Rocky Ragusa's Speed Week column
A long-anticipated event saw some 2,500 race fans gather at the Fairbury American Legion Speedway on Tuesday night for the inaugural race by the World of Outlaw Craftsman Sprint Car Series. With $10,000 on the line for the race winner, 27 of the best drivers in the country looked to make history and take home the money.
Jacob Allen established a new track record in qualifying at 10.893 seconds. The 40-lap, FVP Platinum Battery Showdown saw second-generation driver Sheldon Haudenschild of Wooster, Ohio, get by Hunter Schverenberg on the fourth lap and never look back in taking the win.
Allen trailed in second, followed by NASCAR Monster Energy driver Kyle Larson, Cory Eliason and Brent Marks.Making up the second five were Daryn Pittman, Parker Price-Miller, Donny Schatz, Brad Sweet and David Gravel.
“My goal was to get to the top as quick as I could,” Haudenschild said. “On that restart after the caution, I got to the top at the get go. The car was good for the feature. I felt we managed our tires. So, all in all, we had a good night.”
The companion race saw the POWRi Lucas Oil WAR Wildcar Sprint League take the track. There were 16 Wingless Sprint Cars vying for a $2,000 prize in their 25-lap race.
Tipp City, Ohio, driver Landon Simon got by Mitch Wissmiller with seven laps remaining and win his first race of the 2018 year. Thomas Meseraull got by Wissmiller for second, with Mario Clouser, Slater Helt, Terry Babb, Korey Weyant, Steve Thomas, Nic Harris, and Mark Brucker completing the top 10.
“I knew Mitch was going to be good on the bottom with his tire selection,” said Simon. “I felt his tires would eventually wear out. The track was very tricky tonight, but I went to the top and got by him.”
Farmer City Raceway
Six classes, plus the B-modified and Kid Modz Racing Series returns. Hot laps start at 6:30 p.m., followed by time trials and racing. Military veterans are admitted for $5 and if you bring your wrist band from the previous week, you receive $2 off the gate admission.
Modified point leader Mike Chasteen Jr. took his first win of the year, plus Mike Spatola (late model) took the checkered flag. Logan Moody halted A.J. May’s win streak in the pro late model class, and Pontiac’s Tanner Sullivan made it two straight wins in the street stock class.
Grundy County Speedway
The annual “Frank Welch Memorial” for the late model class headlines the show at the Morris fairgrounds. Late model pilots will test the 1/3 mile paved oval for 94 laps. Street stocks and pure stocks will join the program. Racing starts at 8.
Kankakee County Speedway
Five divisions will test the fairground dirt oval, plus the pro modified drivers will have a $500-to-win special. Racing starts at 7:30 p.m. Jeremy McLaughlin (pro late model), Mike McKinney (modified) and Matt Maier took the $800 money in the “Dick Potts Throw down” for the street stock drivers.
Fairbury American Legion Speedway
The 22nd annual “Pappy and Bob Allen Memorial” race will be the featured race this week. Sponsored by Allen Automotive, late models will have a $2,000-to-win race, plus all classes will be in action.
A special treat will be the return of the Kid Modz Racing Series. Hot laps start at 6 p.m., followed by qualifying and racing.
Fans are reminded to please use the 1st St. or 2nd St. entrance, as 3rd St. is to be used by race teams.
The Illinois Midget Speedway will stop at the 1/5-mile dirt oval, with the POWRi National Midget League, micros and Division Two Midgets. The pro late model class will also take part in the night’s festivities. Hot laps at 6 and racing will begin at 7.
Topless racing will be featured in the late model, modified, steel block lates and crate modified class. The street stocks and hornet class will have a regular show. Hot laps at 5:30 and the green flag waves at 6.
Charley Hess (modified) and Billy Drake (late model) were among last week’s winners.
Bohmer’s Rt. 66 Raceway
Kart racing is featured with as many as five different classes. Gates will open at 10 a.m. and racing starts at noon. Spectator admission is free and there are full concessions. The track is located on old Rt. 66 between Pontiac and Chenoa.
As part of Illinois Midget Speed Week, the track will play host to some of the best open-wheel drivers in the country. The POWRi National Midget League, plus micros and Division Two Midgets will battle at the Logan County Fairgrounds. Pro late models and modified will also be featured. Hot laps start at 5 p.m. and racing at 6.
Last Friday night, Ray Bollinger (modified), Ryan Little (pro late model) and Jeremy Nichols (Mid-West Street Stocks) were among the race winners.