A huge thank you goes out to everyone involved in all the hard work done in preparation for opening night this past Saturday. As always your commitment to our speedway is second to none with all the donated time, material and labor throughout this spring. We hope that the fans, drivers and crews enjoy all the new and existing amenities that the Fairbury Speedway has to offer. How about the new scoreboard! What a great moment to honor “Grizz” Saturday Night with the lighting of the new Jim Schahrer Memorial Score Board. A huge thank you goes out to the Jim Schahrer Memorial Fund, Livingston Stone Company, and the Fair Board for making it possible to put together this project.
In my weekly recap that I will be doing for the speedway, please remember to be respectful on our forum and all discussions pertaining to the speedways events. We do encourage people to share their thoughts, but please do so in a professional matter. Anyone not obeying these rules will have their post removed and banner from the forum. I will try to answer as many questions as possible, but will not continue to mix it up with people who do not like what I say. I respect your opinion, please respect our decisions.
In talking with people from around the speedway and our personnel, here are some of the things about opening night. We hope that our fans enjoyed the new concession menu that the Fairbury Speedway introduced this past weekend. It is nice to see people trying the new menu and eating at the track. The track crew did an amazing job keeping the surface very smooth and racy throughout the night. Anytime you have opening night, questions arise about the track surface, but as always they continue to work hard and provide the best racing surface a possible. Transponders were implemented into the race program for the first time Saturday night. I was very happy on how they performed for the first time and from the comments from the drivers they were happy as well. Fans and drivers can follow along with the automatic scoring with the Race Monitor app for I=phones. Now that we have a night underneath our belts, we are working on transmitting the qualifying times to the scoreboard and message board so the fans can see all the times as all the drivers pass through their qualifying laps. We are hoping to have this complete here in the next few weeks.
I will also discuss some of the chatter on the forum each week if presented in a good manner. This week’s discussion looks to take us to the street stock feature this past Saturday. A new rule was implemented this year and explained VERY clear at the drivers meeting before the races. The drivers were informed that we will be using two VP Fuels Jugs in turn 4 as the starting point for each race. The pole setter for each race or the leader of the race after a caution will be the first car to fire between the jugs. If a driver fires before the first jug, or any other driver fires first other than the leader, that driver is penalized one row. The cars must be nose to tail as well all the way throughout the field. If the race restarts single file, all cars must be nose to tail for the restarts. With that being said, the 23jr was marginal as best on at least two other starts during the night and on the caution with one lap to go, was warned by myself in turn 1, NOT to fire or accelerate before the first jug after giving him the benefit of the doubt from the previous caution. It was a unanimous decision by me, our starter and our official in turn 4, that the 23jr jumped the start and was not even close. He was penalized one row, and we finished. Unfortunately, the track did not have its own video of the night to look over events, but we look forward to Racing 411 back in the house this Sunday. In further discussion to the new starting procedure, we are adding this week a chalk box in correlation with the jugs in the infield so the drivers can better determine from their car where the line starts and finishes.
In further discussion regarding the 23jr taking the checkered flag, this point is a tough one to judge from anyone in the stands or drivers in the seat. The events that occurred were one made on a judgment call by the starter. I fully agreed with the decision and will always continue to error on the cautious side when making calls like this. There is too much speed entering the corner to allow cars to take the checkered and then expect them to slow and miss two stopped cars. We hate that it was the last lap, but safety does not have a lap number behind it.
As we put the opening night behind us, we look forward to the first Sunday Racing show Fairbury has had in a long time. This Sunday will host the $2,000 to win UMP Late Model Special and $750 to win Modified Special. Also racing that night will be a regular night for the Street Stocks and Sportsman classes. Gates will open at noon, with drivers meeting at 3:30, hot laps at 4:00, qualifying at 4:30 with racing to follow. Although there have been no official commitments from the Woo drivers from the Illini 100, we are expecting a few travelers to stop in and run in preparation for the $25,000 to win 25th Annual Prairie Dirt Classic in July. General admission for the Sunday Matinée is $10 and pit passes are $25. Kids 12 and under are free with paid adult and kids pit passes are $15. Late Models and Modifieds will be qualifying two laps and Street Stocks and Sportsman will draw for position. FALS uses transponders for all divisions in 2014. Thanks again for a great opening night and look forward too many great races this year.
Fairbury American Legion Speedway