by Darlene Miller
History came to life on a hot Saturday night as Fairbury American Legion Speedway played host to seven features and six different winners.
Manhattan’s Mike Spatola also tried to make history by winning two of those features only to come up one spot short in the Late Model race. Spatola started out the night capturing the makeup $1,000 to win Pro (Crate) Late Model feature. Jose Parga, Dakota Ewing, Brandon Eskew, and Torin Mettille rounded out the top five. Spatola also was victorious in the regular show over Ewing, Eskew, Parga, and Tom Knippenberg. Spatola and Mettille were heat winners while Spatola set fast time at 14.404 seconds. “It was a one night deal. I had a good car and it worked out well,” said Spatola, who sits in second place in Late Model track points.
Fairbury’s McKay Wenger and Spatola led the field to the green flag in the Late Model feature. Gibson City’s Kevin Weaver split the pair rather quickly and took the top spot. He moved down to his familiar low side on the track. The cagey veteran, Weaver later had to move up to the top side to weave through traffic. He slammed the turn two wall with two laps to go in the 30-lap feature. Weaver, who was denied the night before while leading at Farmer City, was able to hold on and capture the win. The win ties Weaver with Dwight’s Rick Thomas with 63 feature wins as they both chase “The Racing Farmer” Roger Long (66) for the most career feature wins at FALS. “It was hot out there and there was a lot of tension. I knew I had to go up top if we were to get the win,” said Weaver. Spatola brought home a close second followed by Wenger, Scott Schmitt, Scott Bull, and Joe Harlan in the top five. Mike Provenzano led the second five and was followed by Kolby Vandenbergh, Dan Flessner, and Lyle Zanker Jr. Spatola and Wenger were heat winners and Schmitt had fast time with a fast lap of 13.643 seconds.
Pontiac’s Jay Ledford took another step toward capturing another Modified title after barely holding off Steven Brooks for the victory in the division's feature. The pair were fighting back and forth for the lead the entire race before Ledford was able to hold off Brooks by a car length at the line. “I had a good race car,” Ledford said. “I got into a rhythm after I finally got around Steven.” Mike McKinney, Vince Cooper, and Jeff Leka completed the top five. Lance Dehm, Nick Clubb, Nick Lueth, Tommy Duncan, and Joe Gillespie rounded out the top 10. Ledford and Brooks won their heats and Brooks set fast time with a time of 14.560 seconds.
Yellow was the color of the night in the Sportsman division as seven cautions flew in the 15-lap feature. Richie Rich and Brian Albus started on the front row but Richard Craven grabbed the lead with 12 laps to go over Rich and held on. “It is good to be back in the winner’s circle,” Craven said. Albus was third with Steve Mattingly and Anthony Craven (hard charger, started 11th) in the top five. The second five was comprised of Amber Crouch, Brandon Pralle, Scott Williams, Eric Saltzman, and Blake Reid. Albus and Rich were heat winners and Rich had a 14.919 second lap for quick time.
Dwight’s Andrew Funk won the Street Stock event by 10 car lengths over Peter Odell. Coming in third was Darrell Dick with A.J. Meiferdt, Curtis Radke, Tim Dick (hard charger, started 11th), Michael Schomas, Terry Miller, Don Hilleary, and Valerie Hurt in tow in the top 10. “It feels good to win tonight,” said Funk. Funk and Odell won their heats and Funk set quick time at 15.950 seconds.
Youngster Mason Duncan won the feature in the Hobby Mods. Tim McGuire, Gregg Pierce, Mike Petersen, and Macy Vaughan completed the top five. Jason Brandt was the heat race winner.