The racing season opened last Friday at Belle-Clair Speedway in Belleville with the Shamrock 40 for UMP Late Models along with the UMP Modifieds, UMP Sportsmen and UMP Pure Stocks.
The 40-lap feature race paid $1,500 and it was collected by Shannon Babb. Kyle Logue, Michael Kloos, Brent Kreke and Mark Voigt rounded out the top five.
The only caution came on an early lap for debris. Babb would run low with Kloos on the top, but Kloos would lose the lead after hitting the rut in Turn 1 and Babb would take command.
Babb led the rest of the race and stretched out his lead. Logue started seventh and moved past Kloos late in the race to take second using the higher line on the track.
Dean Hoffman led all 20 laps of the UMP Modified featire, but the action behind him was worth the price of admission. First Cummins was chasing Hoffman, but he could not come too close to taking the lead. Then it was Justin Ketrow, who started eighth, that gave Hoffman a run for the win.
Ketrow would get to Hoffman on the outside and came close to passing Hoffman on several laps. Hoffman would hold off Ketrow for the win and Jimmy Cummins was third.
Dustin Homan was the UMP Sportsman winner.
Andrew Felker had a breakout season in 2012, winning his initial two features and the championship in the POWRi Lucas Oil National Midget Series. Felker's presence will help highlight Saturday's Bullring 30s at with the POWRi Midgets and Micros plus UMP Modifieds on Belle-Clair Speedway's one-fifth mile track.
Grandstands for the Bullring 30s open at 5 p.m. with hot laps at 6 p.m. and racing at 7 pm.. Tickets are $15 for adults and children under 12 are free. Pit passes are $30.
Felker is a proven race winner in the Micros. He has had at least three in each of the past four seasons and 14 total, second on the all-time POWRi list to Dereck King's 20. Felker had four in 2012 including on May 19 when he won in both divisions--and his first in a Midget--at Peoria (Ill.) Speedway.
Felker drove in all 29 POWRi Midget features last year and had nine top-fives and 17 top-10s. He had a strong post-season, too, finishing second to Tony Stewart in POWRi's non-points Battle at the Center at DuQuoin in December and reaching the A main in the Chili Bowl in Tulsa, Okla., in January.
Both indoor events attracted all-star fields and the Chili Bowl had 270 entries.
"I'm more confident than ever and you could see it at the Battle at the Center and the Chili Bowl," Felker said. "It was my first time to make the A main (where he was a DNF/20th). I had to pass Levi Jones and Cole Whitt on the last lap of the B main to make it to the A."
Felker's schedule for 2013 isn't limited to POWRi, which has 10 Midget events co-sanctioned with USAC and 18 with Badger Midget Auto Racing Association included in its 39 scheduled events. The three sanctioning bodies converge for four events this season. POWRi has 26 events scheduled.
Highland Speedway hopes to open its racing season Saturday with the Lucky 40 event that was postponed last weekend.
This event brings you the second night of racing action from the St. Patty's Day Double Header weekend at BelleClair and Highland Speedway. The event inclues a 40-lap, $1,500 to win UMP Late Model feature, a $750 to win Steve Schmitt UMP Modified feature, along with the Hamel Coop UMP Street Stocks and B-Dry Solutions UMP SportMods.
Also up for grabs is the Cross Town Classic "Pot o' Gold" $1,000 Bonus Late Model Challenge and "Bucket o' Green" $500 Bonus Modified Challenge.
Pits Open at 3 p.m., grandstands open at 5:30 pm, hot laps at 6:15 pm. and racing at 7 p.m. Box Seats are $20, General Grandstand Admission is $15 and children 10-under are free with a paid adult admission.
Pit Passes are $30 and pit passes for kids 10 and under are $15. Contact reporter Norm Sanders at 239-2454, firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @NormSanders if you have local auto racing news, column ideas or photographs.