Brian Shirley and
#21 Billy Moyer race for position at Airbury American Legion Speedway. Shirley claimed the inaugural "Prairie Dirt
Shootout" in Friday, while Moyer took the following evening's "Prairie Dirt Classic", the fifth of his
career. (Darrel Unzel photo)
Billy Moyer and #25 Jason Feger early in the Prairie Dirt
Classic". Second running Feger was able to close up ion early race traffic before suffering a flat tire that
took him out of the hunt. (Darrel Unzel)
UMP: Moyer Claims
Fifth "Prairie Dirt Classic", Shirley Wins "Shootout" Thriller
Korey Rich and Rocky
Prairie Dirt Classic
FAIRBURY,Ill. - Sept. 3-4. Fairbury’s American Legion Speedway concluded the season with the
21st annual "Prairie Dirt Classic" on Saturday. Billy Moyer lost and regained the lead from Dennis
Erb, Jr. to claim his fifth PDC" win. On Friday, the two-time UMP track of the year took a gamble with its first
ever "Prairie Dirt Shoot Out". Chatham, Illinois' Brian Shirley lost and regained the top spot twice before racing
to the $5,000 win.
Saturday could not come soon enough for the fans who witnessed Friday's Thriller, and in the 60-lap,
$10,000 to win UMP "Prairie Dirt Classic", polesitter Moyer took the lead and set a torrid pace with Jason Feger,
Kevin Weaver, Brian Shirley, and Dennis Erb, Jr. following. Moyer got into the slower cars by lap eight, allowing
Feger to close up until he had a right rear tire go flat, bringing him into the pit area for a tire change on lap
Billy Moyer at Fairbury. (John
After the caution, Erb got by Shirley and was soon challenging Weaver for second. The two ran
side by side for eight laps before Erb who was having success on the bottom, got by. Erb then moved up to challenge
Moyer and the two former PDC winners went
A wild scramble for position at
Fairbury between #27 Rodney Melvin, #88 Wendell Wallace, and #99 Frank Heckenast, Jr. (Drew England)
door handle to door handle before Erb moved to the front of the pack.
By the halfway mark, Erb had a five length lead over Moyer, Weaver, Shirley, and Rodney
Melvin. Shirley moved around Weaver for third on lap 35 and soon was racing Moyer, while Erb worked lapped cars and
was able to put some distance between himself and the rest.
Billy Moyer holds back a late charge from #28 Dennis Erb,
Jr. to claim his fifth career "Prairie Dirt Classic". (John Vass)
Jason Feger's crew hustles to change a flat tire that took him out
of the running for a win early in the "Prairie Dirt Classic". (Darrel Unzel)
However, after a lengthy lap 46 caution for Frank Heckenast, Jr.,who hit the front stretch wall, Moyer ,who could
not get his car to work on the bottom, went to the top and got the lead from Erb. Two late race cautions gave Erb a
chance to reclaim the lead, but Erb’s tire gave out and Moyer was able to pull away for the PDC trophy.
With a late surge, Shannon Babb gets under Ryan Unzicker for
fourth. (Darrel Unzel)
Fairbury Am. Leg. - "Prairie Dirt
1) Billy Moyer, 2) Dennis Erb
Jr., 3) Brian Shirley, 4) Shannon Babb, 5) Kevin Weaver, 6) Wendell Wallace, 7) Rodney Melvin, 8) Brady
Smith, 9) Mike Provenzano, 10) Eric Smith, 11) Ryan Unzicker, 12) Bret Sievert, 13) Ryan Dauber
(prov.), 14) Daren Friedman (prov.), 15) Jack Sullivan, 16) Jason Feger, 17) Scott James, 18) Greg
Johnson, 19) Frank Heckenast Jr., 20) Richie Hedrick, 21) Joe Harlan, 22) Scott Bull, 23) Junior
Fast Time (47 entries): Moyer (12.927 secs.); Heat winners: Moyer, Hedrick, Feger, Weaver, Erb;
Semi-feature winners: Provenzano, Babb, Eric Smith.
John Vass photo
Prairie Dirt Shootout
Sept. 3. On both nights, drivers had a well prepared track to race and fans were treated to
some of the best racing of the year. On Friday, Smith got the jump on polesitter Jason Feger at the start of the
40-lap feature, with Shirley grabbing second. On the 12th lap, Smith got loose in turn four, moving
Shirley into the lead over Feger and Smith.
Brian Shirley at Fairbury. (John Vass)
Just before the halfway mark, 10th starting Jack Sullivan moved past Smith to
the third spot, while Feger used the top groove to make a run at Shirley,falling short. Feger tried the top and
bottom of the track and on the 23rd lap and made the pass for the lead.
Close quarter racing at Fairbury with Mike Provenzano, #18 Shannon
Babb, and #83 Scott James. (Drew England)
With five laps to go, the race leaders began working lapped traffic, but the caution came out
on lap 37 for a mishap between Greg Johnson and Richie Hedrick. Feger was behind them and had damage to his car,
resulting in a tire that began to loose air. After the caution, Feger maintained his lead with Shirley and Sullivan
on his bumper, but at the white flag lap, Feger jumped the cushion in turn one, allowing Shirley and Sullivan to
shoot by. Shirley was able to hold off Sullivan by a half car length for the win.
Feger managed to hold on to third, leading Shannon Babb and Billy Moyer, while Smith had
dropped to sixth.
Fairbury Am. Leg. - "Prairie Dirt
1) Brian Shirley, 2) Jack
Sullivan, 3) Jason Feger, 4) Shannon Babb, 5) Billy Moyer, 6) Brady Smith, 7) Dennis Erb, Jr., (8)
Wendell Wallace, (9) Bret Sievert, (10) Scott James, (11) Ryan Dauber, (12) Ryan Unzicker, 13) Scott
Bull, 14) Eric Smith (prov.), 15) Donny Walden 16) Junior Shickel, 17) Greg Johnson, 18) Richie
Hedrick, 19) Rodney Melvin, 20) Mike Provenzano 21) Frank Heckenast, Jr.
Fast Time (43
entries): Frank Heckenast, Jr. (12.363); Heat winners: Melvin, Feger, Smith, Sievert. Semi-feature
winners: Johnson, Shickel
Jim Denhamer photo