Street Stocks will run a regular show along with the May 28th makeup feature. The lineup is set for the makeup feature and no new entries will be allowed for that race. Any new cars will run in the regular show only. Points will be awarded for both features. Eligible drivers will receive pay for both features.
by Rocky Ragusa
Despite threatening weather early in the afternoon, Mother Nature was kind and gave the Fairbury American Legion Speedway a perfect night of racing on Fan Appreciation / Nostalgia Night at the track.
17 UMP DIRTcar Late Models were on hand for their 30 lap race. Mike Spatola was the night’s fast qualifier at a 13.128. Spatola and Scott Schmitt took the heat race wins. Spatola used his front row starting position to quickly open a ten car length lead over McKay Wenger, Schmitt, Kevin Weaver, and Mike Glasscock. After a lap 12 caution, Spatola pulled away to a commanding lead as Schmitt got by Wenger for second, followed closely by Glasscock and Weaver. Schmitt, Wenger, and Weaver waged a tremendous battle for second as Glasscock dropped out of the race. Spatola soon encountered slower cars enabling Wenger, who broke away from Schmitt, and Weaver to narrow the margin on Spatola. With five laps to go, Wenger was on Spatola’s bumper as both drivers fought the treacherous Fairbury cushion. Wenger made repeated attempts with a slide job on Spatola but Spatola held his ground to pick up his first win at Fairbury since 2014. “The car was really loose coming off the cushion,” spoke Spatola. “I wasn’t watching my crew giving me signals and had no idea that McKay was that close. He made me get on the wheel and I appreciate him racing me clean.” Wenger, Schmitt, Jay Morris, and Dan Flessner (hard charger, started 16th) completed the top five, followed by Mike Provenzano, Scott Bull, Joe Harlan, Steve Thorsten, and Kevin Weaver, who dropped out on the final lap.
28 UMP DIRTcar Modified drivers time trialed seeking to start the 20 car feature race. Jay Ledford set fast time at a 14.198. Ledford, Steven Brooks, and Mike McKinney won heat races, while Jimmie Haager took the semi feature. At the green flag, McKinney took a straightaway lead as Brooks, Ledford, Lance Dehm, and Vince Cooper trailed. After three cautions in the first six laps, Brooks gave pursuit of McKinney as Dehm followed closely. McKinney had his hands full running the top side and Brooks making repeated attempts to claim the front spot. Brooks managed to briefly lead on lap nine but McKinney fought back on the next lap to retake the lead. In the closing laps, Brooks stuck his car under McKinney several times in the turns but McKinney was able to pull away down the stretch and take his second win of the year. “We were good at the beginning,” McKinney said. “I knew Brooks would be there. I just put the pedal to the floor and let it bang off the walls.” Dehm, Ledford, Jamie Lomax, Dave Crawley Jr., Tommy Duncan, Vince Cooper, Jeff Curl, and Nick Clubb (hard charger, started 17th) rounded out the top ten.
Fairbury’s new entry level class drew eight cars for the Hobby Mod division. Jason Brandt took the heat race win. Brandt led the feature until spinning out on the sixth lap. Mason Duncan led until a caution fell on the following lap. On the restart, Albie Perez pressured Duncan and got under Duncan as the leaders approached the flag stand on the eighth lap. Perez stuck to his race line and was able to hold off Duncan and Nolan Gunderson for the win, driving the Jeff Semmens owned entry. “This was a lot of fun,” spoke an excited Perez. “This is a great class for anyone looking to start. I have to thank Jeff and Makinzi for letting me race their car. I also want to dedicate this win to Ronnie Bohm.” Trailing the trio to the line were Tim McGuire and Macy Vaughan.
The Vintage Racing of Illinois Series brought their group of drivers and cars to Fairbury on Nostalgia Night. Ron Wilson from Pekin, a former driver at Peoria and Spoon River Speedway, drove his 1957 Chevy to the 15 lap feature win over a field of 14 cars. Wilson spoke in victory lane. “I actually retired this year and sold the car to Matt Ramer. He gave me the chance to drive it tonight. This is fantastic to get a win here.”
Lake Nichoalds set fast time (14.961) over 15 other UMP DIRTcar Sportsman drivers for their 15 lap race. Nichoalds and Scott Williams took heat race wins. After a caution flag on lap two, current points leader Richie Rich got his car under Brian Albus for the lead and pulled away for his third win of the season. “It’s unfortunate that Lake Nichoalds and Timmy Dick had their bad luck,” an exhausted Rich spoke. “We did a lot of work in the shop this week and it paid off.” Albus, Rod Rusher, Bryant Frechette, Steve Mattingly, Tim Dick (hard charger, started 12th), Anthony Craven, Amber Crouch, Williams, and Eric Legner completed the top ten.
18 UMP DIRTcar Street Stocks took time trials with Peter Odell from Morris leading the way with a 15.772. Two heat races were held with Rick Thomas and Barry Sauder taking the wins. Andrew Funk pestered Thomas for several laps before moving to the point on lap four. Following a caution on lap ten, Thomas moved his line to the top of the track and tried to reclaim the lead but Funk was too much and pulled out to a ten car length lead. A.J. Meiferdt stayed with Thomas and made a last lap pass to take the second position as Funk scored his first Fairbury win of the year. “It’s about time. We have had a lot of bad luck here. I ran the middle because I knew Rick would move to the top. It worked out for me,” Funk said. Funk was followed to the checkered flag by Meiferdt, Thomas, Sauder, Terry Miller, Odell, Chad Rockefeller, Curtis Radke (hard charger, started 15th), Darrell Dick, and Josh Hetherington.
In an effort to help teams race at both facilities, Farmer City Raceway in conjunction with Fairbury American Legion Speedway are proud to announce the sophomore season of the Combined Point Fund Alliance in 2016 for the following classes:
Central Illinois Buildings UMP Late Models
1st $2,000 2nd $1,500 3rd $750 4th $500 5th $250
Roach Construction UMP Modifieds
1st $1,000 2nd $800 3rd $600 4th $350 5th $250
Bulldog Motorsports UMP Street Stocks
1st $600 2nd $500 3rd $400 4th $300 5th $200
- Points awarded (feature finish only) begin weekend of June 3rd & 4th.
- Points will end at FALS on August 20th.
- In the event of a tie in any class at the end of the season, the driver with the most feature wins will be determined as the higher point driver. In the event of a double tie, position will go to the driver with the most feature and heat race wins.
- Eligible drivers must display series class sponsor decal on left side of car to qualify for point fund money. Decal must be on car June 4th and PLEASE place where it can be SEEN.
- In the event of a series points night rainout/cancellation at either track, race will not be made up.
- At Fairbury this combined point fund is over and above the usual track point fund.
- UMP points structure will be the designated points awarded for feature finish at each track.
- Friday, June 3 - Farmer City Raceway
- Saturday, June 4 - Fairbury Speedway
- Friday, June 10 - Farmer City Raceway
- Saturday, June 11 - Fairbury Speedway
- Friday, June 17 - Farmer City Raceway
- Friday, June 24 - Farmer City Raceway
- Friday, July 1 - Farmer City Raceway
- Saturday, July 2 - Fairbury Speedway
- Saturday, July 9 - Fairbury Speedway
- Friday, July 15 - Farmer City Raceway
- Saturday, July 23 - Fairbury Speedway
- Friday, August 5 - Farmer City Raceway
- Saturday, August 6 - Fairbury Speedway
- Friday, August 12 - Farmer City Raceway
- Saturday, August 20 - Fairbury Speedway
by Darlene Miller
Kevin Weaver and Rick Thomas inched ever closer to the top in career wins on a full moon Saturday night at Fairbury American Legion Speedway. Fithian’s Roger Long currently holds the top spot with 66 victories. Dwight’s Thomas notched No. 64 and Gibson City’s Weaver won his 62nd feature on a beautiful night for racing.
Jay Morris grabbed an early lead over the pack in the 30-lap Late Model feature. Just two laps into the race, McKay Wenger and Weaver were even at the stripe for first place. Weaver took the slight lead with 26 laps to go followed closely by Wenger and Mike Spatola. Weaver and Wenger kept the battle brewing when both of them edged each other at the line several times. Wenger kissed the wall in turn two with 11 to go and was passed by a hard charging Scott Bull and Spatola. A caution flag flew for debris in turn four and bunched the field with five circuits to go. Weaver jumped to the top side while Bull stayed low battling back and forth. Weaver held on to win the race by a car length. Bull, Spatola, Wenger, and Mike Glasscock completed the top five. Joe Godsey, Joe Harlan, Dan Flessner, Brian Lynn, and Steve Thorsten followed in the next group of five to the finish line. “It was a fun race and exciting. I went up to the top, but wished I would have stayed at the bottom,” said Weaver, who seemed to have his car hooked up for the bottom of the track. Weaver, Harlan, and Morris were heat winners and Morris also had fast time with a 13.314 second trip.
In the Modified feature, it was an eye-blink finish between Steven Brooks and Jay Ledford. The pair started on the front row and after several cautions, the two began to pull away from the pack. Several drivers tried the top shelf to try and catch the leaders but no one could make a serious challenge. Brooks led the entire race until the lap that counts most - the last one - as Ledford went to the top side in the last turn and edged Brooks at the line.
“It was exciting following Brooks. He slowed a little and I went to the top and held him off and caught him at the line. It was a lot of fun,” said Ledford. Mike McKinney took third, followed by Brian Lynn and hard charger Jeff Curl, who started 13th. Vince Cooper, Tommy Duncan, Lance Dehm, Jeffrey Ledford, and Lukes Gash completed the top 10. Heat winners were Brooks, Cooper, and Jay Ledford. Brooks set fast time at 14.120 seconds.
The caution plagued Sportsman feature saw Lake Nichoalds bring home his second feature win of the season. Bryant Frechette and Steve Mattingly began on the front row but Nichoalds soon took the lead and won by a car length. “I want to thank everyone. It was a fun race,” said the winner. Frechette, Tim Dick, 11th starting Richard Craven, and Rod Rusher made up the rest of the top five. Mattingly, Brian Albus, Scott Williams, Richie Rich, and Brandon Pralle rounded out the top 10. Frechette and Mattingly were heat winners.
Thomas began the night of features in the Street Stock division by starting on the pole next to Barry Sauder and established an early lead over his competitors. Sauder dropped back to third when A.J. Meiferdt grabbed the second spot and began to challenge Thomas but could not make pass attempts stick. Thomas held on for a two-car length win. Sauder finished third, followed by Curtis Radke and Eric Gaus. The second five was comprised of Kyle Anderson, Josh Hetherington, Valerie Hurt, Kraig Hughes, and Robert Turner. “I want to thank everyone and especially the fans. I appreciate everybody,” said Thomas. Thomas and Sauder were heat winners and Thomas had the fast time at 15.903 seconds.
By virtue of his heat race win, Mason Duncan started on the pole and held off his competitors to win the Hobby Mod feature. He was followed by Tim McGuire, Mike Petersen, Jason Brandt, Gregg Pierce, and Makinzi Semmens.
by Rocky Ragusa
Although cold weather conditions forced track officials to move the racing program up an hour, fans flocked to the Fairbury American Legion Speedway on Saturday as 106 cars entered the pit area.
West Lebanon, Indiana driver, Ian Keller paced 41 other UMP DIRTcar Street Stocks for the 43-lap, Earl J. Hubert Memorial race, with a fast time of 15.487 seconds. The four heat race wins went to Scott Hufford, Keller, Jerrad Krick, and A.J. Meiferdt. Terry Miller and Eddie Wolf won the two semi-features to set the 20 car field. Meiferdt and Keller led the field to the green flag. Both drivers ran side by side before Meiferdt took over the lead on lap three. Krick was able to overtake Keller for second, but Keller moved to the top groove and reclaimed second. After a lap nine caution, Meiferdt, Krick, and Keller went three wide for the lead. Meiferdt held a slight edge as the drivers raced past the flag stand, but Krick snuck by Meiferdt on the next lap for the lead. After a lap 13 caution, Krick extended his lead, while Rick Thomas took over second, as Keller, running the top, scraped the wall. Krick, the current UMP DIRTcar Street Stock national points leader, held a straightaway lead at the halfway mark, with Thomas, Keller, Mike McKinney, and Meiferdt running in the top five. On the restart after a caution on lap 28, McKinney took over third and pressured Thomas for second. With the second thru fifth place cars looking to move up in the race, Krick led by 10 car lengths. A caution fell on the field with four laps to go and set the stage for an exciting finish. Krick stuck his car to the bottom, as Thomas tried to hold off the challenge from Keller. Keller got by Thomas and made a valiant effort to take over the lead. Keller was able to pull alongside of Krick in the corner, but Krick had the horses down the stretch. At the checkers, Krick took the win by a car length over Keller, followed by Meiferdt, Matt Dillon, Kyle Miner, Eddie Wolf (hard charger, started 16th), Curtis Radke, Peter Odell, Scott Hufford, and Joe Hillman. After taking his first career FALS win and over $2,000, Krick commented, “Keller is a master at the high side. I struggle up there. I am so glad the bottom came in. It’s more of my driving style. Fairbury is one of the best tracks around. We are lucky to go home with the win.”
Hometown driver McKay Wenger, the current UMP DIRTcar Late Model national points leader, helped his cause by winning the 30-lap Late Model race. After a brief challenge from Joe Harlan and Jay Morris, Wenger checked out from the field. One caution and slower traffic did little to stop Wenger on this night. Harlan held on for second over Scott Bull (hard charger, started 12th), Don Hammer, Dan Flessner, Bill Hough, Nick Kurtz, Steve Thorsten, Morris, and Glen Thompson. “We have a new car and motor tonight. We made the right choice on tires and gear,” said an excited Wenger. “We have to have first or second place runs in order to do the national points. I have to thank my crew for all their hard work.” Wenger took fast time over 19 other drivers at 13.278 seconds and also won his heat race, while Morris took the other heat win.
Mike McKinney got the jump on polesitter Jeffrey Ledford to take the lead at the start of the 20-lap UMP DIRTcar Modified race. The Plainfield native proved to be too strong for his competitors on this night as he took his second career FALS Modified feature win. “My dad and I have been busting our butts to get back to victory lane here”, said an exhausted McKinney. “Some of the top Modified drivers race here at Fairbury and to beat them is awesome.” Jay Ledford, Jeff Curl, Vince Cooper, Lance Dehm, Nick Allen, Nick Clubb, Zeke McKenzie, Tommy Duncan, and Dave Dulceak rounded out the top ten. Kyle Cooper started 17th and finished 12th to win hard charger honors. Jay Ledford turned back 23 other competitors in qualifying with a 14.081 second lap. Allen, Jeffrey Ledford, and McKinney won heat races, while Kory Maurice was the semi-feature winner.
Being out front might have been the safest place to be in the 15-lap, UMP DIRTcar Sportsman race. Six cautions marred the race, as defending track champion Richie Rich led flag to flag in securing his second win of the year. Brian Albus (hard charger, started 7th) avoided trouble to finish second, followed by Lake Nichoalds, Anthony Craven, Rod Rusher, Tim Dick, Brandon Pralle, Bryant Frechette, Amber Crouch, and Scott Williams. Craven and Rich took heat race wins, while Nichoalds was the fastest of the 15 cars at a 14.867.
In the Hobby Modified race, legendary softball and basketball coach, Tim McGuire took the win over Mike Petersen, Graham Jackson, Jason Brandt, Gregg Pierce, Makinzi Semmens, and Mason Duncan. Duncan was the heat race victor.