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Shannon Babb

Shannon Babb

Hunt Gossum

Hunt Gossum

Tyler Roth

Tyler Roth

Gossum, Roth also Victorious on Opening Night at FALS

Results | Story and Pictures by Rocky Ragusa

The long-awaited season opener at the Fairbury Speedway was held on Wednesday night. Shannon Babb (Late Model), Hunt Gossum (Modified), and Tyler Roth (Sportsman) were the night’s feature winners in the “Summer Showcase”.

babb lm32 Late Model drivers took to the ¼ mile dirt oval for qualifying. McKay Wenger toured the speed plant at 12.507 seconds for fast time honors. Four heat races were held with Allen Weisser, Jason Feger, Shannon Babb, and Kevin Weaver taking the wins. Jeffrey Ledford was the B-Main winner. Babb, starting in the third position, quickly jumped to the lead in the 40-lap race. Babb contended with Wenger, Bobby Pierce, and Mike Spatola before the yellow flag waved with seven laps left. After the caution, Babb checked out on the field and picked up the $5,000 check. “Bobby had me sweating,” said Babb. “I knew a slide job would be coming. I thought I better do what I can do.” Following Babb to the line were 12th starter Pierce, Spatola, 16th starter Kent Robinson, Feger, Ryan Unzicker, Gordy Gundaker, Weaver, Derek Chandler, and Trevor Gundaker.

gossum mdCurt Spalding clipped a lap of 13.927 seconds in Modified time trials as 42 drivers were on hand for a 25-lap, $1,500 to win feature race. Spalding, Hunt Gossum, Allen Weisser, and Ian Keller were heat race victors. Kyle Hammer and Jake Little advanced to the main race with their B-Main wins. Gossum, hailing from Mayfield, Ky., dashed into the lead and never looked back in earning his first-ever FALS Cup feature win. 11th starter Michael Ledford made a dramatic charge and took second over Weisser, with Rich Dawson and Brad DeYoung completing the top five. Steven Brooks, 18th starter Austin Lynn, Tyler Weiss, Dylan Woodling, and Tommy Sheppard Jr. rounded out the top ten.

roth spFirst-year driver Austin Friedman earned fast time honors with a lap of 14.864 seconds over 16 other CR Towing Sportsman drivers for their 15-lap sprint. Friedman and defending track champion Tommy Duncan won their respective heat races. Tyler Roth made short order of his competition as he took the lead on lap two in winning the $400 first prize. Duncan, Brandon Pralle, Shaun WiltjerHunt, Lyndon Whitfill, Friedman, Steve Mattingly, Alex Wilson, Tanner Sullivan, and Blake Reid completed the top ten.

The state of Illinois currently is regarded as one of the most active for motorsports in the United States. The Illinois Motorsports Coalition (IMC), represents leading industry professionals at more than 50 venues, product manufacturers, parts distributors, and more than 1 million individual enthusiasts who are constituents of the state of Illinois. These events include road racing, oval tracks, drag racing venues, tractor pulls, and a variety of other forms of outdoor recreation. Our venues are not only outdoor and primarily located in rural/agricultural areas, but they cover large footprints of open space. The smallest racing venues in our state still are larger than other outdoor sporting venues. Our businesses are perfect for functional cells and compartmentalized fan groupings. The average ¼-mile short track occupies more real estate than a football, soccer, or baseball facility. The average drag racing or road racing venue occupies more real estate than the combined footprint of the state’s largest football, soccer, and baseball facilities combined. Our venues are working with the leading motorsports sanctioning bodies including the World Racing Group (WRG), National Hot Rod Association (NHRA), Sports Car Club of America (SCCA), and others to develop industry standards to safely open our venues in gradual steps while protecting our participants, employees, and attendees from risk. The same safety standards that were developed by track operators here in Illinois have been adopted by several other states and are being implemented in a safe and effective manner.

While motorsports venues in the state of Illinois remain shuttered with no definitive date for reopening, we helplessly are watching as our participants and fans are looking to other states for options. Since May 1, we’ve watched our racers and fans take to the interstates to race in Oklahoma, Missouri, South Carolina, and Alabama...

IMC Proposed Reopening Steps

In an announcement by track owner Matt Curl via Facebook Live Thursday night, the Fairbury Speedway will put its season on hold until further notice as a result of continued restrictions put in place via Governor J.B. Pritzker prohibiting large gatherings in the state of Illinois due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We are confident that we will resume racing this summer at some point, but the million-dollar question is ‘when’”, said Curl.  The original 2020 race schedule that was published during PRI has been removed and an updated schedule will be released as soon as possible. 

Fans having reserved tickets and camping for the May 9th FALS Spring Showcase should hold on to their reservations as FALS will be rescheduling the event for later in the year.  A reminder to all fans that have or will be purchasing reserved seating and camping in the future, you will receive a complete refund or be allowed to credit your account for the 2020 reservations if a race is canceled. 

The safety of our employees, drivers, and fans remain a priority and we will continue to monitor the situation in coordination with federal, state, local, and public health officials, along with information based on the recommendations of the CDC to make the best decisions in regards to a return to racing.

We will continue to provide updates regarding any possible changes regarding racing, season ticket information, and more via our website along with our various social media outlets via Facebook and Twitter.

Take care, be safe, God Bless.

Matt Curl
Owner / Promoter – Fairbury Speedway

The Fairbury Speedway will be opening up the ticketing website on Monday, April 20th at 10:00 a.m. to the general public for all remaining reserved tickets available for the Prairie Dirt Classic (July 31st & August 1st) and reserved tickets and camping for the FALS Frenzy (October 9th & 10th).  Reserved camping for the PDC is SOLD OUT.  We will be announcing overflow options for camping at the PDC later this spring, but at this time there is no available reserved camping for the Prairie Dirt Classic. 

Fairbury Speedway officials will be making an announcement in the coming weeks on the future updated schedule at FALS.  At this time, we will not be opening up the Spring Showcase (May 9th), Summer Nationals (June 27th), or Modified Nationals (September 5th) for reserved tickets or camping.  Our goal is to open up the ticketing website to the general public three weeks before the Summer Nationals and Modified Nationals depending on schedule adjustments.  Just a reminder that if an event is canceled, you will receive a complete refund or credit for your 2021 tickets. 

It is our goal that we race as much as possible in the best interest of our fans, drivers, crews, sponsors, staff, and our community.  Any questions, please email falstickets@gmail.com.

Be safe, take care, and God Bless.

Fairbury Speedway Ticketing Team

Fairbury Speedway has made the decision to extend the deadline date for renewals of seating and camping reservations until Sunday, April 12th at 5:00 p.m.  We will reopen the ticketing system to the general public on Monday, April 20th at 10:00 a.m. for all five major events on the FALS schedule in 2020.

We want to assure the fans that in the event a race is canceled, you will receive a complete refund or be allowed to use the value of your tickets for credit in 2021.  That simple…

Fans can renew their cart online at www.fairburyspeedway.com. Once you get into the website, click on the “tickets” link at the top, enter your account information, and your cart will be ready to process.  You will be able to drop anything you don’t want to renew for 2020.  Remember, once you drop tickets or camping and update your cart, the tickets cannot be added back to your account.  NO new tickets or camping can be added/purchased at this time; only renewals will be able to be processed.  Once the deadline is over, all tickets and camping left in unattended accounts will go back into the general population.

We will continue to entertain requests to transfer reserved tickets that were purchased online in 2019 into alternate accounts to be processed.  NOTE: If fans want to move a portion of their accounts, they will need to notify us BEFORE they process or drop any seats/camping.  Once you process your cart, the transaction is final and we will not be able to move tickets into alternate accounts.  You will need to setup a new account before any transfers can be done. Requests can be emailed to falstickets@gmail.com.  

We would like to take this moment to say THANKS to all our fans, drivers, and sponsors for all their support of the Fairbury Speedway during this difficult time in our society.  We would also like to thank all the people that are on the front lines of this global pandemic.  Finally, we are so fortunate for all the people that are supporting our local businesses.  They are so important to the town of Fairbury.

In closing, rise up, do your part as a citizen of the United States!  Stay motivated, help others in need, we will get through this… and when we do, watch out!  Because there is no better sound that comes from our track announcer Mike Norris than “it’s time for the 800 horsepower, fire- breathing, mudslinging, grounds-pounding cars and stars of the Fairbury Speedway.”

Take care, be safe, and God Bless.

Matt Curl – Owner & Promoter #FALS

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