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Alberson, Friedman, Keller, Duncan, Sebens Take Season Opening Wins

Garrett Alberson

Garrett Alberson

Austin Friedman

Austin Friedman

Braiden Keller

Braiden Keller

Tommy Duncan

Tommy Duncan

Jerremy Sebens

Jerremy Sebens

Results | Points | Story & Pictures by Rocky Ragusa

The Fairbury Speedway opened its 2024 racing season on Saturday with a FALS Cup weekly program presented by Varsitee Screenprinting and Aftershock Decals and Design. Action on the ¼ mile semi-banked dirt track saw Garrett Alberson (Late Model), Austin Friedman (Modified), Braiden Keller (Stock Car), Tommy Duncan (Sportsman), and Jerremy Sebens (Hobby Mod) claim feature wins.

alberson fegerWith rain canceling the weekend’s Lucas Oil Late Model Series events, Garrett Alberson made the trek to Illinois to tune up for next weekend’s Lucas Oil Late Model doubleheader at Farmer City and Fairbury. Starting in the sixth position, Alberson took the lead on the 10th lap. Race leader Jason Feger had built a ½ straightaway lead with Alberson, Jake Little, Myles Moos, and McKay Wenger trailing. As Feger approached slower traffic, Alberson dove under Feger exiting turn two. Alberson took the lead and opened a straightaway lead before the caution light came on with seven laps to go. On the restart, Moos turned up the wick and got past Little. Moos overtook Feger for second on the white flag, but the laps ran out as Alberson, winner at Farmer City the previous night, took the win. “I have been wanting to win at Fairbury for a long time,” said the Las Cruces, New Mexico racer. “We went to a harder tire on the right rear. It took off on the start and I knew we would be alright.” Moos took second, Feger settled for third, followed by Little, Wenger, Daniel Adam, Donny Walden, 15th starter Tommy Sheppard Jr., Rich Bell, and Kye Blight.

friedmanAustin Friedman took the lead at the start of the 20-lap Modified race and went on to take the win. Taking the lead from Mike McKinney, Friedman turned back a bid for the lead from McKinney in the closing laps, but the young second-generation driver proved to be too stout in taking the checkers. “I have never swept a weekend before,” an excited Friedman explained. “I knew the car would be fast. I got lucky to get out front and not look back.” McKinney finished in second, with Ray Bollinger, Michael Ledford, and Zeke McKenzie completing the first five. The rest of the top ten saw Caden McWhorter, 17th starter Lyndon Whitfill, Austin Self, Bradley Jameson, and Steven Brooks.

brown kellerBraiden Keller, running the Fairbury cushion, got by Joe Brown with three laps remaining and took the win in the 15-lap Stock Car feature. “I want to thank the track staff for getting the track ready after that rain,” Keller said. “I love racing here. This is our third win in a row.” Brown, Kyle Anderson, Cody Clubb, Brandon Tracy, Derrick Weiand, Brice Slavens, 13th starter Dave Dulceak, Jace Gall, and Jeff Czemske completed the top ten.

mattingly duncanIn the 15-lap Sportsman race, Tyler Roth paced the field for the first two laps before Steven Mattingly moved to the lead on the third lap. Tommy Duncan, who started at the rear of the field, made his presence felt after a caution on lap 11. Racing on the topside of the track, Duncan moved past Roth and closed in on Mattingly. With the checkered flag in sight, Duncan dove under Mattingly entering turn three and edged Mattingly at the stripe to win the race by a car length. Roth finished in third, with Josh Hetherington, Robert Saltzman, Doug Carls, and Makinzi Semmens following.

sebensRacing ended with a 12-lap Hobby-Modified feature. Jerremy Sebens fended off the challenge from Brain Deavers to pick up his first win at Fairbury in the Hobby-Modified class. Deavers settled for second followed by Lucas Boulton, Reid Gall, Jason Brandt, 14th starter Erin Boesdorfer, Jake Bachtold, Joel Funk, Scott Brown, and Colton Grace.


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