Live pay-per-view video, CBS Sports Network coverage make Fairbury’s $3O,OOO-to-win Prairie Dirt Classic even bigger in 2O18

Huge World of Outlaws Craftsman Late Model Series event set for 29th annual running on July 27-28pdc-logo

The Prairie Dirt Classic (PDC) presented by Bank of Pontiac at Fairbury American Legion Speedway (FALS) already draws a huge crowd and is well known as one of dirt Late Model racing’s most thrilling events. This year, though, even more fans will have an opportunity to witness the intense action that has made the World of Outlaws Craftsman Late Model Series extravaganza a three-time winner of DirtonDirt.com’s Race of the Year.

When the 29th annual running of the PDC takes place July 27-28 at the high-banked, quarter-mile oval located in the middle of the idealic Midwest town of Fairbury, DirtVision.com and DirtonDirt.com will provide live pay-per-view video coverage of every lap of competition for the first time ever. In addition, the weekend will be recorded for later broadcast on the CBS Sports Network, exposing the race to a wider television audience.

Set apart by the green-to-checkered excitement on the track and the passionate FALS fans, the PDC will again set the bar high in 2018 with the top drivers in the country chasing a $30,000 prize from a total payout of $93,000 posted for the 100-lap Feature that highlights Saturday night’s grand finale.

A long-standing event that has reached elite status since FALS officials partnered with the World of Outlaws tour in 2013 to expand the race to two days and move it from its traditional Labor Day weekend position, the PDC will for the second straight year begin with a Friday-night program that features four 25-lap World of Outlaws “Showdown” qualifying features paying $2,500 to win and $200 to start apiece. The July 27 card will see drivers split into four features based on qualifying times with the top four finishers in each race transferring to the next night’s 100-lap headliner and the top two redrawing for starting positions in first four rows of the PDC.

pdc17actionThe Saturday, July 28 program will include three Last Chance Showdowns that move six more drivers onto the century grind. Two World of Outlaws and two FALS provisionals will round out the 26-car starting field for the PDC, while one more starter could come from the ninth annual Prairie Dirt Shootout presented by Summit Racing Equipment for non-qualifiers that offers its winner the option of taking the $2,000 first-place prize or the 27th starting spot in the 100-lapper. Last year Don O’Neal of Martinsville, Ind., won the Prairie Dirt Shootout, which pays $300 to start, and then started 27th in the PDC and was moving through the field and about to crack the top 10 before fading to an 18th-place finish.

The Summit Racing Equipment Modified Nationals will also be part of the weekend’s action and follow the same qualifying format as the World of Outlaws Late Models. Four 20-lap UMP Modified features will be run on Friday night with each paying $500 to win and $100 to start. The top four finishers from each Modified feature will transfer to Saturday’s 40-lap Summit Racing Equipment finale that boasts a $5,000 top prize with the top two redrawing to set the first four rows of the feature; six more drivers will transfer from three Last Chance Showdowns on Saturday and four Summit Modified Nationals provisionals will round out the 26-car field.

Fairbury officials have secured title sponsorship for each of Friday night’s eight Showdown features, showing the commitment from the track’s marketing partners to give back to the drivers and fans. World of Outlaws Showdown backers include Dyer’s Top Rods, Pontiac RV, FK Rod Ends, and Summit Racing Equipment, while the Modified Showdowns will be sponsored by Summit Racing Equipment, Wehrs Machine and Racing Equipment, Allgaier Racing Shocks, and Deke Trucking.

In addition, Schahrer Farms & Trucking will present $200 Fast Time awards to the quick qualifier in both groups of time trials for the World of Outlaws Late Models and Summit Modifieds.

Other valued sponsors for the PDC weekend include the Bank of Pontiac, which continues as the title sponsor of the event; Dave’s Supermarket; DirtonDirt.com; Aftershock Decal and Design; Leman Paint Works; Varsitee Screen Printing; and Moe’s Southwest Grill.

Brandon Sheppard of New Berlin, Ill., is the defending champion of the PDC.

For more information on the Prairie Dirt Classic presented by Bank of Pontiac, visit www.fairburyspeedway.com. Pay-per-view video ordering information will be available on www.dirtvision.com and www.dirtondirt.com.

Klaasmeyer Takes Last-Lap POWRi Thriller; Goldesberry Tops Strong Field of IRA/MOWA Sprints

Late Model Results | Modified Results

Mike Spatola charges from 13th starting position to score fourth win of season in Late Models; Jeffrey Ledford captures first win in Modifieds

by Rocky Ragusa

The Fairbury American Legion Speedway welcomed the traveling stars of the POWRi Lucas Oil National Midget League and the co-sanctioned IRA/MOWA 410 Winged Sprint Cars on Saturday night. Joining the program were the weekly Late Model and Modified classes. Tucker Klaasmeyer (Midget), Jordan Goldesberry (Sprint Car), Mike Spatola (Late Model), and Jeffrey Ledford (Modified) drove to victory lane to get their picture taken at the end of their respective races.

jul7-mdg20 of the best Midget drivers in the country looked to take the $2,000 prize in their 30 lap race. Logan Seavey, Tanner Carrick, and Joe B. Miller won in heat race action. Tucker Klaasmeyer was leading Seavey with four laps to go when the red flag was displayed as points leader Ryan Robinson and Holly Shelton made contact on the backstretch with both machines getting upside down. On the restart, Seavey, on the bottom, and Klaasmeyer, on the top, looked to take the big check. As the two drivers came to the line on the last lap, both drivers collided with Klaasmeyer spinning his way to his fourth win of the year and Seavey upside down. “That was a little sketchy,” Kaasmeyer said. “It was a fun race. I didn’t know if the top was ever going to come in.” Seavey settled for second, with Jake Neuman, Miller, Carrick, Zach Daum, Karter Sarff, Sam Johnson, Kyle Schuett, and Austin Brown completing the top ten.

Schmitt, Wenger, Sullivan, Mattingly, Ray Take Wins

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

by Rocky Ragusa

Race teams and fans withstood the hot days of summer and were treated to another outstanding night of racing on Saturday night at the Fairbury American Legion Speedway. Scott Schmitt (Late Model), McKay Wenger (Modified), Tanner Sullivan (Street Stock), Steve Mattingly (Sportsman), and Bryon Ray (Hobby Modified) took feature wins in their respective classes.

jun30-lmMike Spatola, at a 12.510, was the Late Model fast qualifier as 16 drivers were seeking to carry the checkered flag in their 30 lap race. Scott Schmitt and Jay Sparks were the heat race winners. Schmitt led on the start with Ryan Unzicker, Spatola, Steve Thorsten, and Sparks in tow. The top side was the preferred line as the top three drivers were able to pull away from the rest of the field. Unzicker changed his line and went to the bottom groove at the halfway mark. Unzicker slowly reeled in Schmitt and took the lead on lap 24. Caution fell with four laps to go. On the restart, Schmitt put his car on the cushion, moved back into the lead, and earned a hard fought win. “We weren’t sure if we made the right choice on the right rear tire,” Schmitt said. “That caution at the end saved us. We weren’t very good at LaSalle on Thursday. We took the car to the shop and found a few things wrong.” Unzicker settled for second, with Spatola, Kevin Weaver, Sparks, Chris Osborne Jr., Dan Flessner, Bill Hough, Freddie Carpenter, and Glen Thompson rounding out the top ten.

jun30-md15 Modified drivers qualified for their 20 lap race. Steven Brooks posted fast time at a 14.371. Derick Doerr and Jay Ledford took the heat race wins. A caution waved on the initial start for an accident on the track. When the green flag waved, Ledford took the lead as Doerr and McKay Wenger raced for second. Wenger was able to break free from Doerr and tracked Ledford down. Wenger got under Ledford on the frontstretch to take command on the 10th lap. Wenger quickly pulled away and opened a 10-car-length lead over the field before a caution fell with two laps to go. Wenger, looking for his first win at FALS in two years, jumped out to the lead and took his second win of the weekend. “It has been so hard for us to win a race here,” Wenger said. “It feels good to finally get that monkey off our back.” Completing the top ten were Ledford, Brooks, Doerr, Nick Lueth, Jason Hastings, Jeffrey Ledford, Alan Stipp, Garrett Jameson, and Neil Martin.

jun30-ssDue to a special race at Shadyhill Speedway in Indiana, the Street Stock class drew six entries. Tanner Sullivan set quick time at 16.539. The heat race went to Don Hilleary. Sullivan got the jump on Hilleary to take the lead at the start of the 15 lap race. While Sullivan was able to build his lead to a straightaway, the battle was behind him. A blanket could have been thrown over the quartet of Hilleary, Nick Seplak, Pete Odell, and Al Gray as they fought for position in hopes of tracking down Sullivan. Hilleary broke away in the closing laps but the laps had ran out as Sullivan nabbed his first Fairbury feature win. “I am glad to finally get my first win at Fairbury,” Sullivan said. “This has been my most accomplished win to date.” Hilleary, Odell, Gray, Seplak, and Sean Leatherman completed the finish.

jun30-sp10 CR Towing Sportsman drivers were on hand tuning up for the upcoming Eden-Piercy race. Points leader Steve Mattingly turned a lap of 14.815 for fast time. Mattingly and Amber Crouch took heat race wins. After a lap three caution, Mattingly fended off a brief challenge from Brandon Pralle before pulling away and taking his fifth win of the year. “This has been an unbelievable year for our team,” spoke Mattingly. “Getting that first win was special but I would not have thought I would have five now.” Pralle took second, with Amber Crouch, Dustin Mounce, Tyler Roth, Michael Ledford, Matt Ramer, Anthony Craven, Valerie Hurt, and Eric Saltzman following.

jun30-hmFirst time visitor Bryon Ray was the fast qualifier over 12 other Hobby Modified drivers in attendance at a 15.990. Ray and Brendan Ramer won their respective heat races. In the 12 lap feature race, Roy took the lead with Bryan Saner, Thad Gee, Macy Vaughan, and Darren Kerrins following. The caution flag waved on lap four and saw contender Gee parking his car. On the restart, Roy was able to pull away from the field and held a straightaway lead at the finish. Saner held off the challenge from Vaughan for second, with Makinzi Semmens, Justin White, Austin Lipe, Graham Jackson, Mike Petersen, Kerrins, and Cathy Crego the remainder of the top ten.

Moyer Rides Cushion to DIRTcar Summer Nationals Victory

Late Model Results | Modified Results | Street Stock Results

by Rocky Ragusa

With the night’s racing program sponsored by Rhino Ag of Gibson City, the annual DIRTcar Summer National event took place Saturday night at the Fairbury American Legion Speedway before some 3,000 race fans. Earning feature wins were Billy Moyer (Late Model), Mike McKinney (Modified), and Rick Thomas (Street Stock).

jun23-lm32 Late Model teams representing seven states and Australia looked to take the $10,000 first place check in the 50 lap race. Brian Shirley led group one qualifying with a time of 12.610 and Kevin Weaver posted a time of 12.785 to head the pack for group two. Shannon Babb, Dennis Erb Jr., Bobby Pierce, and Scott Schmitt won their respective heat races, while the Semi Feature went to Daryn Klein. 22 cars started the feature race with polesitter Pierce taking a commanding lead over Erb Jr, while Babb had to contend with Shirley and Moyer for third. Pierce, running the top side, was able to extend his lead as he maneuvered through lapped traffic by the 13th lap. After a caution on lap 19, Babb got by Erb Jr. for second and offered a brief challenge to Pierce for the lead. Suddenly on lap 27, Pierce slowed on the frontstretch to bring out the caution as the fan blade in his car broke and went through the radiator. Babb led on the restart with Moyer set to challenge for the lead. Moyer led the 30th lap but jumped the cushion and gave Babb the lead back. Moyer regrouped and reclaimed the top spot on the 35th lap. Moyer, known as “Mr. Smooth”, drove a smooth line on the top side for the remainder of the race and notched his second win on the tour and 98th career Summer National win. Running the bottom and then going to the top side at the midpoint of the race, Moyer explained his strategy for the win. “I just went where everyone else was. I expected Shannon to be up there. I just shot it from the hip on what to do. The car was able to run wherever I wanted to go.” Shirley got by Babb for second with four laps to go, with Chris Simpson, Timothy Culp, Kyle Bronson, Erb Jr., Ryan Unzicker, Nick Hoffman, and Allen Weisser completing the top ten.

jun23-mdThe Summit Racing Equipment Modified Nationals saw 32 teams taking time trials for their 30 lap, $1,500 to win contest. Steven Brooks turned a time of 13.684 to lead group one, while Jeffrey Ledford clocked a time of 13.807 to pace group two. Ledford, Mike McKinney, Bobby Stremme, and Allen Weisser won heat races, with Jay Ledford taking the Semi Feature. McKinney got the jump on Jeffrey Ledford to take the lead at the start with Stremme, Brooks, Levi Kissinger, and Weisser trying to hang tight with the leader. McKinney held a ten-car-length lead over Ledford before a caution fell on the 14th lap. On the restart, Kissinger and Stremme got by Ledford to take second and third position as McKinney continued to stretch his lead. After another caution on lap 16, Stremme was able to pull alongside of McKinney, but “Magic Mike” withstood the challenge and changed to the bottom groove. Kissinger overtook Stremme for second and looked to battle McKinney for the lead, but a yellow flag waved with five laps to go. On the restart, Stremme and Kissinger made several slide job attempts for the lead, but McKinney stood firm and took his fourth Modified National win and fifth at Fairbury. “The track was fast tonight,” said McKinney. “I had to stay up on the wheel all night. I wasn’t sure whether to be on the top or bottom. I felt we were faster on the top. Levi threw that slider there. I was going to drive thru him or around him.” Stremme edged Kissinger for second, as Mike Harrison charged from 15th to fourth. Brooks, Jeff Leka, Nick Allen, Phil Dixon, Lucas Lee, and Donovan Lodge rounded out the top ten.

jun23-ssThe program ended with the Street Stock class in a $800 to win, 20 lap feature. Jeremy Nichols topped 21 competitors setting a new track record of 14.833 in time trials. Joe Brown, Nichols, and Tanner Sullivan won their respective heat races. Nichols led at the start with Brown, Matt Maier, Matt Hammond, and Jerrad Krick following. After two early cautions, Nichols continued to hold a five-car-length lead over Brown as Krick moved into third. Nichols took a straightaway lead while the battle took place for second. The field was bunched back up for a lap 14 caution. The restart had Maier overtake Krick for second followed by AJ Meiferdt and Thomas. The yellow flag was thrown twice with two laps to go. On the second caution, as Nichols exited turn two, his left rear wheel broke ending his bid for the win. On the restart, Maier led Meiferdt into turns one and two. As Meiferdt drove down the backstretch he pulled alongside of Maier and led as the drivers took the white flag. Maier bumped Meiferdt exiting turn two trying to cause Meiferdt’s car to get squirrelly. Entering turns three and four, Maier dove under Meiferdt as he looked to take the lead. As the two drivers continued to make contact, Thomas was able to sneak by and take the win. “Those two guys wanted to mess around out there,” Thomas said. “I knew what was going to happen. I will take that win.” Meiferdt settled for second, followed by Maier, Megan Erwin, Andy Thompson, Cody Clubb, Pete Odell, Brown, Kory Kohler, and Michael Schomas.

Curl, Weisser, Maier, Mattingly, Patterson pick up wins

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

by Rocky Ragusa

With sweltering temperatures in the air, hot racing action was also found at the Fairbury American Legion Speedway on Saturday night. A regular race night in five classes saw Jeff Curl (Late Model), Allen Weisser (Modified), Jason Maier (Street Stock), Steve Mattingly (Sportsman), and Brendan Patterson (Hobby-Modified) making a trip to the winner's circle.

jun16-lm19 Late Models tuned up for next week’s big Summer Nationals race. Kevin Weaver was the night’s top qualifier at a 12.938. Allen Murray and Allen Weisser claimed heat race wins. In the 30 lap race, Weisser led the first lap. Following a caution on lap one, Weisser’s car bobbled enough for Scott Schmitt to move out front. Caution fell on lap three with Schmitt, Weisser, Jeff Curl, Weaver, and Steve Thorsten in the top five. Curl was on the move and took second on lap six. Schmitt slowed on the backstretch for a caution on lap eight giving Curl the lead. Thorsten, on the top side, got by the bottom running Curl to lead laps 12 and 13 but Curl retook the lead on lap 14. Curl was able to pull out to a ten-car-length lead as Thorsten made a determined bid to retake first. Behind the duo, Weaver, Weisser, and Myles Moos had their own race for the third position. Debris on the track brought out a caution on lap 19. Weaver saw an opening on the restart but got into the back of Thorsten, and Weisser was collected in the mayhem to end his night. The field went single file for the remaining 11 laps. Curl stuck to the bottom, led the wall banging Thorsten, with Moos, Weaver, and Bill Hough in tow. Thorsten and Moos went back and forth for second, exchanging several slide jobs, before Thorsten took second back with three to go. As the race for second was unraveling, Curl was able to jump out to a straightaway lead and the Late Model rookie captured his first ever Late Model trophy. An excited Curl commented following his win, “I am way ahead of where I thought I would be after eight nights in a Late Model. We have tried different things each week and I have to thank Mike Spatola and the Friedman’s for their advice. We had not planned to race the Late Model next week, but it looks like we will be here for the Summer National race.” Following Curl to the line were Thorsten, Moos, Weaver, 15th starter Hough, Collin Alexander, Cole Swibold, Curtis Radke, Austin McCarty, and Weisser.

jun16-mdWith 12 Modified drivers on hand for their 20 lap race, Jeffrey Ledford paced the competition in qualifying with a 14.060. Ledford and Allen Weisser were the winners of their respective heat races. Weisser led the start followed by Ledford, McKay Wenger, Chevy Miller, and Alan Stipp. Weisser pulled out to a 10-car-length lead as Ledford and Wenger battled for second. Wenger moved by Ledford for second at the halfway mark and moved to the top side in an effort to run down Weisser. Weisser proved to be the dominate force on this night and earned his first ever win at Fairbury. “We have raced here a few times, had our share of bad luck, along with some seconds. It is nice to finally get a win here,” spoke Weisser. Wenger, Ledford, Stipp, Austin Lynn, Jay Ledford, Miller, Vince Cooper, Eric Vaughan, and Logan Rogers took the top ten positions.

jun16-ssVeteran wheelman Rick Thomas led in time trials at a 15.681 over 14 other Street Stock drivers. Heat races were won by Jason Maier and AJ Meiferdt. Meiferdt took the lead at the start of the 15 lap race with Jason Maier, Thomas, Matt Maier, and Cody Clubb in pursuit. After a lap five caution, Jason Maier, running the top side, overtook Meiferdt for the lead. Meiferdt held on to second as Thomas, Matt Maier, and Clubb followed. On the restart after a caution on lap eight, Matt Maier squeezed by Meiferdt for second while Jason checked out to a ten-car-length lead. In the closing laps, Meiferdt moved back into second as Jason Maier gained redemption from last week’s race and took the win. “I went to the high side of the track because AJ is always tough on the bottom,” Maier said. The rest of the top ten were Matt Maier, Thomas, Clubb, Al Gray, Nick Seplak, Justin Van Drunen, Andrew Alwood, and Michael Schomas.

jun16-spSteve Mattingly set quick time at a 14.747 of the 11 CR Towing Sportsman drivers on hand for their 15 lap race. Mattingly and Amber Crouch took heat race wins. Mattingly led at the start, but a caution fell after the end of lap one as contender Bryant Frechette dropped out with mechanical problems. On the restart, Mattingly stuck his car to the top side, with Crouch and Brandon Pralle in a heated battle for second followed by Matt Ramer and Anthony Craven. Laps five and six had the yellow flag waving, but on the restart, Mattingly ran the top groove to perfection and extended his lead. Crouch and Pralle went tooth and nail for second, but both drivers had their night cut short as Pralle got into the backstretch wall and Crouch cut a tire down. For the final six circuits Mattingly was able to pull away from the field and take his fourth win of the season. With the absence of points leader Richard Craven, Mattingly took over in the standings for the track championship. “The top side was a little rough but we were able to make it work out for us,” commented Mattingly. Following Mattingly to the stripe were Ramer, Eric Saltzman, Tyler Roth, Michael Ledford, Valerie Hurt, Craven, Crouch, Pralle, and Robert Saltzman.

jun16-hm12 Hobby-Modified drivers looked to carry the checkered flag at the end of their night. Darren Kerrins was the fast qualifier at a 15.497, while Brendan Patterson and Makinzi Semmens won their respective heat races. Patterson took the lead at the start of the 12 lap feature, but due to numerous cautions and a time limit, the race was stopped at three laps. Taking his fourth win of the year, Patterson was happy, but dejected, "We had a good car but I wish we could have gotten all the race in.” Mike Petersen, Terry Bolen, Thad Gee, Kerrins, Semmens, Austin Lipe, TJ Bolen, Bryan Saner, and Travis Roe completed the top ten.