by Darlene Miller
The “Reaper” held on to win the one “everyone wants to win” when he held off the “Flatland Flash” in the closing laps for the late model feature victory Saturday night at Fairbury American Legion Speedway. McKay Wenger of Fairbury stopped Gibson City’s Kevin Weaver from winning his ninth race of the season but not the points championship. Jay Ledford (modified), Richie Rich (sportsman), and Lukes Gash (street stock) were also crowned champions at the Fairbury Fair on Saturday night.
Wenger and Jay Morris of Watseka led the field to the green flag. The pair were tight but just five laps in of the 30-lap feature, Morris found himself riding the turn three wall and his evening was done. That caution put Weaver in striking distance of Wenger. The duo moved away from the pack and with four laps to go found themselves in the mix of lap traffic. The lap traffic slowed both drivers as they had trouble maneuvering. Wenger was able to hold on to the wheel and win by two car lengths. “What a race. I have been wanting to win this one,” said Wenger, who took home $1,200. El Paso’s Joe Harlan was third followed by Daren Friedman and Scott Bull. Scott Schmitt, Lance Dehm, Steve Thorsten, Torin Mettille, and Charlie Olson made up the second five. Wenger and Morris were heat winners. Weaver set fast pace with a qualifying time of 12.675 seconds.
Mike McKinney and Jay Ledford started on the front row of the 20-lap modified feature, but neither of them would see the win come their way. The duo fought early for the lead but three caution flags bunched the field. A red flag flew with 11 trips to go as the “Outlaw” Dave Porth, in his last season of racing, found himself upside down in between turns three and four. Porth was OK and with that Ledford also pulled off the track with problems and his night was also done. Jeb Friedman and Jeff Curl followed McKinney before he stopped in turn one with fluid leaking from his car. Curl, Friedman, and Brandon Maciejewski were the top three and a war ensued. Friedman wrestled away the lead from Curl with two laps to go and won by a half car length. “I had a special feeling about tonight,” Friedman said in winning $650. “It was a good night and we go out with a bang.”