FARMER CITY, Ill. – Jason Feger has been stripped of his emotional victory in the recent Illini 100 at Farmer City (Ill.) Raceway and assessed several other penalties because a tire he used during the April 5-6 weekend failed a laboratory test for chemical softening agents, WoO LMS officials announced on Monday.
Two samples of the right-front tire that was on Feger’s car when he won the third 15-lap heat race for the Illini 100 on April 5 were taken by WoO LMS tech inspector Jim Harrah and sent to a lab for chemical analysis. After both the A and B samples failed to satisfy the benchmark standards for a Hoosier DIRTcar UMP LM-20 tire, WoO LMS officials were forced to take action against Feger for violating the circuits rules prohibiting the altering of tire compounds.
Feger, who started from the outside pole and led every lap of the Illini 100, has been notified by WoO LMS officials of his penalties, which include disqualification from the Illini 100, including loss of all purse money ($20,050) and WoO LMS championship points earned; a fine of $3,000; loss of 1,000 WoO LMS championship points for the 2013 season; and a suspension from all WoO LMS and DIRTcar UMP Late Model-sanctioned events for three consecutive months (effective April 19-July 19). In addition, following the conclusion of the suspension Feger will be placed on probation for the remainder of the 2013 racing season.
As a DIRTcar UMP member in good standing, Feger has the opportunity to appeal the decision to the World Racing Group Appeals Commission. His penalties would not go into effect until they were upheld, adjusted or overturned by the Appeals Commission following a hearing of his case.
Feger, 34, said he plans to submit a formal appeal in hopes of reducing his penalties by shedding light on his tires failed laboratory tests, which he attributes to the fact that the tire in question was one he cleaned during the winter with a degreaser-type product and then wrapped in plastic for off-season storing. He concedes that the cleaning product he used is likely what caused the tire to miss the established benchmarks but strongly asserts that he did not use it to illegally soften the rubber in search of a competitive advantage.
“The test isn’t lying,” said Feger. “There’s definitely stuff in that tire, but I didn’t knowingly put that stuff in there to soften the tire. You just take for granted when (a cleaning product) says biodegradable, non-toxic or whatever - you don’t think it can soften rubber or even soak into the rubber. We’ve since learned that the chemical that we use to wash our tires contains bad stuff. I got online and theres a material safety sheet for the product, and it definitely has the chemicals that people use to soften tires. And from what I can tell, the (plastic) wrapping we used on the tires to keep the dust and stuff off them over the winter time must have held the stuff in and not let it gas out or whatever it does compared to normal.
“I guess you really need to know exactly what you’re washing your tires with. The best thing would be to just not use it - use dish soap or laundry detergent to clean the tires I guess.”
If Feger’s disqualification from the Illini 100 is among the penalties that are upheld, apparent race runner-up Billy Moyer would become a three-time winner of the event and all competitors would move up one spot in the finishing order. Feger would be placed last in the rundown.