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Unzicker, Ledford, Keller, Duncan, Deavers Pick Up FALS Cup Victories

Ryan Unzicker

Ryan Unzicker

Michael Ledford

Michael Ledford

Ian Keller

Ian Keller

Tommy Duncan

Tommy Duncan

Brian Deavers

Brian Deavers

Results | Story & Pictures by Rocky Ragusa

Saturday night at the Fairbury Speedway saw racing action in five divisions presented by Gordon Electric Supply and Pontiac Electric Supply. Ryan Unzicker (Late Model), Michael Ledford (Modified), Ian Keller (Stock Car), Tommy Duncan (Sportsman), and Brian Deavers (Hobby-Modified) were the victors at “America’s Dirt Track”.

unzicker lmA field of 20 Late Models, including two World of Outlaws Series regulars Shane Clanton and Max Blair, checked in for their 30-lap, $2,500 to win race. Clanton set fast time with a lap of 12.637 seconds. Kevin Weaver and McKay Wenger were the heat race winners. Wenger took the lead as the green flag waved before Unzicker moved ahead on lap two. The yellow flag came out on lap four as Wenger, running in the second position, stalled on the track with a flat tire. Wenger’s crew were able to change the tire but fell to the back of the field. On the restart, Mike Spatola, in the fourth spot, stopped on the track with a flat tire to bring out the caution. Spatola’s team made the change and dropped to the back of the 20-car field. As the green flag waved, Unzicker wasted little time in showing his strength as he drove a smooth line on the bottom of the track and opened a straightaway lead. Clanton and Blair swapped the second position several times but were unable to mount a threat to Unzicker. At the end of the race, Unzicker held a four-second lead and was able to capture his first win of the year. “We have had a good car all year but have been in some rough stuff,” explained Unzicker. “The car was on a rail. You never take winning as easy because it's hard to do. We won a lot of races back in the day, but they are tough to get nowadays.” Tuning up for next month's Prairie Dirt Classic, Clanton settled for second. Tommy Sheppard Jr. charged from the 18th position to take third. Blair was fourth, and Weaver finished in fifth. Wenger and Spatola rallied to finish in the sixth and seventh spots respectively. Jake Little, Derek Chandler, and Scott Schmitt completed the top ten.

ledford mdAustin Friedman was the Modified fast qualifier at a time of 13.773 seconds as 18 drivers made qualifying runs. The two heat races went to Friedman and Allen Weisser. Friedman held a narrow lead over Weisser before Friedman’s night ended with a flat tire. Michael Long had a 10-car length lead while Weisser, Michael Ledford, and Mason Duncan dueled for second. The caution came out on the ninth lap as Long’s night came to an end. The restart saw Duncan vault out to a commanding lead over Ledford, Weisser, Cole Falloway, and Allan Stipp. Ledford, running all out on the top side of the track, erased Duncan’s lead and moved to the front on the 15th lap. Ledford was able to win his first FALS Cup feature of the year on a night that saw the younger racers display their talents. “We started out the season rough,” Ledford said. “We had picked it up, but we weren’t where we wanted to be. My confidence as a driver wasn’t where it should be, but this will help.” Duncan had his best run to date and edged 12th starter Falloway for second. Stipp took fourth, while Weisser finished fifth. In his first season in the Modified, Lyndon Whitfill took sixth, followed by Caden McWhorter, Degan Dozard, Mark Rhoades, and Dustin Hume.

keller scTanner Sullivan’s time of 15.187 seconds gave him the night’s fast qualifier honors as 17 Stock Cars took time trials. Sullivan and Ian Keller won heat races. Sullivan led on the opening lap before Keller took the front spot. Keller put his car on the Fairbury cushion and was able to roll to his second straight win at Fairbury. “This FALS cushion came to life tonight,” the Hoosier state pilot said. “I had my hands full, but we got it done.” Joe Brown took the runner-up spot, and Sullivan was third. The remainder of the top ten were Don Hilleary, Cody Clubb, Jerrad Krick, Adam Williams, Calvin Peek Jr., Tim Loomis, and Andy Zahnd.

duncan sp10 CR Towing Sportsman racers made qualifying runs, and Steve Mattingly timed in at 14.494 seconds for the night's fast qualifier. Mattingly and Landen Miller won their respective heat races. Mattingly and Tommy Duncan exchanged the lead before Duncan moved ahead. Mattingly’s night came to an end on the fifth lap with mechanical issues. Miller made several bids for the lead, but the old pro Duncan kept Miller at bay and took his third win of the year. Miller and Duncan were involved in a skirmish in their heat race which saw Duncan turned into the backstretch wall. Duncan commented in victory lane. “I don’t know how they race, but I don’t beat on people to pass them. So, if that is how he wants to race, we can do that from now on. You can have this trophy if it means that much to him. I don’t race that way.” Miller finished in second, with Tyler Roth in third, followed by Eric Saltzman and Doug Carls. The rest of the top ten were Victor Strong, Makinzi Semmens, Aaron Reid, Mattingly, and Josh Hetherington.

deavers hmBrian Deavers completed his trifecta in setting fast time at 14.873 seconds, winning his heat race, and taking his second Hobby-Modified feature win of the year. Kirby McCormick led the first six laps of the 12-lap race before Deavers moved to the front. Luke Gebhardt made a late race charge but fell short in his bid for the win. “Kirby got by me on the bottom,” Deavers said. “I didn’t have enough to get off the corner. So, I said, it ain’t working out here. I tried the cushion and it was “buh-bye Kirby”. Following Deavers and Gebhardt to the line were McCormick, Jason Vandermeir, Darren Kerrins, Mike Petersen, Ryan Kohler, Scott McDonald, Trevor Ringle, and Payton Semmens.


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