Hot Laps at Fairbury
Fairbury American Legion Speedway
WoO & WAR
27 WoO cars
17 WAR cars
Jacob Allen (23rd car out to time) broke the track record in qualifying, and in so doing, became the only driver to register a lap under the 11-second bracket on the ¼-mile oval at 10.893 seconds. The old mark was set by Carson Macedo in 2017 at 11.219. Kyle Larson (15th car out) was second quick, followed by Logan Schuchart (19th), Parker Price-Miller (16th), Brian Brown (18th), Tanner Thorson (21st), Daryn Pittman (3rd), Paul Nienhiser (26th), Carson Short (4th) and Jake Blackhurst (12th). Clyde Knipp tagged the wall in qualifying, slowing his progress. As is the case at many quarter-miles, results were unpredictable, leaving many of the WoO regulars looking up in the standings at some of the local drivers who had some laps here. Things started out tacky.
Heat one (started): 1. Allen 1a (1) 2. Price-Miller 4 (2) 3. Pittman 9 (3) 4. Gio Scelzi 71 (6) 5. Donny Schatz 15 (5) 6. Blackhurst 25 (4) / 7. David Gravel 5 (7) 8. Ian Madsen 18 (8) 9. Greg Wilson w20 (9)
The heats saw much more action than they typically do with the WoO. 10-lap heats are lined up by qualifying time, taking the top two to the Dash, and the top two to the feature. Allen led Price-Miller and Pittman the distance. Behind them, Scelzi moved up to fourth by lap two, with Schatz fading early, but coming back to fifth by lap three. Gravel was mired in the back before getting by Madsen for seventh with three to go. A last ditch slide attempt at Blackhurst and the last transfer fell short at the checkers.
Heat two (started): 1. Larson 57 (1) 2. Hunter Schuerenberg 20 (4) 3. Cory Eliason 83 (6) 4. Nienhiser 9x (3) 5. Brent Marks 19 (5) 6. Shane Stewart 2 (7) / 7. Kraig Kinser 11K (8) 8. Clinton Boyles 98 (9) 9. Brown 21 (2)
Larson led Brown and Schuerenberg early. Eliason and Nienhiser battled hard for fifth behind Marks. Brown was cruising in second before tagging the turn three wall and breaking the front end at the halfway point. Larson chose the inside line over Schuerenberg, Marks, Nienhiser, Eliason and Kinser on the restart. Eliason jumped up two spots to nail down third on the restart. Stewart struggled mightily before getting by Kinser with two to go for the final transfer. Boyles would blow an engine that scratched him for the night in both WoO and WAR.
Heat three (started): 1. Schuchart 1s (1) 2. Sheldon Haudenschild 17 (7) 3. Brad Sweet 49 (4) 4. Jason Johnson 41 (6) 5. Jason Sides 7s (8) 6. Matt Vandervere 10V (5) / 7. Clyde Knipp 13 (9) 8. Thorson 3c (2) 9. Short 21x (3)
Vandervere spun before a lap could be completed. Schuchart led early over Thorson and Sweet. Sweet worked by Thorson to take over second on lap two. Thorson came back with a slider, but bicycled and faded, losing several spots. Haudenschild surged through the pack to third before Short stopped and exited on lap three. Schuchart chose the inside line over Sweet, Haudenschild, Johnson, Sides and Thorson. Haudenschild ripped by Sweet for second, before Thorson would come to a stop an exit on lap four. Sides went by Johnson on that restart. Vandervere would get above the turn four cushion on lap seven and recover. Knipp could not avoid him and climbed his left rear, before turning over. He was uninjured. Vandervere was out with a flat left rear, but retained the sixth and final transfer to the feature without finishing. Haudenschild went from the fourth row of the heat to draw the pole for the Dash.
Dash (started): 1. Haudenschild (1) 2. Schuerenberg (4) 3. Schuchart (2) 4. Allen (6) 5. Price-Miller (3) 6. Larson (5)
The track was reworked before the Dash. Haudenschild led the 8-lap distance over Schuerenberg and Schuchart. Allen grabbed fourth on the fifth lap and made a late play on his teammate for third, but settled for fourth.
B main (started): 1. Thorson (2) 2. Wilson (7) 3. Short (3) 4. Gravel (4) 5. Kinser (6) 6. Madsen (5) / 7. Brown (1) 8. Knipp (8) DNS – Boyles
The 12-lapper saw Brown lead the first lap over Short and Thorson. The bottom was the place to be, and Wilson used it to go from seventh to fourth by lap two. Short took the lead on lap two as well. Thorson moved by Brown for second on lap three, and Wilson followed him into third the next time around. Gravel, Madsen and Brown were three wide for fifth and sixth with five to go and sorted out in that order (Kinser would later grab fifth from Madsen). Thorson would move by Short with three to go for the win. Wilson would grab second to end his good run with two to go.
A main (started): 1. Haudenschild (1) 2. Allen (4) 3. Larson (6) 4. Eliason (8) 5. Marks (14) 6. Pittman (7) 7. Price-Miller (5) 8. Schatz (13) 9. Sweet (9) 10. Gravel (22) 11. Johnson (12) 12. Scelzi (10) 13. Schuerenberg (2) 14. Nienhiser (11) 15. Kinser (23) 16. Vandervere (18) 17. Stewart (17) 18. Sides (15) 19. Schuchart (3) 20. Short (21) 21. Wilson (20) 22. Blackhurst (16) 23. Madsen (24) 24. Thorson (19)
The track was again reworked immediately before the feature. It would only hold on so long. The 40-lapper saw Schuerenberg takes command over Haudenschild and Schuchart early. The complexion of the race changed when the caution flew for Stewart, who spun three laps in. Schuerenberg chose the outside in the double-file restart and stumbled. Larson restarted eleventh after falling back. Haudenschild pounced into the lead ahead of Allen and Schuchart. Schuerenberg was shuffled back before Thorson flipped in turn three with five laps down. He was ok. Schuerenberg went pitside to replace a flat right rear. Wilson also went to the work area. Haudenschild chose the inside line ahead of Allen, Schuchart, Pittman and the 14th starting Marks. Marks would grab fourth when the green flew. A good battle with Eliason, would see the latter get by into fourth on lap eight. Haudenschild was back in traffic on lap ten. By lap 19, Larson had fought his way back to the top five. The track was blowing off greatly by the halfway point. On lap 23, contact between Larson and Marks caused both to do 360 spins in turn two and keep going. Wilson was trying to avoid and got upside down in a crash that also involved Scelzi and Nienhiser. When the green flew again, rubber was prevalent. Haudenschild approached lapped traffic again with ten to go. Schuchart was letting it rip, and got by Allen for second with eight to go. His right rear would blow five laps later. Eliason inherited third, but Larson was able to work by him at the white flag. Haudenschild had some hairy moments throughout, but held on for the win. Gravel was the hard-charger.