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Drake, McKinney, Zuberbier, Friedman, Wisher Capture FALS Cup Victories

Billy Drake

Billy Drake

Mike McKinney

Mike McKinney

Zach Zuberbier

Zach Zuberbier

Austin Friedman

Austin Friedman

Cody Wisher

Cody Wisher

Results | Story and Pictures by Rocky Ragusa

A large crowd of spectators on Fan Appreciation Night witnessed another thrilling night of racing at the Fairbury Speedway. Carrying the checkered flag on Saturday were Billy Drake (Late Model), Mike McKinney (Modified), Zach Zuberbier (Stock Car), Austin Friedman (Sportsman), Cody Wisher (Hobby-Modified), and Brendan Ramer (Vintage).

drake lm29 Late Model drivers were on hand vying for a spot in their 30-lap feature. Mike Spatola earned fast time honors with a lap of 12.808 seconds. Three heat races saw McKay Wenger, Jeffrey Ledford, and Kevin Weaver emerging as winners. Jeff Curl was the night’s winner in the B-Main. Wenger, looking to continue his winning ways, pounded the cushion in leading the first 17 laps of the race. Billy Drake, using the bottom of the track, reeled in Wenger to take the lead on lap 18. As Drake was attempting to overtake a slower car, he made a move to go to the top of the track. Drake, not knowing Wenger was there, made contact and ended Wenger’s night. Weaver moved to second on the restart and began to track down Drake. Weaver climbed the wall on the backstretch and brought out the caution with five laps to go. Drake, safely in the lead, took his first win of the year. As the crowd cheered and jeered for Drake, he spoke apologetically in victory lane. “I feel bad. McKay is such a good dude. I was trying to get around that lapped car and zipped it to the top. I didn’t know he was there. If I would have known that, I never would have tried that. I don’t want to win a race like that. I would have rather raced him for it. It would have been good. I guess that happens. I hate it and I stand that way.” Mike Mataragas, Rickey Frankel, 18th starter Tim Manville, Mike Glasscock, Jay Morris, Jeff Herzog, Adan Tischhauser, Brent McKinnon, and Titus Sneed claimed the top ten positions.

mckinney md14.457 seconds was quick time set by Mike McKinney as 22 Modified drivers toured the track. Levi Kissinger, Allen Weisser, and Michael Ledford won their respective heat races. Although eight caution flags waved in the 25-lap race, McKinney was the dominating force on this night. Running the top side of the track, McKinney bolted out to a commanding lead as early race leader Weisser tried to keep pace. With the track cleared after a lap 15 caution, McKinney moved to the bottom and Weisser kept pace. Michael Ledford, running in third, brought out a caution with six laps to go as he slowed with a tire going flat. On the restart, McKinney flexed his muscle and closed this chapter in the season long battle with Weisser for supremacy in the big picture of the national championship title. “We tried something different on the car tonight,” said McKinney. “I was running the top and I saw Allen on the bottom, so I had to try it out.” Weisser, Nick Clubb, Kissinger, Jim Farris, Dan Rork, Nick Seplak, Mark Grosvenor, 21st starter Kyle Laughlin, and Justin White took the top ten spots.

zuberbier scA time of 16.573 seconds earned Zach Zuberbier quick time in the Stock Car class. With 19 cars on hand, Zuberbier and Joe Brown were the heat race winners. Zuberbier led the first seven circuits before Michael Schomas took over for the next two laps. Zuberbier, Schomas, Cody Clubb, and Brown battled tooth and nail for the race win throughout the race. All four drivers used the entire width of the speedway and never touched one another. Zuberbier was able to hold off the trio and took the race win. “I knew I had some fast cars behind me,” commented Zuberbier. “I just had to hang on and not use up my equipment. We won last night, but tonight is way better.” Schomas, Clubb, Brown, and Kevin Kerlin took the first five positions as Eric Boudreau, Don Hilleary, Josh Hetherington, Kraig Hughes, and Randy Schoener completed the top ten.

friedman spOf the 15 Sportsman drivers on hand, Lyndon Whitfill was the fast qualifier at 15.845 seconds. Two heat races saw Austin Friedman and Steve Mattingly taking the wins. Rookie driver Friedman and old veteran Mattingly battled for the lead in the first five laps before Friedman was able to use lapped traffic to take the lead. After a caution on lap 11 of the 15-lap race, Mattingly, looking for his first win of the year, had to contend with Tommy Duncan. As the checkered flag waved for Friedman, Duncan was able to get by Mattingly for second. Picking up his second straight win, Friedman commented in victory lane. “The track was really demanding tonight, but it was a fun race.” Anthony Craven, Whitfill, Tyler Roth, Matt Ramer, Dan Coit, Brendan Ramer, and Austin Lipe rounded out the top ten.

wisher hm11 cars were on hand in the Hobby-Modified class. Cody Wisher turned a lap of 15.742 seconds for fast time and also took the win in the first heat race. Caden McWhorter claimed the win in the second heat race. A caution flag with one lap remaining gave last week’s winner Troy Ricketts an opportunity to repeat. Wisher, with a tire losing air, was able to hang on for his first win of the year. “I couldn’t keep the rear end under the car in the closing laps, especially in turn four,” spoke Wisher. Ricketts settled for second, with McWhorter, Clay Wisher, and Ty Stutzman completing the top five.

The Vintage Racing of Illinois Series held a special 10-lap exhibition race with Brendan Ramer turning back his father Matt for his first ever win in the series. “That was a lot of fun. I got to race my dad pretty hard there,” said Ramer.


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