The outcome of Bloomington late model standout Jason Feger’s appeal of being stripped of his April 6 Illini 100 World of Outlaws victory and subsequent suspension from UMP competition for alleged tire tampering could be decided within the next two weeks, according to World of Outlaws series director Tim Christman.
Christman told The Pantagraph that once Feger’s appeal is formally filed, a three-member World Racing Group Appeals Commission will convene to weigh evidence from both sides. Christman said in the past the hearing panel has comprised a driver, a promoter and a manufacturing representative.
While awaiting the outcome of the appeal, Feger is allowed to compete and won Friday night’s late model feature event at Farmer City Raceway.
Feger joins a lengthy and storied list of the accused, which has grown to include dirt racing champion Jimmy Owens of Newport, Tenn.
The National Dirt Racing League announced this week it has stripped Owens of his $20,000 win for the same alleged infraction in the NDRL event at Pevely, Mo., the week following the Illini 100.
Finagling with every conceivable racing component in every imaginable way has been part of auto racing legend and lore since the sport’s inception, from the top tier of NASCAR and Indy Car racing down to the grassroots of dirt car competition.
However, sanctioning organizations are particularly sensitive to tire tampering, which is why the penalties are generally more severe.
A perfectly “trimmed out” race car with a rocket engine powered by jet fuel isn’t going anywhere if the tires aren’t gripping the track. It would be like Olympic sprinter Carl Lewis donning a pair of wingtips to challenge a fully equipped speed skater to a race on ice.
Feger’s situation closely parallels an incident involving dirt track legend Scott Bloomquist. Bloomquist initially had a victory in a Nov. 7, 2009, World of Outlaws race taken away when a tire he used in time trials that weekend “contained the presence of chemicals not … part of (the) tire chemistry.”
Feger is accused of the same thing, except the tire in question was used in a heat race the night prior to the Illini 100. Neither was accused of wrongdoing in their feature victory.
Both were initially fined an amount equal to their winnings. While Bloomquist was suspended from competition for six months, Feger faces a three-month ban.
The length of Bloomquist’s suspension was likely longer than that proposed for Feger because of the time of year the incident occurred. Had Bloomquist been suspended for three months starting on Nov. 7, he would have missed no races at all between then and Feb. 6.
When the appeal process was complete, Bloomquist’s feature victory was restored because the alleged infraction occurred during time trials and not in the main event. Also, the monetary fine was significantly reduced. However, Bloomquist’s suspension from competition was upheld.
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