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By: Bill Freis
Joliet, IL Aug. 13 With the 18th Annual UMARA Illinois State Midget Auto Racing
Championship and a Salute to the Troops on tap this Saturday at the Grundy
County Speedway, points battles and tempers are heating up as the season winds

Having only three points paying events left in the UMARA season and The Last
Stand at the Stadium event coming up in less than one month, excitement and
irritability are building amongst some of the midget teams.

Last years rookie of the year, and defending winner of the Illinois State
Championship, Mario Clouser, leads the way in the UMARA National midget division
by just 159 points over 16 year-old Kyle Hamilton. From second place Hamilton,
to fifth place Jimmy Anderson, who is the reigning series champ; only 51 points
separate the four drivers.

Between the tight points battle and a few on track altercations in previous
weeks, tempers began to flare last week at Illiana Motor Speedway, when the
crews and car owners for Clouser and Anderson had to be separated in the pit
area twice, after Clouser crashed while leading the feature. Meanwhile, third
place Aaron Andruskevitch has slowly and quietly worked his way closer to the
leaders and would love to get his first UMARA feature win on Saturday and make a
run for the season title.

In the Ford Focus midget division only 118 points separate the entire top five
drivers, with Joe Liguori, grandson of midget racing great “Ralphie the Racer”
Liguori, leading the way. Liguori, who already has a win at the Grundy track
this season, leads youngster Jimmy Simpson by only 24 points, Tyler Cottongim by
44, Tyler Trainor by 95 and Tanner Whitten by 118 points.

Young Tayolor Ferns sits atop the points in the UMARA Sportsman midget division
with a comfortable lead over rookie Eric Potter, while Nick Odell still holds
the lead over Mike Anderson in the UMARA Dwarf Car division.

A large number of cars are expected in the pit area this Saturday as the UMARA
hosts the USAC Regional, Midwest Ford Focus and Kenyon midgets in a
co-sanctioned event which will also include the INEX Dwarf Cars.

Also this Saturday night the UMARA will “Salute the Troops. Any member, of any
branch, of the U. S. Military who shows up either in uniform or with a military
I.D. will be given one free adult admission to the Illinois State Midget Auto
Racing Championship at the Grundy County Speedway, in Morris.

The points battles are tight, adrenaline and tensions are high and with two of
the UMARA’s premier events, including the 29th Annual Bob Lockard Memorial
remaining, you won’t want to miss what happens on, or off the track in the weeks
to come.

The Grundy County Speedway is located just one mile North of I-80 on Route 47 in
Morris. For updated information about UMARA or The Last Stand at the Stadium at
the Joliet Memorial Stadium on Friday, September 11 and Saturday, September 12,