by Rocky Ragusa
The Fairbury American Legion Speedway can boast that they have some of the toughest competitors in the Modified class. Saturday night, Clayton Miller of Elkton, KY was able to make short order of the drivers in claiming the 2nd Annual Gary Cook Jr. Memorial race, sanctioned by the American Modified Series.
Mike McKinney and Miller led the 22 car field to the green flag, but a caution fell before a lap was completed. On the restart, Miller raced out to a two car length lead over McKinney, Chad Kinder, Jay Ledford, and Lucas Lee. A caution again fell on the third lap for Dustin Mounce, who battled an ill handling car. The restart had Miller running the top, McKinney on the bottom, Kinder in the middle, and Ledford on the bottom. Miller opened up a five car length lead, as McKinney, Kinder, and Ledford battled for second. Kinder got under McKinney and challenged for position as Lance Dehm moved to the top side of the track and began picking off the cars. Miller lead by a half a straight away by lap ten, with Kinder following, Dehm moving to third, McKinney, and Ledford in tow. Miller was able to open a straightaway lead by the 15th lap and soon encountered slower cars. Kinder changed his line to the top side in hopes of running down Miller, as Dehm was five car lengths back. Current A.M.S. points leader, Tyler Nicely, was on the charge, as he started 17th and worked his way to fifth by the 18th circuit. Traffic slowed Miller’s momentum in the closing laps, as Kinder closed the margin to a two car length lead. Kinder managed to get under Miller several times, but Miller was able to hang on and take the $2,064, 30 lap feature.
by Rocky Ragusa
The weather cancelled many area races this weekend and although Fairbury American Legion Speedway had a rain shower before hot laps, racing was still on the docket. The track also reaped the harvest of those extra drivers from the Lucas Oil Late Model Series that were rained out at LaSalle.
Thirty-five late models qualified for the $2,000-to-win, 30-lap feature with New Berlin’s Brandon Sheppard leading the way with a 12.662. That top qualifying time and a heat win put Sheppard on the pole next to Georgia’s Jonathan Davenport. A couple of cautions caused the feature to be restarted and one claimed El Paso’s Ryan Unzicker with a flat tire. Of the 20 that had started the race only 15 were in the running when the race finally took off. Davenport and Sheppard pulled to a slight advantage over the field in the first five laps but soon found Fairbury’s McKay Wenger in the fray. Davenport’s lead and his night ended when he broke coming out of turn two with 23 laps to go.