A two year winless drought came to an end for 22-year-old Brad Greenup Saturday night.
The veteran out of Channahon became the newest name to the list of Illinois State Champions for the D’Arcy GMC Short Track Auto Racing Series. It just so happened to that it was Channahon resident night at the Grundy County Speedway, so all eyes were on Greenup and Billy Hulbert, the two town favorites.
Starting from the fifth position on the grid, Greenup would waste no time getting to the front. Patrick Wilda, Jr. would jump out to the early lead from his second starting spot, leading nine of the first 10 laps after taking the lead from pole sitter Nick Baran on lap two.
Wilda would eventually surrender the lead to 2011 Illinois State Champ and the evening’s fast qualifier, Jimmy Anderson, after pulling into the pits with an oil leak. Anderson would go on to lead the next 14 laps before being overtaken by Greenup. Greenup would hang on to lead the final seven laps en route to his second career victory, first since 2011.
The other Channahon favorite, Hulbert, had a roller-coaster night. After sweeping the Grundy double header two weeks ago, all eyes would be on the No. 88 machine.
Hulbert qualified in the fifth position which would have started him on the front row for the feature, but while running for position in his heat race, the engine would give way.
The Hulbert Motorsports team figured their night was over, but help came their way. The Probst Motorsports team approached Hulbert with their backup car to finish the night out.
This proved to be beneficial to Hulbert, who was only one point behind Anderson for the championship lead to start the night. Hulbert would go on to finish in fifth. Trailing Greenup at the line were Anderson, Tyler Trainor, Ryan Probst, and Hulbert. Wilda and Nick Baran would be victorious in the heat race.
In the Illini Racing Series Sportsman Midget division, Mike (The Gassman) Gass had lady luck on his side in the30-lap main.
After hanging around the fifth position for the better part of the race, he would move up by staying out of trouble, when the leaders would get in trouble themselves. Lamont Critchett would lead most of the race until slapping the outside retaining wall, handing the lead over to Sean Murphy. Murphy would lead the next couple of laps before tangling with Scott Koerner.
That yellow would hand the lead over to Gass, who would lead the final two laps, securing his second career victory and his first on pavement. Trailing Gass at the line were rookie Kourtney Borman, defending champion Patrick Bruns, Koerner, and Doug Orseske. Joe Knipple and Eric Pershey took home the hear race victories.
Last time the Illini cars ran at Grundy, substitute driver Jimmy Anderson would set a new track record. With the cool temperatures Saturday night, the eyes were on the numbers. Last week’s winner in Rockford, Aaron Willis, would go out and shatter Anderson’s record by nearly a 10th of a second.
It was a clean sweep on the night for Tom Schnabel in the Town and Country Lanes Classic Modified division. Schnabel would post quick time over Erica Ensor in qualifying and edge out Jon McGeorge in the heat race.
Come feature time, Schnabel would start from the seventh position and by lap five, would take over the lead from Greg Wills. Schnabel would never relinquish, leading the remaining 15 laps. Following behind the veteran from Yorkville would be Jeff Slayton, Ensor, Darren Ihrke, and Logan Weigle.
For the third time this year, Brian Tedeschi found himself parked on the front stretch celebrating a win in the INEX Legends Series. Tedeschi would hold on by a slim margin, edging out heat race winner Matt O’Leary by .094 seconds. Fast qualifier Anthony Metallo finished on the final spot on the podium, with Drew Higginson and Griffin Brown rounding out the top five.
The CSR Super Cups welcomed back Brody Hayes to victory lane on Saturday after he cruised to a comfortable victory over Jayden Fryer, Nathan Bertino, and Mike Harrold. Jayden Cave rounded out the top five. Hayes was the evening’s top qualifier and Fryer brought home another heat race victory.
All five feature winners will be honored and recognized in front of thousands outside of the Chicagoland Speedway in Champions Park during the Geico 400 race weekend in September.
STARS will be back in action next week at the Grundy County Speedway to honor the late, great Bob Tattersall. Gates open at 5 p.m., with the first race taking place at 6:30 p.m.
Visit shorttrackauto.com, “like” STARS on Facebook at www.facebook.com/shorttrackauto or follow STARS on Twitter @shorttrackauto for more information.