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Kyle Larson

Kyle Larson

Kyle Larson

Kyle Larson

Allen Weisser

Allen Weisser

Weisser Rolls to Fourth Straight Modified Victory

Results | Story by World of Outlaws & Rocky Ragusa | Pictures by Rocky Ragusa

larson sprYour heart tried to explode. If you stopped to think you’d realize you weren’t breathing. But there was no time for that. Every lap, every corner, the potential for a new leader. A new reason to not blink. James McFadden? Brad Sweet? Kyle Larson? Your mind spun with the question of who will win, unable to find a clear answer as the three drivers dueled with the intensity of gladiators fighting to be the last man standing. Then the dust settled. A moment of quiet ease spread around the quarter-mile Fairbury Speedway arena. Climbing atop the wing of his No. 57 machine to thunderous applause and an explosion of confetti was Larson – claiming his eighth World of Outlaws NOS Energy Drink Sprint Car Series win Tuesday night. The win gives him back-to-back World of Outlaws victories, after winning his last Series race at Lawrenceburg Speedway on Memorial Day. “Cool to get a win back-to-back with the Outlaws, I’ve never done that before,” Larson said. The last time he won more than one World of Outlaws race in a season was back in 2013 – a year before he went full-time NASCAR Cup Series racing. Larson had to duel with fellow NASCAR competitor Christopher Bell and 10-time Series champion Donny Schatz to claim the win at Lawrenceburg.

This time around, he had to face the dominate Kasey Kahne Racing duo of McFadden and Sweet. The KKR teammates started the FVP Platinum Battery Showdown event going first and second in practice with Sweet pacing the field. The NAPA Auto Parts No. 49 car then backed up its speed in Qualifying by setting Quick Time. McFadden was third. Larson seventh. Sweet then won his Drydene Heat race with ease. Larson and McFadden dueled for the win in the third Drydene Heat race of the night with Larson dominating the field. McFadden came back with force, charging to the win in the DIRTVision Fast Pass Dash. Sweet finished third, and Larson sixth – setting their starting position for the 40-lap Feature. McFadden wrestled with his 900hp machine, taming it like a wild stallion at the start of the Feature to take the early lead. His run was cut short by a red flag on the first lap for Dylan Tuxhorn rolling over in turn one. When the Feature went back green, heart rates amplified. Breaths were held. McFadden led, but Sweet was charging for a fight. The two teammates traded lanes lap after lap, corner after corner. Sweet could power his way to either the inside or outside of the Wicked Energy Gum No. 9 car into the turn, but McFadden could launch off the exit with the power of the gods.

While they dueled, Larson slayed the competition between him and the leaders with ease. By Lap 13, he gave the KKR duo something else to fear. Going into turn three he forced his car under Sweet, making it a three-wide battle through the corner – a common theme throughout the next several laps. Sweet built up a strong enough run to steal the lead from McFadden on Lap 17. He couldn’t shake him, though. McFadden and Larson stayed on his bumper and the next time around they both snuck by him. McFadden threw his car low in turn three, while Larson squeezed his car between the outside of Sweet and the wall. McFadden reclaimed the lead and now had a fierce Larson to contend with. The next lap, back in turns three and four, McFadden, again, went low and Larson high. The god-like launches McFadden could get exiting a corner were no match for the resilient throttle hungry Larson. The two traded the lead for the next couple of laps with Larson eventually prevailing. McFadden still had fight left in him, though. And not far behind was Sweet, lurking. Waiting for another opportunity to strike.

In the closing laps, with the leaders having to navigate lap traffic, Larson couldn’t lose McFadden. The Australian was building momentum lap after lap, inching closer and closer to Larson. But then, with eight laps to go, McFadden’s battle came to an end. While stuck behind a lap car through turns one and two, McFadden hit the corner tire and spun to a stop. “Really fun race track,” said McFadden, still with a smile, after the Feature. “It was awesome racing with Brad and Kyle. They’re obviously a couple of the best guys in the country. I don’t know if I just misjudged the lap car. He got the tractor tire I think and slowed him a bunch. I just got into the back of him and when I did that, the tractor tire came out, after he hit it, and I got it and that was that. At the end of the day, it was a positive step for the team.”

In the remaining eight laps, Larson now had to contest with a hard charging Sweet. Larson stuck to the bottom of the track – the least likely place for him to make a mistake, he said. Sweet took advantage of that, soaring around the outside of the speedway to find as much grip as he could to catch the Chevrolet Accessories No. 57 Silva Motorsports car. Coming to the checkered flag, Larson faltered. He slid off turn four, scrubbing speed and allowing Sweet the opportunity to strike one final time. The distance between the leaders was still too much for Sweet, though. Like a warrior on a steed signifying his victory, Larson sprinted to the checkered flag with his front two wheels off the ground. “That was just an exciting race from start to finish for me,” Larson said. “Shoot, 40 laps around this place was crazy. It felt like we swapped the lead a lot. Just an awesome race track. Short tracks are always a blast.”

Sweet’s runner-up finish helped him cut into Schatz’s points – now only 38 points behind the reigning champion. He said he felt like he had the better car, but probably got too timid in lap traffic, compared to Larson’s maneuvers. “He’s crazy,” Sweet said about Larson with a grin. “He was bouncing off the wall in (turn) one and bouncing off the wall in three and four.” Larson would agree with Sweet’s sentiment. “I’m always all out,” Larson said. “I don’t even know how I would be if I was running for points with the Outlaws. It would be hard for me to change my driving style. I’m just crazy, yeah.” That craziness makes speed though, he added.

The kind of speed that made your heart explode with excitement. Your breath run and hide. And your mind spin with questions. But there was no time to worry about that. Because every corner, every lap, there was the potential for a new leader. A new reason not to blink. 

weisser mdThe Modified class was the co-feature of the night in a 25-lap, $1,500 to win race. Plainfield’s Mike McKinney bested 17 drivers in time trials with a lap of 13.938 seconds. McKinney and Peoria’s Allen Weisser won heat races. A slight bobble on the start by McKinney gave Weisser the lead that he never surrendered in winning his fourth straight feature at Fairbury. “I can’t thank David Stremme, Lethal Chassis, and all my crew for what they have done,” spoke Weisser. “We have got the car dialed in.” Ray Bollinger, Mark Anderson, Jeffrey Ledford, McKinney, Dan Rork, Tommy Sheppard Jr., Jim Farris, Mike Learman, and Troy Dodson rounded out the top ten.

World of Outlaws Sprint Cars FVP Platinum Battery Showdown Results

Feature (40 Laps) – 1. 57-Kyle Larson [6][$10,000]; 2. 49-Brad Sweet [3][$5,500]; 3. 2M-Kerry Madsen [4][$3,200]; 4. 2-Carson Macedo [10][$2,800]; 5. 11K-Kraig Kinser [12][$2,500]; 6. 17-Sheldon Haudenschild [17][$2,300]; 7. 15-Donny Schatz [5][$2,200]; 8. 19-Brent Marks [9][$2,100]; 9. 5-Shane Stewart [22][$2,050]; 10. 21-Brian Brown [7][$2,000]; 11. 17B-Bill Balog [2][$1,500]; 12. 1S-Logan Schuchart [11][$1,200]; 13. 83-Daryn Pittman [13][$1,100]; 14. 41-David Gravel [24][$1,050]; 15. 18-Ian Madsen [23][$1,000]; 16. 9-James McFadden [1][$900]; 17. 41S-Dominic Scelzi [14][$800]; 18. 5X-Justin Peck [18][$800]; 19. 1A-Jacob Allen [15][$800]; 20. 70X-Spencer Bayston [21][$800]; 21. 7S-Jason Sides [16][$800]; 22. 96-Parker Price-Miller [8][$800]; 23. 4-Terry McCarl [19][$800]; 24. 9T-Dylan Tuxhorn [20][$800]

Lap Leaders: James McFadden 1-15, 19, 21; Brad Sweet 16-18; Kyle Larson 20, 22-40
Hard Charger Award: 5-Shane Stewart[+13]



Ryan Unzicker

Ryan Unzicker

Allen Weisser

Allen Weisser

Tommy Duncan

Tommy Duncan

Matthew Hammond

Matthew Hammond

Mason Duncan

Mason Duncan

Results | Story and Pictures by Rocky Ragusa

A near capacity crowd was on hand for Fan Appreciation Night at the Fairbury Speedway on Saturday night. 110 cars in six classes participated, which saw Ryan Unzicker (Late Model), Allen Weisser (Modified), Matt Hammond (Stock Car), Tommy Duncan (Sportsman), Mason Duncan (Hobby-Modified), and Matt Ramer (Vintage) carrying the checkered flag.

unzicker lm26 Late Model drivers were on hand for their 30-lap feature race. Manhattan’s Mike Spatola turned a lap of 13.360 seconds for quick time. Ryan Unzicker, Myles Moos, and Scott Schmitt took heat race wins. Jason Feger advanced to the feature race by winning the B-Main. At the drop of the green flag, polesitter Unzicker took command while McKay Wenger and Schmitt had a see-saw battle for second. Following a caution on lap six for early contender Moos, Wenger made several bids for the lead before Unzicker went to the top side of the track and opened up a 10-car length lead. A caution fell with nine laps to go giving Wenger another chance to move to the front, but Unzicker proved to be much stronger on this night giving the El Paso native his first FALS Cup win of the year. “The track was racy on the top and bottom,” Unzicker spoke. “I am glad we were able to start on the front row because there was a lot of tough competition here tonight.” Wenger settled for second, followed by Kevin Weaver, Spatola, Schmitt, 16th starter Feger, Donny Walden, Derek Chandler, Mike Provenzano, and Spencer Diercks.

weisser mdIn Modified time trials, Peoria’s Allen Weisser paced the 27 drivers at 14.152 seconds. Weisser, Randy Shuman, and Steven Brooks claimed heat race wins. Nick Clubb was the winner of the B-Main. Polesitter Weisser got the jump on the field at the start of the 25-lap race. Weisser held a straightaway lead by the eighth lap, as Brooks and Jeffrey Ledford raced for the second position. Drivers had to pick their lines as a rut had developed at the bottom of the track in turn one. With tens laps to go, Ledford, running the top, overtook Brooks for second and began his chase of Weisser. A caution fell on the 22nd lap giving Ledford the chance to overtake Weisser. On the restart, Ledford made several attempts to take the lead, but Weisser held on and edged Ledford by a car length for his third straight win. “It’s always awesome to race against the Ledford’s, especially Jeffrey,” an excited Weisser spoke. “My crew guy told me he was coming so I had to go to the top in turns 1-2. You couldn’t ask for a better track.” Following Weisser and Ledford to the stripe were Shuman, Brooks, Devin Wright, Nick Neville, Trevor Neville, Mike Learman, Bradley Jameson, and Dan Rork.

hammond sc24 of the best Stock Car drivers in the region were signed in for their 15-lap feature race. A newcomer to Fairbury, Kingston’s Zachary Zuberbier took fast time at 15.584 seconds. Matt Hammond, Nick Seplak, and Justin VanDrunen took the wins in their respective heat races. Bourbonnais’s Hammond led the start of the caution-plagued race. VanDrunen, Seplak, and Tanner Sullivan put on a show in a race for second and each challenged Hammond for the lead, but this night belonged to Hammond after finally ending his long Fairbury drought and taking his first Fairbury win. “This year has been nothing but seconds and thirds,” an emotional Hammond said. “We have been so close and to get my first one here is awesome.” Seplak, Zuberbier, Sullivan, VanDrunen, 21st starter Kory Kohler, Eric Boudreau, Peter Argianas, Megan Erwin, and Kyle Miner took the top ten positions.

duncan spFairbury’s Tyler Roth earned his first fast time of the season with a lap of 15.357 seconds as nine CR Towing Sportsman drivers looked to take the trophy in their 15-lap race. Metamora’s Tommy Duncan was the heat race victor. Duncan led Amber Crouch, Michael Ledford, Anthony Craven, and Roth as the green flag waved. After a lap five caution, Ledford moved to the top side overtaking Crouch for second. Ledford made a game effort to catch the leader, but Duncan drove a smooth, steady line on the bottom for his second straight win. “I can’t talk enough about my crew,” said Duncan. “They are on it now. They know what we need and know what we need to do.” Ledford, Roth, Craven, Lyndon Whitfill, Steve Mattingly, Brian Albus, Crouch, and Matt Ramer completed the field.

duncan hmFairbury’s Mike Petersen topped 16 Hobby-Modified drivers in qualifying at 15.396 seconds. Mason Duncan and Tyler Sebby earned heat race wins. Not to be outdone by his father, Duncan put on a clinic in dominating the 12-lap feature race. Thad Gee, Austin Lipe, Troy Ricketts, Brendan Ramer, Albie Perez, Macy Vaughan, Petersen, Sebby, and Jake Green completed the top ten.

ramer vtMaking their lone appearance of the year, eight Vintage Racing of Illinois Series cars were in attendance. The 15-lap race saw plenty of side-by-side racing, as Matt Ramer was able to pull away at the halfway mark for the win. Ramer’s son Brandon was second, with Andy Thompson, Tyler Sebby, John Ryan, Kyle Davis, Mark Davis, and Jim Beaty completing the field. “I can’t believe I finally got a win here,” an excited Ramer commented. “The car was a handful. I would turn it one way and it would go the other. With five laps to go I could smell something burning, but just glad to hang on for the win.”


Brian Shirley

Brian Shirley

Allen Weisser

Allen Weisser

Jake Little

Jake Little

Owen Wells

Owen Wells

Tommy Duncan

Tommy Duncan

Results | Story and Pictures by Rocky Ragusa

The Fairbury Speedway held a Memorial Day Weekend special on Saturday night. The track welcomed the American Modified Series for a 30-lap, $2,000 to win race. Making their first appearance were the Pro Late Models, and bonus money was up for grabs in the Late Model, Street Stock, and CR Towing Sportsman divisions.

shirley lm25 Late Model drivers took time trials for their 35-lap, $3,000 to win race. Washington’s Bob Gardner toured the ¼ mile dirt oval at 13.410 seconds for fast time. Allen Weisser, Brian Shirley, and Gordy Gundaker won heat races, while Jay Morris took the B-Main. At the drop of the green flag, Shirley and Weisser ran side by side for the lead before Shirley pulled ahead on the third lap. Behind the duo, Gundaker, Mike Spatola, and Kevin Weaver kept fans on their feet in an exciting battle for third. By the 10th lap, Shirley had lapped traffic in his path. Weisser was able to close in on Shirley. Once the leader cleared the slower cars, Shirley opened up his lead. Gundaker overtook Weisser in the closing laps for second, but ran out of laps as Shirley recorded his first win of the year at Fairbury. “We had a good car tonight and just had to bide our time,” said the Chatham resident. “The bottom wasn’t for me, so I stuck it on the Fairbury top side and we came out alright”. Gundaker took second, with track points leader Ryan Unzicker, Spatola, Weisser, Weaver, Jason Feger, McKay Wenger, Mike Glasscock, and Gardner completing the top ten.

weisser mdThe American Modified Series saw 30 cars vying for fast time honors and Pontiac’s Jeffrey Ledford upheld the honors for the home crowd with a lap of 14.394 seconds. Heats went to defending AMS champion Trent Young, Michael Long, Allen Weisser, and Mike McKinney. Jim Farris advanced to the 30-lap feature by taking the B-Main. McKinney led at the start, with Young, Weisser, Long, and Steven Brooks tucked behind. Weisser, running the bottom of the track, edged ahead of McKinney for the lead on lap two. On a restart after a caution on the 13th lap, Weisser led as Ledford, McKinney, and Young ran three wide for second. Always a threat for the win, Mike Harrison was on the move in fifth. Running the ragged edge at the top, he joined in the hunt for the top prize as he moved into second by the halfway point. After a caution on the 17th lap, Weisser and Harrison separated themselves from the competition. As Weisser had lap traffic ahead of him with 10 laps to go, he made the right moves in keeping Harrison at bay. Harrison made several attempts to move ahead of Weisser, but the driver known as “A-Dog” prevailed in winning his first career AMS race. “I knew Harrison would be better than me on the top,” Weisser stated. “Running the bottom, I had to go to the top with the lapped cars ahead. Everything just played out in our favor.” The remainder of the top ten went to Harrison, Ledford, Young, Long, McKinney, Ray Bollinger, Gabriel Kirtley, Brian Shaw, and Jay Ledford.

little plmShow-Me state driver Trevor Gundaker clipped the speedway at 14.688 seconds for quick time over 20 drivers in the $1,000 to win, 25-lap Pro Late Model contest. Gundaker and Springfield’s Jake Little won their respective heat races. After a caution on the first lap, Little went to the top side and got by Gundaker for the lead. Little wasted no time in quickly pulling away from the field. Bobby Richey Jr. took over second, as Gundaker, Logan Moody, and Dakota Ewing followed. Little held a straightaway lead before the yellow flag came out with five laps to go. On the restart, Little opened up the lead and was able to cruise to the win. “The car was really good tonight,” Little said. “I knew once I got to the top, I could drive my race and would be good to go.” Ewing, Mike Spatola, Brandon Eskew, Richey Jr., Moody, Gundaker, Roben Huffman, Shawn Diggs, and Dane Arvin took the top ten positions.

wells scBourbonnais’s Matt Hammond toured the speedway at 16.027 seconds for fast time as 21 drivers looked to take the $500 winner’s check. Hammond, Justin VanDrunen, and Nick Seplak took heat race wins. Making his first appearance at the track, Owen Wells of Monticello, Ind., saw his chance for the lead happen with five laps to go. Wells got by Darrell Dick for the top spot and had to survive a caution with two laps to go before taking the checkered flag. “We had bad luck during hot laps and our heat race, but made adjustments,” Wells commented. “We didn’t know how the car would do. It is just amazing to finally get a win.” The rest of the top ten went to Hammond, Dick, Zack Zuberbier, Cody Clubb, Josh Hetherington, Kraig Hughes, Seplak, Al Gray, and Roger Rickels.

duncan spNine Sportsman drivers looked to take the $500 to win feature race. Metamora’s Tommy Duncan was the lone heat race winner. Duncan, with a fast car in the early part of the year, was able to lead all 15 laps and take his first career feature race win at Fairbury. “I have to thank all my crew and my wife for putting up with all of this,” said Duncan. “We will see what the rest of the year brings us.” Tyler Roth, Michael Ledford, Amber Crouch, Anthony Craven, Val Hurt, Matt Ramer, Scott Williams, and Steve Mattingly completed the field.


Jeremy Nichols

Jeremy Nichols

Frank Heckenast Jr.

Frank Heckenast Jr.

Allen Weisser

Allen Weisser

Michael Ledford

Michael Ledford

Mason Duncan

Mason Duncan

Results | Story and Pictures by Rocky Ragusa

Despite afternoon thunderstorms, the Fairbury Speedway officials were able to get the track in shape for an exciting night of racing Saturday night. Taking home the hardware were Frank Heckenast Jr. (Late Model), Allen Weisser (Modified), Jeremy Nichols (Stock Car), Michael Ledford (Sportsman), and Mason Duncan (Hobby-Modified).

stock carThe 10th annual Hubert Memorial race attracted 36 of the finest Stock Car racers for a shot at the $2,000 payday. Bourbonnais native Matt Hammond toured the track at 15.691 seconds for fast time honors. Hammond, Jeremy Nichols, Jason Maier, and Rudy Zaragoza won heat races, with Robert Cottom and Justin VanDrunen advancing to the 43-lap feature by winning their semi-features. Hammond took an early race lead as Maier and Nichols battled for second. On the next lap, Nichols got sideways in turn one losing several positions. Maier, working the top of the track, took the lead from Hammond on the 15th lap and soon found himself with slower cars in his path. The race’s lone caution period fell with 20 laps to go as Nichols found his way back to the third spot. Maier led on the restart, as Nichols worked over Hammond for second. Nichols, running the bottom, drove a smooth race and took second with 15 laps to go. Nichols quickly closed on Maier and moved into the lead with 12 laps to go. Nichols, always a front runner at Fairbury, but the victim of misfortune, finally took his first ever win at Fairbury. “I spun myself out early in the race and I thought it was over for us,” an excited Nichols said. “This was a stout field of cars. I saw Hammond and Maier’s cars pushing up in the center and that was my opportunity. It is really great to finally get a win here.” Maier held off Hammond for second with Jeff Hartzell, Nick Seplak, Bobby Beiler, Jerrad Krick, Pete Odell, 16th starter Cody Clubb, and Zaragoza in tow.

late modelFrankfort’s Frank Heckenast Jr. bested 21 other Late Model drivers in qualifying at 12.934 seconds for their 30-lap feature. Mike Glasscock, Mike Spatola, and Ryan Unzicker took heat race wins. On the initial start, Jay Sparks was bounced around with contact from several drivers to bring out the caution flag and end his night. The restart had Spatola leading Glasscock, Heckenast, Unzicker, and Brian Shirley before another yellow flag on lap two. The restart had Spatola in the lead as Glasscock received a challenge from Heckenast. Heckenast and Unzicker both worked their way by Glasscock and began chasing down Spatola. Heckenast broke away from Unzicker and closed the gap on the race leader. With 18 laps to go, Heckenast pulled alongside of Spatola. Slower traffic was ahead of the race leader and hampered Spatola. Heckenast was able to get by Spatola for the lead and open up a ten-car length lead. After a caution with 10 laps to go, Heckenast ran the bottom as Spatola ran the top in pursuit of the leader. Behind the duo, Unzicker and Shirley had a spirited race for third, as Donny Walden closely followed. Heckenast was able to hold off Spatola and take the $2,500 check. “It is really awesome what they are doing here,” spoke Heckenast. “It takes a lot of guts to pay this locally. This was a little tune up for the PDC. Hopefully we can run with those guys.” Taking his second win ever at Fairbury, Heckenast was followed to the line by Spatola, Unzicker, Shirley, Walden, Glasscock, McKay Wenger, Taylor Scheffler, Scott Schmitt, and Derek Chandler.

modified

Plainfield’s Mike McKinney turned a lap of 14.396 seconds to earn fast time for the 22 Modified pilots on hand for their 20-lap affair. McKinney, Allen Weisser, and Steven Brooks won their heat races. McKinney and Weisser led the field to the green flag with Weisser taking the top position. Three cautions in the first five laps kept Weisser from establishing any momentum. After a caution on lap five, Weisser stuck his car on the bottom of the speedway and opened up his lead, while McKinney and Jeffrey Ledford dueled for second, followed by Brooks and Daniel Breymeier. At the halfway point, Weisser held a straightaway lead over his competition. McKinney finally got by Ledford and began to close the gap on the race leader. As Weisser worked his way by lapped traffic, McKinney was on Weisser’s bumper with two laps to go. On the white flag lap, McKinney worked the high side as Weisser was on the bottom with a slower car in his path. Weisser was able to move up a lane with McKinney by his side. As the checkered flag was waved, Weisser nipped McKinney as Ledford squeezed by for second at the line. “That lapped car on the bottom was messing me up,” said Weisser. “He didn’t want to get out of my lane, so I had to go to the top. McKinney stuck his nose down there, but we had a good run and held on for the win.” The remainder of the top ten went to Brooks, Devin Wright, Breymeier, Allan Stipp, Eric Vaughan, Kevin Morrow, and 17th starter Trevor Neville.

sportsman12 Sportsman drivers were on hand for their 15-lap race. Rookie competitor Lyndon Whitfill of Fairbury took fast time honors at 16.082 seconds. Heat race wins went to Michael Ledford and Steve Mattingly. Ledford took the lead as the green flag was unfurled. The 14-year-old Ledford drove like a grizzled veteran as Mattingly, Tommy Duncan, and Amber Crouch raced for second. Pontiac’s Ledford stuck his car on the bottom and held a half straightaway lead before Duncan broke away from the pack and gained on Ledford. With two laps to go, Duncan tried valiantly to overtake Ledford for the lead, but the young teenager stood his ground and earned his first career win. “It was great to bounce back after being involved in that wreck on opening night,” Ledford said. “I want to thank Dad, Daniel Flessner, and Michael Verdun for getting the car back together.” Duncan settled for second, with Crouch, Whitfill, Mattingly, Matt Ramer, Val Hurt, Brendan Patterson, Scott Williams, and Dan Coit rounding out the top ten.

hobby modThe Hobby-Modified class drew 18 entries for their 12-lap feature. Brendan Ramer and Mason Duncan took the checkered flag in their heat races. Duncan, normally a dominator in the class, had his hands full. Derrick DeFord, a regular at Peoria Speedway, hounded Duncan for the lead as Darren Christensen followed closely. DeFord got by Duncan for the lead, but with two laps left Duncan retook the top spot and scored his second win of the year. “That was some hard racing. I hit that hole down in turn two and it messed me up a couple of times, but we came back and got the win,” Duncan said. Duncan was followed closely by DeFord, Christensen, Thad Gee, Ramer, Troy Ricketts, Chris Burton, Jason Brandt, Makinzi Semmens, and Tyler Sebby.


Kent Robinson

Kent Robinson

Mike McKinney

Mike McKinney

Andrew Funk

Andrew Funk

Tyler Roth

Tyler Roth

Mason Duncan

Mason Duncan

Results

Story and Pictures by Rocky Ragusa

When it was announced that the Fairbury Speedway was raising the race purses, race teams and fans eagerly anticipated opening night. 112 drivers from seven states looked to carry the checkered flag in the five FALS Cup weekly racing program main events. Kent Robinson (Late Model), Mike McKinney (Modified), Andrew Funk (Stock Car), Tyler Roth (Sportsman), and Mason Duncan (Hobby Mod) came out victorious in a new era for the 1/4 mile dirt oval.

late modelDefending UMP DIRTcar Late Model champion Rusty Schlenk earned fast time honors for the 33 Late Models in attendance with a lap of 13.623 seconds for their 30-lap, $2,500 to win race. Kent Robinson, Ryan Unzicker, Jason Feger, and Chad Finley took heat race wins, while Michael Kloos and McKay Wenger advanced to the feature by winning B-Mains. Polesitter Robinson took the lead at the start with Unzicker, Scott Schmitt, Kyle Bronson, and Feger trailing. Bronson moved by Schmitt for third on the seventh lap and pressured Unzicker for second. Robinson, from Bloomington, Ind., ran the bottom groove and held a straightaway lead by the halfway mark. Bronson, a regular competitor on the Lucas Oil tour, pressured Unzicker for second before moving by with 10 laps to go. Robinson was able to slice his way thru lapped traffic in the closing laps and kept a safe margin as he recorded his first ever win at Fairbury. “In the past I was never a huge fan of the track,” said Robinson. “I think it’s because I never ran well here. I think my opinions changed tonight.” Bronson, from Brandon, Fla., took second after starting 10th. Unzicker, David Mielke, Schmitt, Feger, Schlenk, Scott James, Mike Spatola, and Brian Shirley placed in the top ten.

modifiedKentucky’s Tyler Nicely bested 26 other Modified drivers with a lap of 14.489 seconds in qualifying. Nicely, Mike McKinney, and Randy Shuman won heats. Steven Brooks was the B-Main victor. Nicely took the lead at the start of the 20-lap, $1,500 to win race, as McKinney pressured Nicely. McKinney went to the top side of the track and overtook Nicely for the lead on the fourth circuit. McKinney was able to hold a three car length lead over Nicely for the remainder of the race and earn a hard fought win. “We finished up the car this morning and to get the win on the first night is pretty cool,” commented Plainfield’s McKinney. “I saw the FALS Cup trophy at the drivers meeting and knew I had to get one.” Allen Weisser, Jeffrey Ledford, 12th starter Harrison, Shuman, Jay Ledford, Levi Kissinger, Nick Clubb, and Austin Lynn rounded out the top ten.

stock carThe 15-lap Stock Car race drew 25 racers for their race. Justin VanDrunen’s time of 15.832 seconds would take quick time honors. Zachary Zuberbier, Pete Odell, and Megan Erwin took the heat race wins. Outside front row starter Odell moved to the lead at the start as Zuberbier, Erwin, Andrew Funk, and Cody Clubb battled for second. After a caution on lap five, Funk and Zuberbier challenged Odell for the front position. On the eighth lap, Funk edged Odell for the lead as the two drivers exited turn two. Funk went the rest of the way uncontested to take the win. “It was a tough battle with our new car,” spoke Funk. “It kept getting faster and faster.” Odell, Erwin, Clubb, Jerrad Krick, Nick Seplak, Josh Griffith, Al Gray, Josh Hetherington, and Dustin Pruitt completed the top ten.

sportsmanThe 15-lap CR Towing Sportsman race was a wild affair. Quick time went to Steven Mattingly over 10 other drivers with a lap of 15.632 seconds. Mattingly and Amber Crouch won their heat races. On the restart after a caution flag, Crouch led Tommy Duncan, Mattingly, Mikey Ledford, and Tyler Roth. As Crouch held a five car length lead, Duncan slowly reeled in Crouch. Going down the backstretch Duncan moved to the inside of Crouch and the two drivers made contact, blocking the track. With nowhere to go, Mattingly and Ledford both became involved in the melee. Of the four cars, Crouch was the only one able to continue. Roth, being in the right spot at the right time, took over as the race leader and sped to a very popular and first career win. “This is a brand new car and I have to thank Jay Ledford for his help,” expressed a jubilant Roth. “Honestly, I had a fifth place car, but it is what it is.” The remainder of the top ten went to Matt Ramer, ninth starter Lyndon Whitfill, Crouch, Val Hurt, Duncan, Mattingly, Ledford, Scott Williams, and Anthony Craven.  

hobby modA large field of 16 Hobby Mod drivers were on hand for their 12-lap race. Mason Duncan claimed fast time at 15.249 seconds. Duncan and Troy Ricketts came out ahead in their heat races. Duncan, known as the “Mini Missile”, rocketed into the lead and was never threatened. Thad Gee, Macy Vaughan, Tyler Sebby, Makinzi Semmens, Ricketts, Chris Burton, Graham Jackson, Darren Kerrins, and Jason Brandt rounded out the top ten.


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