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Results | Story & Pictures by Rocky Ragusa

On Fan Appreciation Night presented by Popejoy Inc., patrons to the speedway witnessed another action packed night of racing. Displaying a refuse to lose mentality, Mike Spatola (Late Model) and Mike McKinney (Modified) scored their respective feature wins. Landen Miller (CR Towing Sportsman) and Luke Gebhardt (Hobby Mod) claimed their first career wins, while Tanner Sullivan (Stock Cars) shook the monkey off his back in picking up his win.

spatola lmMcKay Wenger’s lap at 13.144 seconds gave him fast time with 21 Late Models on the grounds. Wenger, Mike Provenzano, and Jeffrey Ledford were heat race winners. Wenger led early in the race, while Provenzano, Spatola, Ledford, and Eric Smith diced for second. After a lap seven caution flag, Spatola was able to take the second position as Wenger held a straightaway lead. Smith fell from contention with a flat tire as the yellow flag came out on lap 12. Spatola was able to stay with Wenger on the restart as both drivers maneuvered the Fairbury cushion. On the restart after a caution with three laps to go, Spatola dove under Wenger for the lead as they entered turn one. Spatola’s lead stuck and he claimed his second win of the season at Fairbury. “That was one of the most treacherous cushions that I have ever raced,” commented Spatola. “I hope that slider on McKay wasn’t too dirty. He’s a hell of a wheelman on a cushion like this. I knew he would be the driver to beat. I am just fortunate that caution came out and we were able to capitalize on that.” A dejected Wenger settled for second with Ledford, Kevin Weaver, and Provenzano in the first five positions. 16th starter Ryan Unzicker, Jay Sparks, Smith, Donny Walden, and Torin Mettille completed the top ten.

mckinney mdEric Vaughan and Mike McKinney recorded the same time at 14.350 seconds to lead the 15 Modified drivers on hand. Two heat races saw Nick Clubb and Michael Ledford come out on top. The 25-lap feature race was a wild and wooly affair. Ledford raced out to a commanding lead as Allen Weisser, Steven Brooks, and Clubb had a fierce battle for second. Running the top side of the track, Ledford began picking his way through slower traffic by lap eight. 12th starter McKinney worked his way to the front, and by the 14th lap, he was racing in the second position. The cushion took its toll on the cars as sheet metal was frailing from the Ledford machine. McKinney caught a break as a caution fell with four laps remaining for debris on the track. McKinney dove under Ledford on the restart to take the lead. Ledford got caught in the cushion allowing Weisser to sneak past. McKinney was able to open a three second lead in the final circuits and take his second win of the year at Fairbury. For McKinney, it was his 35th career win at “America’s Dirt Track” with 34 of his wins coming in the last five seasons. “We had a poor performance in the heat race,” McKinney explained. “I told Dad I was going to knock the rear clip off the car to win this race.” The remaining top ten positions saw Weisser, Ledford, Clubb, Brooks, Nick Seplak, Alan Stipp, Vaughan, Mike Mosier, and Mark Brucker finish in that order.

sullivan scA time of 15.634 seconds gave Tanner Sullivan fast time with 14 Stock Cars in attendance for their 15-lap tussle. Sullivan and Eric Boudreau were the heat race winners. Sullivan and Adam Williams swapped the lead before Sullivan took command on the third circuit. After two back-to-back cautions on lap three, Sullivan pulled away to take the win. It was Sullivan’s first win of the year at Fairbury and third career feature victory. “We have battled all sorts of issues this year,” Sullivan said. “The last couple of races things are falling into place. I can’t thank Cody Roberts at Bullet Chassis enough. He built me a heck of a car. I could put it anywhere on the track.” Williams emerged ahead of Terry Reed in a battle for second, with Cody Clubb, Zane Reitz, Josh Hetherington, Michael Schomas, James Williams, Don Hilleary, and Boudreau completing the top ten.


Results | Story & Pictures by Rocky Ragusa

The Fairbury Speedway had a Thursday night special with Late Models and a combined All Star Circuit of Champions / Interstate Racing Association Winged Sprint Car race. Both races paid $5,000 to the winner. Tyler Courtney of Indianapolis, Ind., led flag-to-flag in netting the Sprint Car feature, and Frank Heckenast Jr. of Frankfort, Ill., rallied for the Late Model win.

courtney sprThe All Stars made their first Fairbury appearance since 1995 and saw 32 drivers in attendance for their 30-lap feature race. Scotty Thiel laid down a lap of 11.310 seconds for quick time. Ian Madsen, Travis Philo, Tyler Courtney, and Parker Price-Miller took heat race wins. Cap Henry was the winner of the B-Main. Courtney and Paul McMahan won their respective dash races to determine the first 10 starting positions. Nicknamed “Sunshine”, Courtney established himself as the driver to beat. Courtney led with Bill Balog and Rico Abreu keeping pace. As Courtney weaved his way past slower traffic, he was able to distance himself from his competition. A caution with two laps to go set up a wild finish. Balog’s failed slide job to take the lead allowed Abreu to sneak by for second. Courtney, the All Stars points leader, was able to pick up his fourth win of the year. “I should have started a little lower on that last restart,” explained Courtney. “I was expecting a slider, but Balog left me just enough room so I had to go for it. We just needed to be a little better on that restart and not give the guy a chance, but I led the lap that counts.” Abreu and Balog joined Courtney on the podium with Madsen, Giovanni Scelzi, Thiel, Hunter Schuerenberg, Henry, Spencer Bayston, and McMahan completing the top ten.


Lance Evans

Lance Evans

Jeffrey Ledford

Jeffrey Ledford

Kyle Hammer

Kyle Hammer

Austin Friedman

Austin Friedman

Matt Hammond

Matt Hammond

Ledford, Hammer, Friedman, Hammond also Victorious

Results | Story & Pictures by Rocky Ragusa

A new car count record was established Saturday night at the Fairbury Speedway with a total of 164 cars in five divisions as well as a night of many firsts. Lance Evans (Westville), Jeffrey Ledford (Pontiac), Kyle Hammer (Clinton), Austin Friedman (Forrest), and Matt Hammond (Bourbonnais) were the Memorial Day weekend feature race winners.

evans scThe Earl J. Hubert Memorial race for the Stock Car class saw 56 drivers vie for a starting position in the $2,000 to win, 43-lap event. Two-time race winner Jeremy Nichols’ lap of 15.172 seconds paced the first group of qualifiers, while Megan Erwin had the quickest time of the second group at 15.272 seconds. Six heat races had Lance Evans, Tanner Sullivan, Jerrad Krick, Erwin, Adam Williams, and Joe Hillman advancing. Andrew Funk, Zach Taylor, and Zane Reitz took the B-Mains. Evans was able to hold off the pressure from Adam Williams for 30 laps before Williams dropped out of the race on lap 35. Evans was able to cruise the remaining laps in winning his first-ever feature race at Fairbury. Hillman, Jordan Smith, Cody Clubb, Jim Ransom, Erwin, Josh Hetherington, James Williams, Krick, and Dave Rudisill complete the top ten. A non-qualifiers race had Jesse Simmons leading in the 15-lap race to collect the $350 first prize. Don Hilleary, Scott Schoener, Braden Johnson, and Tyler Holloway completed the top five.

ledford lmA field of 25 Late Models took time trials for their 30-lap, FALS Cup race in memory of Randy Courtney. A time of 13.155 seconds gave points leader Mike Spatola quick time. Jeffrey Ledford, Jeff Curl, and Torin Mettille won their respective heat races. Ryan Weistart was the winner of the B-Main. On a night where passing was at a premium, Ledford took advantage of starting on the inside of the front row and sped to his first career FALS Cup Late Model feature win. “We had a pretty stacked heat race and managed to win it,” Ledford said. “That gave us the track position to take advantage of the way the track was. I had to run smooth laps out front. We have been running good, and it feels good to get a FALS Cup.” Mettile took second, with Jake Little in third, followed by Curl, and Eric Smith. Donny Walden, Kevin Weaver, Tim Simpson, Bill Hough, and McKay Wenger completed the top ten.

hammer mdGroup qualifying was held for the 36 Modified racers on hand for their 25-lap, FALS Cup race. Kyle Hammer’s time of 14.527 seconds led the first group. Points leader Mike McKinney led the way in the second group with a lap of 14.488 seconds. Four heat races were held as Hammer, Nick Allen, McKinney, and Jason Hastings led the way. Michael Ledford and Alan Stipp were the B-Main winners. Hammer started on the outside of the front row and got the jump on McKinney for the lead. Running a steady line, Hammer was able to take the checkered flag in recording his first Fairbury career feature win. McKinney rallied late in the race to finish second, followed by Allen, Ray Bollinger, Hastings, Steven Brooks, Brandon Bollinger, Nick Clubb, Bradley Jameson, and Levi Kissinger.

friedman spAnthony Craven and Austin Friedman were the heat race winners for their 15-lap, CR Towing Sportsman race. Friedman took the lead on the start as Lyndon Whitfill and Tommy Duncan stuck with the race leader. Whitfill made a bid for the lead in the closing laps but bobbled in turn one and Duncan was able to capitalize. Friedman held Duncan in check and won his first feature race of the year and a $500 check. “It is special to get this win on a night we remember Randy Courtney,” said Friedman. “Randy met so much to our family. We got this win for him.” The remainder of the top ten saw Duncan, Whitfill, Jim Farley, Troy Taylor, Craven, Roy Magee, Makinzi Semmens, Landen Miller, and Bruce Malone.

hammond plmChase Osterhoff turned a lap of 13.892 seconds to lead in group one qualifying, while Billy Knippenberg’s lap of 13.824 seconds led group two. With 34 Pro Late Model drivers on hand for their Big 10 Series race, four heat races were held. Matt Hammond, Jake Little, Aaron Heck, and series points leader Jose Parga won their respective races. Cody Maguire was the winner of the B-Main. Hammond turned back the repeated challenges from Parga and Heck in winning the $1,000 race. For Hammond, it was his first Big 10 win and first Fairbury feature win since moving into the Pro Late Model class. Parga was second, with Little, Osterhoff, and Braden Johnson following. Blaise Baker, Colby Sheppard, Brandon Eskew, Amber Crouch, and Heck rounded out the top ten.


Mike Spatola

Mike Spatola

Mike McKinney

Mike McKinney

Andrew Funk

Andrew Funk

Tommy Duncan

Tommy Duncan

Michael Pockrus

Michael Pockrus

Results | Story & Pictures by Rocky Ragusa

Saturday night’s action-packed racing program at the Fairbury Speedway saw Mike Spatola of Manhattan, Ill., end a long winless streak. Mike McKinney of Plainfield, Ill., returned to the winner’s circle. Tommy Duncan of Metamora, Ill., held off a bevy of contenders. Andrew Funk of Dwight, Ill., tuned up for next week's big event, and Michael Pockrus of Lowell, Ind., claimed his first-ever feature win on a night presented by the Illinois State Rifle Association.

spatola lmA field of 22 Late Model drivers were on hand for their 30-lap, $2,500 to win race. Mike Spatola’s lap of 12.781 seconds earned him fast time honors. Three heat races saw Jeffrey Ledford, Ryan Unzicker, and McKay Wenger taking the wins. A pileup at the start resulted in a caution and a complete restart. Unzicker took the lead with Spatola, Ledford, Wenger, and Rickey Frankel trailing. Two back-to-back yellow flags fell on lap 10 which saw Derek Chandler stalling on the track, and a frontstretch crash between Mike Provenzano and Dustin Vandermeir. Unzicker pulled away from the competition on the restart as Spatola looked for traction on the top side of the track. The caution flag again came out on lap 16, but on the restart, Unzicker dropped out with mechanical issues and third running Wenger pulled into the infield with suspected problems. Spatola inherited the lead with Ledford, Eric Smith, Donny Walden, and Frankel following. Ledford made several attempts to overtake Spatola for the lead, but Spatola proved to be too strong and took his 18th career Fairbury Late Model win, his first since August of 2019. “To win races it takes luck and we definitely had a ton of luck tonight,” said Spatola. “Those two restarts I lost second, but the cautions saved me and Ryan breaking. It was just pure luck that we got the win.” Ledford took second with 11th starter Smith in third. Wenger came back from deep in the field to finish fourth, followed by Walden, Dale Markham, Paul Parker, Jeff Curl, Frankel, and Bill Hough.

mckinney mdOaklawn’s Bob Pohlman Jr. turned a lap of 14.077 seconds to take quick time, as 20 Modified drivers made qualifying attempts. Pohlman and Mike McKinney were the heat race winners. McKinney jumped out to the lead in the 25-lap race, as Michael Ledford, Pohlman, Michael Long, and Steven Brooks followed. After the caution fell on lap four, McKinney led Ledford, as Long moved into third, and Pohlman, Brooks, and Nick Clubb put on a show in a race for the fourth position. Long moved into second after a lap 11 caution and moved in on race leader McKinney for the lead. Both drivers ran the top side of the track, with Long showing the nose of his car to McKinney several times in the closing stages. McKinney was able to take his first Fairbury win of the season and 34th of his career at FALS. He took home the $1,500 check by less than half of a second over Long. “We got embarrassed last week,” McKinney commented. “The car works really well when the track gets slicked off. We still have a lot of work to do. I am not necessarily happy with how we ran, but we are happy to get the win.” Long, Ledford, 9th starter Ryan Thomas, and Brooks completed the top five. The remainder of the top ten went to Clubb, Ethan Weber, Pohlman, Nick Seplak, and Mike Mosier.

funk sc29 Stock Cars were on hand to tune up for next week's $2,000 to win Hubert Memorial. Megan Erwin’s lap of 15.240 seconds gave her fast time honors. Erwin, Kyle Anderson, and Lance Evans won their respective heat races. Dave Rudisill was the B-Main winner. Erwin led at the start of the 15-lap race, as a caution fell on lap two. Caution again fell on the fourth lap. On the restart, Andrew Funk dove low as the cars exited turn two to move into the lead. Evans got by Erwin for second and made a bid for the lead, but Funk was able to hold him off. After a caution at the halfway mark, Funk pulled away from the competition to claim his first Fairbury win of the year and 14th career FALS Stock Car triumph. “It was a fun race,” Funk said. “I always enjoy racing here. We weren’t good in the heat race, but my crew made the adjustments and they paid off.” Evans held off Terry Reed and Michael Schomas for second, as Jesse Simmons, Shaun WiltjerHunt, Jim Ransom, Erwin, 18th starter Don Hilleary, and Cody Clubb completed the top ten.

duncan spTommy Duncan’s time of 14.750 seconds gave him fast time, with nine CR Towing Sportsman drivers on hand for their 15-lap race. Duncan was also the heat race winner. Duncan led at the start as Landen Miller soon passed Steve Mattingly for second. Miller quickly closed in on Duncan, but his night ended with four laps to go as he tagged the wall on the frontstretch. On the restart, Mattingly moved into second and stuck with Duncan, but the laps ran out, as Duncan took his second Fairbury win of the year and 12th career FALS Sportsman win. “I didn’t know if I was going to finish the race,” commented Duncan. “The car wouldn’t fire on the restart. It is something we will look into.” Mattingly, Lyndon Whitfill, Tyler Roth, Austin Friedman, Makinzi Semmens, Thad Gee, Miller, and Anthony Craven rounded out the field.

pockrus hmLuke Gebhardt’s lap of 15.314 seconds gave the young driver fast time in the 16-car Hobby Mod race. Gebhardt and Ty Stutzman won their respective heat races. Gebhardt led until spinning out on the fifth circuit. Michael Pockrus moved into the lead and held off Phil Earl for the win. “This is my fourth race in a dirt car and first-ever win,” Pockrus said. “I have to give my son credit for setting the car up.” Reid Gall finished second, followed by Jordan Walker, Earl, 13th starter Jake Green, Payton Semmens, Ryan Kohler, Scott Brown, Graham Jackson, and Gebhardt.


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