Kenny Wallace wins UMP Modified Main at Kankakee
By Stan Kalwasinski
August 26, 2016
Kankakee, Ill.-Kenny Wallace just loves to race and race he did Friday night as he captured the 30-lap $1,000-to-win, Summit Racing Equipment 30-lap special for DIRTcar UMP Modifieds at Kankakee County Speedway,
Rained out earlier in the day at Farmer City, Wallace raced up Interstate 57, arriving after practice and qualifying had been completed at the Kankakee speed plant. Starting at the tail of the nine car field in the second of three eight-lap heat races, Wallace finished second in the heat and lined up fifth for the 24-car feature race.
Current Kankakee modified division points leader and pole sitter, Mike McKinney and Bob Pohlman Jr. battled during the opening laps of the main event with McKinney, the evening's fastest qualifier, taking to the high side of the third-mile dirt oval and leading the race with Wallace quickly coming to second place.
Three caution periods slowed the action during the first eight laps with Wallace, working the low groove, taking the lead from McKinney at about the 10-lap mark as the pair raced off of turn two. Once out front, Wallace, staying in the bottom groove, pulled away from the second place-running McKinney with Wallace building almost a full straightaway lead as the race wound down.
With rain showers coming down, the fourth and final yellow flag flew with three laps remaining. On the restart, Wallace stayed out front with McKinney making a late race charge, using the high outside groove.
Finishing behind Wallace and McKinney at the checkered flag were Todd Sherman, Steven Brooks, Travis Kohler and Nick Clubb.
''We planned to race up North here because of my Fox TV schedule at Michigan on Sunday,'' said Wallace after his victory. ''My crew chief Joey Walsh put together this new David Stremme car. I won at Lincoln last night, beating Mike Harrison. It's now two wins in a row against the best in the United States. Beating Mike Harrison off the last corner is as big as winning at Darlington. The best here is (Mike) McKinney on the high side. I knew I had my work cut out. We had to run on the bottom. We put the bull ring set up in it (the car) and it worked out. We got away with one tonight.''
Leading the current ''national'' UMP points, Andrew Funk won the special $600-to-win, 25-lap UMP Stock Car headliner over A.J. Meiferdt and Kankakee division points leader, Joe Hillman. Leading the class standings, Jon Robbins stayed just inches ahead of Chris Tippit at the finish line to win the 15-lap feature race for UMP Pro Modifieds/I-Mods.
After the modified main event, rain showers wetted down the track and caused officials to postpone the feature races for Pro Late Models and UMP Sport Compacts.