“High Atop the Rock” Aug. 1st Story/Photo by Rocky Ragusa

Rocky Ragusa
Rocky Ragusa photo






Speed Week

Being known as the Crown Jewel of Dirt Late Model racing in Illinois, Director of Marketing for the Fairbury American Legion Speedway, Chuck Vaughan, proposed an idea during his first board meeting with the race committee. Known as the Crown Jewel of Dirt Late Model racing in Illinois, Vaughan felt to make the race even more special for the race winner, a trophy that would stand out on a driver’s mantel, was needed for the Prairie Dirt Classic.

“With my position at the track, I felt we needed a custom trophy,” said Vaughan. “I worked on different concepts and drawings before I came up with a rough sketch.”

After coming up with a design, Vaughan next had to find a designer. Not feeling that a trophy shop could capture what Vaughan had in his head, Vaughan turned to a longtime friend. Keith Slagel of Slagel Cabinetry in Fairbury is known as one of the most talented woodworkers in the area and state. “I approached Keith about two months ago with my sketch and asked him can you make it happen,” Vaughan spoke. “Martial Roy donated raw Walnut for the project. As Keith was working on the trophy, we shared different ideas on it. We both envisioned on what it should be. Everyone with the track is very proud of it.”

The trophy was on display Saturday afternoon during the autograph session and captured everyone’s attention. Fans, as well as drivers were taking pictures. “We got a lot of great compliments,” Vaughan said. “I heard one driver say that he usually gives his trophy to his sponsor, but he said he would keep this one.”

“Keith put around 25 man hours into handcrafting each piece. Dave Duncan, who does our regular race trophies, made the plaques for it,” closed Vaughan.” Everyone know that FALS tries to go over the top. The trophy is another part of making the PDC bigger and better every year.”

Friday Racing

Farmer City Raceway Street Stock drivers will be featured in the “What Up Dog 40” sanctioned by the Midwest Street Stock Series. Point leader, Jeremy Nichols will be the driver to beat as many of the top Street Stock drivers will look to take the $1000. Late Models, Pro Late Models, and Modifieds will also be in action. Hot laps start at 6:30, with time trials, and racing to follow.

Grundy County Speedway Street Stock drivers will have a 33 lap special and will be joined by Late Models, Mid-Am, Pure Stocks, and Super Cups. Over 250 back packs have been collected and will be given to the children while supplies last. Qualifying starts at 6:45 and racing will follow.

Kankakee County Speedway No racing this week as the Kankakee County Fair takes place.

LaSalle Speedway An open practice session will be held on Friday night. Saturday, the “Illinois Valley Showdown” featuring the Derry Brothers Late Model Series, paying $2000 to the winner. Modified drivers will race for a $3000 to win feature, and Sport Mods will have a $1250 to win contest. All races are IMCA sanctioned. Hot laps at 7.

Lincoln Speedway For the first time in 10 years, racing will be part of the Logan County Fair. Modified, Pro Late Models, Midgets, B-Mods, and the Hornet division will be featured. Hot laps start at 6:05.

Austin Lynn (Modified), Dakota Ewing (Pro Late Model), Doug Tye (B-Mods), Andy Baugh (Midgets), and Jeremy Reed (Hornets) are the track division point leaders.

Saturday Racing

Fairbury American Legion Speedway Previously rained out, the Eden-Piercy Memorial race for the CR Towing and Recovery Sportsman class will be held this week. $1000 will go to the race winner, plus there are other contingencies. A full show of Late Models, Modified, Street Stocks, and the Hobby-Modified class will also take part in the racing program. Children ages 11-12 there will be a Dash for Cash prior to the night’s program on the front stretch. Be sure to register at the drop box under the covered grandstands. Hot laps will begin at 6, with time trials, and racing.

Peoria Speedway A regular night of racing in the Late Model, Modified, Crate Modified, Steel Block Late Models, Street Stocks, and Hornets will tackle the ¼ dirt oval. The program will start with hot laps at 5:30.

Sunday Racing

Bohmer’s Rt. 66 Raceway Kart Racing returns this weekend. Classes range from the young kids to adults. Free Spectator admission and full concessions on the grounds. Gates open at 10:30, with racing at noon. The track is located on old Rt.66 between Pontiac and Chenoa.