Ballou, Macedo Capture Sprint Mania Wins

by Rocky Ragusa

After rain washed out the opening night of "Sprint Mania" on Friday, the Fairbury American Legion Speedway track prep crew went to work in preparation for Saturday’s feature races. In spite of a late afternoon shower, Mother Nature blessed race teams and fans with an outstanding night of racing action on an ultra-fast track that saw Sprint Cars touring the 1/4 mile oval in the 11 second range.

oct7-sprThe Lucas Oil POWRi WAR East and Wisconsin WingLESS Series brought in 31 drivers for their 35-lap, $4,000 to win race. Landon Simon, Tyler Courtney, Mario Clouser, and POWRi WAR points leader Korey Weyant won their respective heat races, while Kevin Thomas Jr. took the B-Main. Joe B. Miller led at the start, with Robert Ballou, Courtney, Clouser, and Dave Darland in a heated battle for second. Following a caution, Miller led Courtney as Ballou and Darland followed. Terry Babb brought out a red flag on the 14th lap as he flipped his car along the front stretch. Courtney pressured Miller on the restart and threw a slide job on Miller to take the lead. As Courtney maneuvered his way through traffic, Ballou, Darland, Miller, and Simon closed in on the race leader. With four laps to go, Courtney was working his way by a lapped car. Courtney’s car made contact, rolled, and his bid for the win ended. Ballou was able to lead the remaining circuits for the win. “We had our car too tight in practice and then too loose in the heat race,” spoke Ballou. “Hats off to the Fairbury track prep crew. Anywhere else they would have thrown in the towel. They wanted to make this race work. I think their effort will catch the attention of a lot of people. A lot of the Sprint Car tracks don’t put in the effort to prep a track.”

oct7-spr225 MOWA/IRA Winged Sprint Cars were on hand, vying for a starting position in their 35-lap, $4,000 to win race. A.J. Bruns, Carson Macedo, and Joey Saldana took heat race wins. On the start of the feature, Bruns and Brad Loyet tangled to bring out a caution. The restart had Saldana leading Hunter Schuerenberg. Saldana was able to extend his lead until encountering slower cars. Schuerenberg was able to catch up to the leader and looked to take the lead, but a caution fell on the eighth lap saving Saldana. After another caution, Saldana checked out on his competitors until Jake Blackhurst slowed on the track for a lap 12 caution. The yellow flag waved again on the 12th lap as IRA points leader Bill Balog slowed on the track. Saldana once again pulled away on the restart, with Schuerenberg, Macedo, Balog, and Travis Philo trailing. As Saldana threaded his way by the slower cars, Schuerenberg and Macedo closed the gap. Saldana got caught behind a slower car and Schuerenberg looked to take over the lead, but a caution flag fell giving Saldana the lead back. With three laps to go, Macedo’s car came to life as he shot by Schuerenberg. On the white flag, Macedo executed a pass on Saldana to take his second win of the year at Fairbury. “I got my wind back and the car came on in the end,” commented Macedo, a California native. “I am so thankful to God for a team like this. It’s phenomenal to come out here in the Midwest, to live the dream, and race everywhere.” A dejected Saldana settled for second, followed by Schuerenberg, Balog, Philo, Bret Tripplett, Mike Terry Jr., Joe B. Miller, Jordan Goldesberry, and Jim Moughan.

oct7-mdAction ended with a 20-lap, $1,000 to win UMP Modified race. McKay Wenger and Mike McKinney were the heat race victors. McKinney led the opening lap before Wenger powered his way to the lead. Wenger put his new Elite Chassis on the top groove and pulled out to a five car length lead over McKinney. Although plagued by cautions, Wenger was never contested until the 17th lap. On the restart, McKinney got his car under Wenger and grabbed the lead going down the backstretch. As the drivers entered turn three, Wenger’s car broke the studs off the right rear wheel and slammed into the wall. After the track was cleaned, McKinney was able to go unchallenged the last three laps for his sixth Fairbury win of the year. “McKay was kicking our butt there,” said McKinney.” I don’t think that I ever ran a race that fast, but to finish first, you have to first finish.” Paul Niznik, Derek Neville, Adam Pockrus, Billy Puckett, Garrett Jameson, Jason Brandt, Wenger, Mike Petersen, and Eric Vaughan completed the top ten as seven cars were running at the finish.


POWRi Lucas Oil WAR East Sprints A-Main - 35 laps
1. 12-Robert Ballou (4); 2. 17GP-Dave Darland (9); 3. 51B-Joe B. Miller (2); 4. 24-Landon Simon (6); 5. 99-Korey Weyant (7); 6. 6-Mario Clouser (1); 7. 56-Mitchell Davis (10); 8. 74-Josh Hodges (19); 9. 16-Anthony Nicholson (18); 10. 52F-Logan Faucon (22); 11. 14-Chad Wilson (12); 12. 38-Allen Hafford (21); 13. 5H-Patrick Haynes (13); 14. 11-James Lyerla (20); 15. 20-Steve Thomas (16); 16. 31L-Buddy Lowther (14); 17. 4G-George Gaertner III (15); 18. 23C-Tyler Courtney (5)-DNF; 19. 9-Kevin Thomas Jr (17)-DNF; 20. 47-Katlynn Leer (3)-DNF; 21. 8D-Terry Babb (11)-DNF; 22. 1-Mitch Wissmiller (8)-DNF

Heat 1 - 8 laps
1. 24-Landon Simon, Tipp City, OH (6); 2. 56-Mitchell Davis, Auburn, IL (1); 3. 14-Chad Wilson, Toledo, OH (2); 4. 31L Buddy Lowther, Cincinnati, OH (5); 5. 4G-George Gaertner III, Salem, WI (7); 6. N2-Nic Harris, Atlanta, IL (3); 7. 24X-Kyle Simon, Covington, OH (7)

Heat 2 - 8 laps
1. 23C-Tyler Courtney, Indianapolis, IN (3); 2. 8D-Terry Babb, Decatur, IL (1); 3. 17GP-Dave Darland, Lincoln, IN (5); 4. 1-Mitch Wissmiller, Saybrook, IL (8); 5. 11-James Lyerla, Hillsboro, IL (6); 6. 52F-Logan Faucon, Elkhart, IL (7); 7. 1T-Tyler Shoemaker, Bloomington, IN (4); 8. 95-Tommy Rockwell, Towanda, IL (2)

Heat 3 - 8 laps
1. 6-Mario Clouser, Auburn, IL (1); 2, 12-Robert Ballou, Rocklin, CA (5); 3. 5H-Patrick Haynes, Bradley, IL (2); 4. 20-Steve Thomas, Rantoul, IL (3); 5. 89-George Gaertner Jr, Salem, WI (6); 6. 7-Steve Clott, N/A (8); 7. 9-Kevin Thomas Jr, Cullman, AL (7)-DNS; 8. 74-Josh Hodges, Tijeras, NM (8)-DNS

Heat 4 - 8 laps
1. 99-Korey Weyant, Springfield, IL (1); 2. 47-Katlynn Leer, Moulton, IA (4); 3. 51B-Joe B. Miller, Millersville, MO (6); 4. 38-Allen Hafford, Beach Park, IL (3); 5. 31-Austin Sears, Macomb, IL (2); 6. 16-Anthony Nicholson, Bartlett, TN (5); 7. 37X-Dave Gross, Rochester, IN (7)

B-Main - 12 laps
1. 9-Kevin Thomas Jr (14); 2. 16-Anthony Nicholson (7); 3. 74-Josh Hodges (15); 4. 11-James Lyerla (2); 5. 38-Allen Hafford (1); 6. 52F-Logan Faucon (4); 7. 31-Austin Sears (5); 8. 89-George Gaertner Jr (3); 9. 95-Tommy Rockwell (12); 10. 1T-Tyler Shoemaker (11); 11. 29-Randy Stanford (10); 12. 37X-Dave Gross (9); 13. 7-Steve Clott (6); 14. N2-Nic Harris (8); 15. 24X-Kyle Simon (13)


MOWA/IRA A-Main - 35 laps
1. 3G-Carson Macedo (4), 2. 71-Joey Saldana (1), 3. 20-Hunter Schuerenberg (2), 4. 50-Bill Balog (9), 5. 5T-Travis Philo (7), 6. 22-Bret Tripplett (12), 7. 85-Mike Terry Jr (10), 8. 51B-Joe B Miller (17), 9. 65-Jordan Goldesberry (6), 10. 1M-Jim Moughan (18), 11. 10S-Jeremy Standridge (23), 12. 23D-Trey Datweiler (14), 13. 90-Patrick Budde (22), 14. 9-Paul Nienhiser (13), 15. 52F-Logan Faucon (19), 16. 25-Jake Blackhurst (11), 17. 5H-Patrick Haynes (20), 18. 5J-Jeremy Schultz (8), 19. 77U-Chris Urish (16), 20. 9T-Dylan Tuxhorn (15), 21. 32-Jeff Tuxhorn (21), 22. 44-A.J. Bruns (3), 23. 05-Brad Loyet (5), 24. 57-George Crawford (24), 25. 79J-Jacob Patton (25)

Heat 1 - 10 laps
1. 44-A.J. Bruns (2), 2. 65-Jordan Goldesberry (5), 3. 05-Brad Loyet (8), 4. 23D-Trey Datweiler (1), 5. 22-Bret Tripplett (7), 6. 51B-Joe B Miller (4), 7. 52F-Logan Faucon (3), 8. 10S-Jeremy Standridge (6), 9. 57-George Crawford (9)

Heat 2 - 10 laps
1. 3G-Carson Macedo (4), 2. 20-Hunter Schuerenberg (6), 3. 5J-Jeremy Schultz (8), 4. 25-Jake Blackhurst (5), 5. 77U-Chris Urish (2), 6. 9T-Dylan Tuxhorn (7), 7. 5H-Patrick Haynes (3), 8. 79J-Jacob Patton (1)

Heat 3 - 10 laps
1. 71-Joey Saldana (5), 2. 5T-Travis Philo (4), 3. 85-Mike Terry Jr (2), 4 – 50-Bill Balog (6), 5. 9-Paul Nienhiser (7), 6. 1M-Jim Moughan (3), 7. 90-Patrick Budde (1), 8. 32-Jeff Tuxhorn (8)