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Illini Racing Series
MAYHEW EDGES BRUNS IN CLOSEST FINISH IN ILLINI MIDGET HISTORY By Zach Tasker                 Sunday night August 17 saw the Illini Racing Series midgets visit one of open wheel racing’s most historic tracks, Angell Park Speedway in Sun Prairie, Wisconsin. A tight field of 15 cars took to the track for the 20 lap feature in front of a capacity crowd as part of “Miller Lite Cornfest”.  Series points leader Jason Allen and Scott Koerner led the field to the green. The early part of the feature got off to a messy start as there were three yellow flags in the first four laps including a multi-car incident in turn 2 on lap 4 when rookie Jimmy Clark Jr spun. As his #10c machine spun it blocked the track providing Aaron Schuck and Ray Seach nowhere to go plowing into him. Seach’s car was thrown on its side but luckily everyone involved walked back to the pits under their own power.                  On the ensuing restart and over the subsequent green flag laps the field separated itself and it soon became a tale of two races. The top three cars, which had now become Kurt Mayhew, Patrick Bruns and Mike Anderson, had put a half a track distance on 4th place, which was a buzzing hornets’ nest that saw positions between Jason Allen, Andrew Hennig, Dan Smith and Mike Stroik change lap after lap with all four cars under a blanket.                 After a long green flag run the final yellow flag of the race came out on lap 18 for a Scott Koerner spin in turn two setting up a green-white-checkered finish. The final two laps would be some of the most intense and exciting the IRS has seen in years. Kurt Mayhew rode the high side, and Patrick Bruns dove to the bottom. The two raced side by side pulling away from the field for 2 straight laps. The huge crowd was whipped into frenzy, when on the final lap Bruns drove deep into turn 3 giving it one last shot. Mayhew was able to hold him off in a photo finish in the closest finish in the 22 year history of the Illini Racing Series. The official margin of victory was 0.019 seconds. It was so close in fact, that the officials couldn’t determine by the naked eye who was the winner and had to defer to the computer relaying the transponder data.                 Mayhew, driver of the #21 Weiland Racing Enterprises/Coast Fabrication/MWR DRC/Ecotec knew as the leader he had to get a perfect restart with 2 laps remaining. “I definitely wanted to have a good restart, it helps when you start up front on a restart and you are in control. I didn’t want him to beat me down to that first corner. If he was right on me I tried to beat him off on the restart and I think it worked. He told me he led the white flag lap, I didn’t even realize that.”                 The Roselawn, Indiana native was a threat to win from when the car was unloaded off of the trailer Sunday night “We had a really good time out there tonight. I really hated to see that yellow. I figured Patrick was going to give me some type of a slider or something but it was pretty clean, we had a good clean race. I really want to thank MWR for giving me a good motor, it ran well all night. The car worked really well, my DRC was pretty clean and smooth up on top. I never get tired of this place, it’s such a nice facility and the track was nice tonight. It was slicked off a little bit but I had a good rhythm going up top there and it just worked out well for me. I really didn’t know who won until they came across (on the radio) and told me.”                 Bruns , the driver of the #10b Darcy GMC/Mobil 1/Triple T Car Wash & Lube/MWR Lightning/Ecotec already has one win at Angell Park Speedway this year , and was oh so close to another one. “No disappointment at all, to run wheel to wheel with Kurt Mayhew like that for the last few laps was exciting. We were wheel to wheel; we never made any kind of contact. He never chopped me, I never chopped him. It was an art form. I wish we could have done it for 20 more laps. I think we were pretty even, those last 4 or 5 laps were just wheel to wheel and exciting and it could have went either way, I’m glad Kurt let me lead the white flag lap but he owes me one because I let him have the checkered flag lap. ”Mike Anderson rounded out the podium finishers a few car lengths back from the lead tussle. The driver of the #15 Paint Work by Z/RHO Chemical/Heros West Stealth/Ecotec was hoping to score his 3rd victory this season “I always want to get a victory here. I just keep falling short, but 3rd place, we will take it and move onto next weekend I guess. Kurt was flying, it looks like Patrick has the bugs worked out on that thing, and he was quick. Its Kurt Mayhew, he knows Sun Prairie better than I know Grundy. They had a hell of a duel; I had a great seat for it I just wish I was in front of it not behind it. Those guys were on the gas. Our car was great; Jeff Zelinski gave me one hell of a ride tonight.  We work real well together, and I know Jeff is the business now of selling this car and whoever picks it up is going to have themselves one hell of a car.”                 The night started with two 8 lap heat races. Aaron Schuck used the high side in heat one to pick up the victory while Lamont Critchett dominated heat race 2 to win by multiple car lengths over Kurt Mayhew who started last and was charging but ran out of time. The IRS now enters an off weekend but will be back at it as part of a double header at the Grundy County Speedway August 30 and 31. This will be a part of the Hall of Fame weekend and Sundays race will be the annual running of the Tom Arthur Memorial. With only 4 races left the championship fight continues to heat up as Jason Allen and Patrick Bruns battle it out, with Bruns trying to become the first driver ever to win three straight IRS championships. Come join us on Labor Day weekend for a great double dose of racing!   UNOFFICIAL RESULTS: FEATURE (20 Laps) 1)#21 Kurt Mayhew 2)#10b Patrick Bruns 3)#15 Mike Anderson 4)#54a Jason Allen 5)#9s Mike Stroik 6)#2a Andrew Hennig 7)#6s Dan Smith 8)#55 Scott Koerner 9)#0 Doug Orseske 10)#12 Bryce Dunn 11)#21a Bob Shreffler 12)#10c Jimmy Clark Jr. 13)#53 Aaron Schuck 14)#3 Ray Seach 15)#6 Lamont Critchett   HEAT RACE #1 (8 Laps) 1)#53 Aaron Schuck 2)#15 Mike Anderson 3)#10b Patrick Bruns 4)#21a Bob Shreffler 5)#55 Scott Koerner 6)#2a Andrew Hennig 7)#9s Mike Stroik 8)#12 Bryce Dunn   HEAT RACE #2 (8 Laps) 1)#6 Lamont Critchett 2)#21 Kurt Mayhew 3)#10c Jimmy Clark Jr 4)#6s Dan Smith 5)#54a Jason Allen 6)#0 Doug Orseske 7)#3 Ray Seach  
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