Odell captures Hubert Memorial Victory

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

by Rocky Ragusa

Street Stock drivers were featured in the first special event of the year Saturday night at the Fairbury American Legion Speedway. Pete Odell (Street Stock), Ryan Unzicker (Late Model), Mike McKinney (Modified), and Brandon Pralle (Sportsman) came home with the hardware.

may5-ssThe 9th Annual Earl J. Hubert Memorial drew 23 of the finest Street Stock drivers in the area for their 43-lap, $2,000 to win showdown. Matt Hammond took fast time honors with a 15.639. Hammond, Michael Clark, and Jeremy Nichols won their respective heat races. Before the feature, the top two finishers in each heat race ran a trophy dash to determine the first six starting spots for their feature race, which Hammond was able to win. Nichols out powered Hammond at the start of the race with Jason Maier, Joe Brown, and Clark following. Nichols set a blistering pace running the top side of the track and moved by slower cars by the fourth lap. Starting in eighth position, AJ Meiferdt moved into fourth by the ninth lap. Nichols held a straightaway lead over his competitors but disaster fell on Nichols on the 13th lap as he spun out on the frontstretch drawing a caution, and as a result had to go to the rear of the field. Brown took over the first position and on the restart Meiferdt got by Hammond for second.

After a caution on the next lap, Brown and Meiferdt put the gloves on in a battle for first. Pete Odell made his presence known running the bottom of the track and soon found himself in the third spot. With Meiferdt and Brown on the top, Odell was able to move into first place on the 25th lap and extended his lead. Maier got by Brown for third and offered a brief challenge to Meiferdt as Nick Macklin moved into fifth. Caution fell with four laps to go and gave the defending Hubert race winner Meiferdt an opportunity to overtake Odell. With a go for broke attitude, Meiferdt tried the top and bottom groove but Odell was able to withstand Meiferdt’s challenge and take a popular win among his fellow drivers and fans. Meiferdt, Jason Maier, Macklin, Matt Maier, Jerrad Krick, Brown, Don Hilleary, Darrell Dick, and Nichols rounded out the top ten. Taking his first ever feature win at FALS, Odell spoke following his win. “I started in the middle of the pack and was racing Tanner Sullivan for position. After the first caution I didn’t think I was going to be able to go anywhere. All of a sudden everyone was going back and I kept telling myself to hold your line, stay calm, and don’t drive over your head. I did just that. This is an awesome feeling. I want to thank my dad, the Hubert family, and Fairbury for putting this race on.”

may5-lmLast week’s Late Model winner Mike Spatola was the fast qualifier of the 19 cars on hand for their 30-lap race. Spatola and Scott Schmitt picked up heat race wins. After a caution on the opening lap, Schmitt, Spatola, and Jason Feger engaged in a spirited race for the top position. Fourth starter Ryan Unzicker soon joined in and was able to take over first place on the eighth lap with Spatola, Kevin Weaver, Feger, and Allen Weisser in the top five. Following cautions on lap nine and ten, Unzicker vaulted to a ten-car-length lead as Weaver looked to take second from Spatola. At the halfway mark of the race Unzicker and Spatola were able to distance themselves from the competition. Weisser was on the move and got by Weaver for third. In the closing laps, Unzicker had some anxious moments with five cars in front of him in their own race for position. Spatola was able to close back to Unzicker but the defending track champion treaded his way by and took the win. Spatola held off Weisser for second with Feger, Bob Gardner, Weaver, Derek Chandler, Collin Alexander, Jeff Curl, and Glen Thompson in the top ten. “I had to work for that win,” explained Unzicker. “We had a heck of a track tonight. My car was good on the bottom. Once I caught up to the lapped traffic Dan Rork was telling me that Spatola was gaining on me. I went to the top and the car worked good up there.”

may5-mdMcKay Wenger turned back 19 other Modified drivers in time trials with a lap of 14.163. Last week’s winner Mike McKinney and Allen Weisser picked up heat race wins. Four caution flags waved during the first 10 laps of the 20-lap race. After the final caution, McKinney walked the dog over his competitors and pulled away for an easy win. Weisser, Steven Brooks, Wenger, Jim Farris Jr., Allan Stipp, Jared Spalding, Dave Lija, Nick Clubb, and Justin Gregory rounded out the top ten. “There were some good cars here tonight, “commented McKinney. “I am sure the fans miss me running the top side but it just goes to show you how good this race car is to run on the top or bottom.”

may5-spFor the 15-lap Sportsman race, Steve Mattingly was the night’s fast qualifier with a time of 15.271. Mattingly and Brandon Pralle were the heat race victors. Taking last week off to attend a prom, Pralle wasted little time in getting back into the groove. After two early cautions, Pralle pulled away from the field to register his first win of the year. Richard Craven held off Mattingly for second, with Amber Crouch, Matt Ramer, Anthony Craven, Michael Ledford, Tyler Roth, Valerie Hurt, and Eric Saltzman finishing in the top ten positions. “Thanks to Fairbury for giving us an amazing track tonight,” said Pralle. “I also want to thank Roger Friedman for the tremendous horsepower.”

Spatola, McKinney, Brown, Craven, Patterson pick up wins

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

by Rocky Ragusa

Race fans and teams braved the cold temperatures as the Fairbury American Legion Speedway hosted their second event of the 2018 season on Saturday. Mike Spatola (Late Model), Mike McKinney (Modified), Joe Brown (Street Stock), Richard Craven (Sportsman), and Brendan Patterson (Hobby-Modified) graced victory lane.

apr28-lm16 Late Model drivers were on hand for their 30 lap race. Mike Spatola took quick time with a 12.884. Michigan invader Nick Kurtz and Spatola won heat races. Spatola lead at the start with Kurtz, Kevin Weaver, Scott Schmitt, and Taylor Scheffler trailing. After two cautions in the first ten laps, Weaver went to the top of the track and pulled alongside Spatola but Spatola was able to fend off the challenge. Schmitt, running the bottom, overtook Weaver for second with 12 laps to go. With 10 laps left the top three put their cars on the top side of the speedway as another caution fell. On the restart, Weaver was able to retake second from Schmitt while Spatola held off Weaver for the win. Schmitt, Kurtz, Jay Sparks, Scheffler, Dan Flessner, Chad White, Phil Line, and Dan White followed. “The track was tricky tonight,“ commented Spatola. “A driver had to know the history of FALS to know where to be on the track. I knew eventually we would have to go to the top but didn’t know when. I heard Weaver out there. I knew if he got a nose under me I was done. Once I cleared him I saw the bottom was starting to shine. I am just thankful to get the win.”

apr28-md13 Modified drivers were on hand for their 20 lap feature. Former asphalt driver Nick Neville was the fast qualifier at a 14.303. Heat race wins went to Nick Clubb and Mike McKinney. Clubb gave McKinney all he could handle for the first quarter of the race before McKinney was able to pull out to a ten-car-length lead, with Jeffrey Ledford, McKay Wenger, and Nick Lueth following. After a caution on the 10th lap, Wenger vaulted into second place on a bottom dominate surface. Ledford tried valiantly to make something happen on the top side of the track but wasn’t able to gain any distance. Another caution fell with five laps to go and ended a good run by Dave Porth. The restart saw McKinney keep a safe distance over Wenger for the win, with Clubb, Lueth, Chevy Miller, Jim Farris Jr., Neville, Ledford, Eric Vaughan, and Alan Stipp rounding out the top ten. “It’s good to be back at FALS,” commented McKinney. “We have been trying new things on the car to improve our program. Nick Hoffman has been a tremendous help.”

apr28-ssJoe Brown turned back 15 competitors in time trials for the Street Stock race with a 16.620. Brown and Josh Griffith won their respective heat races. In the 15 lap feature, Brown lead Griffith, Jason Maier,Matt Hammond, and AJ Meiferdt as the top five ran bumper to bumper. Following a lap five caution, Brown and Griffith pulled away from the field while Hammond and Meiferdt had a heated duel for fourth. In the closing stages Brown was able to open a five-car-length lead over Griffith and the defending Kankakee Speedway Track Champion picked up the hardware. “My car wasn’t that good last week,” said Brown.” The crew worked hard on it all week. I want to also thank AJ Meiferdt. He made us work hard, whipping us last year. It made us get better.” Jason Maier, Meiferdt, Hammond, Al Gray, Matt Maier, Cody Clubb, Lance Evans, and Pete Odell completed the top ten.

apr28-spRichard Craven took fast time with a 15.146 for the Sportsman class. Amber Crouch was the lone heat race winner. Steven Mattingly got the hole shot at the start of the 15 lap race, as Crouch, Craven, Matt Ramer, and Tyler Roth trailed. After a caution period, the top three drivers were able to distance themselves from the field. Crouch made several attempts to overtake Mattingly for the lead, but Mattingly had the power down the stretch to hold off Crouch. With five laps to go, Mattingly bobbled in turn three and Crouch was able to capitalize for the lead. As a slower car was pulling into the infield Crouch got into the car’s back end and Mattingly hit the back stretch wall, ending his night. When the track went back green Craven got by Crouch for the lead as it became apparent the Crouch car sustained suspension damage. Craven took the win and with that became the all-time Sportsman feature winner with 33 wins. Roth, Michael Ledford, Crouch, Ramer, Mattingly, Anthony Craven, Valerie Hurt, and Scott Williams completed the field. “It’s not the way I wanted to win the race,” spoke Craven. “Amber was really good. I felt so bad on what happened to her.”

apr28-hmJason Brandt was the fast qualifier for the 10 Hobby-Modified drivers on hand for their 12 lap race. Thad Gee and Brendan Ramer took heat race wins. Gee took the lead at the start with Patterson, Brandt, Macy Vaughan, and Mike Petersen following. Patterson moved to the front on the second lap and wasted no time by opening up a lead. Gee spun out on the next lap and collected Brandt, ending both drivers night. Patterson, winner of the opening night race, survived two cautions on the night and outclassed the field for the win. Vaughan posted a career best second followed by Petersen, Ramer, Darren Kerrins, Makinzi Semmens, Austin Lipe, Gee, Brandt, and Graham Jackson.

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.