by Rocky Ragusa
The final night of points racing saw the crowning of the track champions and another exciting night of racing action.
Returning from a little vacation and looking to pick up national points, current UMP national points leader Bobby Pierce returned to Fairbury on Saturday night. Pierce started on the outside of the front row in the 30-lap UMP Late Model feature. At the drop of the green flag, Pierce wasted little time, jumping out to a commanding lead to post his second win of the season at Fairbury. Mike Spatola ran alone in second, while it was an intense battle for third. Eric Smith, Daren Friedman, Kevin Weaver, and Dan Flessner raced hard for the position, sometimes going four wide. Weaver’s night ended on the 20th lap after dropping the driveshaft. Friedman broke away from the pack and got by Spatola with two laps to go to finish second. Spatola, Flessner, Joe Harlan, Smith, Steve Thorsten, 2014 Track Champion Scott Bull, Mike Mullvain, and Jay Morris rounded out the top ten. In victory lane Pierce commented, “I love Fairbury’s cushion, even though it was a little treacherous. It’s a different track and you got to drive it like an animal. Thanks to Daren for giving me plenty of room on the start and congrats to Scott on his championship.” Friedman was the race’s fast qualifier at a 12.710. Friedman, Pierce, and Smith took heat race wins.
With his first ever track title locked up, Jay Ledford added icing on the cake. Ledford took the lead from Jimmy Dehm on the 13th lap after Dehm jumped the cushion. Ledford led the rest of the way in the 20-lap UMP Modified race and took his fourth win. After his miscue, Dehm got under Ledford several times but Ledford was able to hang on. “We had to be aggressive with the track tonight. I had to stay up on the wheel. I just hope I didn’t get into anyone,” said Ledford. Following Ledford and Dehm in the top ten were: Jeb Friedman, Jeff Curl, Jim Farris, Cullen Breeden, Collin Alexander, Dan Rork, and Cory Schwengel. Lance Dehm took fast time honors at a 13.888, while Jimmy Dehm and Curl won heat races.
by Darlene Miller
A longtime term paper for students at the beginning of the school year has been, “What I did for my summer vacation.” Writing that paper would be easy for 15-year-old sophomore-to-be Jeffrey Ledford. But keeping it to length may be difficult. Ledford, who attends Pontiac Township High School, would write about winning the sportsman points championship at Fairbury American Legion Speedway on Wednesday night. And he doesn’t even have a driver’s license yet.