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Fairbury Speedway 5-11 Rocky Ragusa Photos/Recap

Moran Turns Back Thornton
By Rocky Ragusa

 

Fairbury, Ill. (5/11/24) The second race of the year at the Fairbury Speedway saw the “Spring Shootout” presented by Titan Industries. The Lucas Oil Dirt Late Model Series made their return along with the DIRTcar Modifieds.

In qualifying for the 60 lap, $30,000 to win Lucas Oil Late Model race 47 drivers made qualifying attempts on the ¼ mile dirt oval. Mike Marlar timed at a 13.403 to lead the pack in Group A, while Devin Moran’s lap at a 13.609 led Group B.

Marlar, Jonathan Davenport, Moran, and Brandon Sheppard won their respective heat races. Two B-mains saw Gordy Gundaker and Kyle Bronson take the wins.

Starting in the second position, Moran took the lead with Marlar in second. Starting in the sixth position, Jason Feger was on the move running his patented top side. Caution fell on lap 14 as Brain Shirley slowed on the track. When the field went back to green, the “Highside Hustler '' got past Sheppard for third. A multi car pileup on the frontstretch brought out the yellow on lap 15. Feger moved into second on the restart and overtook Moran for the lead on lap 19. Feger opened a 10 car length lead over Moran, Marlar, and Sheppard, while after a battle for fifth with Davenport, Thornton Jr. began to flex his muscle. Moran began to cut into Feger’s lead and running the bottom, reclaimed the lead on lap 45. Thornton Jr., the current Lucas Oil point leader followed suit and overtook Feger. Thornton Jr., stayed glued to Moran and made a final attempt for the lead on the last lap, but came up 0.760 behind Moran.

The 2018 Prairie Dirt Classic winner spoke after the race. “ I was trying to be patient and save my tires because Feger was running at the top. When I saw there were 25 laps to go, I knew it was time to go. Feger didn’t move down and thank goodness, because it worked out for us.”

Thornton Jr. finished second, followed by Sheppard, Feger, Davenport, Marlar, and Nick Hoffman. 24th starter, Tim McCreadie took eighth, with Mike Harrison, and Cody Overton completing the top ten.

Hometown driver Lyndon Whitfill led Group A Modified qualifiers and Mike McKinney led Group B as 45 drivers went under the clock for the $2000 to win Modified race.

Whitfill, Michael Long, McKinney, and Blake Brown took heat race wins. Trevor Ringle and making his return to the track, Jeff Curl won the two B-mains.

Whitfill led the field to the green with Long, McKinney, Steven Brooks, and Josh Harris racing single file. The first caution came out on lap 15 as Levi Kissinger slowed on the track. With the track cleared, Whitfill led, as Long went to the top of the speedway. As the pair entered turn three, Long threw a slide job on Whitfill and took the lead at the start/finish line. Long started to pull away as Whitfill held on to second over McKinney. The caution came out with three laps to go for Zeke McKenzie.Another caution fell on the restart for Marshall Call. Debris brought another caution. The restart had Long leading, as Whitfill and McKinney exchanged slidejobs. The defending MARS Series champion picked up his fourth win of the young season.

“ The year is starting off good,” spoke Long. “ I was waiting for the top to blow off. The caution came out and we were able to get rolling. The top was packed enough for me to get rolling.”

McKinney got by Whitfill for second on the last lap, with Harris, Brown, Mike Chasteen Jr., Brooks, Mike Harrison, Ray Bollinger, and Cole Falloway rounding out the top ten.

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