Babb Leads Flag to Flag at Fairbury
By Rocky Ragusa
Fairbury, Ill. ( 6/24/20) The long awaited season opener at the Fairbury Speedway was held on Wednesday night. Shannon Babb ( Late Model), Hunt Gossom ( Modified), and Tyler Roth (Sportsman) were the night’s feature winners in the Summer Showcase.
32 Late Model drivers took to the ¼ mile dirt oval for qualifying. McKay Wenger toured the speedplant at 12.507 for fast time honors. Four heat races were held with Allen Weisser, Jason Feger, Shannon Babb, and Kevin Weaver taking the wins. Jeffrey Ledford was the B-main winner.
Babb, starting in the third position, quickly jumped into the lead in the 40 lap race. Babb contended with Wenger, Bobby Pierce, and Mike Spatola before the yellow flag waved with seven laps left. After the caution, Babb checked out on the field and picked up the $5000 check.
“ Bobby had me sweating,” said Babb. “ I knew a slide job would be coming. I thought I better do what I can do.”
Following Babb to the line were Pierce, Spatola, Kent Robinson, Feger, Ryan Unzicker, Gordy Gundaker, Weaver, Derek Chandler, and Trevor Gundaker.
Curt Spalding clipped a lap of 13.927 in Modified time trials, as 42 drivers were on hand for a 25 lap, $1500 to win feature race. Spalding, Hunt Gossom, Allen Weisser, and Ian Keller were heat race victors. Jake Little and Kyle Hammer advanced to the main race with their B-main wins.
Hailing from Mayfield, Kentucky, Gossom dashed into the lead and never looked back in earning his first ever FALS Cup feature win. Michael Ledford made a dramatic charge and took second over Weisser, with Rich Dawson and Brad DeYoung completing the top five. Steven Brooks, Austin Lynn, Tyler Weiss, Dylan Woodling, and Tommy Sheppard Jr. rounded out the top ten.
First year driver Austin Friedman earned fast time honors with a lap of 14.864 over 16 other CR Towing Sportsman drivers in the 15 lap sprint. Friedman and defending track champion, Tommy Duncan won their respected heat races.
Tyler Roth made short order of his competition as he took the lead on lap two in winning the $400 first prize. Duncan, Brandon Pralle, Shawn WiltijerHunt, Lydon Whitfill, Friedman, Steve Mattingly, Alex Wilson, Tanner Sullivan, and Blake Reid completed the top ten.
This Saturday will be a FALS Cup weekly program with action in the Late Model, Modified, Street Stock, Sportsman, and Hobby-Modified classes. Drivers will also vie for hard charger points, as Ricky Bane will present an Alkota pressure washer to the driver that earns the most points at season's end in the Alkota “ Keep it Clean” series. Action will start with hot laps at 5:45, followed by qualifying, and all the racing excitement.