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Moos, Ledford, Heck, Mattingly also Pick Up Wins

Results | Story & Pictures by Rocky Ragusa

On a cool late summer evening, the racing action was hot as the Fairbury Speedway played host to the Earl J. Hubert Memorial race for the Stock Car competitors. Jeremy Nichols (Stock Car), Myles Moos (Late Model), Michael Ledford (Modified), Aaron Heck (Pro Late Model), and Steve Mattingly (Sportsman) carried the checkered flag to the winner’s circle.

nichols sc38 Stock Car drivers registered for the 43-lap, $2,000 to win special. Matt Fabrizius was quickest in group one qualifying with a time of 15.255 seconds. Zach Zuberbier’s time of 15.220 seconds earned him the fast time honors in the second qualifying group. Fabrizius, Jerrad Krick, Megan Erwin, and Jeremy Nichols were the heat race winners. RJ Akers and Pete Odell advanced to the main event by taking their respective semi-features. After a caution flag on the fourth lap, defending race winner Nichols got by Fabrizius for the lead. Nichols wasted little time as he built a straightaway lead, while Joel Funk, Erwin, and Nick Macklin dueled for second. As Nichols sliced his way by lapped traffic, Funk cut into Nichols’ lead. On a restart after a caution in the closing laps, Funk tried a slide job for the lead, but Nichols stood his ground. As Funk faded, Macklin pressured Nichols several times, but Nichols was able to hang on for the win. Becoming the first two-time winner of the race, Nichols commented in victory lane. “About halfway through the race my brakes began to fade. Then going in turn one I noticed the power steering was fading and I had a right front shock bent. The car was handling horrible. Nick tried me at the end, but I just stayed at it.” Macklin made a game of it but settled for second, with Erwin, Bobby Beiler, and Fabrizius completing the top five. 19th starter Andrew Funk, Andy Zahnd, 18th starter Odell, Don Hilleary, and Zuberbier completed the top ten.

moos lmMyles Moos took quick time honors for the 30-lap Late Model race with a time of 12.852 seconds. Moos and Kevin Weaver were the heat race winners. While racing for the lead, Moos made contact with Weaver in turn one. The damage caused Weaver to drop out of the race. Eric Smith had Moos within his sight, but he was never able to mount a serious threat. Moos, in his second year in the Late Model division, was able to take the biggest win of his career. “I am so sorry for what happened with Kevin and myself,” Moos said. “I tried to get under him in turn one and the car didn’t stick.” Smith finished second. Cullen Breeden, in his first appearance of the year, came home third. Glen Thompson, Donny Walden, Jay Morris, Kyle Novak, Tony Thoennes, Chris Nash, and Bob Thoennes completed the top ten.

ledford mdRich Dawson clipped a lap at 14.187 seconds as 21 Modified drivers looked to take home a prestigious FALS Cup trophy. Dawson, Michael Ledford, and Bradley Jameson were the heat race winners. Ledford was able to capitalize by starting on the outside of the front row. As the green flag waved for the 25-lap race, Ledford shot out of a cannon. Working the top side of the track to perfection, Ledford established himself as the man to beat. Through three yellow flags and one red flag, Ledford was able to take his second win of the year. “We have been struggling so bad lately,” spoke Ledford. “My car hasn’t been where we wanted it and I have made some mistakes. We really needed this one.” Steven Brooks took second, with Dan Rork earning third. Garrett Jameson came from the 13th starting position to finish fourth. Ian Keller, Dawson, Jay Ledford, Owen Wells, Justin Gregory, and Joey Ilift rounded out the top ten.



McKinney Edges Hoffman to Grab Modified Checkers

Results | Story & Pictures by Rocky Ragusa

Although race teams, fans, and track staff were denied their showcase event, the Prairie Dirt Classic, due to COVID-19, the team at Fairbury Speedway went to work to produce a Tuesday night special. The “One for the Road” event saw New Berlin’s Brandon Sheppard win the $15,000 prize in the Late Model race and Mike McKinney earn the $1,500 check in the Modified race.

sheppard lm44 Late Model teams representing 16 states registered for the 50-lap featured race. Group one qualifying saw Kyle Strickler break a nine-year mark set by Scott Bull by turning a lap of 12.143 seconds for a new track record. Josh Richards' lap of 12.267 seconds paced group two qualifiers. Strickler, Shannon Babb, Richards, and Brandon Overton won their respective heat races. Bobby Pierce and Ryan Unzicker took their semi-features to advance into the 22-car starting field. In a race that saw five different leaders, World of Outlaws points leader Brandon Sheppard took the lead from Babb after the first caution in the race fell on lap 35. From that point on, Sheppard had to contend with Richards before pulling away in the final laps for his 27th win of the year. “That’s awesome man,” an excited Sheppard spoke. “It’s such a privilege to be able to race here. During these hard times and everything, we are glad to be racing period. To race this close to home and at this great of a racetrack, this place puts a lot of places to shame if you ask me.” Richards finished 1.6 seconds behind, with 17th starter Pierce edging out Frank Heckenast Jr. for third, while Babb took fifth. Jeremiah Hurst, Taylor Scheffler, and Myles Moos were the remaining cars left on the track. Kyle Bronson and Overton completed the top ten.


Bobby Pierce

Bobby Pierce

Nick Hoffman

Nick Hoffman

Results | Story & Pictures by Rocky Ragusa

As the race season begins to wind down, race teams and fans congregated to the Fairbury Speedway on Saturday night for the “Twin 10’s FALS Super Nationals” presented by New Solutions Ag and Casey’s. The winner of the 50-lap Late Model race and 50-lap Modified race each pocketed $10,000. Bobby Pierce (Late Model) and Nick Hoffman (Modified) put on a clinic in taking the wins in their respective features.

pierce lmThe final race on the MARS Late Model Series schedule saw 34 drivers in attendance. Wisconsin’s Taylor Scheffler’s time of 12.936 seconds led the group one qualifiers. Bloomington’s Jason Feger clipped a lap of 13.162 seconds to lead the second group. Bobby Pierce, Frank Heckenast Jr, Feger, and Billy Moyer were the four heat race winners. Mike Provenzano and Ryan Unzicker took the b-main wins. Pierce wasted little time establishing himself as the man to beat, as he jumped out to a 10-car length lead at the start. Moyer had his hands full dealing with Heckenast. The rapid pace set by Pierce had him catching the rear of the 22-car field by lap 10, with Heckenast, Brian Shirley, Moyer, and Feger trailing. Shirley raced Heckenast for second and allowed Pierce to open up a lead of more than three seconds by the halfway mark. Caution fell on lap 36 as Scott James made contact with an infield tire on the backstretch. Pierce pounded the Fairbury cushion on the ensuing restart as Heckenast and Shirley continued their heated duel. At the end of the 50 laps, Pierce held a 2.5 second lead over Heckenast Jr. “The car was really good tonight,” Pierce said. “I faded at the end. I think I was just too hard on the tires at the beginning of the race. I have to thank my dad. He was on the phone helping us. Fairbury has plagued me in the past for bad luck. We had a lot of good luck charms tonight.” Shirley took third, with Tim Manville and Feger following. Scheffler claimed sixth, as 18th starter Unzicker worked his way to seventh, followed by Allen Weisser, Moyer, and Rich Bell.

hoffman md80 of the best Modified drivers in the country came to town looking to take home the big check in the American Modified Series sanctioned race. Hailing from the Wolverine state, Curt Spalding toured the track with a lap of 13.966 seconds to lead the first group of qualifiers, while Oaklawn’s Bob Pohlman turned a lap of 14.126 to lead group two. Eight heat races were held with the top two finishers advancing to the main event. Spalding, Nick Hoffman, Tyler Nicely, Bobby Pierce, Pohlman, Chris Arnold, Dawson Cook, and Allen Weisser won their respective heat races. Four last chance races saw Will Krup, Bobby Stremme, Brian Shaw, and Kyle Hammer advancing to the feature race. As the green flag waved, Pohlman took the lead with Cook in second. Following a caution on lap two, Cook raced side-by-side with Pohlman before the son of the late Gary Cook Jr. pulled out to a 10-car length lead. As Cook was entering turn one, his car broke, spun around, and faced the traffic. Fourth running Mike Harrison, with nowhere to go, ran into Cook causing significant damage to both machines, ending both their nights. The restart had Hoffman as the new race leader, followed by Pohlman, Nicely, Pierce, and Spalding. Mike McKinney, who started deep in the field after dropping out of his heat race, moved into 11th after 10 laps. Hoffman was able to run the bottom of the track extending his lead as Pierce, running the top side, raced side-by-side with Nicely. Nicely fended off Pierce as Weisser began to make his move. Weisser got by Pierce and reeled in Nicely. Weisser overtook Nicely for second on lap 24, as Hoffman encountered slower traffic. After a lap 29 caution, Hoffman led Weisser, Nicely, Pierce, and Pohlman. The hard charging McKinney was scored in seventh. Both racing the bottom groove, Hoffman held a five-car length lead over Weisser before a caution fell on lap 38. Third running Pierce pulled into the pit area to change a tire and fell to the back of the pack. Going to a single file restart, Hoffman led Weisser, Nicely, David Stremme, and McKinney. With under 10 laps to go, Weisser began his charge in pursuit of the reigning Summit Modified champion, but as the checkered flag waved, Hoffman laid claim in winning the 8th Annual Casey’s Modified Nationals event. “Our car was good, but I think Allen was a little better,” spoke the Mooresville, N.C. driver. “I couldn’t figure out how to get through that hole in turn two. The car would bounce down the backstretch and I gave up a lot of time.” Returning to his early season form, Weisser took second, with Nicely, 16th starter David Stremme, and 25th starter McKinney rounding out the top five. The remainder of the top ten saw Derek Losh, Bobby Stremme, Hammer, Bradley Jameson, and Victor Lee as 18 of the 26 drivers finished the race.


Scott James

Scott James

Mike McKinney

Mike McKinney

Zach Zuberbier

Zach Zuberbier

Tommy Duncan

Tommy Duncan

Jared Cagley

Jared Cagley

Brenden Heizer

Brenden Heizer

Zuberbier, Duncan, Cagley, Heizer also Victorious

Results | Story & Pictures by Rocky Ragusa

With a big Labor Day weekend for racers and fans in Central Illinois on the horizon, 120 race teams from five states journeyed to the Fairbury Speedway Saturday night in preparation. The track played host to the 24th edition of the “Pappy and Bob Allen Memorial”. Scott James (Late Model), Mike McKinney (Modified), Zach Zuberbier (Stock Car), Tommy Duncan (Sportsman), Jared Cagley (Hobby-Modified), and Brenden Heizer (KidModz) all earned feature race wins.

james lmA time of 12.846 seconds gave Jay Morris quick time as 25 Late Models made qualifying runs. Allen Weisser, Scott Schmitt, and Scott James were the night’s heat race winners. The semi-feature went to Jeffrey Ledford. On the green flag, Weisser and Schmitt raced side-by-side before Weisser led the first two circuits. Schmitt, running the top side, moved ahead to take over as Weisser, James, Eric Smith, and Mike Spatola followed. Weisser, looking for his first Fairbury Late Model win of the year, reclaimed the lead on lap 12. Weisser began to work his way by lapped traffic, while James got by Schmitt for second. Once Weisser and James had a clear track, James quickly closed in on Weisser. With the checkered flag in sight, James was able to pull beside Weisser and edge ahead to win the race by .040 seconds at the finish. “I have been racing for 25 years,” spoke the driver known as the “Silver Shark”. “To win here is a feather in my cap. We got rained out today and decided to come back to Fairbury. I committed to the bottom. Weisser moved up to the top and stalled in the lapped traffic. It has been a dream to win at this track.” The rest of the top ten went to Schmitt, Spatola, Smith, 15th starter Mike Provenzano, McKay Wenger, Kevin Weaver, Mike Mataragas, and Rickey Frankel.

mckinney md42 Modified drivers were in attendance for their 25-lap race. Mike McKinney toured the speedway with a lap of 13.662 seconds to take quick time. McKinney, Nick Allen, Michael Ledford, and Tyler Nicely won heat races. Chris Smith and Dave Lilja advanced to the feature by winning their respective b-mains. McKinney took the lead at the drop of the green flag as Allen Weisser and Ledford dueled for second. On a slick race track, many of the drivers settled on running the bottom and middle grooves, while 15-year-old Ledford threw his machine on the top side. After a caution flag fell with five laps to go, Ledford made the cushion work and overtook Weisser for second. Ledford challenged McKinney for the lead and showed the nose of his machine. Another caution fell with three laps remaining, and the field went to a single file restart. As the two gladiators took the white flag, McKinney went to the top in turns three and four hoping to slow Ledford. Ledford went to the bottom and pulled alongside of McKinney, but as flagman Jim Whittington waved the checkered flag, McKinney was able to hang on and nip Ledford by .018 seconds at the line. As the crowd cheered and jeered their approval of the race, McKinney commented in victory lane. “Mikey stole the show there. I started off good and the car began to tighten up. Allen started to drive by me and Mikey showed me his nose on the last restart. It’s really a huge win for our team. We are doing everything we can to battle for the national championship.” Weisser finished in the third position, followed by Dan Rork, Bobby Stremme, Bob Pohlman, 19th starter Kyle Hammer, Brad DeYoung, Dillon Nusbaum, and Dave Lilja.

zuberbier scThe speedway welcomed 27 Stock Car drivers with current national points leader Terry Reed turning a lap of 15.352 seconds to take fast time. Zach Zuberbier, Andy Zahnd, and Cody Clubb won their respective heat races, while Reed took the b-main. Zuberbier was able to lead the entire 15 laps, but he had to contend with RJ Akers and Matt Fabrizius in the final laps. At the finish, Zuberbier won by .050 in another exciting finish. “I wasn’t the best, but we made it work,” Zuberbier said after winning his second feature of the season. “I saw Matt and was able to get back by him. It’s good to race with him.” Akers, Fabrizius , Eric Boudreau, Matt Maier, Don Hilleary, 17th starter Pete Odell, Kory Kohler, Michael Schomas, and Brandon Tracy completed the top ten.

duncan spAustin Friedman turned a lap of 14.819 seconds for fast time with 12 Sportsman drivers in attendance. Tommy Duncan and Brandon Pralle, subbing for Anthony Craven, were the heat race victors. In the 15-lap feature, Duncan was able to lead flag-to-flag in picking up his fourth win of the year. “Those young drivers are good and they race with respect,” Duncan said. “It has been a lot of fun racing with them.” Pralle took second, with Friedman in third. After experiencing mechanical problems in hot laps and his heat race, Lyndon Whitfill charged through the field to take fourth. Jim Farley lll, Matt Ramer, Brendan Ramer, Makinzi Semmens, Steve Mattingly, and Alex Wilson completed the top ten.

cagley hmAfter having ear surgery, Jake Green called upon Jared Cagley to take over his ride in the Hobby-Modified class this week. Cagley was able to respond by placing Green’s car in victory lane for Cagley’s first-ever Fairbury feature win. “I have to thank the Green’s for letting me drive their car,” Cagley said. “I went to the bottom and wasn’t going anywhere, so I went to the middle. It’s pretty cool to be in victory lane.” The win didn’t come easy for Cagley as he had to hold off Caden McWhorter. Clay Wisher, Macy Vaughan, and Kellen Arnold completed the top five. Graham Jackson and McWhorter were the heat race winners.

Brenden Heizer won the KidModz heat race and the 10-lap feature, as he claimed his seventh win of the year with Audrey Gerberding in second.


McKay Wenger

McKay Wenger

Mike McKinney

Mike McKinney

Terry Reed

Terry Reed

Tommy Duncan

Tommy Duncan

Cody Wisher

Cody Wisher

Results | Story & Pictures by Rocky Ragusa

A beautiful Saturday night at the Fairbury Speedway drew a well-attended crowd and 105 race teams for another FALS Cup weekly program. Fairbury’s McKay Wenger (Late Model), Plainfield’s Mike McKinney (Modified), Cerro Gordo’s Terry Reed (Stock Car), Metamora’s Tommy Duncan (Sportsman), and Peoria’s Cody Wisher (Hobby-Modified) each earned feature race wins in their respective classes.

wenger lmA field of 23 Late Models took time trials for their 30-lap, $2,500 to win race. Scott James turned a lap of 12.582 seconds to set fast time. Three heat races were held with Kevin Weaver, Taylor Scheffler, and McKay Wenger taking the wins. Bill Giannetti took the Semi-Feature victory. Five caution flags fell in the first two laps of the feature race due to accidents and part failures, reducing the field to 12 drivers out of the 20 that started the race. Weaver held the lead over Wenger, Jeffrey Ledford, James, and Jay Morris for the first five laps. On lap six, with Weaver pounding the Fairbury cushion and Wenger uncharacteristically on the bottom, Wenger made the pass for the lead and checked out on the field. By the end of the race, Wenger held a seven-second lead over Weaver. Winning his fourth Fairbury feature of the year, Wenger commented in victory lane. “The last six Late Model and Modified features, the races have been won on the bottom. When we unloaded, the plan was to run the bottom. It paid off good.” Weaver held off Ledford for second with James in fourth. 13th starter Dale Markham took fifth. The rest of the top ten went to Morris, Mike Provenzano, Jeff Curl, Glen Thompson, and Brandon Pralle.

mckinney mdA time of 13.984 seconds earned Allen Weisser quick time honors as 28 drivers made qualifying attempts. Weisser, Jason Hastings, and Mike McKinney took heat race wins. Michael Ledford was the B-Main winner. Weisser and McKinney went toe-to-toe for the first three laps of the $1,500 to win, 25-lap race before McKinney took command. Several mid-race cautions would not deny McKinney on this night as he quickly opened up a ten-car length lead on each restart. Weisser had his hands full as Nick Clubb offered a challenge until Weisser got a good restart after a lap 17 caution to hold second. As the checkered flag was waved, McKinney was able to pick up his third win of the year at Fairbury. “We are trying to get the car better on the bottom,” said McKinney. “It seems like we are getting things back to where we were at the start.” Weisser settled for second, with Dan Rork in third. Clubb ended in fourth, while 16th starter Ledford took fifth. Hastings, Kyle Hammer, Bobby Stremme, Jim Farris, and Austin Lynn rounded out the top ten.

reed sc27 Stock Cars vied for a starting position for their 15-lap race. Farmer City regular Lance Evans, with a lap of 15.333 seconds, took fast time. Kevin Kerlin, Andy Zahnd, and Matt Fabrizius were heat race winners. The B-Main went to Kraig Hughes. In a wild feature race that saw four different leaders, it wasn’t until the last lap that the race winner was decided. Current DIRTcar National Points leader Terry Reed got by Fabrizius to take his first-ever Fairbury win. “We started eighth and weren't sure if we had anything,” spoke Reed. “The car was on a rail tonight. I didn’t want to race on the top, but we made it work.” 14th starter Pete Odell was third, Josh Hetherington placed fourth, and RJ Akers claimed fifth. Joe Brown, Kerlin, Scott Hufford, Evans, and Jeff Hartzell completed the top ten.

duncan spAustin Friedman was the Sportsman division fast qualifier with a time of 14.726 seconds as 15 drivers signed in. Heat races went to Steve Mattingly and Tommy Duncan. Mattingly led for three laps before defending track champion Duncan moved to the front. Mattingly’s bid for the win ended on the seventh lap as he stopped on the track with mechanical problems and brought out the yellow flag. On the restart, Friedman challenged for the lead, but Duncan was not to be denied on this night as he took his third win of the season. “The car was good in the beginning,” spoke an exhausted Duncan. “The track was getting rough on the top and was messing up my line.” The remainder of the top ten went to Friedman, Lyndon Whitfill, Anthony Craven, Matt Ramer, Wes Odell, Dan Coit, Robert Saltzman, Makinzi Semmens, and Mattingly.

wisher hmRacing ended with a 12-lap Hobby-Modified race. Cody Wisher and Phil Earl were the heat race winners. Wisher led from flag-to-flag to take his second straight feature race win. “The car drove like a Cadillac,” Wisher said. “I want to thank Tommy Duncan for letting me drive his car and setting the car up.” Troy Ricketts, Clay Wisher, Macy Vaughan, and Caden McWhorter completed the top five.


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