In only his second night in the Fred Teer #54, Budres seemed to be getting comfortable in the car until the white flag flew in his heat and he did an unassisted spin in turn two. Restarting at the tail end of the field for the green-white-checker finish, the crowd cheered louder with every car he passed. As he made his move past the lead car of Scott Dunning in turn four of the final lap, thousands of fans stood to roar their approval.
Sean Murphy, coming off a late model win the night before, ran away with his heat over Loran Critchett and Allen Gillis.
After the four wide salute to the fans, the feature race was a dandy. Doug Orseske took them three wide into turn two on the opening lap. Orseske had moved into third in points after his qualifying effort, but had dropped back to fourth after his heat. Only 40 points separated 2nd and 4th so it would come down to this last feature event of the year to settle who would be runner-up behind 2008 champion Joe Knippel, who had clinched the title the previous night at Hawkeye Downs in Cedar Rapids, Iowa.
Knippel, using Budres’ regular ride, used up a right rear dirt tracking the 1/3 mile paved track lap after lap, never giving Budres a chance to catch his breath until lap 14 when Murphy kissed the front stretch wall. Murphy was uninjured. Knippel’s ride started to overheat under the caution, forcing him to the infield pit area.
Gillis would challenge Budres for the remaining 11 laps, but when Danny Carter’s twin checkers fell, it would be Budres by a car length. Loran Critchett finished third to keep Orseske one position behind him, in the race and the year-end points.
Illini Racing Series Race #10, Grundy County Speedway, Morris, IL, August 31, 2008 32nd Annual Night of Features Summary:
Peacock Publishing Qualifying Results: 1. Lamont Critchett, Demotte, IN, #44 Boomba Specialties VW/Stapp, 16.085 (new event record); 2. Doug Orseske, Frankfort, IL, #0 Orseske Farms Quad 4/Buzzard, 16.142; 3. Scott Koerner, Joliet, IL, #4 Task Management Sesco/Bishop, 16.210; 4. Allen Gillis, Westmont, IL, #39 Task Management Illini Focus/White, 16.272; 5. Sean Murphy, Evanston, IL, #5 Half-Fast Quad4/Hawk, 16.331; 6. Loran Critchett, Jr., Alsip, IL #17 Micro Blue Racing, 16.408; 7. Joe Knippel, Mokena, IL, #31 Spencer/Knippel Quad 4/Ellis, 16.408: 8. David Budres, Beloit, WI, Teer/Snyder Fabrication #54 VW/Beast, 16.418; 9. Basil Hicks, Joliet, IL, #88 B&B Automotive 2300cc/Hawk, 16.748; 10. Mark Morey, Sugar Grove, IL, #3 Morey Enterprises Illini Focus/White, 17.094; 11. Scott Dunning, Bolingbrook, IL, #1 Knippel/Spencer Olds/Hawk, 17.182 (rookie); 12. Dave Ohlendorf, New Lenox, IL, #2 Ohlendorf Racing Supply, ORS Focus/Beast, 17.308; 13. Black Bart, Chicago, IL, #91 Black Bart Race Cars VW/Kenyon 18.877; 14. Jeff Steenbergen, Waupon, WI, #62 Pontiac/Beast, 19.973; 15. Eric Nitz, Beloit, WI, INR Beatty Lumber Quad 4/Buzzard #33 DNQ (blown motor)
ADM Realty heat race #1 (10 laps): 1. Murphy, 2. Lo. Critchett, 3. Gillis, 4. La. Critchett, 5. Koerner, 6. Knippel, 7. Orseske
ADM Realty heat race #2 (10 laps): 1. Budres, 2. Dunning, 3. Ohlendorf, 4. Morey, 5. Bart, 6. Hicks, 7. Steenbergen (DNS), 8. Nitz (DNS)
Task Management Night of Features main event (25 laps): 1. Budres, 2. Gillis, 3. Lo. Critchett, 4. Orseske, 5. La. Critchett, 6. Ohlendorf, 7. Dunning, 8. Morey, 9. Knippel (DNF), 10. Murphy (crash), 11. Bart (DNF), 12. Koerner (DNF), 13. Hicks (DNS), 14. Steenbergen (DNS), 15. Nitz (DNS)