- Sept. 4 - Fairbury American Legion Speedway by Sam Holbrooks


Brian Shirley - Billy Moyer - Fairbury American Legion Speedway

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 - Jason Feger - Prairie Dirt Classic

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 Ragusa

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.

Billy Moyer VL - Fairbury American Legion Speedway

Billy Moyer at Fairbury. (John Vass)

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 14.

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

Rodney Melvin - Wendell Wallace - Frank Heckenast - Fairbury

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 - Dennis Erb - Prairie Dirt Classic

Billy Moyer holds back a late charge from #28 Dennis Erb, Jr. to claim his fifth career "Prairie Dirt Classic". (John Vass)

Jason Feger - Prairie Dirt Classic

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.

Shannon Babb - Ryan Unzicker - Prairie Dirt Classic 

With a late surge, Shannon Babb gets under Ryan Unzicker for fourth. (Darrel Unzel)

Fairbury Am. Leg. - "Prairie Dirt Classic"
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 Shickel.

Fast Time (47 entries): Moyer (12.927 secs.); Heat winners: Moyer, Hedrick, Feger, Weaver, Erb; Semi-feature winners: Provenzano, Babb, Eric Smith.
Billy Moyer - Fairbury winner

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 - Prairie Dirt Shootout - Fairbury American Legion Speedway

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.

Mike Provenzano - Shannon Babb - Scott James - Prairie Dirt Classic

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 Shootout"
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









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Updated 11/17/10

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