Decision pays off as Ryan Unzicker wins in FALS Cup action

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Brian Deavers pumps his fist in celebrating his win in the hobby-modified race Saturday night at Fairbury Speedway.
Brian Deavers pumps his fist in celebrating his win in the hobby-modified race Saturday night at Fairbury Speedway.

FAIRBURY — A change of plans worked out for Ryan Unzicker Saturday night as the speedster from El Paso scored a win in the late model feature at Fairbury Speedway.

Following a weekend off due to rain, the Fairbury Speedway celebrated Independence Day with a FALS Cup/Alkota weekly program, presented by Knapp Kitchens and CK Power. Besides Unzicker, Michael Ledford (modified), Tommy Duncan (CR Towing Sportsman), Megan Erwin (stock car), Brian Deavers (hobby-modified) and Gavyn Parmele (KidModz) crossed the finish line first in their respective classes.

McKay Wenger (42) and Ryan Unzicker ran side by side for the lead before Unzicker took command and charged to victory in the late model feature Saturday at Fairbury Speedway.
McKay Wenger (42) and Ryan Unzicker ran side by side for the lead before Unzicker took command and charged to victory in the late model feature Saturday at Fairbury Speedway.

Unzicker had originally planned to race in West Burlington, Iowa, but a decision was made to stick around the house and the “Gremlin” headed to Fairbury. After a caution on lap six, third-starting Unzicker and McKay Wenger staged a spirited duel for the lead, racing side by side, without making contact.

Unzicker was able to take the top position with 10 laps to go and pulled away for his second Fairbury win of the year.

“That was an awesome feature,” Unzicker said. “I was a little upset that they reworked the track. I love this place. The fans, the track staff, and the track are all awesome. It is just a blessing to come to a race track like this.”

Wenger settled for second, followed by Tommy Sheppard Jr., Titus Sneed and Mike Spatola. The remainder of the top 10 saw Dale Markham (hardcharger), Bob Gardner, Kevin Weaver, Mike Mataragas and Jeffrey Ledford cross the line.

A time of 12.682 seconds gave Mataragas the fast time as 24 cars made qualifying attempts. Wenger, Gardner and Unzicker were heat race winners. Logan Moody advanced to the 30-lap feature in winning the semi.

Starting on the pole position of the modified feature, Michael Ledford was able to turn back several bids for the lead by Mason Duncan before running the top side of the track to perfection and recorded his second win of the weekend.

Michael Ledford (37) was able to turn back Mason Duncan in winning the modified race.
Michael Ledford (37) was able to turn back Mason Duncan in winning the modified race.

“Duncan has been getting better and better each week,” Ledford said. “I kept seeing him down there. I knew as long as I made some smooth laps, I could hold him off.”

Duncan took second, with Tanner Reed following in third. Old pro Bob Pohlman Jr. was fourth and Ethan Weber finished in fifth. Friedman, Lyndon Whitfill, Caden McWhorter, Alan Stipp (hardcharger), and Jim Farris Jr. completed the top 10.

Austin Friedman turned a lap at 13.592 seconds as 18 drivers made qualifying runs. Two heat races were held that saw Ledford and Duncan take the wins.

Landen Miller took fast time honors with a lap of 14.416 seconds as 14 CR Towing Sportsman drivers were on hand for their 15-lap race. The two heat races went to Miller and Tommy Duncan.

Tommy Duncan continued his winning ways in the CR Towing Sportsman race.
Tommy Duncan continued his winning ways in the CR Towing Sportsman race.

Miller led the opening lap before point leader Duncan used his vast experience to motor into the lead. Looking to add another track championship to his belt, Duncan took his fourth win of the year.

“It has been a good year,” Duncan said. “The car is doing good. It is easy to drive and that makes it easy on me.”

Steve Mattingly held off Josh Hetherington for second. First-year driver Victor Strong was fourth and Jime Farley finished in fifth. Rookie contender Doug Carls claimed sixth, followed by Makinzi Semmens (hard charger), Roy Magee, Eric Saltzman and Miller.

Megan Erwin cruised to the win in the stock car class.
Megan Erwin cruised to the win in the stock car class.

A field of 16 stock cars made qualifying attempts that saw Ian Keller click off a time of 14.774 seconds for fast time. Keller and Megan Erwin were the heat race winners.

Erwin got the jump on Keller at the start of the feature and never looked back in taking her second Fairbury win and seventh overall.

“After getting my first Fairbury win, I didn’t think I would ever get another one here,” Erwin said. “This is a great feeling.”

Cody Clubb finished a strong second with Tim Loomis in third, Braiden Keller in fourth and Don Hilleary placing fifth.

Scott McDonald led the first three laps of the 12-lap hobby-modified race before the smooth and consistent driving by Brian Deavers moved to the front. Deavers led the remaining laps in taking his third win of the year.

“I knew most of the guys would go to the bottom,” Deavers said. “I decided to try the top, but couldn’t find anything up there. I went back to the bottom.”

A good battle took place behind the race leader and saw Ryan Kohler take second. Former kart racer Trevor Ringle finish third, McDonald was fourth and Wes Ricketts finished in fifth.

McDonald and Jason Vandermeir were heat race winners with 16 cars in the lineup.

Gavyn Parmele (75) led flag to flag in winning the KidModz feature.
Gavyn Parmele (75) led flag to flag in winning the KidModz feature.

Gavyn Parmele, in his second year of racing, led flag to flag to garner the feature win in the KidModz event. Liam Gray finished in second, followed by Hudson Dick, Brenden Heizer and Parker Ramer.

This article originally appeared on Pontiac Daily Leader: Decision pays off as Ryan Unzicker wins in FALS Cup action