Speed Week

    Approximately 40 cars took advantage of the track’s open practice session recently to tune up for this Saturday’s opening night at Fairbury American Legion Speedway. Late models, modified, street stocks, sportsman and hobby-modified classes will be featured.
    Gates will open at 3 p.m., qualifying is at 6:30, and racing will follow. Adult admission is $10.00 and children under 12 are free.
    In addition to the annual Prairie Dirt Classic weekend, the schedule will be highlighted with three appearances by 410 winged and non-winged sprint cars.
    During the off season, new fencing was placed around the track for the safety of the race teams and fans.
    “Sprint cars need that safety fence around the track,” commented FALS Race Director Matt Curl. “The fencing is similar to NASCAR as a 3,000-pound car can’t get through the cable. We also added one inch mesh on the fence so it will cut down on people getting hit by mud and rocks.
    “The weather in October has been nice in the past, so on Oct. 6-7 we will have a ‘FALS Classic’ for sprint cars and our modified class. There isn’t much going on, so we anticipate a large turnout.”
Friday Racing
Farmer City Raceway
    Located at the fairgrounds, the raceway began the season with the “Illini 100” March 30 and April 1. After being delayed one day due to rain, an overflow crowd saw New Berlin’s Brandon Sheppard check out on the field to take the $15,000-to-win, World of Outlaw event.
    Friday’s race was moved back to Sunday, Chatham’s Brian Shirley charged from fourth to first with three laps to go and garner the $6,000 prize. Kenny Wallace overtook Jeffrey Ledford for the modified win on Saturday and the young Ledford came back for Sunday’s feature win.
    April 7 weekly race winners included Jason Feger (late model), Jeffrey Ledford (modified), and A.J. May (pro late model) while last Friday’s program was rained out. This week will feature a weekly race program and include hornets. Gates open at 4p.m., hot laps at 6:30, and racing at 7:30. Military veterans are admitted at $5 and if you bring back your armband from the previous week, the track will take $2 off of your gate admission.
    The biggest paying event in the history of the track will be held on May 11-12, with the “Farmer City 74.” More information will be added in the coming weeks.
Grundy County Speedway
    Practice will take place this Saturday with the first race on the following Friday night for one of two paved tracks in the state.
Kankakee County Speedway
    Testing and tuneups are scheduled for April 23, 30 and May 7. The first race will be on May 12.
Lincoln Speedway
    Located at the Logan County Fairgrounds, the quarter-mile dirt oval will kick off its season this Friday with the Midwest Street Stock Special. Pro late models, modified, POWRi Division 2 Midgets, and hornets will also be on the agenda. Gates open at 4 p.m., hot laps at 6:15, and racing at 7.
Saturday Racing
LaSalle Speedway
    Track promoter Tony Izzo Jr. will present a special event program for 2017. Josh Richards claimed the late model win on the opening night of the annual “Thaw Brawl” on March 26. Defending UMP Modified national champion Mike Harrison was the modified winner, while “Lightning” Joe Hillman took the street stock win.
    Racing was cancelled for the following night due to rain. The stars of the Lucas Oil Late Model series will headline the next race in the $10,000-to-win, 12th Annual Spring Shoot Out on May 18th.
Macon Speedway
    A large crowd was on hand for the opener at the fifth-mile dirt oval. Matt Taylor (pro late model), Brian Lynn (modified) and Danny Smith (sportsman) were among the race winners. Scott Williams (second) and Brandon Pralle (fifth), both regulars at Fairbury, competed in the sportsman race. Racing will be held this Saturday with a full race program. Hot laps start at 6 p.m. and racing at 7.
Peoria Speedway
    Brian Shirley pocketed $5,000 on opening night (April 8) for the Chuck Hamilton Memorial race and Ray Bollinger took the modified win. Last Saturday night, Josh Harris made the long haul from Utica, Ky., a successful one by winning the $2,064 Gary Cook Jr. Memorial race for modified competitors. Richie Bell was the late model winner.
    A regular weekly show is planned for this week. Hot laps start at 4:45 p.m., qualifying at 5:30, and racing at 6.
Pit News
    Fairbury’s McKay Wenger took his second straight late model win at Highland Speedway. … Joe Harlan of Kappa made an announcement that 2016 was his final year of racing. … Fairbury’s Brian Dunn has returned to the racing game and will race his #5 late model on Friday at Farmer City, while Daren Friedman will take the wheel on Saturday at Fairbury. … New Lenox modified ace Steven Brooks has plans to compete for the AMS Modified title for 2017. … Mike Daugherty, promoter at the Daugherty Speedway in Boswell, Ind., has taken over the promotion duties at newly named Kickapoo Speedway in Danville. … Circle track racing returns to Joliet as Sherri Heckenast and her crew have revamped the dirt oval located next to the Chicagoland Speedway. The first race is on April 27 with sprint cars, modified, midgets and Division 2 midgets.