MINOOKA, Ill. — The Illini Racing Series hosted its annual midget racing banquet and championship celebration Saturday evening at Giordano’s of Minooka.
Scott Koerner, who drives both a midget and a late model stock car, was crowned the series champion for the third time, repeating his championship run of a year ago. The 46-year-old Koerner, who hails from Joliet and claimed his first IRS title in 2016, won three features races during the season. Other winners during the year included Jordan Caskey, Ryan Finley and veteran racer Doug Orseske.
Koerner, who also races late models at Illinois’ Grundy County Speedway, began his speed career racing go karts and moved to stock cars in 1992. Racing midgets on the full-time basis since 2008, Koerner wheeled the LaVerne and Johanna Spencer-owned, Spencer’s Jewelry-sponsored, GM Ecotec-powered, Beast chassis, yellow No. 1 entry to the championship this year.
Finishing behind Koerner in the final points tally were Finley, Christopher Adrien, Tom Eyman, Orseske and Caskey. Rounding out the top 10 in the standings were Mick Billhorn, Mike Harrold, John Billhorn and Bill Dunham. The series consisted of seven races in three states with competitors visiting Illinois’ Rockford Speedway, Indiana’s South Bend Motor Speedway and the Wisconsin International Speedway.
A number of special awards were handed out, including the Tom Arthur Sportsman of the Year – Mick and John Billhorn; the Bob Lockard Mechanic of the Year – Sue Spencer; Most Improved Driver – Ryan Finley; Glenn Ohlendorf Best Appearing Car – Tom Eyman; Bob Tattersall Hard Charger – Christopher Adrien; Bob Higman Rookie of the Year – Mike Harrold; Determination Award – Rich Drangmeister and Racer of the Year – Scott Koerner.