Friedman Makes Top Side Work in Allen Memorial

by Rocky Ragusa

Following the 2012 race season at the Fairbury American Legion Speedway, track officials went to work on the racetrack. The top groove of the track seemed to be the fastest way around and officials wanted to make the bottom and middle work, as well. Drivers that normally ran the top in the early 2013 races had their problems making their cars work on the top. After a caution flag with six laps to go, Daren Friedman made the top groove work and won the $2,000 to win, Bob and Pappy Allen Memorial race for the UMP Dirt Car Late Models.

Pole sitter Derek Chandler took an early lead in the 30 lap contest, with Torin Mettille, Joe Harlan, Eric Smith, and Daren Friedman following. After back to back cautions on lap three, Chandler led, as Harlan raced with Mettille for second. Trailing several car lengths back, Smith running the bottom and Friedman at the top, ran side by side, in a battle for fourth. On the ninth circuit, Chandler encountered slower cars. Harlan had gotten by Mettille two laps prior and was able to claim the lead from Chandler. Chandler jumped the berm allowing Mettille and Smith to get by. Slower cars that were racing for position allowed Mettille and Smith to close the margin on Harlan. On lap 18, Mettille pulled alongside of Harlan, and on the next lap Mettille moved into the lead. Mettille led by 5 car lengths as Harlan and Smith raced side by side for second. Smith took the second position with 9 laps to go. Cars were running single file and with 7 laps left, Smith slowed in turn four, causing Friedman, Harlan, Chandler, and Donny Walden to make contact. The caution came out with six laps to go. With the track clean and green, Friedman made his move and ran the high side of the track. Taking the lead on the next lap, Friedman powered his way to a five car length lead and picked up his second win of the weekend. Mettille, Smith, Harlan, Mike Mullvain, Jay Morris, Walden, Aaron Ricketts, Bill Hough, and Kenny Adams took the top ten positions. Hough was the race’s hard charger. Chandler, Mettille, and Harlan were heat race victors. Chandler set fast time at a 12.987.

Craven Rolls to Sportsman Special Win

by Rocky Ragusa

Debuting a new race car before an enthusiastic crowd, Richard Craven got the hat trick Saturday night by setting fast time, winning his heat race and then taking the $800-to-win feature at Fairbury American Legion Speedway. Craven, the defending sportsman track champion, missed the first two races at FALS because he was preparing the new race car for competition.

Pole sitter Craven raced side by side for five laps with Jimmy Dehm before taking sole possession of the lead. While working slower traffic on the 11th lap, Craven made contact with the slower car of Michael Maestes to bring out a caution flag. After the track was cleared, Dehm made several attempts to overtake Craven but Craven was able to pull away. Dustin Mounce and Richie Rich trailed the leaders by 10 car lengths before Mounce was able to break away from Rich and close the margin on Dehm. With five laps to go, Craven held a half-straight away lead and Mounce had caught up to Dehm. Mounce went to the top of the track to get by Dehm on the 18th circuit but time ran out as Craven cruised to the win.

“Everything on this car is brand new,” Craven said after the feature victory. “The guy that built my car had been in the hospital and I didn’t want to race without him. The car was awesome.” Mounce, Dehm, Jim Felker and Rich made the top five while Troy Dodson, Paul Graf, Timmy Dick, Ryan Huddleston and Scott Hatzer completed the top 10. Dehm and Rich joined Craven as heat race winners and Hatzer was the race’s hard charger.

Weaver Holds off Stout Field

by Rocky Ragusa

It was another typical Saturday night of racing action at the Fairbury American Legion Speedway. A large crowd witnessed plenty of door handle to door handle, three and four wide racing.

The featured event of the night was a 30-lap, $2,000 to win, UMP vs. ALMS series race. 41 drivers from seven states vied for a starting position in the main event. Two time track champion Eric Smith set quick time at a 12.740. Shannon Babb, Kevin Weaver, Smith, and Brian Shirley took heat race wins, while Scott Schmitt and Torin Mettille advanced to the feature by winning the semi features.

Babb and Weaver took the green flag from starter Jim Whittington and fourth starting Shirley took a brief lead, before Weaver took over on lap two. After cautions on lap two and three Babb used the top groove to take second from Shirley, as Weaver opened up a five car length lead. On lap seven, Shirley went to the top of the track to get by Babb and closed up to Weaver, with Babb on Shirley’s bumper. The following lap, Shirley tried to take the top spot, but Weaver held on. 19th starter, Brandon Sheppard, quickly moved into the top five and battled with Scott Bull for the fourth position. As the top three drivers were able to run three wide for first place, Bull and Sheppard closed the margin on the front threesome. Weaver stuck to the bottom of the track, while Babb, who moved into second, and Shirley, tried the top and middle to take the lead. Shirley came back to take second back, but in the closing laps, jumped the cushion, allowing Babb to take second back.  Weaver and Babb ran side by side for several laps, before Weaver was able to hold on at the checkered for his first win of the 2013 season. Babb took second, over defending track champion Scott Bull, Donny Walden, Shirley, Steve Sheppard Jr., Ryan Unzicker, Smith, Daren Friedman, and Brandon Sheppard. Brandon Sheppard was the race’s hard charger.

Chandler, Curl, Mounce, Clubb Take Season Opening Wins

by Rocky Ragusa

With all the rain in the area it has been a tough time for the Fairbury American Legion Speedway to get their first race in. The third time proved to be the charm as the speedway finally got the first race in Saturday night.

In the 30-lap, UMP Late Model feature, Daren Friedman and Derek Chandler led the field to the green flag. Friedman jumped to the top of the track to take an early lead, with Chandler, Joe Harlan, Torin Mettille, and McKay Wenger following. Friedman and Chandler were able to pull away to a ten car length lead. On the fourth lap, Wenger moved to third and closed up on the leaders. Chandler was able to lead lap seven, but Friedman came back to reclaim the lead on the following circuit. After a caution on lap nine for debris, Friedman led Chandler, Wenger, Eric Smith, and Harlan in a tight formation. Chandler took the lead on lap 16 and began to separate himself from the field. Friedman had to contend with Smith and Harlan, with Wenger, Donny Walden, Scott Bull, and Mike Glasscock trailing. Back to back cautions on lap 24 bunched the field and gave Friedman an opportunity to retake the lead. Chandler was able to hold off Friedman as a caution flag came out with two laps remaining. When the green flag fell, Chandler motored away from the contenders and picked up a hard earned victory. In a mad scramble for second, Harlan edged Smith, followed by Bull, Friedman, Wenger, Walden, Matt Furman, Mike Mullvain, and Jay Morris. Kevin Weaver set fast time at a 13.04. Chandler, Friedman, and Wenger took heats; while Mullvain won the semi feature.

Jeff Curl started on the pole position for the 20-lap, UMP Modified race, with Joel Funk alongside. Curl took a commanding lead at the start, with Funk holding off the challenge from Lance Dehm for second, with Tommy Duncan, Justin Delong, and Jeb Friedman trailing. After a caution on lap three, Dehm had a good run coming off of turn two and got by Funk for second. By the sixth lap, Curl held a straight away lead over the field. Dehm and Funk ran side by side for six laps, before a caution fell on lap 12. Following the caution, Dehm tried the top of the track to take the lead, but Curl, running the bottom, proved to be too much. Funk got by Dehm, briefly, for second, with Duncan and Jim Farris in hot pursuit. With three laps remaining and Curl in full control, Dehm got along side of Funk before taking over the position with one to go. Curl picked up the win, with Dehm, Funk, Duncan, Farris, Delong, Gary Turpin, Jeb Friedman, Jared Cagley, and Dan Rork completing the top ten. Dehm was the fast qualifier at a 14.04. Funk, Curl, and Duncan won heat races.

Golf Cart Rules

General Rules That Apply Every Race Night

  1. All drivers must be at least 16 years old.
  2. No 4 wheeler or “gator” type vehicles are allowed outside of the pit area. GOLF CARTS ONLY in the general admission area.
  3. General admission area and pit area vehicles are restricted to their respective areas after the pits are closed to the public.
  4. A reasonable, slow (approximately 5 mph) speed limit will be in force at all times.
  5. No carts allowed between the back stretch bleachers and the fence, on the horse track in front of the grandstands, and anywhere posted “NO GOLF CARTS”.

Special Event Rules

  1. All “general” rules apply.
  2. All general admission area golf carts must be registered to be allowed on the property. A $10.00 seasonal registration fee will apply.
  3. All golf carts not staying on the premises overnight need not be registered but must be parked in the designated areas outside of the 1st and 2nd street gates for general admission or in the designated area outside the 3rd street gate for pit admission.
  4. All general admission area golf carts must be parked on race nights from 4:00 p.m. until sunrise and from sunset until sunrise on non-race nights.
  5. All pit area golf carts, 4 wheelers, etc. must be parked from 30 minutes after the conclusion of the last race until sunrise.
  6. Special exemptions to the rules for special needs will be considered if applied for in writing in advance. Applications must be received by FALS at P.O. Box 74, Fairbury, IL 61739 at least 1 week prior to the event.

Anyone violating the above rules may forfeit their right to operate their vehicle on our property and may be required to “load up” or remove their vehicle immediately at the discretion of the FALS officials.

GOLF CART OPERATION ON OUR PROPERTY IS A PRIVILEGE THAT WE GRANT…NOT A RIGHT! YOUR HELP IN OBEYING THESE RULES AND REPORTING THOSE WHO CHOOSE NOT TO OBEY THEM WILL HELP ENSURE THAT THIS PRIVILEGE IS NOT REVOKED.

Thank You from the FALS staff.

Approved and endorsed by the Fairbury American Legion John Post #54 & Fairbury Fair Board