Speedway notes — Cautionary tale down on the track
PEORIA – Todd Bennett quickly admitted his Late Model feature victory Saturday at Peoria Speedway was handed to him.
If only the race could have been as fast.
Bennett and the other drivers in the 30-lap race waited in line about 20 minutes while a pair of incidents sparked controversy with two laps remaining.
For about 10 minutes, Steve Lance Jr. sat in the front of the field, pleading his case and disregarding officials orders to move to the back of the field.
Lance and points leader Ray Guss Jr. were involved in an accident while trying to pass lap traffic and battling for the race lead.
Their cars stopped near the wall in turn 1 after contact and – as NASCAR rules state – officials ordered both to the back of the field.
Officials eventually threw Lance out of the race for insubordination, but he didn’t leave until racing partner and brother, Tim Lance, convinced him.
When the pace laps resumed, Roger Rebholz led the race with Tim Lance second.
As the green flag dropped, Lance passed Rebholz before allowed. An orange cone on the inside of turn 4 marks the line where the leader must cross before passing begins. When Lance’s failure to heed that line brought out another caution.
After the cars slowed for the caution, Lance dropped into turn 1 and sideswiped Rebholz. Lance jumped out of his car, hit its roof, yelled at Rebholz and stormed off to the pits.
When racing stopped, Steve Lance Jr. returned to the infield to again argue with officials. While pleading his case to anyone who would listen, Steve Lance threatened officials, a reporter, and the next lap traffic car he encountered.
Penalties for the actions haven’t been announced, but many believe the Lance brothers will lose only their points from the night.
But since they were disqualified, they didn’t earn any points.
Worth the long trip: Joe Wyatt looked calm as he earned his fourth feature of the season.
But that wasn’t the case inside the car. The Modified driver from Brownsburg, Ind. had 15 co-workers make the 200 mile trip to cheer him to victory.
“All my buddies being here made me nervous,” said Wyatt, who moved into second place in the points standings.
Two-for-three: Chuck Barnes won his first Sportsman feature of the season and only his second in three years. But he’s still second in the points standings because of consistency.
“I’m not points racing,” Barnes said. “But I’ll take them.”
No problem: Donnie Montgomery wasn’t worried about four cautions in the 12-lap Street Stock feature.
But the Mortonite was a little concerned when he saw points leader Jason Weyenth pass him as the yellow flag was dropped.
“Very much so,” Montgomery said. “But he’s one of the cleanest drivers out here.”
Around the infield: The Modified featured had six cautions in eight laps. This earned a time limit warning from officials, who can shorten a race if it lasts too long. … Tom Cabral has a third- place finish and two Hornet feature victories in the last three weeks. He’s using a new car. … Mike Jones won the second Sportsman heat with broken rear end. … The U.S. Modified Touring Series will make stops Tuesday at Spoon River Speedway in Banner, Wednesday at Peoria Speedway and Thursday at Knox County Speedway in Galesburg as part of a five-day tour. Gates open at 5 p.m. with hot laps at 6:45 p.m. each night.
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