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Unzicker, Weisser, Duncan, Hammond, Duncan Pick Up FALS Cup Wins

Ryan Unzicker

Ryan Unzicker

Allen Weisser

Allen Weisser

Tommy Duncan

Tommy Duncan

Matthew Hammond

Matthew Hammond

Mason Duncan

Mason Duncan

Results | Story and Pictures by Rocky Ragusa

A near capacity crowd was on hand for Fan Appreciation Night at the Fairbury Speedway on Saturday night. 110 cars in six classes participated, which saw Ryan Unzicker (Late Model), Allen Weisser (Modified), Matt Hammond (Stock Car), Tommy Duncan (Sportsman), Mason Duncan (Hobby-Modified), and Matt Ramer (Vintage) carrying the checkered flag.

unzicker lm26 Late Model drivers were on hand for their 30-lap feature race. Manhattan’s Mike Spatola turned a lap of 13.360 seconds for quick time. Ryan Unzicker, Myles Moos, and Scott Schmitt took heat race wins. Jason Feger advanced to the feature race by winning the B-Main. At the drop of the green flag, polesitter Unzicker took command while McKay Wenger and Schmitt had a see-saw battle for second. Following a caution on lap six for early contender Moos, Wenger made several bids for the lead before Unzicker went to the top side of the track and opened up a 10-car length lead. A caution fell with nine laps to go giving Wenger another chance to move to the front, but Unzicker proved to be much stronger on this night giving the El Paso native his first FALS Cup win of the year. “The track was racy on the top and bottom,” Unzicker spoke. “I am glad we were able to start on the front row because there was a lot of tough competition here tonight.” Wenger settled for second, followed by Kevin Weaver, Spatola, Schmitt, 16th starter Feger, Donny Walden, Derek Chandler, Mike Provenzano, and Spencer Diercks.

weisser mdIn Modified time trials, Peoria’s Allen Weisser paced the 27 drivers at 14.152 seconds. Weisser, Randy Shuman, and Steven Brooks claimed heat race wins. Nick Clubb was the winner of the B-Main. Polesitter Weisser got the jump on the field at the start of the 25-lap race. Weisser held a straightaway lead by the eighth lap, as Brooks and Jeffrey Ledford raced for the second position. Drivers had to pick their lines as a rut had developed at the bottom of the track in turn one. With tens laps to go, Ledford, running the top, overtook Brooks for second and began his chase of Weisser. A caution fell on the 22nd lap giving Ledford the chance to overtake Weisser. On the restart, Ledford made several attempts to take the lead, but Weisser held on and edged Ledford by a car length for his third straight win. “It’s always awesome to race against the Ledford’s, especially Jeffrey,” an excited Weisser spoke. “My crew guy told me he was coming so I had to go to the top in turns 1-2. You couldn’t ask for a better track.” Following Weisser and Ledford to the stripe were Shuman, Brooks, Devin Wright, Nick Neville, Trevor Neville, Mike Learman, Bradley Jameson, and Dan Rork.

hammond sc24 of the best Stock Car drivers in the region were signed in for their 15-lap feature race. A newcomer to Fairbury, Kingston’s Zachary Zuberbier took fast time at 15.584 seconds. Matt Hammond, Nick Seplak, and Justin VanDrunen took the wins in their respective heat races. Bourbonnais’s Hammond led the start of the caution-plagued race. VanDrunen, Seplak, and Tanner Sullivan put on a show in a race for second and each challenged Hammond for the lead, but this night belonged to Hammond after finally ending his long Fairbury drought and taking his first Fairbury win. “This year has been nothing but seconds and thirds,” an emotional Hammond said. “We have been so close and to get my first one here is awesome.” Seplak, Zuberbier, Sullivan, VanDrunen, 21st starter Kory Kohler, Eric Boudreau, Peter Argianas, Megan Erwin, and Kyle Miner took the top ten positions.

duncan spFairbury’s Tyler Roth earned his first fast time of the season with a lap of 15.357 seconds as nine CR Towing Sportsman drivers looked to take the trophy in their 15-lap race. Metamora’s Tommy Duncan was the heat race victor. Duncan led Amber Crouch, Michael Ledford, Anthony Craven, and Roth as the green flag waved. After a lap five caution, Ledford moved to the top side overtaking Crouch for second. Ledford made a game effort to catch the leader, but Duncan drove a smooth, steady line on the bottom for his second straight win. “I can’t talk enough about my crew,” said Duncan. “They are on it now. They know what we need and know what we need to do.” Ledford, Roth, Craven, Lyndon Whitfill, Steve Mattingly, Brian Albus, Crouch, and Matt Ramer completed the field.

duncan hmFairbury’s Mike Petersen topped 16 Hobby-Modified drivers in qualifying at 15.396 seconds. Mason Duncan and Tyler Sebby earned heat race wins. Not to be outdone by his father, Duncan put on a clinic in dominating the 12-lap feature race. Thad Gee, Austin Lipe, Troy Ricketts, Brendan Ramer, Albie Perez, Macy Vaughan, Petersen, Sebby, and Jake Green completed the top ten.

ramer vtMaking their lone appearance of the year, eight Vintage Racing of Illinois Series cars were in attendance. The 15-lap race saw plenty of side-by-side racing, as Matt Ramer was able to pull away at the halfway mark for the win. Ramer’s son Brandon was second, with Andy Thompson, Tyler Sebby, John Ryan, Kyle Davis, Mark Davis, and Jim Beaty completing the field. “I can’t believe I finally got a win here,” an excited Ramer commented. “The car was a handful. I would turn it one way and it would go the other. With five laps to go I could smell something burning, but just glad to hang on for the win.”


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