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Mattingly Repeats with Eden-Piercy Memorial Win; Unzicker, McKinney, Odell, Duncan also Victorious in FALS Cup Action

Steven Mattingly

Steven Mattingly

Ryan Unzicker

Ryan Unzicker

Mike McKinney

Mike McKinney

Peter Odell

Peter Odell

Mason Duncan

Mason Duncan

Results | Story and Pictures by Rocky Ragusa

After thunderstorms cancelled last week’s racing action at the Fairbury Speedway, the track resumed Saturday night with a FALS Cup weekly program. Ryan Unzicker (Late Model), Mike McKinney (Modified), Steve Mattingly (Sportsman), Pete Odell (Stock Car), and Mason Duncan (Hobby-Modified) claimed feature wins.

mattingly spThe annual Eden-Piercy Memorial race for the Sportsman class had 19 cars on hand for their 25-lap, $1,550 to win special. Fairbury’s Tyler Roth toured the speed plant at 14.560 seconds for quick time. Wes Odell and Steve Mattingly took heat race wins. A trophy dash was held for the six fastest qualifiers and Rick Roedel took the win. Odell led the first three laps before surrendering it to Mattingly with Michael Ledford following. Cautions plagued the early going keeping the cars in tight formation. Mattingly, running the top side to perfection, kept a five-car-length lead over Ledford, with Odell, Tommy Duncan, and Dustin Mounce trailing. Following a caution on lap 18, Ledford made an attempt for the lead, but mechanical failure ended his bid as he struck the wall on the next lap. Mattingly stretched his lead in the final laps and was able to claim his second straight win of the year, two consecutive Eden-Piercy trophies, and with lap money, $1,600 richer. “It was pretty easy driving,” Mattingly said. “There were a couple of times I messed up on the top. I got a little nervous but calmed back down. The car got junked at the first race of the year. Brian Dunn reclipped it and I have to give him a lot of credit.” The rest of the top ten went to Odell, Duncan, Mounce, 16th starter Dennis Vandermeersch, Roedel, Blake Reid, Brian Albus, Matt Ramer, and Scott Williams.

unzicker lmEl Paso’s Ryan Unzicker secured fast time honors with a lap of 12.984 seconds as 25 Late Model drivers made qualifying attempts for their 30-lap feature. Allen Weisser, Ohio’s Kody Evans, and Billy Drake took heat race wins, while Bill Hough was the semi-feature winner. Polesitter Weisser took the lead on the start with Drake, Evans, Unzicker, and Dan Flessner following. Unzicker picked cars off working his way to the front. On the 16th lap, Unzicker did a slide job on Weisser to move to the lead. Unzicker was able to open up his lead before encountering slower cars. Weisser was able to close in on Unzicker and took the lead on lap 24 before Unzicker reclaimed the top spot. Unzicker, with a fast cat, stretched his lead in the waning laps to pick up his second win of the year. “We started off the first five races finishing in the top three and then we struggled a bit,” Unzicker said. “Now we got our groove back.” Weisser took second, with Drake, Evans, McKay Wenger, Flessner, Kevin Weaver, Mike Spatola, Scott Schmitt, and Mike Mataragas completing the top ten.

mckinney mdPontiac’s Jeffrey Ledford turned the track at 13.774 seconds with 27 Modified cars in attendance for their 25-lap race. Ledford, Allen Weisser, and Mike McKinney won heat races, with Kenny Carlson taking the semi-feature. Starting on the outside front row, Weisser led McKinney, Jim Farris, Ledford, and Steven Brooks on a lightning fast track. After a caution on lap three, McKinney got by Weisser to lead a lap before Weisser moved back to the front. Weisser had a ten-car-length lead over McKinney before a yellow flag was waved on the 10th lap. McKinney was able to stay within striking distance of Weisser before things got hairy with a lap to go. As the pair approached a slower car, McKinney found the momentum running the top to get by Weisser as the two drivers made contact exiting turn four with the checkered flag in sight. McKinney, in dramatic fashion, edged Weisser for his third feature win. “I have a lot of respect for Allen. We go hard and race hard,” explained McKinney. “After they prepped the track, I was expecting it to be flooded and we were wide open. I had a groove up top. Allen was rolling the middle and we had a heck of a run.” Weisser settled for being the bridesmaid on this night, while Ledford, Brooks, Farris, Nick Neville, Alan Stipp, Nick Clubb, Mark Grosvenor, and Trevor Neville rounded out the top ten.

odell scA time of 15.604 seconds earned Streator’s Pete Odell fast time over 14 other Stock Car drivers for their 15-lap show. Points leader Nick Seplak and Tanner Sullivan were the heat race victors. Starting fourth, Odell charged to the front on the second lap. Odell, running the bottom, ran a silky smooth line. Never threatened, Odell took his first win of the year. “I didn’t know what the track would be like after the track was prepped,” Odell said. “I thought it would be slicker than it was. We took a guess on the setup and it worked out. Ever since I started racing on dirt my Dad has been along for the ride helping to make the car fast. Thanks Dad.” Zach Zuberbier, Seplak, Justin VanDrunen, Michael Schomas, Sullivan, Eric Boudreau, Josh Hetherington, Justin Thomas, and Kraig Hughes completed the top ten.

duncan hmMetamora’s Mason Duncan completed the trifecta, setting fast time (15.044), winning his heat race, and dominating the 12-lap Hobby-Modified race for his fourth win of the year. ‘It has been a tough two weeks with getting my Dad’s car and mind back together,” Duncan said. “It’s good to be back in victory lane.” Chris Burton, Macy Vaughan, Jason Brandt, Thad Gee (heat two winner), Darren Christensen, Austin Lipe, Troy Ricketts, Darren Kerrins, and Makinzi Semmens rounded out the top ten.


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