Chandler Nets Fairbury Season Opener

by Rocky Ragusa

Derek Chandler wrestled the lead away from Scott Bull with nine laps to go and pulled away from the field to claim the 30-lap, UMP Late Model feature as the Fairbury American Legion Speedway opened their 68th season.

Pole sitter Bull led the field to the green as Chandler followed. Chandler, running the top side of the track, used his momentum to take the point on the third circuit, but Bull came back to reclaim the lead on lap four. Bull was able to open a five car length lead over Chandler, but never was able to distance himself from the field.  Jay Morris charged by Joe Harlan and Daren Friedman to take third in the early portion, but the front two cars had a straight away lead over the competition. Chandler slowly etched his way back to Bull’s bumper and moved into the lead with ten laps to go. Following a caution with seven laps remaining, Chandler, Bull, and Morris went three wide into turn one for the lead. Chandler showed the power and pulled away to a ten car length lead, as Morris showed Bull the nose of his car. Bull was able to keep Morris at bay, but in the end, Chandler took his second straight season opening win at the American Legion track. Defending track champion, Bull took second, with Morris, Harlan, Friedman, Steve Thorsten, Dan Flessner, McKay Wenger, Torin Mettille, and Don Hilleary completing the top ten. Wenger set fast time at a 12.603. Bull and Chandler took heat race wins.

Indiana invader, Nick Allen took advantage of Jimmy Dehm’s miscue to take the lead on the second lap and pick up the win in the 20-lap, UMP Modified feature. Dehm took the lead at the start and opened up a five car length advantage over Allen, but on the second lap, Dehm looped his car in turn four. Jay Ledford with nowhere to go clipped Dehm and both cars were eliminated. On the restart, Allen vaulted to the lead, as Jeff Curl and Jim Farris raced for second. Farris got by Curl on the fourth lap and closed the distance on Allen. Farris kept Allen in his sights but could not mound a challenge for the lead. Allen took the win, with Farris, Curl, Derek Losh, Nick Wallrich, Devin Wright, Jared Cagley, Kevin Hastings, Tommy Duncan, and Nick Kurtz rounding out the top ten. Defending track champion Curl was the fast qualifier at a 13.976. Jay Ledford, Jimmy Dehm, and Allen won the heat races.

In a caution marred 15-lap, UMP Sportsman race, Richard Craven moved into the lead on lap four to pick up the feature win. Five caution periods plagued the early part of the race, as drivers had difficulty completing more than a lap. On the fifth attempt, Ledford running the high side of the track took the lead as Craven, Dustin Mounce, Paul Graf, and Tyler Roth followed. With smoke trailing from his car, Craven moved into the lead on lap four and kept Ledford to a car length advantage.

After two cautions on the ninth lap, the field went to a single file restart. Craven was able to pull away from Ledford and pick up the win. Mounce, Graf, Eric Legner, Chris Anderson, Anthony Craven, Ryan Moore, Tyler Roth, and Bryant Frechette took the top ten positions. Ledford won the fast time award with a 14.637. Richie Rich and Richard Craven took heat wins.

Controversy marred the 15-lap, UMP Street Stock contest.  After a lap 14 caution, Joel Funk led the field to the restart. Funk moved into command and looked to be on his way to the win. Track officials said Funk had jumped the restart and penalized him. Brandon Kessinger was scored the race winner, as Funk argued his point, but to no avail. In spite of the incident, Funk and Kessinger exchanged the lead throughout the race, with no clear cut winner until the checkered flag. Eric Gaus, Jason Maier, Darrell Dick, Nick Clubb, Lee Hall, Nathan Lyday, Justin Nelson, and Kevin Anderson rounding out the top ten. David Hurst was the night’s fast qualifier at a 15.596. Kessinger and Funk took the heat race wins.

Transponders Required For All Classes in 2O14

The Fairbury American Legion Speedway is excited to announce the addition of electronic scoring with transponders to the race program for the 2014 race season and beyond.  This opportunity to continue building our race program and to run it at the highest level is the main reason in adding this scoring system.  With the help of a couple generous investors, we will be giving our racers an opportunity to take advantage of our AMB / MYLAPS transponder system. For complete details click here.

Corn Belt Clash / ALMS Late Model Special Highlight Winter News

The Corn Belt Clash Dirt Late Model Series will invade the Fairbury American Legion Speedway for the first time in the series history in the inaugural CBC / ALMS Triple Shot Weekend. The $3,000 to win, $300 to start, 40-lap features will host the best that the Midwest has to offer in a trio of Central Illinois tracks on Labor Day Weekend August 29th – 31st. Farmer City Raceway will lead-off the holiday weekend on Friday, FALS will spotlight Saturday night, and Vermilion County Speedway in Danville will host the Sunday night finale. All three nights will be co-sanctioned with the UMP ALMS Series, have the same purse, same rules, and same procedures which will be released soon through the website.

25th Annual Prairie Dirt Classic Headlines 2O14 FALS Schedule

In a season filled with high expectations revolving around the famed quarter mile dirt track, the Fairbury American Legion Speedway will play host to the highest paying Dirt Late Model race in Illinois history as the 25th Annual Prairie Dirt Classic, sanctioned with the World of Outlaws again in 2014, will pay $25,000 to the winner of the 100-lap feature event. The race that was named Dirt on Dirt’s “Race of the Year” in 2013 from across the country, the Illinois crown jewel will once again highlight an amazing season schedule in its 68th year of weekend dirt track racing.

With a number of changes up and down the 2014 schedule, opening night will be moved up one week earlier and take the place of practice day on April 19th. The first of two ALMS Late Model shows will mark the first special of 2014 on May 10th. The annual Pappy & Bob Allen Memorial Late Model Special will again pay $2,000 to win on June 14th. The following week, June 21st, the UMP Summer Nationals will roll into town with a 50-lap $10,000 to win feature that will host the best from the Midwest. The season ending $3,000 to win Late Model Special on Labor Day Weekend will conclude an unprecedented Late Model season of specials and payouts from the 2014 season.

It is our great pleasure that we announce the running of the First Annual Gary Cook Jr. Memorial Modified Special on Memorial Day Weekend May 24th. The $2,064 to win special will be the first of two American Modified Series events at FALS in 2014. The Summit Modified Nationals will pay $1,500 to win this year as a part of the “Hell Tour” schedule this summer. The Modifieds will play a huge role on the weekend of the 25th Annual Prairie Dirt Classic as they will run two separate shows July 25th & 26th. Friday night’s show will be paying a minimum of $1,500 to win and Saturday night’s show paying $2,500 to win on the 25th anniversary. The season will conclude with the second AMS race of the year, the 2nd Annual Casey’s Modified Nationals paying $5,000 to win and capping off an exciting year for the UMP Modifieds in 2014.

The UMP Street Stocks will have their annual special on June 7th paying a record $1,000 to win. The UMP Sportsman will continue their tradition of running the annual Eden-Piercy Memorial Special on May 24th. The annual Fair Championship Night will again play host to the Topless Sportsman Special in 2014. Both the Street Stocks and Sportsman will be ending the season with $500 to win specials on Labor Day Weekend.

Adding to the season excitement in 2014, mark your calendars for Saturday night July 12th as the Lucas Oil POWRi Midgets will be invading the racy quarter mile. The $3,000 to win feature event will be one that draws some of the top Midget drivers from across the county. A large field of Midgets is expected for the weekend and FALS is looking forward to bringing the open wheel series back to their old stomping grounds this summer. Running with the Midgets that night will be the UMP Late Models racing for $1,500 to win and the UMP Modifieds for $1,000 to win. Also new for 2014, the Illinois Lightning Sprint Series will take to the track on August 2nd. FALS is honored to have this up and coming series based out of Central Illinois added to one of our weekly shows.

FALS is proud to announce the continuance of the Alkota “Keep it Clean” Series in 2014. This series will be run 16 times throughout the year when all four weekly divisions are racing on the same night.

Bull, Friedman, Thomas, Dehm Win as Season Concludes

by Rocky Ragusa

The Fairbury American Legion Speedway ended the 2013 season with a regular night of racing on Saturday.

Following a caution on the fourth lap, Jimmy Dehm pulled away from his competition and won the 15 lap UMP Sportsman feature. The 2013 sportsman track champion, Dehm earned his 10th feature win of the year at Fairbury. Dehm spoke after the race, “It’s been a great year and nice to win the last race of the year. I will be moving up to a modified next year so it is nice to get my last sportsman win. We are shooting for a national championship in the sportsman class. We will go to Macon next Saturday and see how it falls.” Dustin Mounce battled with Richard Craven for second before settling in with five laps remaining. Matt Mills survived a bevy of contenders to take fourth over Tim Bohm (hard charger), Jeffrey Ledford, Amber Crouch, and Jim Bailey. After experiencing mechanical problems during his heat race, Richie Rich finished in ninth and Ron Bohm completed the top ten. Dehm and Mounce won the heat races.