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Cannon McIntosh

Cannon McIntosh

Megan Erwin

Megan Erwin

Mason Duncan

Mason Duncan

Results | Story & Pictures by Rocky Ragusa

To quote the late, great Formula One racing legend Juan Manuel Fangio, “To finish first, you must first finish.” These words were never more appropriate to use as Cannon McIntosh, Megan Erwin, and Mason Duncan outlasted their competition to net feature wins in Saturday night’s racing program, presented by Livingston Stone Company, at the Fairbury Speedway.

mcintosh mi20 POWRi National Midget League competitors lined up for their 30-lap, $4,000 to win race. Points leader Brenham Crouch of Lubbock, Texas, raced into the lead at the start as Cannon McIntosh of Bixby, Okla., and Gavan Boschele of Mooresville, N.C., followed. After a lap four caution, McIntosh wasted little time in overtaking Crouch for the lead. Following a lap 17 yellow flag, McIntosh led while Boschele and Crouch dueled for second. The red flag came out on the 19th lap for a pileup in turn two. The caution light again was displayed on laps 21 and 27, but McIntosh was able to turn back the competition in scoring his 10th win of the year. “It wasn’t the cleanest race,” spoke the Sooner State wheelman. “I really struggled there at the end. After that red flag, we weren’t able to get any air in the tires. I think we started losing air. All those yellow flags, I just couldn’t get them blown up. The curb was only getting bigger. It was a fight between me just getting around that curb at the end. You want to have as much ability to get around the race track. We struggled at the end to get it going. We had such short runs. I feel like we were good on the long runs. It opened the door for a couple of guys behind me, and I had to hold them off.” A late-race charge gave Mason City’s Karter Sarff the runner-up position while Dominic Gorden of Clovis, Calif., finished in third. Early contender Boschele was fourth, and 14th starter Tyler Baran of Wausau, Wis., finished in fifth. Hayden Reinbold, Taylor Reimer, David Camfield, Chance Crum, and Emilio Hoover completed the top ten. Crouch, Maria Cofer, and Boschele were the heat race victors.

erwin sc42 DIRTcar Stock Car drivers vied for a starting position in the 13th annual Earl J. Hubert Memorial race. Tanner Sullivan toured the track with a time of 15.248 seconds to lead Group A qualifiers. Megan Erwin’s time of 15.088 seconds led Group B. Sullivan, Jordan Smith, track champion Ian Keller, and Austin Hubbard won their respective heat races. Nick Miller and former Hubert winner AJ Meiferdt were the B-main winners. After two yellow flags waved on the opening lap of the 43-lap race, Sullivan, running the bottom, led Keller, Hubbard, Joe Brown, and Cody Clubb. On the fourth lap, Keller, running the top side, pulled alongside of Sullivan, but Sullivan rebutted Keller’s advancement by changing his line. After the red flag came out on the 10th lap, Sullivan showed his muscle by running the ragged edge of the track and built a 10-car length lead over Keller, Clubb, Hubbard, and Erwin. Erwin, looking to end her Fairbury drought, moved into third on the 16th lap. At the halfway mark, Sullivan held a straightaway lead over Keller, Erwin, Brown, and Clubb. It was heartache for Sullivan on the 25th lap as he slowed on the backstretch with a broken wheel. His crew made the repairs under caution and he joined the rear of the field. Keller led on the restart with Erwin, Brown, Clubb, and 14th starter Andy Zahnd following. The caution came out on lap 35 when Keller, the race leader, pulled into the infield with mechanical failure. Erwin inherited the lead on the restart and resisted the pressure from Brown. Erwin last enjoyed Fairbury’s victory lane on July 2nd. This win tasted a little sweeter as she beat many of the best drivers in the region and was rewarded with a check for $4,300. Ranked second in the latest DIRTcar Stock Car national point standings, Erwin commented from victory lane. “This is my third feature win at Fairbury, and it’s the best, no contest. It was really hard to pass on the racetrack. I hated to see some of the drivers drop out, but it made it easier on me.” Brown claimed second while 13th starter Nick Macklin finished in third. Zahnd was fourth and Sullivan made his way back to finish in fifth. 18th starter Meiferdt took a hard-fought sixth, with Clubb, Hubbard, RJ Akers, and Nick Miller completing the top ten.

duncan mdAustin Friedman, looking to end his sophomore slump, blistered the ¼ mile dirt oval in qualifying with a time of 14.089 seconds for the 25-lap Modified race. Friedman, Michael Ledford, and Jared Thomas came out ahead in their respective heat races. Following a caution period on the opening lap, Friedman raced out to the lead with Ledford, Mason Duncan, Bobby Stremme, and Thomas in tow. On the seventh lap, as Friedman entered turn two, he was caught in the Fairbury cushion allowing Ledford to sneak by into the lead. Ledford’s lead was short-lived. As the 2022 Farmer City and Fairbury track champion was going down the backstretch, he suddenly slowed with a broken driveshaft. Friedman led on the restart, with Duncan in his sights. On the 10th lap, as Friedman and Duncan ran the top side, Duncan found an opening and moved into the lead. Behind the duo, Stremme had to contend with Eric Vaughan and Levi Kissinger. Two back-to-back yellow flags came out with 13 laps to go. On the restart, Friedman looked under Duncan for the lead, but the “Mini Missile” was able to withstand the challenge. Kissinger got by Friedman and closed to within five-car lengths of Duncan, but with five laps to go, Kissinger suffered mechanical failure to end his night. After the track was cleared, Duncan led with Stremme, Friedman, Thomas, and Vaughan following in that order to the checkered flag as Duncan earned his first career Modified feature win. “Everything fell into place,” spoke the Metamora third generation driver. “The car and track conditions were perfect. I appreciate all my sponsors on the car. We have so much time and money in this car, and it is nice to reward them.” Stremme took second, followed by Friedman and Thomas. Vaughan briefly made his way to third but settled for a hard fought fifth place. Ethan Weber took sixth, with Caden McWhorter, Steve Mattingly, Roger Cavness, and Braiden Bohlmann rounding out the top ten.



Bobby Pierce

Bobby Pierce

Mike Harrison

Mike Harrison

Results | Story & Pictures by Rocky Ragusa

The Castrol FloRacing Night in America Series made an appearance at the Fairbury Speedway for Tuesday's "One for the Road" presented by I Beam Sliding Doors. Current DIRTcar national points leaders Bobby Pierce (Late Model) and Mike Harrison (Modified) earned feature race wins in their respective divisions.

pierce lmIn the 50-lap Late Model race, front row starters Dennis Erb Jr., the current World of Outlaws Series points leader, and Pierce exchanged the lead twice in the first 12 laps before Pierce took control. Pierce was able to maintain a 10-car length lead over the field as he ran the top and bottom of the track. Shannon Babb, Frank Heckenast Jr., and 22nd starter Ricky Thornton Jr. were able to cut into Pierce's lead in the closing laps. Heckenast took over second on the 47th lap and quickly caught Pierce. Heckenast, running the top, was on Pierce's bumper. A signal from the race leader's father telling him to move to the top of the track slowed Heckenast’s momentum, and Pierce was able to take the win. For the Oakwood native, it was his 15th win of the season and third at Fairbury. "It was really a fun race out there," said Pierce with over $62,000 in winnings alone at Fairbury. "Really, the whole race was fun. It wasn't typical Fairbury with me banging the boards the whole time so it was a more relaxing race." Heckenast finished 0.427 seconds behind Pierce in second with Babb in third. Thornton brought his car home in fourth. Ryan Unzicker took fifth. The rest of the top ten saw Gordy Gundaker, Erb, Tanner English, Brandon Sheppard, and Chris Madden. Erb paced group one qualifiers with a time of 12.621 seconds while group two was led by Pierce with a time of 12.723 seconds. Heat races were won by Erb, Heckenast, Pierce, and Myles Moos. Billy Moyer and Trevor Gundaker were the winners of the two B-mains.

harrison mdThe Modified race drew 29 entries for their 25-lap, $1,500 to win race. Highland's Mike Harrison clocked in at 14.146 seconds to take fast time. Harrison, Mike McKinney, and Kenny Wallace won in their respective heat races. Tom Pasek was the winner of the B-main. As flagman Jim Whittington waved the green flag for the start, Harrison quickly took the lead and never looked back. The win wasn't easy for Harrison as he had to contend with Michael Ledford and McKinney, but their night’s ended with mechanical issues forcing them to the pits. It was Harrison's second win of the season at Fairbury and 20th overall. Jared Thomas made a late race charge to finish second. Danny Schwartz was third with Wallace in fourth. Todd Sherman, 20th starter Lyndon Whitfill, 17th starter Randy Shuman, Pasek, Caden McWhorter, and TJ Larson completed the top ten.


Bobby Pierce

Bobby Pierce

Kyle Strickler

Kyle Strickler

Results | Story & Pictures by Rocky Ragusa

Saturday night’s FALS Super Nationals event saw 98 cars register for the 10th Annual Modified Nationals and MARS Late Model Series event. $10,000 each would go to the race winners presented by First Student, Hot Rod Septic, Wehrs Machine, and Mullins Race Engines.

pierce lmStarting on the outside of the front row, Bobby Pierce took the lead at the start of the 50-lap feature race and never looked back. Following two caution periods in the first five laps, Pierce stretched his lead to a straightaway over Frank Heckenast Jr. Further back, Donny Walden, Jake Little, and 10th starter Brian Shirley raced for the third position. As Shirley took the third spot by lap eight, MARS points leader Ryan Unzicker and Shannon Babb also moved into the top five. In the closing laps, Pierce sliced his way past lapped traffic as Shirley had to contend with Unzicker and Babb. Unzicker took the second spot with ten laps to go, and Babb got by Shirley for third. Four laps later, Babb, running the bottom, slipped by Unzicker for second. As Pierce crossed the finish line, the “Smooth Operator” held a six-second lead over his closest competitor. Ending a streak of four consecutive second place finishes, Pierce commented in victory lane. “The track was really slick. It was tricky and it felt like Macon. Macon gets that thick cushion right up on the wall. I didn’t know if Unzicker and Babb were coming on the top, middle, or wherever they were. I know those guys probably had moments where they were fast. I was trying to stay way ahead of them so I wouldn’t have to worry about them.” 16th starter Babb took second with Unzicker in third. Shirley held on for fourth. 20th starter Jason Feger came home in fifth followed by Heckenast Jr., Chris Simpson, Jeffrey Ledford, Myles Moos, and Walden. 42 Late Models went under the clock in time trials. In Group A, Scott Schmitt led the way with a time of 12.994 seconds, and Pierce’s time of 12.936 seconds led Group B. Steven Roberts, Jay Sparks, Pierce, and Heckenast Jr. took heat race wins. The two B-mains went to Ryan Vanderveen and Rich Bell.

strickler mdPolesitter Cole Falloway raced out to the lead in the 50-lap Modified feature race. Kyle Strickler, running the top side, and Mike Harrison, on the bottom, dueled for second. Harrison moved into second on the ninth circuit and changed his line to the top groove. As Falloway was working his way thru lapped traffic, Harrison was able to cut into Falloway’s lead. After the first caution on lap 21, Harrison got by Falloway on lap 23 for the lead, but it was short lived. In the middle of turns one and two, Harrison tagged the wall breaking the J-bar to end his night. After the yellow flag, Falloway moved back into the lead. Kyle Stricker, working the cushion, motored past Falloway on lap 28 with 16th starter Josh Harris following. The two wheelmen put on a classic race for the lead. The two racers exchanged the lead seven times in the final 22 laps. Strickler took over for good with five laps to go and took his first win of the year and first career Fairbury win. Overcome with emotion, Strickler, the Late Model qualifying track record holder at Fairbury, spoke after the race. “I finally got my mojo. I love to come back and play in the Modifieds. I wanted to come out here and race with Nick Hoffman. He had that terrible accident. This win goes out to him and all the Hoffman family. It’s not the same without him here. This helps my confidence getting back into the Late Model.” 56 Modified drivers made time trial runs. Group A was paced by Falloway with a time of 13.815 seconds. Derek Losh’s time of 13.907 seconds led Group B. Falloway, Harrison, Austin Friedman, Losh, Strickler, and Ethan Dotson won their respective heat races. Three B-mains went to Allen Weisser, Alan Stipp, and Ethan Weber.


Jay Sparks

Jay Sparks

Mike McKinney

Mike McKinney

Jerrad Krick

Jerrad Krick

Tommy Duncan

Tommy Duncan

Ryan Kohler

Ryan Kohler

Jason Vandermeir

Jason Vandermeir

Results | Points | Story & Pictures by Rocky Ragusa

There was the thrill of victory, agony of defeat, thrills, chills, and a few feel-good stories Saturday night at the Fairbury Speedway. It was championship night presented by Daikin Air Intelligence for the FALS Cup/Alkota weekly program with the crowning of track champions in four of the DIRTcar classes. Mike Spatola (Late Model), Michael Ledford (Modified), Ian Keller (Stock Car), and Tommy Duncan (CR Towing Sportsman) earned track championships in their respective divisions. In the night’s feature races, Jay Sparks (Late Model), Mike McKinney (Modified), Jerrad Krick (Stock Car), Tommy Duncan (CR Towing Sportsman), Ryan Kohler (Hobby-Mod), and Jason Vandermeir (Hobby-Mod) went home as victors.

sparks lmQuietly going about his business on race day with his wife and a crew member or two on hand, Metamora’s Jay Sparks has shown signs of a fast race car only to be snake bitten come feature time. 11th starter Sparks, running the bottom of the track, saw race leader and track champion Mike Spatola, also racing on the bottom, slide up enough to allow Sparks to slip by on the final lap and take his first-ever Fairbury feature win. A popular win, Sparks was greeted in victory lane by officials as fans gave a loud cheer of approval. “I have been waiting for this for a long time,” Sparks said. “We have had a good car all year. Ray Nelter has gotten us running pretty good. I probably laid on Spatola too hard, but I haven’t had a win and I wanted one.” Spatola would finish in second position, followed by contender Ryan Unzicker. Myles Moos took fourth and early race leader Kevin Weaver was fifth. The rest of the top ten had Donny Walden, Mike Provenzano, Derek Chandler, Bill Hough, and Brian Diveley. 23 Late Models made qualifying attempts that saw Spatola’s time of 12.549 seconds leading the way. Spatola, Chandler, and Unzicker took heat race wins. Bob Thoennes was the semi-feature winner.

mckinney md21 Modified competitors fine-tuned their cars for next week’s special event. Forrest’s Austin Friedman set fast time in qualifying with a lap of 13.680 seconds. Friedman, Mike McKinney, and Caden McWhorter won their respective heat races. Friedman checked out on the field at the wave of the green flag as McKinney and track champion Michael Ledford raced for second. McKinney tried the top and bottom groove after a lap five yellow flag, but Friedman was able to prevail. The caution came out on the eighth circuit, and on the restart, Friedman took a five-car length lead over McKinney. Ledford had his hands full with Jared Thomas, Alan Stipp, and Brandon Bollinger. McKinney got by Friedman after a caution came out on the 10th lap as Ledford moved into second. Bad luck struck Friedman on the 15th lap as his night came to an end. McKinney led the field to the green on the restart as Steven Brooks got by Ledford for second. In the final stages of the race, Brooks cut into McKinney’s lead but the laps ran out and McKinney took his fourth Fairbury win of the season. “I kind of played it patient,” McKinney said. “The top was a pretty far way around. The bottom had moisture left so I let it run in and let it come to me.” Brooks finished in second, followed closely by Jason Hastings. Thomas took fourth, as Ledford, Bollinger, Stipp, McWhorter, Ethan Weber, and 16th starter Wyatt Harms completed the top ten.

krick scIn the 15-lap Stock Car feature, Cody Clubb looked to be on his way to the win. Contact with a slower car in turn four abruptly brought his night to an end. Former DIRTcar national champion Jerrad Krick inherited the lead with four laps to go and held off Tim Loomis for the win. “I hated to see that happen to Cody,” Earl Park, Indiana’s Krick said. “He definitely had the best car tonight. I will take it any way I can get it. This place is never usually that good to me. I won the 2016 Hubert Memorial race once and haven’t been able to get back to victory lane. This feels pretty good.” Loomis had to settle for second. Early race leader Megan Erwin was third, followed by Andy Thompson, Jordan Smith, Brandon Tracy, Derrick Weiand, Jace Gall, Randy Schoener, and Devin Hoskins. 19 drivers were on hand tuning up for the upcoming Hubert Memorial race saw Krick’s time of 15.164 seconds lead the way in qualifying. Two heat races were held with Erwin and Clubb taking the wins.

duncan spLooking to avenge his loss two weeks ago, four-time CR Towing Sportsman track champion Tommy Duncan of Metamora went the distance in taking his eighth win of the year in the caution-marred 15-lap race. “I kept looking at the scoreboard and saw Miller and Mattingly were right there,” said Duncan. “I figured that I had to play defense on both.” Landen Miller turned back Tyler Roth for second, followed by newcomer Ron Wilkes. Jim Farley was fifth, with Doug Carls, Makinzi Semmens, Roy Magee, Aaron Reid, and Stefan Bedinger rounding out the top ten. Miller set the pace in qualifying with a time of 14.774 seconds as 13 cars took to the ¼ mile dirt track. Duncan and Steve Mattingly won their respective heat races.

kohler hmWith the growing popularity in the Hobby-Mod class and a new record of 28 cars in attendance, it was decided to hold two feature races. In the first race, Pontiac’s Trevor Ringle, a successful kart racer, led flag-to-flag for a convincing win. In a post-race inspection, Ringle’s car was deemed illegal and he was disqualified. The victory was awarded to Ryan Kohler, son of 2008 Stock Car track champion Darrin Kohler. Fans that know the tragedy the Kohler family has experienced makes the win a feel-good story. “It was definitely a stacked field,” the Chebanse native spoke. “I kept the car steady. This is really awesome. I have always dreamed of this.” Scott McDonald took the runner-up spot. Rick Thomas was third, followed by Dalton Deavers, Clay Wisher, Ryan Wilson, Reid Gall, Jake Green, J Thompson, and Kellen Arnold completing the top ten.

vandermeir hmIn the second race, Jason Vandermeir had to hold off Luke Gebhardt in taking his first win of the year. Channahon’s Vandermeir commented in victory lane. “The car didn’t run that good in the heat race. We worked on it and it came back to life.” Dylan Turpin finished in third, with Payton Semmens, Graham Jackson, Tim Wilson, Cameron Pierce, Michael Killion, Scott Compton, and coming out of retirement, the 1984 6-Cylinder track champion Lonnie Benedict completing the top ten. Ringle, Deavers, and Kohler were heat race winners.


Mike Spatola

Mike Spatola

Kelly Kovski

Kelly Kovski

Ian Keller

Ian Keller

Steven Mattingly

Steven Mattingly

Rick Thomas

Rick Thomas

Results | Story & Pictures by Rocky Ragusa

Varsitee Screenprinting and Aftershock Decals and Designs presented Saturday’s FALS Cup and Alkota racing program at the Fairbury Speedway. Six divisions were in action on the ¼ mile dirt oval as fans witnessed one of the best Late Model races of the season. Mike Spatola (Late Model), Kelly Kovski (Modified), Ian Keller (Stock Car), Steve Mattingly (Sportsman), Rick Thomas (Hobby Modified), and Eric Rebholz (Vintage) received all the accolades in victory lane.

spatola lmIn the 30-lap Late Model feature, Mike Spatola and Kevin Weaver staged a battle of epic proportions. The two gladiators went back and forth for the lead and never established a clear-cut favorite until the final lap. Spatola was on the outside and Weaver on the inside as the two exited turn four. Spatola carried enough momentum to edge Weaver at the line to win by a half-car length. “The old man still has it in him. That is why he's one of the best at Fairbury,” Spatola said. “I thought we were pretty good early in the race. I couldn’t find a good line in turns 3 and 4. That caution came out and my crew told me to get to the bottom. I tried it, but the car was too tight.” A dejected Weaver had to settle for second, with Mike Provenzano and Jake Little following. Tom Thoennes, Scott Schmitt, Jay Sparks, Torin Mettille, Logan Moody, and Glen Thompson completed the top ten. Spatola led the way in time trials with a lap of 12.767 seconds as 15 cars made qualifying runs. Spatola and Moody claimed heat race wins.

kovski mdAn infrequent guest to Fairbury, Kelly Kovski made short order of leader Jared Thomas to take the lead after a lap 12 caution for early leader Michael Ledford. Once in front, Kovski turned up the wick and was able to record his first career Fairbury win. “I have been coming here for a long time,” the Springfield resident spoke. “To finally get my first Fairbury win is awesome.” Thomas had to hold off Alan Stipp for second. Austin Friedman was fourth, with 12th starter Bob Pohlman, Caden McWhorter, Matt Fabrizius, Mark Rhoades, Braiden Bohlmann, and Joshua Hotsinpiller rounding out the top ten. Friedman took fast time honors with a time of 14.045 seconds as 20 cars made qualifying attempts. Friedman and Ledford were the heat race winners.

keller scPoints leader Ian Keller had to contend with Megan Erwin and six caution periods in the first six laps during the 15-lap Stock Car race. After the final yellow flag, Keller kicked it into high gear and pulled away from the field winning by over a straightaway for his fourth Fairbury win of the year. “How about that FALS cushion!” Keller spoke. “We did a little something different to the car and it all worked out.” Erwin took second, Tim Loomis finished in third, followed by last year’s track champion Adam Williams. The remainder of the top ten saw Don Hilleary, Devin Hoskins, 16th starter Jace Gall, Derrick Weiand, Brice Slavens, and Dalton Mickle. In qualifying, Cody Clubb went under the clock with a lap of 15.534 seconds for quick time as 17 cars made qualifying attempts. Two heat races saw Erwin and Keller taking the wins.

mattingly spKnocking on the door all season, Steve Mattingly was able halt the win streak of Tommy Duncan in the CR Towing Sportsman division. Starting in the fourth position, Mattingly took the lead on the second lap. Riding the high side of the speed plant, the Chenoa racer pulled away from all comers in the 15-lap race. “It has been a long time,” an elated Mattingly said. “We have been chasing Tommy all year. The car has been getting faster and trying different stuff. Tonight, it paid off.” Tyler Roth edged Duncan at the line for second. 10th starter Josh Hetherington and Makinzi Semmens followed. The rest of the top ten saw Roy Magee, Aaron Reid, Landen Miller, Victor Strong, and Jim Farley finish in that order. Strong posted a lap time of 15.366 seconds for fast time as 12 cars made qualifying attempts. Strong and Roth picked up heat race wins.

thomas hmWinning in a Modified, Sportsman, Stock Car, and now a Hobby Modified, Rick Thomas had to survive a rash of cautions, and Trevor Ringle, to pick up the win in the 12-lap feature. “I decided at 6:00 this morning that I was going to race,” Thomas said. “I have to thank RJ Gall and his sons for helping me get the car ready.” Kirby McCormick finished third followed by early race leader Scott McDonald and Jake Green. Clay Wisher, Luke Gebhardt, Josh Robb, Mike Petersen, and Scott Brown completed the top ten. McCormick turned a lap at 15.492 seconds for quick time with 24 cars on hand. Robb, Petersen, and Payton Semmens grabbed heat race wins.

rebholz vtThe Vintage Racing of Illinois series brought 18 cars for their special event. Jerry Vance in a 1963 Impala won the first heat. Kelly Christmas took the second heat driving a 1970 Nova. The third heat race had Andy Thompson in his 1968 Plymouth taking the victory. Eric Rebholz, wheeling a 1970 Camaro, came out on top in the 15-lap feature. Kraig Hughes, Thompson, Austin Lipe, and Tyler Sebby followed. “I had to lock the car down on the bottom,” spoke Rebholz. “Last year I was leading the race and had a flat tire. We got some redemption tonight.”


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