubbard, Unzicker, Schmitt, Bland, Nichols

FOLLOW THE ACTION ON TWITTER: Fans can now keep up-to-date with the World of Outlaws Late Model Series online and through text messages on cell phones via Twitter, the internet’s fast-growing social-networking and micro-blogging website. Updates are provided to Twitter ‘followers’ of the WoO LMS throughout each race night, and fans also receive breaking news and interesting notes from the tour.

To sign-up as a WoO LMS ‘follower’ on Twitter to receive updates anywhere at anytime, visit http://twitter.com/WoOLateModels.

LISTEN ONLINE: If fans can’t get to a track to see the World of Outlaws Late Model Series, they can experience the excitement of the nation’s premier tour live on DIRTvision.com through the DIRT Radio Network.

To listen to the free audio broadcasts, log on to www.dirtvision.com and click on the DIRT Radio Network logo.

Listeners will need Windows Media Player 9 or higher to listen to the DIRT Radio Network. For technical support or questions, e-mail [email protected]

The World of Outlaws Late Model Series is brought to fans across the country by many important sponsors and partners, including Arizona Sport Shirts (Official Apparel Company), Armor All (Official Car Care Products), Hoosier Racing Tires (Official Racing Tires), STP (Official Fuel Treatment), SuperClean (Official Cleaner-Degreaser), VP Racing (Official Racing Fuel) and DirtonDirt.com (Hard Charger Award); in addition to contingency sponsors Eibach Springs, MSD Ignition, Ohlins Shocks, Pink Carburetors, Pro Power Engines, Quartermaster, Rocket Chassis and Wrisco Aluminum.