by Darlene Miller
Brandon Sheppard, who became the youngest UMP Summer Nationals champion this year, was able to get past Daren Friedman to claim the late model feature Wednesday on opening night of the Fairbury Fair. Friedman led most of the race but Sheppard was able to get an opening and got past the leader with two laps remaining to score his first-ever Fairbury win. After experiencing problems at FALS in previous appearances, Sheppard said, “It felt great … now I like Fairbury.” Friedman came in second and Jason Feger was third. Derek Chandler and McKay Wenger completed the top five while Donny Walden, Jay Sparks, Scott Bull, Ryan Unzicker and Torin Mettille rounded out the top 10. Winning heat races were Chandler, Wenger and Friedman. Brian Dunn won the semi-feature.
Jeff Curl may have secured his second consecutive points championship after claiming his sixth FALS victory in the modified feature. He led Lance Dehm by 59 points entering the evening’s action. Curl did not face much adversity after holding the lead for most of the race. Jeb Friedman came in second with Tommy Duncan, Jay Ledford and Nick Allen finishing in the top five. Kevin Hastings led the second group and was followed by Nick Wallrich, Jim Farris, Allen Weisser and Jared Cagley. Dehm finished 13th. Hastings was named the race’s hard charger. Duncan and Curl won heat races. “We’ve had an awesome year this year and it was nice to win on fair night,” Curl said.
Terry Miller of Lincoln took home the checkered flag in the street stock finale. Points leader Rick Thomas took second with Matt Maier coming in third. Finishing out the top 10 were Don Hilleary, Darrin Kohler, Brandon Kessinger, Alex Clubb, Justin Nelson, Calvin Coleman and Lee Hall. Hall was also the hard charger and Kessinger and Hilleary won heat races.