Wenger By A Straight Away At Fairbury


McKay Wenger in victory lane Saturday night at Fairbury Speedway. (Rocky Ragusa Photo)

July 4, 2020 at Fairbury Speedway


(By Rocky Ragusa)


Fairbury, Ill. (7/4/20) In addition to an Independence Day firework display during intermission at the Fairbury Speedway, race fans were treated to sliders of a different sort. Everyone stood on their feet, witnessing the talent of the drivers in feature action. McKay Wenger (Late Model), Mike Harrison (Modified), Nick Seplak (Street Stock), Tommy Duncan (Sportsman), and Thad Gee (Hobby-Modified) were first to the line during the FALS Cup weekly racing program.


25 Late Model drivers made qualifying attempts for their 30 lap, $2500 to win race. Mike Spatola turned a lap of 12. 879 for fast time. Spatola, McKay Wenger, and Eric Smith won heat races, while Jay Morris was the B-main winner.


Using his outside front row starting position, Wenger made short order of his competition and jumped out to an early lead. Accelerating around the ¼ dirt oval, Wenger caught up with the tail end of the field by lap seven. After two yellow flag situations, Wenger pulled away from the field, as Allen Weisser, Ryan Unzicker, and Spatola trailed. Spatola soon found himself in second and closed the margin on Wenger. The race's last caution fell with ten laps to go, giving Spatola his opportunity to capitalize for the lead. On the green flag, Wenger was shot out of cannon in opening up a straight away lead. Behind him, Spatola, Weisser, and Unzicker battled for the second position, exchanging slide jobs to the delight of the crowd. At the checker flag, Wenger returned to victory lane after going winless last season.


“ Oh man, what a 4th of July,” Wenger said. “ We got home from West Burlington,Iowa (34 Raceway) at 3:00 a.m. this morning. We worked on the car all day to get ready for tonight. Man, this feels good.”


The remainder of the top ten were Spatola, Unzicker, Jeffrey Ledford, Weisser, Smith, Mike Provenzano (hard charger), Derek Chandler, Scott Schmitt, and Mike Chasteen Jr.


The Modified race saw 40 drivers vie for a starting spot in their 20 lap, $1500 to win race. Mike McKinney was the quickest in time trials with a lap of 14.025. Four heat races saw McKinney, Mike Harrison, Allen Weisser, and Jacob Rexing earning wins. Justin Gregory and Rich Dawson won the B-mains.


Harrison took the lead on the start with McKinney stuck to his bumper. The two wheelmen rode the topside of the track, and frequently exchanged slide jobs on each other during the course of the race. Harrison was able to open up a small lead during the final five laps and took a hard fought win.


“ McKinney has picked up his game the last few years,” spoke Harrison. “ Anytime you can come to his home track and beat him, you have done something. Fairbury has been good to me in the past, but the local drivers here are tough.”


McKinney settled for second, with Bradley Jameson, Allen Weisser, and Michael Ledford following. The rest of the top ten were Steve Meyer Jr., Jay Ledford (hard charger), Willy Myers, Nick Clubb, and Jacob Rexing.


Matt Fabrizius clocked a time of 15.507 with 23 Street Stocks in attendance. Andrew Funk, Nick Seplak, and Tanner Sullivan were the class heat race winners.


Sticking to the bottom groove of the track,Seplak was able to turn back savvy veterans Joe Brown and Rick Thomas for his first ever Fairbury feature win.


“ Man, what a race,” an excited Seplak spoke. “ Honestly, I didn’t think we could win it tonight. Dad and I have been going back and forth every week trying different things and it finally worked out.”


Trailing the threesome were Cody Clubb, Fabrizius, Michael Schomas, Justin Vandruen (hard charger), Eric Boudreau, Ryan Anderson, and Sullivan.


Veteran Macon Speedway driver Wes Odell was the Sportsman fast qualifier at a 14.836 over 15 other drivers. Lyndon Whitfill and Tommy Duncan won their heat races.


After a caution with seven laps to go, Duncan pulled away from early contenders Odell and Anthony Craven for the win.


“ The track was good for our race,” explained Duncan. “ The competition is getting real close. I am going to have to get to work.”


Craven turned in another good finish with second, followed by Odell, Tyler Roth, Steve Mattingly, Blake Reid, Alex Wilson (hard charger), Phil Moreland, Makinzi Semmens, and Eric Saltzman.


The night’s racing program ended with a 12 lap Hobby-Modified race. Thad Gee and Macy Vaughan, the race’s heat race winners, started on the front row. Vaughan led for five laps before Gee was able to move to the front following a lap five caution. From there Gee held a 10 car length lead over Vaughan and captured the win.


“ That was a fun race,” spoke Gee. “ I really enjoy racing with Macy. She was worrying me, but I was able to get a good restart after that caution.


Dustin Mounce, running the top, was able to sneak by Vaughan for second, with Caden McWhorter, and Troy Ricketts in the top five.


Next Saturday night, the Summer Nationals will stop at the speedway with a $10,000 to win race, presented by Rhino Ag, for the Late Model teams. Summit Modified drivers will have a $2000 to win contest, and the CR Towing Sportsman class will see $500 going to the race winner.



UMP Late Models


A Feature

1 2 Mckay Wenger Fairbury, IL 42

2 1 Mike Spatola Manhattan, IL 89

3 5 Ryan Unzicker El Paso, IL 24

4 9 Jeffrey Ledford Poniac, IL 18

5 4 Allen Weisser Peoria, IL 25W

6 3 Eric Smith Bloomington, IL 9

7 17 Mike Provenzano Grand Ridge, IN M27

8 7 Derek Chandler Pontiac, IL 35

9 8 Scott Schmitt Tonica, IL 10

10 13 Mike Chasteen Jr Peoria, IL 2

11 16 Jay Morris Watseka, IL 77M

12 6 Kevin Weaver Gibson City, IL B12

13 15 Ryan Weistart Tonica, IL 73

14 10 Billy Hough Thomasboro, IL 33

15 20 Roger Markham Virgil, IL 11

16 (DNF) 12 Mike Mataragas Dekalb, IL 1M

17 (DNF) 19 Ron Donaldson DeWitt, IL 28

18 (DNF) 14 Jeff Curl Fairbury, IL 12

19 (DNF) 11 Lyle Zanker Rockford, IL 9Z

20 (DNF) 18 Greg Cantrell Dekalb, IL 01


B Feature 1

1 1 Jay Morris Watseka, IL 77M

2 4 Mike Provenzano Grand Ridge, IN M27

3 3 Greg Cantrell Dekalb, IL 01

4 2 Ron Donaldson DeWitt, IL 28

5 8 Roger Markham Virgil, IL 11

6 5 Dale Markham Maple Park, IL 3

7 6 Brandon Pralle Ashkum, IL 56

8 (DNF) 7 Titus Sneed Justice, IL 76

DNS - Donny Walden Bloomington, IL 1W

DNS - Dan Deyoung 74


Heat 1

1 3 Mike Spatola Manhattan, IL 89

2 4 Allen Weisser Peoria, IL 25W

3 2 Derek Chandler Pontiac, IL 35

4 6 Billy Hough Thomasboro, IL 33

5 5 Mike Chasteen Jr Peoria, IL 2

6 1 Jay Morris Watseka, IL 77M

7 8 Mike Provenzano Grand Ridge, IN M27

8 7 Titus Sneed Justice, IL 76

9 (DNF) 9 Dan Deyoung 74


Heat 2

1 2 Mckay Wenger Fairbury, IL 42

2 3 Ryan Unzicker El Paso, IL 24

3 1 Scott Schmitt Tonica, IL 10

4 4 Lyle Zanker Rockford, IL 9Z

5 5 Jeff Curl Fairbury, IL 12

6 7 Ron Donaldson DeWitt, IL 28

7 6 Dale Markham Maple Park, IL 3

8 8 Roger Markham Virgil, IL 11


Heat 3

1 1 Eric Smith Bloomington, IL 9

2 4 Kevin Weaver Gibson City, IL B12

3 3 Jeffrey Ledford Poniac, IL 18

4 2 Mike Mataragas Dekalb, IL 1M

5 7 Ryan Weistart Tonica, IL 73

6 6 Greg Cantrell Dekalb, IL 01

7 8 Brandon Pralle Ashkum, IL 56

8 (DNF) 5 Donny Walden Bloomington, IL 1W


UMP Modifieds


Mike Harrison in victory lane Saturday night at FALS. (Rocky Ragusa Photo)

A Feature

1 2 Mike Harrison Highland, IL 24H

2 1 Mike McKinney Plainfield, IL 96M

3 9 Bradley Jameson Logansport, IN 10

4 3 Allen Weisser Peoria, IL 25W

5 5 Michael Ledford Pontiac, IL 37

6 6 Steve Meyer Jr Stanton, IL 1A

7 14 Jay Ledford Pontiac, IL 7L

8 7 Willy Myers Collinsville, IL 21M

9 10 Nick Clubb Coal City, IL 22C

10 4 Jacob Rexing Brighton, IL 59R

11 8 Jason Hastings Kankakee, IL 35

12 11 Dan Rork Pontiac, IL 7R

13 13 Bill Roberts Jr Burlington, IA 5R

14 17 Justin Gregory Westpoint, IN 42

15 18 Rich Dawson Schererville, IN 80

16 15 Travis Kohler Morris, IL 0

17 19 Matthew Mitchell Lafayette, IN 2M

18 12 Dawson Cook Morton, IL 64

19 20 Owen Wells Monticello, IN 15W

20 16 Joey Iliff Rensselaer, IN J7


B Feature 1

1 5 Justin Gregory Westpoint, IN 42

2 1 Matthew Mitchell Lafayette, IN 2M

3 9 Garrett Jameson Royal Center, IN 0J

4 3 Dave Lilja Burr Ridge, IL 1

5 6 Kenny Carmichael Sr Terre Haute, IN 92

6 2 Eric Vaughan Fairbury, IL 36

7 4 Todd Bates Canton, IL 49

8 11 Brian Kidder Metamora, IL 20

9 12 Neil Martin Grand Park, IL 88

10 (DNF) 10 Mason Duncan Metamora, IL 32

DNS - Zane Oedewaldt Hanna City, IL 11

DNS - Dave Porth Gardner, IL 25P


B Feature 2

1 1 Rich Dawson Schererville, IN 80

2 3 Owen Wells Monticello, IN 15W

3 2 Jim Farris Odell, IL 69SR

4 5 Kyle Laughlin Clinton, IN 192

5 6 Matt Ramer Mendota, IL 621

6 12 Patrick Parsons Sheldon, IL 56P

7 (DNF) 7 Billy Puckett Metamora, IL 18

8 (DNF) 4 Steve Jones East Peoria, IL 10J

9 (DNF) 11 Ryan Bildilli Indianola, IL B27

10 (DNF) 10 Ric Trulock Braidwood, IL 42T

DNS - Mark Grosvenor Watseka, IL 57

DNS - Alex Reid Terre Haute, IN 40A


Heat 1

1 3 Mike McKinney Plainfield, IL 96M

2 2 Michael Ledford Pontiac, IL 37

3 1 Bradley Jameson Logansport, IN 10

4 6 Bill Roberts Jr Burlington, IA 5R

5 5 Matthew Mitchell Lafayette, IN 2M

6 9 Dave Lilja Burr Ridge, IL 1

7 8 Justin Gregory Westpoint, IN 42

8 7 Zane Oedewaldt Hanna City, IL 11

9 (DNF) 4 Garrett Jameson Royal Center, IN 0J

10 (DNF) 10 Brian Kidder Metamora, IL 20


Heat 2

1 3 Mike Harrison Highland, IL 24H

2 4 Steve Meyer Jr Stanton, IL 1A

3 1 Nick Clubb Coal City, IL 22C

4 2 Jay Ledford Pontiac, IL 7L

5 6 Rich Dawson Schererville, IN 80

6 8 Owen Wells Monticello, IN 15W

7 7 Kyle Laughlin Clinton, IN 192

8 10 Billy Puckett Metamora, IL 18

9 5 Mark Grosvenor Watseka, IL 57

10 (DNF) 9 Ryan Bildilli Indianola, IL B27


Heat 3

1 2 Allen Weisser Peoria, IL 25W

2 1 Willy Myers Collinsville, IL 21M

3 3 Dan Rork Pontiac, IL 7R

4 5 Travis Kohler Morris, IL 0

5 4 Eric Vaughan Fairbury, IL 36

6 7 Todd Bates Canton, IL 49

7 8 Kenny Carmichael Sr Terre Haute, IN 92

8 6 Dave Porth Gardner, IL 25P

9 10 Mason Duncan Metamora, IL 32

10 9 Neil Martin Grand Park, IL 88


Heat 4

1 2 Jacob Rexing Brighton, IL 59R

2 3 Jason Hastings Kankakee, IL 35

3 1 Dawson Cook Morton, IL 64

4 5 Joey Iliff Rensselaer, IN J7

5 4 Jim Farris Odell, IL 69SR

6 7 Steve Jones East Peoria, IL 10J

7 8 Matt Ramer Mendota, IL 621

8 (DNF) 6 Alex Reid Terre Haute, IN 40A

DNS - Ric Trulock Braidwood, IL 42T

DNS - Patrick Parsons Sheldon, IL 56


UMP Sportsmans


Tommy Duncan after his Sportmans win. (Rocky Ragusa Photo)

A Feature

1 2 Tommy Duncan Metamora, IL 32

2 3 Anthony Craven Dwight, IL 18

3 5 Wes Odell Springfield, IL 87

4 6 Tyler Roth Springfield, IL 20R

5 11 Steven Mattingly Chenoa, IL 7

6 7 Blake Reid Kempton, IL 13

7 16 Alex Wilson Fairbury, IL Z61

8 12 Phil Moreland Assumption, IL 07

9 10 Makinzi Semmens Pontiac, IL 66

10 (DNF) 14 Eric Saltzman 421

11 (DNF) 1 Lyndon Whitfill Fairbury, IL 21

12 (DNF) 13 Matt Ramer Mendota, IL 621

13 (DNF) 8 Brendan Ramer Mendota, IL 21B

14 (DNF) 4 Austin Friedman Forrest, IL 89

15 (DNF) 9 Austin Lipe West Brooklyn, IL 66L

DNS - Tyler Sebby Mendota, IL 64


Heat 1

1 1 Lyndon Whitfill Fairbury, IL 21

2 3 Anthony Craven Dwight, IL 18

3 4 Wes Odell Springfield, IL 87

4 5 Blake Reid Kempton, IL 13

5 (DNF) 8 Austin Lipe West Brooklyn, IL 66L

6 (DNF) 2 Steven Mattingly Chenoa, IL 7

7 (DNF) 6 Matt Ramer Mendota, IL 621

8 (DNF) 7 Tyler Sebby Mendota, IL 64


Heat 2

1 4 Tommy Duncan Metamora, IL 32

2 3 Austin Friedman Forrest, IL 89

3 2 Tyler Roth Springfield, IL 20R

4 6 Brendan Ramer Mendota, IL 21B

5 7 Makinzi Semmens Pontiac, IL 66

6 (DNF) 5 Phil Moreland Assumption, IL 07

7 (DNF) 8 Eric Saltzman 421

8 (DNF) 1 Alex Wilson Fairbury, IL Z61


B Modifieds


Thad Gee poses in victory lane. (Rocky Ragusa Photo)

A Feature

1 1 Thad Gee Bloomington, IL G6

2 10 Dustin Mounce Pontiac, IL 21B

3 2 Macy Vaughan Fairbury, IL 36

4 13 Caden McWhorter Fairbury, IL 14

5 4 Troy Ricketts Fairbury, IL 21R

6 11 Raymond Lipe West Brooklyn, IL 64

7 7 Payton Semmens Pontiac, IL 66

8 6 Darren Kerrins Fairbury, IL 22

9 5 Phil Earl Bloomington, IL 2.5

10 3 Graham Jackson Chicago, IL 51

11 8 Kelly Christman Mendota, IL 22K


Heat 1

1 1 Thad Gee Bloomington, IL G6

2 5 Graham Jackson Chicago, IL 51

3 7 Phil Earl Bloomington, IL 2.5

4 3 Payton Semmens Pontiac, IL 66

5 (DNF) 4 Jake Green Pontiac., IL 21

6 (DNF) 6 Raymond Lipe West Brooklyn, IL 64

7 (DNF) 2 Caden McWhorter Fairbury, IL 14


Heat 2

1 6 Macy Vaughan Fairbury, IL 36

2 4 Troy Ricketts Fairbury, IL 21R

3 2 Darren Kerrins Fairbury, IL 22

4 (DNF) 3 Kelly Christman Mendota, IL 22K

5 (DNF) 1 Dustin Mounce Pontiac, IL 21B

DNS - Billly Shoemaker Fairbury, IL 171


Street Stocks


Nick Seplak won the Street Stock feature. (Rocky Ragusa Photo)

A Feature

1 2 Nick Seplak Coal City, IL 11S

2 12 Joe Brown Wilmington, IL B9

3 11 Rick Thomas 23T

4 5 Cody Clubb Coal City, IL 23

5 4 Matt Fabrizius Genoa, IL 615

6 8 Michael Schomas Ottawa, IL F5

7 19 Justin VanDrunen Crown Point, IN 71

8 14 Eric Boudreau Wilmington, IL 8

9 6 Ryan Anderson Crown Point, IN 1A

10 3 Tanner Sullivan Pontiac, IL 20

11 17 Josh Hetherington Fairbury, IL 15H

12 15 Kraig Hughes Ottawa, IL 0

13 21 Al Gray Ottawa, IL 77

14 18 Kory Kohler Clifton, IL 21K

15 13 Kevin Kerlin Hobart, IN 34

16 7 AJ Meiferdt Coal City, IL 4

17 20 Michael Brancecum Belivedere, IL 96

18 16 Joel Hernandez St Charles, IL 57

19 10 Peter Odell Streator, IL 37

20 22 Benjamin Odell Marseilles, IL 36

21 1 Andrew Funk Dwight, IL 23A

22 9 Don Hilleary Pepineoe, IL 10H

DNS - Randy Schoener Flanagan, IL 73S


Heat 1

1 2 Andrew Funk Dwight, IL 23A

2 4 Matt Fabrizius Genoa, IL 615

3 1 AJ Meiferdt Coal City, IL 4

4 5 Peter Odell Streator, IL 37

5 6 Kevin Kerlin Hobart, IN 34

6 7 Joel Hernandez St Charles, IL 57

7 3 Justin VanDrunen Crown Point, IN 71

8 8 Benjamin Odell Marseilles, IL 36


Heat 2

1 4 Nick Seplak Coal City, IL 11S

2 2 Cody Clubb Coal City, IL 23

3 1 Michael Schomas Ottawa, IL F5

4 3 Rick Thomas 23T

5 5 Eric Boudreau Wilmington, IL 8

6 6 Josh Hetherington Fairbury, IL 15H

7 7 Michael Brancecum Belivedere, IL 96

DNS - Randy Schoener Flanagan, IL 73S


Heat 3

1 3 Tanner Sullivan Pontiac, IL 20

2 4 Ryan Anderson Crown Point, IN 1A

3 5 Don Hilleary Pepineoe, IL 10H

4 2 Joe Brown Wilmington, IL B9

5 1 Kraig Hughes Ottawa, IL 0

6 7 Kory Kohler Clifton, IL 21K

7 6 Al Gray Ottawa, IL 77



(Results via My Race Pass)