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Ledford Captures Pappy & Bob Allen Memorial; McKinney, Sullivan, Duncan, Tippit Also Victorious as Track Champions Were Crowned

Jeffrey Ledford

Jeffrey Ledford

Mike McKinney

Mike McKinney

Tanner Sullivan

Tanner Sullivan

Tommy Duncan

Tommy Duncan

Chris Tippit

Chris Tippit

Spatola, McKinney, Williams, Duncan Clinch Track Championships

Results | Story & Pictures by Rocky Ragusa

Saturday night at the Fairbury Speedway was Championship Night. Class titles were still undecided along with the Alkota “Keep it Clean” Series hard charger. Making their way to victory lane on a hot and humid night were Jeffrey Ledford (Late Model), Mike McKinney (Modified), Tanner Sullivan (Stock Car), Tommy Duncan (Sportsman), and Chris Tippit (Hobby Mod).

ledford lmA field of 22 Late Model drivers registered for the rescheduled 25th Annual Pappy and Bob Allen Memorial race. Points leader Mike Spatola turned a lap at 12.842 seconds for quick time honors. Spatola, Jay Sparks, and Kevin Weaver won their respective heat races. The semi feature went to Logan Moody. Early in the 30-lap feature, as Spatola was leading, a puff of smoke showed from the rear end of his car. The yellow flag came out, and although Spatola’s night was done, his 15th place finish gave him enough points to wrap up his first-ever track championship at Fairbury. Jeffrey Ledford moved into the lead as Ryan Unzicker and Weaver raced for second. The caution waved on lap 17 as Weaver parked his car with mechanical problems. For the final 13 circuits, Unzicker threw everything he had at Ledford, but the young Pontiac driver pulled away in the final five laps to win his second feature of the season and add his name to a distinguished list of winners of the Allen Memorial. “I am so lucky to have the people that I do in my life that make this possible,” Ledford said. “Congrats to Opie on the championship. I hated to see him break instead of racing for the title. I thought that Ryan was going to get me. I was giving it everything I had.” McKay Wenger was able to overtake Unzicker with two laps to go and take second. Eric Smith finished in fourth, while Derek Chandler was fifth. The remainder of the top ten saw Dale Markham, Torin Mettille, Alex Wilson, Dan White, and 19th starter Blake Bailey finish in that order.

mckinney mdAustin Friedman earned fast time with a lap of 13.833 seconds as 24 Modified drivers looked to capture a FALS Cup trophy. Jason Hastings, Frank Marshall, and points leader Mike McKinney were the heat race winners. AJ Meiferdt was the winner of the b-main. In a race that saw nine caution flags, Marshall held an early lead before McKinney took command after a lap three yellow flag. Brandon Bollinger moved past Marshall at the halfway mark of the 25-lap race and closed to within five car lengths of McKinney. A caution with three laps to go gave Bollinger a chance to overtake McKinney, but the newly crowned track champion was able to hang on for his fifth win of the year at Fairbury and 99th career feature win. In addition to the track title, McKinney won the Alkota “Keep it Clean” Series championship and will be awarded a pressure washer courtesy of Ricky Bane and Rural Route Repair. “I must be the old guy of the bunch now because these young kids are getting good,” McKinney spoke. “It feels good to win another championship, and thanks to Ricky Bane for all that he does.” Michael Ledford survived a spirited race with Marshall to take third. Nick Clubb finished fourth, Marshall was fifth, and 13th starter Willy Myers took sixth. Hastings, Travis Kohler, Alan Stipp, and Friedman completed the top ten.

sullivan scA time of 15.276 seconds gave Tanner Sullivan fast time as 23 Stock Cars were on hand for their 15-lap race. Three heat races had Sullivan, Megan Erwin, and Scott Schoener taking the checkered flag. Sullivan took the lead at the start with Erwin closely following. The first of five cautions that fell in the first seven laps saw Michael Schomas end his bid for a second straight title. With Schomas finished for the evening, Adam Williams picked up the Stock Car track championship. After a lap seven caution, Sullivan pulled away from his competition to win his third straight feature and fourth overall at Fairbury. “Three in a row is tough to do,” commented Sullivan. “Megan was beating on my bumper at the start. The car was good, but the driver could have been better.” Erwin settled for second followed by Lance Evans, Terry Reed, Cody Clubb, Zane Reitz, 15th starter Williams, Austin Hubbard, Schoener, and Calvin Peek Jr.

duncan sp$500 was put up to the winner of the Harold Kincade Memorial for the CR Towing Sportsman division. A time of 14.893 seconds gave Landen Miller fast time. Wes Odell and Lyndon Whitfill won their respective heat races. Whitfill, looking for his first win of the year, led the first five laps before Tommy Duncan came roaring by to lead the rest of the way. With his win, Duncan has now won the last three Sportsman track championships. “The track was amazing tonight,” Duncan said. “I am not sure of the plans next year, but this is a good class for a person to start in.” In his final Sportsman race before moving into the Modifieds, Whitfill finished in second, with Odell, Tyler Roth, Anthony Craven, Rick Roedel, Makinzi Semmens, Victor Strong, Roy Magee, and Ronald Bacon in the top ten.

tippit hmChris Tippit’s time of 15.082 seconds gave him fast time with 17 Hobby Mod drivers featured for their final race of the year. Tippit and Payton Semmens were the heat race winners. Tippit was the class of the field and took his fifth straight feature win. “I have to thank Black Market Race Cars,” said Tippit. “The car is a lot faster than I am. I am still learning to drive it. Hopefully next year it will be even better.” Bryce Cunningham finished in second, with Kirby McCormick taking third. Jace Gall, Tim McGuire, Ty Stutzman, Semmens, Jake Green, Jason Vandermeir, and Luke Gebhardt completed the top ten.


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