BRUNS WINS HOME RACE AT FARMER CITY, CLOSES POINTS GAP TO ALLENBy Zach TaskerThursday night July 17 saw the Illini Racing Series midgets visit the Farmer City Raceway in Farmer City, Illinois for the first time. This special “Thursday night Thunder” race as part of the De Witt County/Farmer City Fair was greatly anticipated by drivers and fans alike. A strong field of 16 cars took the green flag for the 25 lap feature with Kurt Mayhew and Mike Anderson leading the field on the front row. Anderson would quickly take the lead and assert himself as the early favorite. The “Passin Assassin” was looking for his second IRS feature victory of the season after picking up the win at Grundy County Speedway back on May 31. The race clicked off quickly with 25 straight yellow flag-free laps. As Anderson was putting a gap on the field two time and defending series champion Patrick Bruns was starting to work his way through the pack. Bruns started in 8th position and within a couple laps was in the top 5. Halfway through the race he had asserted himself into the runner up position but still had multiple car lengths to catch Anderson. As the race went yellow free this meant the leaders were in constant lapped traffic, with a few laps remaining Anderson found himself stuck behind a lapped competitor unable to get around him. Bruns quickly ate up ground and with 5 laps remaining dove to the inside of turn 1 to take the lead in spectacular fashion and never looked back. The Farmer City Fair crowd was enthusiastic as Bruns lives in nearby Champaign and grew up down the road in Lincoln. “This is kind of an emotional and exciting night. Mom and Dad were here to see me run; they don’t get the chance to see me on track often. It’s kind of special for the simple fact that I had my kids in victory lane but more importantly my Dad won this race when it was a sprint car race in 1985 so a couple of decades later I get a win in the Farmer City open wheel fair race so that is pretty special to me.“The driver of the #10b Darcy GMC/Mobil 1/Triple T Car Wash & Lube/MWR Lightning/Ecotec knew he had to peddle hard to track down Anderson in the late stages of the race. “I was confident in the car and lapped traffic just played a big factor tonight and everything kind of went my way but the MWR Technology Ecotec did not let me down. It had the power when I needed it and we rolled the top pretty well. We were just a little bit tight on entry but I felt like I owed it to my guys to pull off a victory here tonight. These guys work really hard every night in the shop and it takes a lot to put this deal together.”Bruns was one of many drivers who enjoyed racing at Farmer City and hopes for it to become a regular stop on the IRS tour “It was good to see the crowd and good interaction here and I’m glad to be a part of the Farmer City fair and I hope we can make this a tradition and come back. I have big plans this weekend, now that the racing is done for the weekend I am taking the kids to the zoo and (son) Dominic is ready.”As much as the homecoming for Bruns was pure elation, it was pure heartbreak for Mike Anderson. The “Passin Assassin” was almost inconsolable after dominating the race for so long only to have it slip away with a handful of laps remaining. “Sometimes you just have to put it on the driver and I have to take this one. It sucks, it felt like I had a good sizeable lead but for whatever reason towards the end of the race it looked like somebody blew up or something but down in turn 2 it looked like there might have been some stuff right where we driving off so I decided to kind of diamond turns 1 and 2 and it killed a lot of momentum off of that corner. Jeff Zelinski put together one hell of a car. We should have put it in the circle for him. It’s a heartbreaker, it stinks. But we have a couple more dirt races and this car finally is starting to find its groove on dirt so we will have another shot. Sycamore is right around the corner and I welcome going back there.”The driver of the #15 Paint Work by Z/RHO Chemical/Heros West Stealth/Ecotec had trouble getting around lapped traffic but showed great sportsmanship afterwards and didn’t place blame “They were doing their thing and holding their line. I wasn’t expecting it to be so high of a line but I have to see that and react to it but I let myself get caught behind it instead of going around it. These kids are learning and no grief on them. I have been around a few years now I have to know to go around these guys.”While Bruns and Anderson were putting on a show up front, about 10 car lengths behind then was Roselawn, Indiana’s Kurt Mayhew. The driver of the #21 Weiland Racing Enterprises/Coast Fabrication/MWR DRC/Ecotec had a stout car and finished in third position but was hoping for a little more. “I didn’t have anything for them near the end. I was running right with them there for most of the race but Anderson beat me down to the first turn on the start and I knew whoever got to the top first there was going to be fast. I had to run down the middle and had a big slide and couldn’t keep up with them down the back straight. Patrick put a nice move on me and got by me clean and that was it. I don’t know if anyone was right behind me or not. 3rd is ok but it’s not 1st.The nights racing action started with two fast paced heat races, Lamont Critchett Scored the victory in heat race number 1 while Danny Drogemuller rocketed from 6th starting spot using his trademark high line to march to the checkered flag in the 2nd heat race. With only 8 races remaining in the IRS season eyes now start to shift on the championship hunt. Jason Allen still has a healthy lead but Patrick Bruns has started to eat away at it with his Farmer City win. The young gun Allen currently leads the cagey veteran by 87 points. The next stop on the IRS tour will be this Saturday night July 26 at the Grundy County Speedway in Morris, Illinois. This event will be a part of the Tattersall Challenge. Racing begins at 6:30pm.UNOFFICIAL RESULTS:FEATURE (25 Laps) 1)#10b Patrick Bruns 2)#15 Mike Anderson 3)#21m Kurt Mayhew 4)#54 Jason Allen 5)#54 Lamont Critchett 6)#21a Bob Shreffler 7)#76 Danny Drogemuller 8)#17 Chad Ziegler 9)#16 Charlie Holt 10)#9 Brian Dobis 11)#2a Andrew Hennig 12)#0 Doug Orseske 13)#55 Scott Koerner 14)#10c Jimmy Clark Jr 15)#3 Ray Seach 16)#53 Aaron SchuckHEAT RACE #1 (8 Laps) 1)#54 Lamont Critchett 2)#10b Patrick Bruns 3)#53 Aaron Schuck 4)#3 Ray Seach 5)#15 Mike Anderson 6)#17 Chad Ziegler 7)#9 Brian Dobis 8)#2a Andrew Hennig HEAT RACE #2 (8 Laps) 1)#76 Danny Drogemuller 2)#54a Jason Allen 3)#16 Charlie Holt 4)#21a Bob Shreffler 5)#21m Kurt Mayhew 6)#55 Scott Koerner 7)#0 Doug Orseske 8)#10c Jimmy Clark Jr.