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Illini Racing Series News
Photo by Tom Arthur 2007
Photo by Tom Arthur 2007

Tom Arthur, PR Director
Illini Racing Series (IRS)
(815)730-1960 days (815)485-4959 evenings

Gillentine Scores 1st Sweep of Year, Petska, Gundlach and Murphy also Win

Morris, IL (6/3/07) Neal Gillentine became the first driver to score a clean
sweep of the competition this season at Grundy County Speedway. Gillentine
guided his #58 F.I.R.A. Mini-Indy racer to fast time at 15.507, and edged out
Vern Brown in the trophy dash, heat race and feature event. This was the fourth
race of 2007 for the F.I.R.A. group and the fourth different feature winner.
Gillentine may have swept, but it wasn’t easy and the racing was great. More
information on this race and future F.I.R.A. events can be found at

The Mini-Mods made their first appearance at Grundy County Speedway in their
Clubs history. Jesse Johnson would set the official track record for the club
at 18.090. Jerry Giuliano won the four-lap trophy dash, Bill Trusky took the 10
lap heat race, and Nick Petska was the feature race winner. The club has just
changed their web address, but are having a little trouble with it, so until
that is straightened out, the Illini Racing Series will hold off on publishing
the websites address. What we can tell you is, these folks come to race!

The Rascal Outlaws ( on another great race night after
getting off to a rocky start. Jeff LeSage layer his car over in hot laps,
bringing out a red flag. First on the scene was the car #8, driven by Jeff’s
brother John, a paramedic. Jeff was OK, his car was not. Mark Finley set fast
time at 15.528. Rick Corso won both the trophy dash and heat race, but had to
settle for second behind John LeSage in the main.

Joe Knippel came into the night tied for the points lead in the Illini Midgets.
He set fast time at 16.073, finished 2nd in the trophy dash behind Sean Murphy
(in Joes back-up car #33X). and won his heat race (heat two was won by Basil
Hicks). But his luck ran out on lap three of the feature when he caught the
rear wheel of Colorado’s Dave Deheve's car as he was slowing to enter the pits.
As the lead pack came up on him, Joe was working his way up from his outside 4th
row starting position, and using his usual high groove. As Deveve slowed, each
of the cars in front of Knippel swerved, each with less room for error. Running
at full speed, in the range of 100 mph, the time and distance between the nearly
stopped Deheve and the all out Knippel could have spelled disaster. Knippel
grabbed as much brake as he could, but still made hard enough contact to send
him airborne. Neither driver was injured, but neither car was able to continue

The feature also saw contact between race leader Doug Orseske and Lamont
Critchett. Critchett tried to get under Orseske in turn three, but ran out of
race track when Orseske didn’t see him on the inside. Orseske looped the #0 a
couple of times before impacting the wall, ending his night. Critchett would
have to restart the race at the rear of the pack, and managed to make a last lap
pass of Mike Smith to finish second behind race winner Sean Murphy. More
information on the Illini Midgets can be found at

Mini-Mods results:
Qualifying: 1. #Jesse Johnson, Elkhorn, WI, 18.090; 2. #40, Chris Thomazin,
Elkhorn, WI, 18.912; 3. #5,Barry Trusky, Antioch, IL, 19.877; 4. #20, Nick
Petska, Spring Grove, IL, 17.486; 5. #18, Jerry Giuliano, Schaumburg, IL,
17.139; 6. #72 Bill Trusky, Antioch, IL, 18.111; 7. # 97, Joe McGinnis,
Spring Grove, IL, 20.381; 8. #7, John Demay, Lake Villa, IL DNQ

4 lap trophy dash: 1. Giuliano, 2. Petska, 3. Trusky, 4. Johnson
10 lap heat race: 1. Bill Trusky, 2. Giuliano, 3. Petska, 4. Johnson, 5.
Thomazin, 6. Trusky, 7. Demay, 8. McGinnis

20 lap feature: 1. Petska, 2. Giuliano, 3. Johnson, 4. Barry Trusky, 5.
McGinnis, 6. Demay, Bill Trusky DNS, Thomazin DNS

F.I.R.A. Mini-Indy results:
Qualifying: 1. #58, Neal Gillentine, Sugar Grove, IL, 600cc Polaris/Predator,
BK Controls, 15.507; 2. #1, Vern Brown, Waunakee, WI, 750cc Suzuki/B&B, Brown
Automotive, 15.877; 3. #99, Jim Bass, Madison, WI, 750cc Suzuki/B&B, JB
Machining, 16.669; 4. #44, Gary Cooper, Lake Zurich, IL, 600cc
Polaris/Predator, Cooper Barrette Consulting, 16.861; 5. #17, Tim Roach,
Janesville, WI, 750cc Suzuki/B&B, ManPower of Janesville,17.492; 6. #8, Wally
Reitz, Plainfield, IL, 600cc Ski-Doo/Reitz, Quick CARe Auto, 17.797; 7. #35,
Lyle Phillips, Edgerton, WI, 18.219; 8. #88, Doug Farrell, Delavan, WI, 600cc
Polaris/Fast Way, Alpha Omega Racing, 19.806; 9. #43, Rich Breske, Brookfield,
WI, 600cc Artic Cat/Fast Way, Allis Car Care,20.486
4 lap trophy dash: 1. Gillentine, 2. Brown, 3. Bass, 4. Cooper
10 lap Heat race: 1. Gillentine, 2. Brown, 3. Roach, 4. Cooper, Farrell
DNF, Reitz, DNF, Bass, crash, (DNF), Breske, crash, DNF
20 lap feature: 1. Gillentine, 2. Brown, 3. Roach, 4. Cooper, 5. Reitz, 6.
Farrell, 7. Breske, Bass DNS

Rascal Outlaw Mini-Sprints results:
Qualifying: 1, #43, Mark Findley, Ingleside, IL, 15.528; 2. #7, Rick Corso,
Richmond, IL, 15.604; 3. #8, John LeSage, Elgin, IL, 15.855; 4. #30, Jason
Mahoney, Lake Zurich, IL, 15.893; 5. #23, Keith Christopherson, Antioch, IL,
15.922; 6. #33, Jim Theil, McHenry, IL, 16.062; 7. #27, Rob Pollak, Lake
Genva, WI, 16.155; 8. #15, John Benkert, McHenry, IL, 16.410; 9. #6, Bill
Gundlach, McHenry, IL, 16.414; 10. #3, Jeff LeSage, Elgin, IL DNQ
4 lap trophy dash: 1. Corso, 2. Mahoney, 3. J. LeSag, 4. Findley

10 lap heat race: 1. Corso, 2. Theil, 3. Findley, 4. Gundlach, 5. J. LeSage,
6. Mahoney, 7. Christopherson, 8. Benkert, Pollak DNF
20 lap feature: 1. J. LeSage, 2. Corso, 3. Mahoney, 4. Findley, 5.
Christopherson, 6. Theil, Benkert DNF, Pollak DNF,

Illini Sportsman Midget results:
Qualifying: 1. #33, Joe Knippel, Mokena, IL, Quad-4/Buzzard, INR Beatty
Lumber, 16.073; 2. #44, Lamont Critchett, Chicago Heights, IL , VW/Stapp,
Boomba Specialities, 16.118; 3. #33x, Sean Murphy, Evanston, IL, Quad-4Ellis,
INR Beatty Lumber, 16.202; 4. #0, Doug Orseske, Frankfort, IL, Quad-4/Buzzard,
Southside Home & Control, 16.417; 5. #88, Mike Smith, Shorewood, IL, Ford
2300cc/Hawk, Cy�s Heating and Cooling, 16.553; 6. #17, Loran Critchett, Alsip,
IL, VW/Challenger, Micro Blue Racing, 16.657; 7. #82, Dan George, Milwaukee,
WI, Focus, The Bunker, 16.737; 8. #22, Basil Hicks, Joliet, IL, Saturn/Ellis,
B&B Automotive, 16.881; 9. #3, Mark Morey, Sugar Grove, IL, Focus/White,, 17.109; 10. #74, Eddie Sauer, Davis, IL, Ford
2300cc/Edmunds, United Transporter, 17.289; 11. #4, Scott Koerner, Joliet, IL,
Focus/Bishop, Koerner Racing Enterprises, 17.604; 12. #21R, Dale Rowe, Newark,
IL, VW/White, Unilock, 18.500; 13. #95, Dave Deheve, Colorad
o Springs, CO, Ford 2300cc/Genenten, Deheve-Slomka Racing, 19.622

4 lap trophy dash: 1. Murphy, 2. Knippel, 3. La.Critchett, 4. Orseske

10 lap heat race: 1. Knippel, 2. La. Critchett, 3. Murphy, 4. Smith, 5.
Orseske, 6. George, Lo. Critchett DNF

10 lap heat race: 1. Hicks, 2. Morey, 3. Koerner, 4. Sauer, 5. Rowe, 6.

20 lap feature: 1. Murphy, 2. La. Critchett, 3. Smith, 4. Hicks, 5.
George, 6. Koerner, 7. Sauer, 8. Morey, 9. Rowe, 10. Orseske, Knippel DNF,
Deheve DNF, Lor. Critchett DNS

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