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Wenger, Harrison, Seplak, Duncan, Gee Take FALS Cup Wins on Independence Day

McKay Wenger

McKay Wenger

Mike Harrison

Mike Harrison

Nick Seplak

Nick Seplak

Tommy Duncan

Tommy Duncan

Thad Gee

Thad Gee

Results | Story and Pictures by Rocky Ragusa

In addition to an Independence Day fireworks display during intermission at the Fairbury Speedway, race fans were treated to sliders of a different sort. Everyone stood on their feet witnessing the talent of the drivers in feature action. McKay Wenger (Late Model), Mike Harrison (Modified), Nick Seplak (Stock Car), Tommy Duncan (Sportsman), and Thad Gee (Hobby-Modified) were first to the line during the FALS Cup weekly racing program.

wenger lm25 Late Model drivers made qualifying attempts for their 30-lap, $2,500 to win race. Mike Spatola turned a lap of 12.879 seconds for fast time. Spatola, McKay Wenger, and Eric Smith won heat races, while Jay Morris was the B-Main winner. Using his outside front row starting position, Wenger made short order of his competition and jumped out to an early lead. Accelerating around the ¼ dirt oval, Wenger caught up with the tail end of the field by lap seven. After two caution periods, Wenger pulled away from the field as Allen Weisser, Ryan Unzicker, and Spatola trailed. Spatola soon found himself in second and closed the margin on Wenger. The race's last caution fell with ten laps to go giving Spatola his opportunity to capitalize. On the restart, Wenger was shot out of cannon as he opened up a straightaway lead. Behind him, Spatola, Weisser, and Unzicker battled for the second position exchanging slide jobs to the delight of the crowd. At the checkered flag, Wenger returned to victory lane after going winless last season. “Oh man, what a 4th of July,” Wenger said. “We got home from West Burlington, Iowa (34 Raceway) at 3:00 a.m. this morning. We worked on the car all day to get ready for tonight. Man, this feels good.” The remainder of the top ten were Spatola, Unzicker, Jeffrey Ledford, Weisser, Smith, 17th starter Mike Provenzano, Derek Chandler, Scott Schmitt, and Mike Chasteen Jr.

harrison mdThe Modified race saw 40 drivers vie for a starting spot in their 20-lap, $1,500 to win race. Mike McKinney was the quickest in time trials with a lap of 14.025 seconds. Four heat races saw McKinney, Mike Harrison, Allen Weisser, and Jacob Rexing earning wins. Justin Gregory and Rich Dawson won the B-Mains. Harrison took the lead at the start with McKinney stuck to his bumper. The two wheelmen rode the top side of the track and frequently exchanged slide jobs on each other during the course of the race. Harrison was able to open up a small lead during the final five laps and took a hard-fought win. “McKinney has picked up his game the last few years,” spoke Harrison. “Anytime you can come to his home track and beat him, you have done something. Fairbury has been good to me in the past, but the local drivers here are tough.” McKinney settled for second, with Bradley Jameson, Weisser, and Michael Ledford following. The rest of the top ten were Steve Meyer Jr., 14th starter Jay Ledford, Willy Myers, Nick Clubb, and Rexing.

seplak scMatt Fabrizius clocked a time of 15.507 seconds to set fast time as 23 Stock Cars were in attendance. Andrew Funk, Nick Seplak, and Tanner Sullivan were the heat race winners. Sticking to the bottom groove of the track, Seplak was able to turn back savvy veterans Joe Brown and Rick Thomas for his first-ever Fairbury feature win. “Man, what a race,” an excited Seplak spoke. “Honestly, I didn’t think we could win it tonight. Dad and I have been going back and forth every week trying different things and it finally worked out.” Trailing the threesome were Cody Clubb, Fabrizius, Michael Schomas, 19th starter Justin VanDrunen, Eric Boudreau, Ryan Anderson, and Sullivan.

duncan spVeteran Macon Speedway driver Wes Odell was the Sportsman fast qualifier at 14.836 seconds over 15 other drivers. Lyndon Whitfill and Tommy Duncan won their respective heat races. After a caution with seven laps to go, Duncan pulled away from early contenders Odell and Anthony Craven for the win. “The track was good for our race,” explained Duncan. “The competition is getting really close. I am going to have to get to work.” Craven turned in another good finish with second, followed by Odell, Tyler Roth, Steve Mattingly, Blake Reid, 16th starter Alex Wilson, Phil Moreland, Makinzi Semmens, and Eric Saltzman.

gee hmThe night’s racing program ended with a 12-lap Hobby-Modified race. Heat race winners Thad Gee and Macy Vaughan started on the front row. Vaughan led for five laps before Gee was able to move to the front following a lap five caution. From there, Gee held a 10-car length lead over Vaughan and captured the win. “That was a fun race,” spoke Gee. “I really enjoy racing with Macy. She was worrying me, but I was able to get a good restart after that caution. Dustin Mounce, running the top, was able to sneak by Vaughan for second, with Caden McWhorter and Troy Ricketts completing the top five.


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