When Fairbury Speedway embarks on its 72nd season of weekly dirt track racing, all eyes will be on the small Central Illinois town which will host one of America’s top Dirt Late Model races in the summer of 2017. The history of FALS will continue with the $30,000 to win Prairie Dirt Classic presented by the Bank of Pontiac, and will be sanctioned with the World of Outlaws Craftsman Dirt Late Model Series on the weekend of July 28th & 29th. Winning DirtonDirt.com's National Race of the Year honors three out of the last four years, this 100-lap main event never disappoints fans. In addition to the PDC weekend festivities, Fairbury Speedway officials are excited to announce the continuance of the #FALS Draw, a $5,000 to win PDC Showdown feature during Friday night’s racing action. With all the specific details of the Prairie Dirt Classic weekend to be announced at a later date, a driver entering the Prairie Dirt Classic weekend has a chance to take home a FALS record of $35,000 straight to the bank.
With a nice mix of races up and down the 2017 schedule, the first of many huge race weekends on the FALS schedule is the $10,000 to win FALS Frenzy, an American Late Model Series sanctioned special on May 13th. This 50-lap feature event will be held in conjunction with Farmer City Raceway’s huge $20,000 to win show on May 12th. Drivers all over the Midwest will showcase their talent to the FALS faithful which will kick start a season filled with big money races. The annual Pappy & Bob Allen Memorial Late Model Special will again pay $2,000 to win on June 10th. Lynn Chevrolet-Buick’s UMP Summer Nationals will roll into town with a 50-lap $10,000 to win feature on June 24th, which will host the best from the Midwest. A pair of $2,000 to win Late Model shows on May 27th & July 15th will continue a solid season of local purses. The season ending UMP DIRTcar $3,000 to win Late Model Special on Labor Day Weekend will conclude an unprecedented Late Model season of specials and payouts during 2017.
The Casey’s Modified Nationals will once again highlight an exciting season for the UMP DIRTcar Modifieds in 2017. The 5th annual showcase is scheduled for September 2nd and will continue to pay a top prize of $10,000 to win and now pay a very strong $500 to start the 50-lap feature event. Sanctioned with the American Modified Series again in 2017, Modified drivers from all over the country will take part in what will continue to be an elite marquee weekend of Modified racing at the Fairbury Speedway. This will be one weekend Modified drivers will not want to miss in 2017! The running of the Memorial Day Weekend AMS Series event will be on May 27th paying $2,000 to win and will be the first of two American Modified Series events at FALS in 2017. The Summit DIRTcar Modified Nationals will pay $1,500 to win this year as part of the “Hell Tour” schedule this summer. The UMP Modifieds will continue to play a huge role on the weekend of the Prairie Dirt Classic as they will run for a top prize of $5,000 to win. This 40-lap feature event will be part of the Summit DIRTcar Modified Nationals Championship Weekend where the series champion will be crowned Saturday night of the Prairie Dirt Classic. Full Prairie Dirt Classic weekend information will be released at a later date.
FALS fans asked for it, Fairbury Speedway makes it a reality, with two huge open wheel events on the schedule for 2017. Mark your calendars for Thursday night June 1st as the POWRi Lucas Oil National Midgets, Lucas Oil POWRi WAR 410 Non-Winged Sprints, and the Lucas Oil DII Midgets will converge on the famed ultra-competitive quarter mile bullring known as FALS. This Thursday Night Thunder race will bring some of the top Midget and 410 Non-Winged Sprint Car drivers in the country to this Speedweeks event.
For the first time since 2002, Fairbury Speedway will host a 410 Winged Sprint Car Race with the MOWA / IRA co-sanctioned Sprint Car Shootout on Saturday night July 15th. This $3,000 to win special will host a large number of drivers coming from all areas of the Midwest. This unique venue will mix Sprint Car fans and Stock Car fans alike as the UMP Late Models ($2,000 to win) and UMP Modifieds ($1,000 to win) will be racing together on one night.
The UMP Street Stocks will highlight their season with the $2,000 to win DIRTcar Spring Nationals Street Stock Special in memory of Earl J. Hubert on May 6th. The UMP Sportsman will continue their tradition of running the annual Eden-Piercy Memorial Special on July 8th and will pay a record $1,000 to win for the 25-lap feature event. Both the Street Stocks and Sportsman will have $400 to win specials throughout the year on specific nights. The Hobby Mod division will take part in regular nights of racing throughout the season.
The Pro (Crate) Late Models will be in action at the Fairbury Speedway on May 27th as part of the Memorial Day Weekend Roundup in 2017. The $1,000 to win 25-lap featured special will give a chance for the Pro (Crate) division to race at the famed quarter mile bullring. Continuing the commitment for younger generations to come, the KidModz Racing Series will be back in action on June 10th.
FALS is proud to announce the continuance of the Alkota “Keep it Clean” Series in 2017. This series will be run 12 times throughout the year when all four weekly divisions are racing regular night events. Specific details will be announced soon but the winner will receive a brand new pressure washer from the great folks from Rural Route Repair, M&M Pumps, and Alkota Cleaning Systems. Fair Championship Night will conclude track points for the season on Saturday night, August 19th. Champions will be crowned on that night with recognition scheduled for August 26th which will be FALS Drivers Appreciation Night. All drivers racing in the night’s events will be admitted free upon arrival. Dave's Supermarket Driver Meet and Greet will continue its tradition on June 3rd as kids and fans will have the opportunity to meet the drivers from 1-3 at the Dave's Supermarket parking lot as part of Fan Appreciation Night where the general admission is $5.00.
Along with an amazing schedule, Fairbury Speedway has been busy with the third phase of the nearly $400,000 capital improvement construction throughout the facility. Completion of the new top of the line bathrooms were completed in early summer, and now currently 90% of the new catch fence surrounding the speedway is complete. Construction of the new fence project is on track to be completed before the Test-N-Tune on April 15th.
The Fairbury Fairboard is also excited to announce the official hiring of Race Director Matt Curl to the full-time position as Director of Race Operations for the Fairbury Speedway. As full-time Race Director, Matt will take over promotional duties for the Fairbury Speedway in 2017. Gunner Sullivan, who spent six great years with the Fairbury Speedway, the last four as the Marketing and Advertising Director, resigned at the end of the 2016 race season following the season ending banquet. Sullivan has made the decision to take some time away from his hectic schedule of helping at the premier Central Illinois track to spend more time visiting other tracks, enjoying camping, car shows, spending time with his wife Julie and just being a race fan. “I have helped out for about six years now and it’s time for me to enjoy life and pursue some other interests”, Sullivan commented. “I love Fairbury Speedway and all the people involved and will continue to support them and attend as many events as possible. I just wanted to take some time and do some other things. The fairboard and race committee have built up a real nice schedule at Fairbury, but what comes with that is more and more time and dedication by the people involved with putting on those programs. I have been involved at the speedway since 2010, and I just don’t want to be tied down to the weekly commitment anymore but wish nothing but the best for the speedway in the coming years. I appreciate all the encouragement and support from the community, the sponsors, and especially the fans and drivers”, Sullivan said.
With Gunner’s departure, the speedway was faced with finding someone to fill the position and it’s not easy to find someone that is committed and willing to put in the hours and dedication needed to do it right. Matt has been one of the key components at the Fairbury Speedway for the past four years and has been a huge part of the success the track has recently gone through. His credentials speak for themselves as he has being involved with the speedway in some form or fashion for almost his entire life either as a fan, flagman, official, volunteer, and now the speedway’s first full-time employee. Matt will work alongside Fairboard President Leroy Rodriguez and the entire board in continuing the success Fairbury has been accustomed to.
“I can’t tell you how excited I am right now with the opportunity the fairboard has given me to continue what I love to do full-time", Curl said. "The passion I possess with the Fairbury Speedway is one I have that is second to none. I can’t thank Gunner enough for all his time and dedication he has given the speedway, but also time spent with me personally with the race program."
Along with Curl taking over the promotional duties, Jarrad & Ashleigh Miller will be a part of the reserved seating and camping committee. All reserved seating and camping information will be available after the first of the year for all 2017 events.
On behalf of the Fairbury Fairboard, American Legion, and the FALS Race Committee, we thank you for your continued support of the Fairbury American Legion Speedway. We continue to showcase our facility in the best possible way each week and throughout the year. Our race committee will go to work after the holidays and evaluate all the weekly rules, procedures, and thoughts to make 2017 memorable.
Happy Holidays from everybody here at the Fairbury American Legion Speedway!