25th Annual Prairie Dirt Classic Headlines 2O14 FALS Schedule

In a season filled with high expectations revolving around the famed quarter mile dirt track, the Fairbury American Legion Speedway will play host to the highest paying Dirt Late Model race in Illinois history as the 25th Annual Prairie Dirt Classic, sanctioned with the World of Outlaws again in 2014, will pay $25,000 to the winner of the 100-lap feature event. The race that was named Dirt on Dirt’s “Race of the Year” in 2013 from across the country, the Illinois crown jewel will once again highlight an amazing season schedule in its 68th year of weekend dirt track racing.

With a number of changes up and down the 2014 schedule, opening night will be moved up one week earlier and take the place of practice day on April 19th. The first of two ALMS Late Model shows will mark the first special of 2014 on May 10th. The annual Pappy & Bob Allen Memorial Late Model Special will again pay $2,000 to win on June 14th. The following week, June 21st, the UMP Summer Nationals will roll into town with a 50-lap $10,000 to win feature that will host the best from the Midwest. The season ending $3,000 to win Late Model Special on Labor Day Weekend will conclude an unprecedented Late Model season of specials and payouts from the 2014 season.

It is our great pleasure that we announce the running of the First Annual Gary Cook Jr. Memorial Modified Special on Memorial Day Weekend May 24th. The $2,064 to win special will be the first of two American Modified Series events at FALS in 2014. The Summit Modified Nationals will pay $1,500 to win this year as a part of the “Hell Tour” schedule this summer. The Modifieds will play a huge role on the weekend of the 25th Annual Prairie Dirt Classic as they will run two separate shows July 25th & 26th. Friday night’s show will be paying a minimum of $1,500 to win and Saturday night’s show paying $2,500 to win on the 25th anniversary. The season will conclude with the second AMS race of the year, the 2nd Annual Casey’s Modified Nationals paying $5,000 to win and capping off an exciting year for the UMP Modifieds in 2014.

The UMP Street Stocks will have their annual special on June 7th paying a record $1,000 to win. The UMP Sportsman will continue their tradition of running the annual Eden-Piercy Memorial Special on May 24th. The annual Fair Championship Night will again play host to the Topless Sportsman Special in 2014. Both the Street Stocks and Sportsman will be ending the season with $500 to win specials on Labor Day Weekend.

Adding to the season excitement in 2014, mark your calendars for Saturday night July 12th as the Lucas Oil POWRi Midgets will be invading the racy quarter mile. The $3,000 to win feature event will be one that draws some of the top Midget drivers from across the county. A large field of Midgets is expected for the weekend and FALS is looking forward to bringing the open wheel series back to their old stomping grounds this summer. Running with the Midgets that night will be the UMP Late Models racing for $1,500 to win and the UMP Modifieds for $1,000 to win. Also new for 2014, the Illinois Lightning Sprint Series will take to the track on August 2nd. FALS is honored to have this up and coming series based out of Central Illinois added to one of our weekly shows.

FALS is proud to announce the continuance of the Alkota “Keep it Clean” Series in 2014. This series will be run 16 times throughout the year when all four weekly divisions are racing on the same night.

Bull, Friedman, Thomas, Dehm Win as Season Concludes

by Rocky Ragusa

The Fairbury American Legion Speedway ended the 2013 season with a regular night of racing on Saturday.

Following a caution on the fourth lap, Jimmy Dehm pulled away from his competition and won the 15 lap UMP Sportsman feature. The 2013 sportsman track champion, Dehm earned his 10th feature win of the year at Fairbury. Dehm spoke after the race, “It’s been a great year and nice to win the last race of the year. I will be moving up to a modified next year so it is nice to get my last sportsman win. We are shooting for a national championship in the sportsman class. We will go to Macon next Saturday and see how it falls.” Dustin Mounce battled with Richard Craven for second before settling in with five laps remaining. Matt Mills survived a bevy of contenders to take fourth over Tim Bohm (hard charger), Jeffrey Ledford, Amber Crouch, and Jim Bailey. After experiencing mechanical problems during his heat race, Richie Rich finished in ninth and Ron Bohm completed the top ten. Dehm and Mounce won the heat races.

Mettille Bags First At Fairbury; Curl Captures Alkota Points Title

by Rocky Ragusa

Fourth starting Torin Mettille took the lead from Eric Smith on the ninth lap after Smith jumped the cushion in turn four to take the win in the 30 lap UMP Late Model feature. Dustin Griffin led the field to the green flag and paced the field until a caution came out on lap five. Smith got by Griffin on lap six, with Mettille following. After Mettille took the lead, Griffin and Smith battled for second, while Daren Friedman, Scott Bull, Kevin Weaver, and McKay Wenger dueled for fourth. With drivers behind him racing for position, Mettille opened up a 10 car length lead by the halfway mark. As Smith began to fade, Bull moved into the third position and along with Weaver closed the gap on Griffin, but laps ran out and Mettille had a straight away lead at the checker flag, picking up his first career Fairbury win. Mettile, in his third year of late model racing, spoke in victory lane, “The more comfortable you are in the car the more consistent you will be. The last four weeks I have made the wrong tire choices and tonight I think I nailed it. It’s unbelievable all the help and support we have gotten. My family has been involved in racing a long time and it’s good to finally get a win at my home track.” Griffin, Bull, Weaver (hard charger), Scott Schmitt, Smith, Friedman, Wenger, Joe Harlan, and Jason Jaggers completed the top 10. Griffin topped 28 other competitors in time trials with a 12.770. Griffin, Smith, and Jay Morris took heat wins, while Mike Mullvain won the semi.

Curl Continues Story Book Season with Modified Nationals Win

by Rocky Ragusa & Korey Rich

The UMP Modified class held their biggest event in the history of the Fairbury American Legion Speedway Saturday night. 52 modified teams vied for 26 starting positions as Casey’s General Store presented the first annual Modified Nationals sanctioned by the American Modified Series.

Lance Dehm bested a stout field in modified qualifying at a 13.985. Six heat races were held with the top three transferring to the 40 lap, $5,000 to win show. In the first heat race Lance Dehm had a healthy lead until the rear end went out in his car and was done for the night. Levi Kissinger took the win over Ricky Tinch and Devin Wright. Heat two had Jay Ledford leading Jacob Poel and Trent Young to the checkered flag. Jeff Curl took the third heat over Jeb Friedman and Jeff Leka. Advancing from heat four, Chad Kinder led Jim Farris and Dan Rork. Matt Mevert won heat race five over Kasey Schrock and Cullen Breeden. The final heat saw Steven Brooks taking the win over T.D. Burger and Donovan Lodge. Two semi features were held, taking the top two to the 40 lap feature. Mike McKinney led Ryan Tomas in semi race one, while Brian Lynn took the second race over Dave Porth. Track provisionals went to Tommy Duncan and Jared Cagley, and the A.M.S. gave two provisionals to points leader Bryan Barber and Josh Ferguson.

26 cars lined up for the Casey’s Modified Nationals. Chad Kinder took the lead at the start with Matt Mevert taking second from Levi Kissinger. Kinder went to the top side as Mevert applied pressure to Kinder for the lead. Kissinger had Steven Brooks to contend with for third with Jim Farris, Jay Ledford, Jeff Curl, Kasey Schrock, Jacob Poel, and T.D. Burger following. After a caution on lap two, Kinder led Mevert by two car lengths, with Brooks taking over in the third position. On lap five, race leader Kinder slowed in turn two to bring out the caution and end his night. The restart had Mevert in the lead with Brooks and Farris in the hunt. As Brooks was going for the lead on lap six, Brooks stalled in turn four, to bring out the caution and dash his hopes for the night.

Three Champions Claim Features at FALS

by Darlene Miller

Four champions were crowned at Fairbury American Legion Speedway on Saturday night as the points season came to an end. All four leaders heading into the evening’s action held on to their position. The crowd had to wait for the final feature to see what was the closest finish of the night. Scott Bull and Kevin Weaver brought the crowd to its feet with a down-to-the-wire finish. Bull held off Weaver by a nose for the feature win and his second straight late model championship.

Heat winners Jay Morris and Mike Spatola led the field to the starting flag and battled for the lead over the first five laps. Hard charging on the high side was Daren Friedman, putting pressure on the pair. Friedman took a slight lead before a caution flag flew on the eighth lap. Morris grabbed the lead back on the restart. Bull was moving in closer from his ninth starting spot and Weaver from his 11th starting place. Weaver took the command point with 16 circuits remaining, but Bull was quickly on his tail and the pair moved away from the field. Weaver and Bull were side by side with two laps to go but a lap traffic car forced Weaver to move up to the top and Bull took the low side around the car. Bull got in front for good and won the race by a nose. “It was a close finish,” Bull said. “I knew he knew I was getting close to him.” Joe Harlan was third followed by Spatola and Torin Mettille. Friedman led the second five and was followed by Frank Heckenast, Jr. Tom Thoennes, Donny Walden and Steve Thorsten. Heat winners were Morris and Spatola and the hard charger was Thoennes.

In the first feature race of the night, Rick Thomas of Dwight held off his competitors to capture the street stock title. Thomas took the early lead from the front row but the caution flag flew for a wreck in turn 2 on the third lap. The field was bunched up but Thomas was on the gas and stretched his lead out to a four-car advantage. The race was then red flagged with two laps to go as Mike Stirewalt’s car caught on fire coming out of turn four. Thomas and pole sitter Matt Maier were door to door but Thomas held off to win by one car length. “Cool, that’s what I needed,” Thomas said after being told this was the final points race. “I could not do it without everyone helping me.” Maier brought home second followed by Terry Miller, Lee Hall and Joel Funk. Justin Nelson led the second five that included Andrew Funk, Nick Clubb, Paul Westermeyer and A.J. Meiferdt. Heat race winners were Maier and Thomas. Westermeyer was also the hard charger of the race having moved up 10 spots.