Weaver, Lomax, Meiferdt, Mattingly, Patterson Take Opening Night Wins

Late Model Results | Modified Results | Street Stock Results | Sportsman Results | Hobby Mod Results

by Rocky Ragusa

The green flag unfurled Saturday night at the Fairbury American Legion Speedway for the 72nd consecutive year. A good group of race teams and fans converged at the 1/4-mile dirt oval on a chilly night. Kevin Weaver (Late Model), Jamie Lomax (Modified), AJ Meiferdt (Street Stock), Steven Mattingly (Sportsman), and Brendan Patterson (Hobby-Modified) claimed feature wins.

apr21-lmMike Spatola was the night's fast qualifier in the Late Model division at 12.678 seconds, but was forced to drop out on the pace laps of the feature with an electrical fire under the hood. Kevin Weaver took the lead at the start of the 30-lap race as Scott Schmitt applied pressure for the lead. Weaver found the top groove to his liking and was able to put some distance on Schmitt during the middle portion of the feature. As Weaver had to contend with slower cars in the closing laps, Schmitt closed the gap. Weaver was able to hang on for the win, and in the process, surpassed Roger Long for the most career feature wins in the Late Model class at Fairbury with 67. “I remember about five years ago talking with Roger. I told him that I would never catch him,” Weaver said in victory lane. “It’s an honor for me to even be mentioned with him.” Schmitt, Dan Flessner, Myles Moos, Ryan Vanderveen, Torin Mettille, Steve Thorsten, Charlie Olson, 16th starter Jay Morris, and Glen Thompson completed the top ten. Weaver and Schmitt took the heat race wins.

apr21-mdFairbury’s Modified division promises to be a wide open affair for 2018. There were 19 drivers on hand for the opener with McKay Wenger returning to the open wheels. He set the fast time at a 13.953 second clip. Wenger and Valparaiso's Frank Marshall claimed heat wins. In the 20-lap contest, Wenger led at the start as the cars stuck to the bottom groove. Zeke McKenzie, Jamie Lomax, Frank Marshall, and Brandon Roberts followed in tight formation, none looking to try a different line. Jeffrey Ledford broke ranks and went to the top side hoping to gain ground on the leaders but never found the traction he needed. After a caution on the 11th circuit, Wenger slipped up and Lomax saw his opportunity. Lomax used the middle line to get by McKenzie and Wenger for the top position. Wenger, with a go-for-broke attitude, put his car on the top looking to reclaim the lead. Lomax was able to fend off his competitors for his first-ever win at the Fairbury oval. Marshall, Wenger, McKenzie, Roberts, Ledford, Kyle Hammer, Chevy Miller, 17th starter Chad May, and Dave Porth completed the top ten.

apr21-ssOne of Fairbury’s toughest classes saw 20 Street Stocks in attendance for their 15-lap race. Joe Brown was the fast qualifier at 15.231 seconds. Jason Maier and AJ Meiferdt won their heat races. Following three early cautions, defending UMP National Champion Meiferdt took control of the race on a bottom dominated surface. Cody Clubb, in one of his few dirt starts, was able to get by Maier for second. A caution fell on the field with five laps to go which gave Clubb a chance to give Meiferdt a run for his money. Meiferdt proved to be too strong on this night and picked up the win. “I tried running against the wall for a few laps but the car works good on the bottom,” Meiferdt said. Clubb turned in a good performance for second with Jerrad Krick, Jason Maier, and Josh Griffith following. 18th starter Al Gray, Megan Erwin, Matt Hammond, Don Hilleary, and Eric Legner rounded out the top ten.

apr21-spTen Sportsman cars were on hand for their 15-lap feature. Steve Mattingly set fast time at a 15.316-second clip and won the lone heat race. Mattingly took the lead at the start of the feature with Richard Craven following. Mattingly had to put his car against the wall to avoid a spinning Anthony Craven for the only caution flag in the race. On the restart, Mattingly outdistanced his competition and took his first career win. “I didn’t think this day would ever come,” a jubilant Mattingly commented afterward. “We have been at it a long time and it feels good to get that win.” Richard Craven, Brandon Pralle, ninth starter Amber Crouch, and Tyler Roth made the top five. Matt Ramer was sixth with Michael Ledford, Dan Coit, Anthony Craven, and Valerie Hurt following.

apr21-hmThe entry level Hobby-Modified division is beginning to increase in car count. Jason Brandt set quick time at 15.258 seconds over 11 other drivers. Brendan Patterson and Bryan Saner took heat wins. Patterson survived several cautions and went unchallenged on a track surface that is to his liking. “My car works well on a dry/slick track. We usually struggle with a tacky track so tonight was our night,” said Patterson. Makinzi Semmens had her best race to date with a second place finish, followed by Darren Kerrins, Brendan Ramer, Brandt, Macy Vaughan, Cathy Crego, Mike Petersen, Thad Gee, and Paul Ramer.

Reserved Tickets For Biggest Races On Sale Now

Reserved seats for the following five events are on sale now: FALS Frenzy (May 12), Summer Nationals (Jun 23), Prairie Dirt Classic (Jul 27-28), Modified Nationals (Sep 1), and Sprint Mania (Oct 5-6). Visit www.fairburyspeedwaytickets.com to reserve your seats today. In addition, reserved seats are available for the May 30th World of Outlaws Craftsman Sprint Car FVP Platinum Battery Showdown at www.woosprint.com.

Alkota “Keep it Clean” Series Returns in 2O18

alkota-logoThe Fairbury American Legion Speedway is proud to announce that for the sixth year in a row Rural Route Repair and M & M Pumps will be sponsoring the ever popular Alkota “Keep it Clean” Series for the 2018 race season. Top prize will be a pressure washer valued at over $4,000 and also a barrel of soap for the runner-up.

The format will follow the hard charger point system as it did in 2017. Drivers receive points in the feature combined with the number of cars they passed in the feature. Feature winners will receive 10 points, 2nd place 9 points, 3rd place 8 points, etc. Drivers will also receive one point for each car they pass in the feature with the combination of the two determining their points for the week.

The Alkota “Keep it Clean” Series races are indicated on the schedule. No rain dates will be rescheduled. The champion will be announced at the 6th Annual FALS Modified Nationals on September 1st.

The Fairbury Speedway would like to thank Ricky Bane of Rural Route Repair and Rod Wertz of M & M pump for their continued support of the Alkota Series and the Fairbury American Legion Speedway.

Race Director, Marketing Director Named

When the Fairbury American Legion Speedway opens its doors marking their 73rd season of weekly dirt track racing, it will do so with new personnel at the Race Director and Marketing Director positions. Scott Drendel of Pontiac was hired as the new Race Director and Chuck Vaughan of Fairbury will be the new Marketing Director for the 2018 race season which was officially announced at a special board meeting Thursday night.

Drendel and Vaughan will replace longtime FALS promoter Matt Curl who took over the reigns as series director for the World of Outlaws Craftsman Late Model Series back in November. He will be transitioning both Drendel and Vaughan to begin the season. “I am excited for the opportunity Scott and Chuck will have to continue the tradition our team has built over the years” conveyed Curl, who will be actively involved as an advisor with FALS.

Fairbury Fair Board President Leroy Rodriguez said, “we are very excited to have Scott and Chuck as a part of our team and they are very motivated to get rolling this season.” Drendel, who has been involved with the Fairbury Speedway as a key piece of Curl’s staff the past number of years, will lead a group of dedicated race committee members and officials to start the season. Vaughan, who has been a native of Fairbury his entire life, specializes in sales and marketing in his current position as district sales manager for Stine Seed Company, and will no doubt be a huge asset to the speedway moving forward.

Fairbury Speedway will shift into high gear as they anticipate arguably the biggest season in track history with four $10,000 to win events and the ever-popular Prairie Dirt Classic paying $30,000 to win on July 27th & 28th.

Updated track rules, driver payouts, and reserved seating and camping reservation information will be announced soon on the website.

Season of Dreams set for Fairbury Speedway’s 2O18 Race Schedule

When the Fairbury Speedway opens its doors for their 73rd season of weekly dirt track racing, all eyes will be on the small Central Illinois town which will host one of America’s top Dirt Late Model races in the summer of 2018. Known as “FALS”, the speedway will embark on making history as four $10,000 to win races and the popular $30,000 to win Prairie Dirt Classic will highlight a dream season set for fans, teams, and officials.

jul29-lmThe tradition continues, for the 29th year, with the Prairie Dirt Classic once again being the highlight of the 2018 FALS race season. The $30,000 to win summer classic, presented by the Bank of Pontiac, will be sanctioned with the World of Outlaws Craftsman Late Model Series on the weekend of July 27th & 28th. Back by popular demand, four showdown features paying a minimum of $2,500 to win will open the weekend in spectacular fashion as the PDC weekend will not disappoint fans! A number of events throughout this awesome weekend are in the final planning stages and a full release of the 2018 Prairie Dirt Classic will be announced after the first of the year.

woo-sprintsFor the first time in track history, the World of Outlaws Craftsman Sprint Car Series will invade FALS for a spectacular mid-week show paying $10,000 to win on Wednesday, May 30th. Recognized as the “Greatest Show on Dirt”, the World of Outlaws will create a huge buzz around the Illinois bullring as the best Sprint Car drivers in the country battle with the best from the Midwest. All the information pertaining to this national Sprint Car event will be available soon including reserved seating and ticketing.

The first major Late Model special of the year will kick off Saturday, May 12th with the 4th annual running of the FALS Frenzy. This UMP race will pay $10,000 to win which will be a part of a great weekend of racing around the area on Mother’s Day Weekend. Excitement from last year’s Frenzy still echoes throughout fans as 54 Late Models participated in the event that drew a number of national teams. The 50-lap feature event will be in conjunction with Farmer City Raceway’s Late Model special set to be announced soon. Drivers from all areas of the Midwest will showcase their talent to the FALS faithful which will kick start a season filled with big money races.

umpsnThe DriveChevy.com UMP Summer Nationals will roll into town on Saturday, June 23rd for the $10,000 to win, 50-lap feature event as part of the month long grueling grind. Considered as one of the backbone UMP tracks, FALS always puts on a great show for the fans when the Summer Nationals come rolling into town. The UMP Summit Modified Nationals will again be on the card for the evening paying $1,500 to win. UMP Street Stocks will also race for $800 to win.

sep2-mdThe FALS Modified Nationals will once again highlight an exciting season for the ultra-competitive UMP DIRTcar Modifieds in 2018. The 6th annual showcase is scheduled for Saturday night, September 1st and will continue to pay a top prize of $10,000 to win and now pay a very strong $600 to start the 50-lap feature event. Sanctioned with the American Modified Series again in 2018, Modified drivers from all across the country will take part in what will continue to be an elite marquee weekend in Modified racing at the Fairbury Speedway. The UMP Modifieds will also continue to play a huge role in the weekend of the Prairie Dirt Classic as they will run for a top prize of $5,000 to win. The 40-lap feature event will be the championship night for the summer long Summit Racing Equipment Modified Nationals. Last year a stout 72 Modifieds took to the weekend, which included showdown features paying $500 to win on Friday night. Full PDC event information will be released soon.

jun01-NMGA date worth circling on the calendar will be on Saturday, July 7th as the return of the Lucas Oil POWRi National Midgets along with the IRA/MOWA co-sanctioned Sprint Car Shootout. A huge night of racing with Midgets, Sprints, Late Models, and Modifieds are on the docket for the post-Independence Day celebration. Not too many venues around the country can pull off having an event like this that will mix Stock Car fans and Sprint fans alike in one night of racing. After incredible shows in 2017, the open wheel Midgets and Sprints will do nothing less than keep you in your seat with all the excitement.

oct7-spr2Set and ready for another shot at a postseason event, Sprint Mania II is scheduled for Friday and Saturday, October 5th & 6th. Two exciting nights of open-wheeled Sprint action will pay $2,000 to win on Friday night and $4,000 to win on Saturday night. The IRA-MOWA winged Sprint Cars and the POWRi Lucas Oil WAR non-winged Sprints are back again for 2018. Each of these exciting races last year produced some of the fastest, side-by-side racing we had ever seen at FALS. Entire Sprit Mania II weekend information is soon to be released.

Other specials throughout the 2018 schedule include the annual DIRTcar Spring Nationals Street Stock Special paying $2,000 to win in memory of Earl J. Hubert on Saturday, May 5th. The traditional Pappy & Bob Allen Memorial Late Model Special paying $2,000 to win is scheduled for Saturday, June 9th. On Saturday, July 14th, the UMP Sportsman division will run the Eden-Piercy Memorial sponsored by CR Towing paying $1,000 to win the 25-lap feature.

The UMP Pro (Crate) Late Models will be in action as part of the annual Memorial Day Weekend roundup on Saturday, May 26th. The $1,000 to win race has brought great excitement to the track each time they have raced. Also included in the event will be $2,000 to win UMP Late Models, $2,000 to win AMS Modifieds, $400 to win Street Stock, and $400 to win Sportsman races.

On behalf of the Fairbury Fair Board, American Legion, and FALS Race Committee and Officials, we thank you for your constant support of the Fairbury American Legion Speedway. We continue to showcase our great facility in the best possible way each week and throughout the season. The Fairbury Fair Board and race committee will be going to work after the holidays and evaluating all the weekly rules, procedures, and thoughts to make 2018 the best season yet.

Happy Holidays from everyone here at the Fairbury American Legion Speedway.

2018 Race Schedule