Reserved seats for the four major events of the season in the new northside bleachers are on sale now. You can reserve your seat for only $5.00 per event. You will buy the general admission portion of your ticket at the gate the day of the event. The four major events are: May 7th FALS Frenzy, June 25th UMP Summer Nationals, July 29th & 30th Prairie Dirt Classic (your seat will be good for both nights), and the September 3rd Casey's Modified Nationals. -- Fairbury Speedway Tickets
by Darlene Miller
Three 2015 championship drivers began the defense of their titles by winning the first race of the season at Fairbury American Legion Speedway on Saturday night. Many caution flags and restarts were needed during the night as drivers tried to get the kinks out of their cars and other drivers took to the ¼-mile track for the first time.
Late Model veteran driver Kevin Weaver of Gibson City took off where he ended by bringing home the victory by six car lengths. Weaver led the group to the green flag and despite lap traffic weaved his way around and only faced a slight challenge from Scott Schmitt with four laps to go. But Schmitt’s challenge was to no avail, as Weaver held the low side tight for the win. “The car started out good and then got really great,” said Weaver as he hauled in his 63rd win at FALS. Finishing in the top 10 were Schmitt, Mike Spatola, Derek Chandler, McKay Wenger, Joe Harlan, Jay Morris, Kyle Hammer, Scott Bull, and Charlie Olson. Heat winners were Weaver and Schmitt. Weaver had fast time of 12.772 seconds.
In the Modified division, Jay Ledford of Pontiac had a tougher title defense race. Ledford and his son Jeffrey (on the pole) started the race at the front of the field. It took Lance Dehm five laps to catch and pass the duo for the lead. Lap traffic came in to play with 10 circuits to go. Dehm was fine at first, but with five to go, a couple of cars got together in turn four and Dehm was caught up in the mess with nowhere to go and his strong night was over. Jay Ledford took the lead and then held off a hard charging Vince Cooper for the win. “It’s a hard way to win (talking about Dehm’s wreck). I dedicate this race to a friend of mine, Ron Bohm who passed away recently. This is for Ronnie,” said an emotional Ledford.
Jeffrey Ledford was third followed by Jeff Leka, Brian Lynn, Cullen Breeden, Nick Clubb, Lukes Gash, Matt Maier, and Eric Vaughan. Heat winners were Jay and Jeffrey Ledford and Cooper. The semi feature was won by Kevin Hastings. Jeffrey Ledford was at the top of the chart in qualifying with a 13.819 second lap.
The Sportsman race was filled with crashes causing only 10 cars to be running at the end of the feature. Richie Rich of Pontiac took the win to start his title defense. Tim Dick, Brian Albus, Scott Williams, and Bobby Crego rounded out the top five. Rich and Dick were heat winners. Rich had the fastest lap in qualifying at 14.607 seconds.
The Street Stock title is up for grabs as last year’s champ Lukes Gash has moved up the Modified division. Peter Odell led the group to the green flag and held the lead for three laps until Barry Sauder got around him and never looked back for the win. “It was amazing,” said Sauder as he credited Gash with pointers. Sauder finished 10 car lengths ahead of Joe Hillman, Odell, Al Gray, and Lon Franks. Heat wins went to Odell, Franks, and Sauder. Darrell Dick captured the semi feature, while Joe Brown had fast time of 15.523 seconds.
Mason Duncan was the Hobby Modified feature winner. He was followed by Mike Petersen, Tim McGuire, Jason Brandt, Brandon Post, Makinzi Semmens, and Emily Bohm. Petersen took the heat race win.
As the season approaches, mild weather and above average temperatures have allowed fair board members and crews the ability to continue construction on a number of large capital improvements throughout the facility. The new all aluminum bleachers are going up fast (as pictured) with installation due to be finished by late March. Bathrooms are coming along nicely, as plans changed from the original release in January with a complete new building housing the top-of-the-line restroom facility which will be located on the backside of the backstretch bleachers. Along with construction efforts around the grounds, track crews have had a number of days working the track dirt in preparation for the season to start. Additional projects in the works are the addition of approximately 350 grandstand seats in the pit area. Crews have reworked the pit stand around corners three and four to allow for additional seating in the pit area. Efforts should allow drivers, crews, and fans a chance to see better from the pit area.
Along with the excitement for the upcoming season, here are some updated news and notes from the winter:
- FALS has scheduled an additional practice day set for Saturday, April 9th from 12-3. Pit passes will be $15.00 with grandstand admission free.
- Lap sponsors are available for the DIRTcar Spring Nationals Street Stock Special in Memory of Earl J. Hubert. Drivers will be awarded lap money for leading each lap of the 43-lap feature. All the information on sponsoring laps for this event can be found at www.hubertmemorialrace.webs.com.
- All the payouts for the upcoming season have been updated and posted in the “driver info/payouts” section of the website.
- The driver registration form has been updated and posted on the website under the “driver info/forms” section. We are asking any driver planning on running FALS this year to print and fill out this form and bring it with you to save time in the registration line. There is no charge for registering your car for the season at FALS.
- Transponders and raceceivers will again be required for all on track participation in 2016. FALS runs the red AMB transponders with the MyLaps program. Drivers, crews, and fans will have the opportunity to monitor all the lap times and scoring on Race Monitor each night. Transponder rental is $5.00 per night.
- All classes will qualify on regular nights in 2016 pending any weather or time restraints. Late Models and Modifieds will qualify two laps with two cars per session. Sportsman and Street Stocks will qualify two laps with 3-4 cars per session. FALS weekly format will be the same as last year to start the season.
- Jim Cornelison will be coming back to the Prairie Dirt Classic again this year to sing the national anthem. Interested parties wishing to donate for Jim’s return and the opportunity for the private meet and greet can contact Chris Matich at 815-830-9731. All extra proceeds will once again go to a great veteran’s charity.
Late Model Tire Rules
- May 7th FALS Frenzy MARS/ALMS: Hoosier LM 20 or Hoosier LM 40 ONLY on any corner!!
- June 25th UMP Summer Nationals: Hoosier LM 20-30-40 allowed on any corner
- July 29th & 30th World of Outlaws Prairie Dirt Classic: Hoosier LM 20-30-40 allowed on any corner
- ALL other nights will be FALS tire rule: Hoosier LM 30 or Hoosier LM 40 on Right Rear ONLY!! Hoosier LM 20-30-40 allowed on other 3 corners.
Modified Tire Rules
- Hoosier A40, A40s, H40 allowed until June 30th on any corner
- Starting July 1st: Hoosier A40s only with a RR Hoosier H40 option
- No grooving allowed on any tire!
Street Stock Tire Rule
- Hoosier A40, A40s, H40 allowed on any corner in 2016
- No grooving allowed on any tire!
Updated rules for all classes have been updated on the website under the "driver info/rules" section. UMP will be updating the Late Model and Street Stock rules as soon as possible. No major changes have been announced in those divisions.
Street Stock Bodies
- With a diverse crop of Street Stocks throughout the Midwest, FALS will be implementing a grace period for aluminum bodies and cockpits on Street Stocks. Drivers running at the speedway will be allowed to run aluminum bodies for a period of time which must be approved by the Race Director. Following the tech inspected grace period, drivers must conform to the UMP & FALS body and cockpits rules or lose the opportunity to, but not limited to, earn track points throughout the year.
Once you walk into the Fairbury Fairgrounds, it doesn’t take long to see the strong history and tradition of the facility. From the legends and stars that have raced around the track since 1922, to the Nashville country stars that filled the grandstands at the annual fair, a piece of history flies over the fairgrounds every time you enter the gates. This year the Fairbury American Legion Speedway will entertain dirt track racing for its 71st season of racing along with the 140th edition of the annual Fairbury Fair, which is one of Illinois’ longest standing fairs in the state.
On behalf of the entire Fair Board, American Legion Post 54, and everyone involved with the Fairbury Speedway and Fairbury Fair, we are excited to announce major renovation plans throughout the facility beginning late winter and finishing up before the May 7th FALS Frenzy $10,000 to win Late Model Special. Renovation costs will exceed well over a quarter of a million dollars, which will include a new state-of-the-art restroom facility on the front stretch, a new constructed addition and complete remodel of the south side restroom facility, and a complete new set of aluminum stadium bleachers constructed just to the east side of the main covered grandstands. In addition to the new restrooms and bleachers, speedway and fair officials will continue upgrading minor projects throughout the facility.
Construction will start soon on the new north side restroom facility where the existing bathrooms were located before. This new facility will house twenty-four new stalls for men and women, four new showers, and complete infant changing stations. The entire facility will have all new vanity and toilet equipment, along with full handicap accessibility. In addition to the entire new building on the front stretch, a newly built addition and remodel will also take place on the south side backstretch restrooms. Twelve additional stalls, new infant changing stations, along with all new vanity and toilet equipment will complete the makeover for the speedway’s restrooms.
In a way for the speedway officials to accommodate the increasing demand for seating during major special events throughout the race season, along with all new safety fall proof features, a new all-aluminum stadium set of bleachers will be built to the east side of the front stretch grandstands. Design and installation of these bleachers will allow fans to watch from a premium seat which will start three foot higher than the bottom seat before and run five rows higher which will accommodate an additional 350-400 premium seats. Along with the additional seating, all the seats which used to be tough to see at the bottom of the set will become a viewable line of sight for the entire track. The new bleachers will have twelve handicap accessible spots along with two entrances and a full handicap ramp for convenience. The new bleachers will allow speedway officials to have the option for additional reserved seating for our major events. More information on all the reserved seating can be found by clicking the “tickets” link on the website.
With anticipation and excitement to get started on the new renovations, Fairbury Speedway and fair officials would like to thank the Bank of Pontiac for their continuing support for allowing these capital improvements to become a reality. We are also very excited to have their continued support as the title sponsorship for the 27th Annual Prairie Dirt Classic. This year’s World of Outlaws Prairie Dirt Classic, presented by the Bank of Pontiac, will pay a record $27,000 to win on the weekend of July 29th & 30th. The crown jewel that has received national honors for “race of the year” the past three seasons will have an added excitement for the newly renovated projects.
We hope all our fans, drivers, and customers see the commitment we are continuing to pursue and look forward to an incredible season. All the speedway information including the 2016 race schedule can be found on our website. Also, don’t forget to check out the Fairbury Fair website at www.fairburyfair.com for all the events leading up to the 140th edition on the week of August 17th-21st.
In what has become an elite must-attend dirt track crown jewel event, and the winner of three straight DirtonDirt.com National “Race of the Year” honors for the prestigious Prairie Dirt Classic, the Fairbury American Legion Speedway will open the gates for their 71st season of weekly racing at the ultra-competitive quarter mile bullring on Saturday, April 23rd. In a season where expectations are at the highest level, the track known as "FALS" continues to deliver a schedule filled with marquee races highlighted by the 27th Annual Prairie Dirt Classic on the weekend of July 29th and 30th presented by the Bank of Pontiac. Sanctioned with the World of Outlaws again in 2016, the Prairie Dirt Classic will pay $27,000 to the winner of the 100 lap feature event. In addition to the PDC weekend festivities, Fairbury Speedway officials are excited to announce continuing the #FALS Draw, a $5,000 to win PDC Showdown feature during Friday night’s racing action. With all the specific details of the Prairie Dirt Classic weekend to be announced at a later date, a driver entering the Prairie Dirt Classic weekend has a chance to take home a FALS record of $32,000 straight to the bank.
With a nice mix of races up and down the 2016 schedule, the first of many huge race weekends on the FALS schedule is the $10,000 to win FALS Frenzy MARS DIRTcar/American Late Model Series co-sanctioned special on May 7th. This 50 lap feature event will showcase local, regional, and national drivers to kick start a season filled with big money races. The annual Pappy & Bob Allen Memorial Late Model Special will again pay $2,000 to win on June 18th. The following week, June 25th, the Lynn Chevrolet-Buick UMP Summer Nationals will roll into town with a 50 lap $10,000 to win feature that will host the best from the Midwest. A pair of $2,000 to win Late Model shows on July 16th & August 13th will continue a solid season of bigger purses. The season ending UMP DIRTcar $3,000 to win Late Model Special on Labor Day Weekend will conclude an unprecedented Late Model season of specials and payouts during the 2016 season.
In what turned into an instant national event, the Fairbury Speedway is excited to announce the running of the 4th annual Casey’s Modified Nationals paying a record $10,000 to win for the 50 lap national event. Sanctioned with the American Modified Series again in 2016, Modified drivers from all over the country will take part in what will continue to be an elite marquee weekend of Modified racing at the Fairbury Speedway. This will be one weekend Modified drivers will not want to miss in 2016!! The running of the All-Star Shootout Modified Special on Memorial Day Weekend May 28th paying $2,000 to win will be the first of two American Modified Series events at FALS in 2015. The DIRTcar 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 Prairie Dirt Classic as they will run for the first time a two-day $5,000 to win, 40 lap feature event as part of the DIRTcar Summit Modified Nationals Championship Weekend where the series champion will be crowned Saturday night of the Prairie Dirt Classic. Full Prairie Dirt Classic weekend information will be released soon.
Adding to the season’s excitement in 2016, mark your calendars for Saturday night July 16th 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 across the country. A large field of Midgets is expected for the weekend and FALS is looking forward to bringing the open wheel cars back to their old stomping grounds this summer. Back again in 2016, the Central Illinois Mini Sprints Series will take to the track on August 6th for the 3rd Annual Willard Bess Memorial Mini Sprint Nationals.
The UMP Street Stocks will highlight their season with the DIRTcar Spring Nationals in memory of Earl J. Hubert on April 30th. The UMP Sportsman will continue their tradition of running the annual Eden-Piercy Memorial Special on May 28th and the C R Towing Topless Special on July 2nd. Both the Street Stocks and Sportsman will have $400 to win specials throughout the year on specific nights. The Hobby Mod division will take part in regular nights of racing throughout the season. The entertaining Modified class will release its information for the upcoming season following the holidays.
For the first time in track history, the Pro-Crate Late Models will be in action at the Fairbury Speedway on May 28th. The $1,000 to win 25 lap feature special will give a chance for the Pro-Crate division and drivers to race at the famed quarter mile bullring. Continuing the commitment for younger generations to come, the KidModz Racing Series will be back in action on June 18th.
FALS is proud to announce the continuance of the Alkota “Keep it Clean” Series in 2016. This series will be run 11 times throughout the year when all four weekly divisions are racing regular night events. Specific details will be announced soon but the winner will receive a brand new pressure washer from the great folks from Rural Route Repair, M&M Pumps, and Alkota Cleaning Systems. Fair Championship Night will conclude track points for the season on Saturday night, August 20th. Champions will be crowned on that night with recognition scheduled for August 27th which will be FALS Drivers Appreciation Night. All drivers racing in the night’s events will be admitted free upon arrival. Nostalgia Night along with the racers reunion and vintage race car display, in addition to the Vintage Racing of Illinois Series, will highlight Fan Appreciation Night on June 4th.
On behalf of the American Legion, Fairbury Fair Board, and the FALS Race Committee, we thank you for your continued support of the Fairbury American Legion Speedway. We continue to showcase our facility in the best possible way each week and throughout the year. Our race committee will go to work after the holidays and evaluate all the weekly rules, procedures, and thoughts to make 2016 memorable.
Happy Holidays from everybody here at the Fairbury American Legion Speedway!