June 19, 2020
(By Tyson Graves)
Tonight the long awaited return of #FridayNightLights will take place at the 1/4 mile oval of Farmer City Raceway. Nearly two and a half months after the scheduled season opener cars will take to the track in competition. The track has hosted a few test sessions with limited cars, but this will be the first racing action of 2020. Track promoter Lance Speiker and his crew have things ready to go. They have been itching to see cars race around the track for months now. "I really have a great group of guys that help make things go here at the track, I couldn't do it without them," said Lance Speiker.
Over the past few seasons Lance has worked hard to make the Farmer City Raceway one of the elite places to race in the Midwest. The 2018 DIRTcar Promoter of the Year pours his heart and soul into the facility. This year a new upgrade to the women's restrooms was the next step in the process to make improvements for the race fan's experience. Many more projects are on the list when the funds and support become available to help make them a reality.
The racing action the past couple seasons has been nothing short of phenomenal. Bringing in some of the top national racing series in the nation has served up some down to the wire last lap excitement for the fans. Two years ago a pair of Late Model races came down to a last lap shootouts between two of the best drivers in the history of dirt racing. Shannon Babb picked up a pair of wins on last lap passes over legend and 6-time World 100 winner Billy Moyer. Both races made the elite list of Best Finishes at the end of 2018 on DirtonDirt.com's best of 2018.
The 2019 season was no different. In early 2019 the World of Outlaw Late Model Series came to town for the tracks opener. The top driver in the county Brandon Sheppard set a new track record and won the $15,000 payday. That night also seen a dandy of a Modified feature with 6-time UMP Dirtcar Champ Mike Harrison coming from the back of the field to win an emotional victory honoring his late nephew that died earlier in the week. The great racing continued in May as over 50 of the top Late Model drivers in the nation showed up for the third annual Farmer City 74. The fans who watched LIVE and those who tuned in on DirtonDirt.com got to witness one of the races of the year. Indiana driver Kent Robinson picked up the win with local standout Allen Weisser nearly pulling the upset in the $10,000 to win show.
The night of the year in 2019 had to be the finish of the Summer Nationals race in July. On a last corner pass, fan favorite Gordy Gundaker won a thriller to pick up another $10,000 payday. This race came in as the second best race in the DirtonDirt.com Best of 2019. DirtonDirt CEO Michael Rigsby said "When Farmer City is this good, it is the best track in the country." Other great racing takes place week in and week out at Farmer City. The annual big American Modified Series shows have drawn the best in the Midwest as well with some stellar finishes. Another big annual event is the What Up Dog 40 special for the Street Stock division. in 2018 they ran 40 laps caution free in a spectacular race.
Even with the shortened season from the COVID-19 pandemic there are still some great shows on the agenda. The DIRTcar Summer Nationals will return in July and the Mars Late Model Series will return in September. The JR Kimler Memorial, The What Up Dog 40, and a make up of the inaugural Debbie Harper Memorial for Pro Late Models will hopefully still be able to take place.
Tonight be ready for a great track prepped and ready for some action. There will be no lack in effort to put on one of the best Friday night shows in the nation. One thing is for sure, when the gates open tonight at Farmer City the pits will be full of excitement, the action on the track will be great for the fans, and Lance Speiker and his staff will be smiling as they see the fruit of their efforts come to fruition.
Special Events for 2020 at Farmer City Raceway
June 19 - Opening Night
July 3 - Fan Appreciation Night $5 Admission
July 17 - Summer Nationals $10,000 to win Late Models
July 24 - 10th Annual JR Kimler Memorial $3,000 to win Late Models
Aug 7 - 6th Annual What Up Dog Memorial $1,000 to win Street Stocks
Sept 4 - $5000 to win Mars Late Models