Mike Spatola charges from 13th starting position to score fourth win of season in Late Models; Jeffrey Ledford captures first win in Modifieds
by Rocky Ragusa
The Fairbury American Legion Speedway welcomed the traveling stars of the POWRi Lucas Oil National Midget League and the co-sanctioned IRA/MOWA 410 Winged Sprint Cars on Saturday night. Joining the program were the weekly Late Model and Modified classes. Tucker Klaasmeyer (Midget), Jordan Goldesberry (Sprint Car), Mike Spatola (Late Model), and Jeffrey Ledford (Modified) drove to victory lane to get their picture taken at the end of their respective races.
20 of the best Midget drivers in the country looked to take the $2,000 prize in their 30 lap race. Logan Seavey, Tanner Carrick, and Joe B. Miller won in heat race action. Tucker Klaasmeyer was leading Seavey with four laps to go when the red flag was displayed as points leader Ryan Robinson and Holly Shelton made contact on the backstretch with both machines getting upside down. On the restart, Seavey, on the bottom, and Klaasmeyer, on the top, looked to take the big check. As the two drivers came to the line on the last lap, both drivers collided with Klaasmeyer spinning his way to his fourth win of the year and Seavey upside down. “That was a little sketchy,” Kaasmeyer said. “It was a fun race. I didn’t know if the top was ever going to come in.” Seavey settled for second, with Jake Neuman, Miller, Carrick, Zach Daum, Karter Sarff, Sam Johnson, Kyle Schuett, and Austin Brown completing the top ten.
The IRA/MOWA Sprint Cars attracted 40 drivers for their 30 lap race. Ohio invader Travis Philo took quick time honors at an 11.258. Four heat races were held with Joe B. Miller, Justin Peck, Jordan Goldesberry, and Kody Kinser winning and moving on to the feature. Scott Neitzel was the winner of the B-Main race. Goldesberry took the lead at the start as Scotty Thiel and Jake Blackhurst raced for second. Thiel was able to take over second and tracked down Goldesberry. Both drivers swapped the front position before Thiel was able to move into the lead. As Thiel soon encountered slower cars, Goldesberry and Blackhurst were able to reel in the race leader. As Thiel was lapping a slower car, both made contact and the yellow flag was waved. Goldesberry took over the lead on the restart and checked out on the field with 16 laps remaining and went on to take his first feature win of the season. Blackhurst, Bill Balog, Miller, Brandon Wimmer, Philo, Thiel, Joey Moughan, Steve Meyer, and Clinton Boyles rounded out the top ten.
Mike Spatola topped 17 other Late Models in qualifying for their 30 lap feature with a time of 12.858. Scott Schmitt and Jay Sparks took heat race wins. Spatola was involved in an accident in his heat race, and with the help of the Jeff Curl team he was able to made repairs and start 13th in the main event. Schmitt got the jump on Sparks for the lead at the start of the race. Sparks' night came to an end on the fourth lap as he hit the wall at the pit exit drawing a caution flag. Schmitt led on the restart and built a 10-car-length lead running the top side of the track. Taylor Scheffler, Kevin Weaver, Mike Provenzano, and the hard charging Spatola engaged in a heated battle for the second position. Spatola was looking to redeem himself as he ran the top side and was in third as the caution fell on the 15th lap. On the restart, Spatola overtook Scheffler and went into turn one on the bottom with Schmitt on the top. Spatola tried a slide job for the lead, but the rear end of Spatola’s car broke loose and Schmitt got into the back of Spatola ending Schmitt’s race. Spatola, Weaver, and Scheffler went three wide on the restart with Spatola emerging as the race leader. Weaver challenged Spatola for the lead, but Spatola wasted little time in separating himself from the competition. Spatola earned a hard fought fourth win of the year and closed the margin in track points as he trails Weaver by 22 marks. Scheffler got by Weaver for second in the closing laps, with Curl, Steve Thorsten, Provenzano, David Jaeger, Justin Reed, Dan Flessner, and Bill Hough taking the top ten spots. “I misjudged that slide job,“ commented Spatola. “I had a lot of speed going down the frontstretch. I thought he would see me and haul it off in there and cross me. He was running some good laps on the top. I guess I was a lot closer than I thought or he couldn’t get it crossed down.”
Tyler Weiss turned in fast time honors at a 13.993 to head the 21 Modified drivers for their 20 lap race. McKay Wenger was joined by the father and son team of Jay and Jeffrey Ledford as heat race winners. Jeffrey Ledford took the lead at the start of the race and running on the bottom quickly built his lead. Although four cautions fell on the first six laps, the “Phenom” was unstoppable, while Jay Ledford and points leader Wenger diced for second. After the halfway mark of the race, Ledford opened a 10-car-length lead. In a valiant effort, Wenger put his car on the top side of the track in hopes of catching Ledford. The bottom groove proved to be the fast way around as Jeffrey Ledford was able to pick up his first win of the year. “It has been a long summer,” spoke an excited Ledford. “I can’t believe we finally got a win. We have had so much go wrong. It is nice to have a complete night.” Jay Ledford was able to get back by Wenger for second, with Donovan Lodge, Steven Brooks, Nick Lueth, Kyle Hammer, Alan Stipp, Jason Hastings, and Austin Lynn taking the first ten positions.
Klaasmeyer Takes FALS Last-Lap Thriller
Never short for close-quarter racing and action, Fairbury American Legion Speedway delivered with Tucker Klaasmeyer and Logan Seavey battling it out all the way to the line on the last lap in the POWRi Lucas Oil National Midget League feature event. With a collision at the line resulting in Seavey flipping wildly into turn one and Klaasmeyer spun around, Klaasmeyer claimed his fourth victory of 2018 with the league.
By virtue of passing points, Klaasmeyer started on the pole for the 30-lap feature event, sharing the front row with Keith Kunz/Curb-Agajanian Motorsports teammate Tanner Carrick. At the drop of the green flag, Klaasmeyer jockeyed for the lead with Seavey and Joe B. Miller, only for Seavey to take the early lead.
As Seavey rolled the bottom, Klaasmeyer stayed committed to the thin cushion on the high side of the semi-banked quarter mile, cleaning off the crumbs in the top groove with only a handful of drivers sharing in the cause. With a third of the race completed, Klaasmeyer caught Seavey and narrowly took over the lead as the laps wound down. With two laps remaining, Klaasmeyer’s Keith Kunz/Curb-Agajanian Motorsports teammates Ryan Robinson and Holly Shelton got together on the backstretch, resulting in both machines upside down and the red displayed.
Returning to racing, Seavey had one last shot at Klaasmeyer as the drivers remained committed to their respective lines; Seavey rolling the bottom as Klaasmeyer pounded the top. Coming out of four and to the checkered, the drivers collided at the line with Klaasmeyer narrowly edging Seavey. Klaasmeyer ended up spun from the contact with Seavey flipping into turn one. Jake Neuman took third with Joe B. Miller in fourth. Tanner Carrick rounded out the top five.
“That was a little sketchy,” commented Tucker Klaasmeyer. “But, that was a helluva a fun race. I didn’t know if the top was finally going to come in. But, hat’s off to my team and family; this is pretty awesome to get number four already. There’s more races this weekend, so hopefully we can keep it going. It’s been a pretty special year, hopefully we can keep it going and try to snag the points lead this week. I’m looking forward to tomorrow.”
“I hate it for my team,” said Logan Seavey. “We have a long week and a tore up car sucks. We were just racing hard for the lead and racing hard coming to the checkered. We’ll just keep working hard, come back, and go again tomorrow at Sun Prairie. That’s a really fun race track and Keith brings great racecars every night.”
“We were fast,” stated Jake Neuman. “The car was fast. We started eighth and I lost brakes about halfway through and fell back to probably ninth or tenth. I had nowhere to go but the top. Nobody else was up there so might as well pound the cushion. I’m ready for Sun Prairie tomorrow. We’ll see if we can finally bring a first home.”
A Feature (30 laps)
1. 27-Tucker Klaasmeyer, ; 2. 67-Logan Seavey, ; 3. 3N-Jake Neuman, ; 4. 51-Joe B. Miller, ; 5. 71K-Tanner Carrick, ; 6. 5D-Zach Daum ; 7. 21KS-Karter Sarff, ; 8. 72-Sam Johnson, ; 9. 9K-Kyle Schuett, ; 10. 7-Austin Brown, ; 11. 5T-Presley Truedson, ; 12. 10C-Dalton Camfield, ; 13. 51B-Adam Taylor, ; 14. 14JR-Holley Hollan, ; 15. 86C-Devin Camfield, ; 16. 3B-Shelby Bosie, ; 17. 20-Cody Weisensel, ; 18. 67K-Holly Shelton, ; 19. 71-Ryan Robinson, ; 20. 87C-David Camfield, 
Heat 1 (8 laps)
1. 67-Logan Seavey, ; 2. 71-Ryan Robinson, ; 3. 5D-Zach Daum, ; 4. 10C-Dalton Camfield, ; 5. 87C-David Camfield, ; 6. 3B-Shelby Bosie, ; 7. 5T-Presley Truedson, 
Heat 2 (8 laps)
1. 71K-Tanner Carrick, ; 2. 27-Tucker Klaasmeyer, ; 3. 72-Sam Johnson, ; 4. 51B-Adam Taylor, ; 5. 7-Austin Brown, ; 6. 14JR-Holley Hollan, ; 7. 86C-Devin Camfield, 
Heat 3 (8 laps)
1. 51-Joe B. Miller, ; 2. 3N-Jake Neuman, ; 3. 67K-Holly Shelton, ; 4. 21KS-Karter Sarff, ; 5. 9K-Kyle Schuett, ; 6. 20-Cody Weisensel, 
Goldesberry Victorious at FALS
Jordan Goldesberry battled off challenges from Scotty Thiel and Jake Blackhurst to claim victory at the Fairbury American Legion Speedway in his home state of Illinois.
40 teams singled in for action with the Bumper to Bumper Interstate Racing Association (IRA) and Midwest Open Wheel Association(MOWA) at the Fairbury American Legion Speedway. Qualifying saw Ohio driver Travis Philo set quicktime over IRA point leader Scotty Thiel. Bill Balog timed in 3rd ahead of Friday night’s feature winner Jake Blackhurst. 5th quick was Brandon Wimmer behind the wheel of the Hartnell Motorsports 7TW.
Heat race number 1 was claimed by Joe B Miller over Brandon Wimmer. Jeremy Schultz rebounded from his 25th place qualifying effort to finish 3rd ahead of Travis Philo and Jim Moughan. Heat number 2 saw Justin Peck and Scotty Thiel battle hard for the lead, Peck would eventually claim the win with Thiel settling for 2nd. Russel Borland would take 3rd place with Wayne Modjeski in 4th and Phillip Mock in 5th. The 3rd heat race was exciting as Joey Moughan took the early lead, but Jordan Goldesberry was hot on his heels. Goldesberry pulled alongside Moughan many times but could not seem to find a way past. As the pair took the white flag Goldesberry was finally able to complete the pass on Moughan with the help of a lapped car. Goldesberry took the win and at the line Balog also moved past Moughan for 2nd. Moughan crossed in 3rd followed by Steve Meyer and Trey Deitweiler. Heat race 4 was claimed by Kody Kinser over rookie of the year contender Brandon McMullen. Jake Blackhurst finished in the 3rd position ahead of Chris Urish. Kris Spitz would claim the 5th position and final transfer spot to the A main.
The B main started with Scotty Neitzel on the pole, he quickly took the lead over Clinton Boyles. Boyles challenged Neitzel but could never find a way past Neitzels Orange 2w. Neitzel would claim the B main win over Boyles and MOWA point leader Jacob Patton. Michael Decker would claim the 4th and final transfer position, fending off a late race charge from 16th starting Mike Terry Jr who would have to settle for 5th.
The A main saw Jake Blackhurst start on the pole, but a massive wheel stand on the front stretch would allow Jordan Goldesberry to take the lead, Jordan would hold the lead through a pair of cautions, first for Jeremy Schultz and then for a pair of 1m cars, driven by Phillip Mock and Jim Moughan. Behind Goldesberry Scotty Thiel and Jake Blackhurst battled hard for 2nd, swapping the position multiple times in the opening laps. On the 2nd restart Thiel got a huge run out of 4 and would pass Goldesberry, the duo would swap the lead a few times in the next lap and a half before Thiel would final claim the lead. Thiel would hold that lead until lapped traffic held him up allowing Goldesberry and Blackhurst to get back to him and with 16 laps to go the pair would pass Thiel as he made contact with Kris Spitz on the front stretch. The caution would fly for Spitz getting turned around, but Thiel would maintain the 3rd position on the restart as his number 64 machine never came to a stop. Goldesberry would pull away on the restart, and with the last 16 laps going without caution, he would not be challenged. Jordan Goldesberry claimed the victory in his home state of Illinois over fellow Illini Jake Blackhurst. Bill Balog would bring his 17b home in 3rd followed by Joe B Miller and Brandon Wimmer.
A Feature (30 laps)
1. 65-Jordan Goldesberry, ; 2. 25-Jake Blackhurst, ; 3. 17B-Bill Balog, ; 4. 51B-Joe B. Miller, ; 5. 7TW-Brandon Wimmer, ; 6. 5T-Travis Philo, ; 7. 64-Scotty Thiel, ; 8. 11D-Joey Moughan, ; 9. 85M-Steve Meyer, ; 10. 98-Clinton Boyles, ; 11. 4KK-Kody Kinser, ; 12. 10W-Brandon McMullen, ; 13. 79J-Jacob Patton, ; 14. 77U-Chris Urish, ; 15. 23-Russel Borland, ; 16. 4K-Kris Spitz, ; 17. 2W-Scott Neitzel, ; 18. 5J-Jeremy Schultz, ; 19. 14AJ-Wayne Modjeski, ; 20. 12-Michael Decker, ; 21. 23D-Trey Datweiler, ; 22. 5X-Justin Peck, ; 23. (DNF) 1MM-Jim Moughan Jr, ; 24. (DNF) 1M-Phillip Mock, 
B Feature (15 laps)
1. 2W-Scott Neitzel, ; 2. 98-Clinton Boyles, ; 3. 79J-Jacob Patton, ; 4. 12-Michael Decker, ; 5. 85-Mike Terry Jr., ; 6. 7-Scott Uttech, ; 7. 53-Brayden Fox, ; 8. 10S-Jeremy Standridge, ; 9. 52F-Logan Faucon, ; 10. 9T-Dylan Tuxhorn, ; 11. 14-Jim Fifield, ; 12. 21-Brinton Marvel, ; 13. 29-Hunter Custer, ; 14. 18-Keith Fellner, ; 15. (DNF) 82-John Parker, ; (DNS) 70-Raymond Hensley, ; (DNS) 51J-Ryan Jamison, ; (DNS) 1T-Tyler Shoemaker, ; (DNS) 84-Nathan Charron, ; (DNS) 4B-Scott Biertzer
Heat 1 (10 laps)
1. 51B-Joe B. Miller, ; 2. 7TW-Brandon Wimmer, ; 3. 5J-Jeremy Schultz, ; 4. 5T-Travis Philo, ; 5. 1MM-Jim Moughan Jr, ; 6. 79J-Jacob Patton, ; 7. 10S-Jeremy Standridge, ; 8. 2W-Scott Neitzel, ; 9. 18-Keith Fellner, ; 10. 51J-Ryan Jamison, 
Heat 2 (10 laps)
1. 5X-Justin Peck, ; 2. 64-Scotty Thiel, ; 3. 23-Russel Borland, ; 4. 14AJ-Wayne Modjeski, ; 5. 1M-Phillip Mock, ; 6. 98-Clinton Boyles, ; 7. 12-Michael Decker, ; 8. 52F-Logan Faucon, ; 9. 14-Jim Fifield, ; 10. 85-Mike Terry Jr., 
Heat 3 (10 laps)
1. 65-Jordan Goldesberry, ; 2. 17B-Bill Balog, ; 3. 11D-Joey Moughan, ; 4. 85M-Steve Meyer, ; 5. 23D-Trey Datweiler, ; 6. 7-Scott Uttech, ; 7. 53-Brayden Fox, ; 8. 82-John Parker, ; 9. 1T-Tyler Shoemaker, ; 10. 29-Hunter Custer, 
Heat 4 (10 laps)
1. 4KK-Kody Kinser, ; 2. 10W-Brandon McMullen, ; 3. 25-Jake Blackhurst, ; 4. 77U-Chris Urish, ; 5. 4K-Kris Spitz, ; 6. 9T-Dylan Tuxhorn, ; 7. 70-Raymond Hensley, ; 8. 84-Nathan Charron, ; 9. 21-Brinton Marvel, 
1. 5T-Travis Philo, 00:11.258; 2. 64-Scotty Thiel, 00:11.416; 3. 17B-Bill Balog, 00:11.431; 4. 25-Jake Blackhurst, 00:11.541; 5. 7TW-Brandon Wimmer, 00:11.598; 6. 5X-Justin Peck, 00:11.618; 7. 65-Jordan Goldesberry, 00:11.639; 8. 10W-Brandon McMullen, 00:11.649; 9. 2W-Scott Neitzel, 00:11.702; 10. 1M-Phillip Mock, 00:11.839; 11. 11D-Joey Moughan, 00:11.908; 12. 4KK-Kody Kinser, 00:11.951; 13. 51B-Joe B. Miller, 00:11.981; 14. 23-Russel Borland, 00:12.006; 15. 85M-Steve Meyer, 00:12.022; 16. 4K-Kris Spitz, 00:12.081; 17. 79J-Jacob Patton, 00:12.091; 18. 85-Mike Terry Jr., 00:12.098; 19. 23D-Trey Datweiler, 00:12.129; 20. 77U-Chris Urish, 00:12.166; 21. 1MM-Jim Moughan Jr, 00:12.167; 22. 14AJ-Wayne Modjeski, 00:12.288; 23. 53-Brayden Fox, 00:12.321; 24. 70-Raymond Hensley, 00:12.400; 25. 5J-Jeremy Schultz, 00:12.486; 26. 52F-Logan Faucon, 00:12.554; 27. 82-John Parker, 00:12.577; 28. 21-Brinton Marvel, 00:12.589; 29. 51J-Ryan Jamison, 00:12.638; 30. 98-Clinton Boyles, 00:12.955; 31. 1T-Tyler Shoemaker, 00:13.115; 32. 84-Nathan Charron, 00:13.146; 33. 10S-Jeremy Standridge, 00:13.553; 34. 12-Michael Decker, 00:13.748; 35. 7-Scott Uttech, 00:13.821; 36. 9T-Dylan Tuxhorn, 00:14.030; 37. 18-Keith Fellner, 00:14.051; 38. 14-Jim Fifield, 00:14.330; 39. 29-Hunter Custer, 00:14.371; (DNS) 4B-Scott Biertzer