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Spatola, Weisser, VanDrunen, Ledford, Duncan Take FALS Cup Checkers

Mike Spatola

Mike Spatola

Allen Weisser

Allen Weisser

Justin VanDrunen

Justin VanDrunen

Michael Ledford

Michael Ledford

Mason Duncan

Mason Duncan

Results | Story and Pictures by Rocky Ragusa

The Fairbury Speedway hosted a weekly FALS Cup program on Saturday night. Mike Spatola (Late Model), Allen Weisser (Modified), Justin VanDrunen (Stock Car), Michael Ledford (Sportsman), and Mason Duncan (Hobby-Modified) bested the competition in their respective classes.

spatola lmThe Late Model division saw 20 drivers make qualifying runs for their 30-lap, $2,500 to win race. Manhattan’s Mike Spatola blistered the ¼ mile dirt oval with a fast time of 12.768 seconds. Spatola and Scott Schmitt were the heat race winners. Spatola jumped out to the lead at the start, as Schmitt, Kevin Weaver, Ryan Unzicker, and Rich Bell vied for second. The yellow flag fell on the sixth lap, and on the restart, Spatola wasted little time in opening a ten-car-length lead. Schmitt had his hands full as Weaver looked to move into second. Weaver saw his opportunity on lap 12 as Schmitt’s car got into the crumbs in turn one allowing Weaver to take second. After a lap 16 caution, Weaver offered Spatola a brief challenge for the lead, but Spatola was able to hold a ten-car-length lead over Weaver and take his second FALS Cup trophy of the season. “It’s a lot of work keeping these cars on the racetrack,” Spatola said. “Me and my crew all have day jobs and then spend three to four hours a night in the shop. We all have families and kids. It can be tough. So, I thank my guys for their commitment.” With his win, Spatola trimmed Unzicker’s lead in the battle for the track title to eight points. Weaver took second, with Schmitt earning a hard fought third over Bell and Donny Walden. The remainder of the top ten were Jason Feger, Unzicker, McKay Wenger, Derek Chandler, and Paul Stubber.

weisser mdMaking the long haul from Brighton, Jacob Rexing was the fast qualifier at 13.952 seconds, as 18 drivers went through the chute. Allen Weisser and Jeff Leka took heat race wins. On race day, the Weisser team changed the engine out of one car and put it into his other car. The difference worked as Weisser, losing a heartbreaker the previous week, dominated the 25-lap race from green to checkered. For Weisser, it was his fifth feature win of the year at Fairbury. Trailing Weisser to the line were Steven Brooks, Ryan Thomas, Dan Rork, Nick Clubb, Rexing, 18th starter Alan Stipp, Matthew Mitchell, Jeffrey Ledford, and Eric Vaughan.

vandrunen scPoints leader Nick Seplak set the pace in Stock Car qualifying at 15.811 seconds with 18 cars in attendance for their 15-lap feature. Pete Odell and Justin VanDrunen earned heat race wins. VanDrunen took the top spot at the start as Odell hounded the leader throughout the race. Odell was able to take the lead on lap 13, but VanDrunen reclaimed the lead on the next lap and took his first career Fairbury win in a hard-fought battle. “This has been a dream come true to get this win,” VanDrunen said. “I can’t thank my dad, sponsors, and fans enough for their support.” Odell settled for second, as Tanner Sullivan, Seplak, Robert Cottom, Zach Zuberbier, Michael Schomas, Eric Boudreau, Cody Clubb, and Josh Hetherington completed the top ten.

ledford spEight CR Towing Sportsman drivers took time trials for their 15-lap race. 14.867 seconds earned fast time for Tommy Duncan. Duncan was also the heat race winner. Duncan and Michael Ledford ran side by side for the lead at the start. The 14-year-old wheelman ran the top side like a grizzled pro, maintaining a five-car-length lead over points leader Duncan. For Ledford, it was his second win of the year. “I knew that starting second that I wanted to be on the topside at the start,” stated Ledford. “It was a little treacherous, but we held on for the win.” Duncan, Lyndon Whitfill, Amber Crouch, Matt Ramer, Blake Reid, Alex Wilson, and Steve Mattingly completed the finish.

duncan hm16 Hobby-Modified drivers qualified for their 12-lap race. Mason Duncan sizzled the track at 14.897 seconds to claim quick time honors. Two heat races saw Duncan and Macy Vaughan taking the wins. Duncan continued to be the class of the field in leading all the way for his fifth win. “We work on this car day in and day out. I can’t thank my dad enough for all that he does,” Duncan said. “We had a fast track and a fast car.” Jason Brandt, Troy Ricketts, Thad Gee, Austin Lipe, Makinzi Semmens, Chris Burton, Darren Christensen, Derrick DeFord, and Payton Semmens completed the top ten.


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