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Kenny Wallace Joins List Of Modified Fall Nationals Champions

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“This is the biggest dirt track race I’ve ever won,”, yelled a jubilant Kenny Wallace in Victory Lane Sunday night at Spoon River Speedway after capturing the 26th Annual Modified Fall Nationals event at the legendary oval. “And it’s the biggest check I’ve ever gotten or winning a race on dirt!”

Wallace got back around Josh Harris with three laps remaining in the 50-lap Main event, and held off the Owensboro, Kentucky driver for the win to add his name to the list of great modified drivers who have won the prestigious event, including several that were in the field Sunday in the event co-sanctioned by UMP and the American Modified Series.

“I was on that hard tire and just hoping and waiting for it to fire, and it finally did come to life,” said Wallace, the St. Louis native now living in and racing out of Concord, North Carolina. “I saw that (fellow NASCAR veteran David) Stremme found something up top and it was cleaning up a bit up there, so I went up there for a few laps. Then it started working in the middle and I picked up some speed in the final laps. I knew Stremme was running that soft tire, and pretty sure the leader (Harris) was on it, too, so I was kinda worried when this thing wouldn’t go, but eventually it did. I can’t be happier. ”

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26th Running of the UMP Modified Fall Nationals at Spoon River Speedway

 2016 26th Fall Nationals Flyer

This Sunday Night Sept 4th at the Spoon River Speedway you will see some of the best Driver’s on dirt do battle on the high banked 3/8’s mile oval during the 26th running of the UMP Modified Fall Nationals with the American Modified Series on board once again. Once again the modified driver’s will duel it out in a 50 Lap feature paying the winner $5000. Last year saw over 60 modifieds and over 130 cars total show up with Newton, Illinois driver Chad Kinder taking home the $5000 pay check. Top driver’s in the Nation like National point leader Michael Long, second in National points Mike Harrison, Allen Weisser, Ray Bollinger and the AMS stars like Trent Young, Josh Harris, Matt Cooper, Mark Lamont with many more will be at the Spoon to do battle in the modified division.

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Long and Dobey Pick Up First Modified Feature Wins at SRS

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Two inches of rain on Friday and a soggy pit area on Saturday did not stop the show at Spoon River Speedway Saturday night, but a couple of showstopping feature wins did take place.

Quincy, IL driver Michael Long, leading the UMP National Modified Points Standings, made one of his occasional visits to The Spoon, and made it count in a big way, pulling away late to win his first feature at the legendary high-banked oval in the Zane’s Auto Service UMP Modified 20 lap feature.

“The track,” he said when asked in Perkins Seed House Victory Lane what the key to his victory was, “it was perfect up where I wanted to run the car. I haven’t always been good here, but I’m figuring it out. For the track to be this good after all that rain is impressive.”

The red-hot Long thanked his sponsors who are helping him make this run at the national title, Saturday’s win was his 4th in eight days at various Midwest tracks, he made it five feature wins in nine days with a win Sunday night in Quincy.

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Long and Dobey Pick Up First Modified Features At Spoon River

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Two inches of rain on Friday and a soggy pit area on Saturday did not stop the show at Spoon River Speedway Saturday night, but a couple of showstopping feature wins did take place.

Quincy, IL driver Michael Long, leading the UMP National Modified Points Standings, made one of his occasional visits to The Spoon, and made it count in a big way, pulling away late to win his first feature at the legendary high-banked oval in the Zane’s Auto Service UMP Modified 20 lap feature.

“The track,” he said when asked in Perkins Seed House Victory Lane what the key to his victory was, “it was perfect up where I wanted to run the car. I haven’t always been good here, but I’m figuring it out. For the track to be this good after all that rain is impressive.”

The red-hot Long thanked his sponsors who are helping him make this run at the national title, Saturday’s win was his 4th in eight days at various Midwest tracks, he made it five feature wins in nine days with a win Sunday night in Quincy.

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Bollinger, May, Biswell Triumph At Spoon River

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Ray Bollinger of Kewanee continued adding to his victory total in his quest for the UMP National Modified Points Championship Saturday at Spoon River Speedway, holding off Allen Weisser, himself in the hunt for the National Title, to win the Zane’s Auto Service Modified 25-lap feature and the $1,000 check to go with it.

The track hosted races for the first time since July 16th, after having to cancel two programs due to extreme weather conditions, and taking the annual planned break for the Fulton County Fair at the end of July, and it turned into a wild and wacky night of racing in all divisions.

Early in the Modified feature, Bollinger and Zac Oedewaldt, running 2nd and 3rd behind leader Brandon Roberts, got together coming down the front straight, with Oedewaldt’s car climbing the retaining wall but coming back down without rolling over before coming to a stop at the top of turn one, broken and done for the night. The closely matched field behind didn’t have much room or time to avoid, and the cars of Derrick Carlson and Zane Oedewaldt were also collected in the incident.

After the track was cleared, Bollinger was able to power past Roberts, who later said on social media his tires gave up on his #35, and grab the lead. Allen Weisser made his way around Roberts as well, and started to hunt down Bollinger, drawing up to his rear bumper before making several attempts to pass the Kewanee driver by diving low and hoping to slide up in front of Bollinger.

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USAC Speed 2 Midget Summer Sizzler Series Invades Spoon on Sunday Night July 24th

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Sunday Night, for the first time the USAC Speed 2 Midget Summer Sizzler Series Invades the Spoon. A large field of midgets are expected as driver’s from all over will see who can tame the High Banked 3/8’s mile oval.
Midget Purse is 1st- $500, 2nd- 350, 3rd- 250, 4th- 200, 5th- 175, 6th- 150, 7th- 125 and 8th down 100
Also running will be the Zane’s Automotive Service UMP Modifieds for $700 to Win and the Perkins Seed House UMP Pro Late Models running for $500 to Win. All Purses are guaranteed on Sunday.
Information for Sunday Night
Pits open at 4
Grandstands at 5
End of Draw 5:45
Hot Laps 6:15
Followed by TT
Racing to begin around 7:15
General Admission $15
Kids 10 and under are FREE
All Pit Passes $35
Transponder rental $5.00
Over night parking is allowed
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Kovski Wins Second Straight In A Thriller At Spoon River

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Kelly Kovski won his second straight Zane’s Auto Service UMP Modified Feature at Spoon River Speedway Saturday night, holding off Zac Oedewaldt and Allen Weisser in an exciting show of driving skill by all three racers.

From the drop of the green on a smooth, racey surface, fans knew they were in for a show, as cars moved to the inside, outside and middle grooves, all in an effort to find the fastest line. For the first 10 laps, it was as equal as can be, as Kovski on the low side and Oedewaldt up on the top stayed glued together in a battle for the lead, with Kovski controlling the scoreboard for the first six laps before Oedewaldt was able to nose ahead off of turn four for three straight laps. Weisser, who might have even been a tick faster than the leaders, darted back and forth between high, low and middle grooves looking for an opening as the three perfectly handling cars raced within inches of each other, but never touching.

On lap 15, Kovski started to stretch in out a little bit as the top groove finally lost a little grip, and he carried on for the win, besting Oedewaldt to the line by about a second, with Weisser settling for third just behind the Z1 of Oedewaldt.

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Kovski, Bates Beat The Traffic To Win Modified Features

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Kelly Kovski and Todd Bates took similar paths to win their respective features last Saturday night at Spoon River Speedway, each using lapped traffic to overtake the leader and each going on to win at the 1st Gerald Denney Memorial Topless Races at The Spoon.

The Memorial event for one of the founders of Spoon River Speedway, Gerald Denney, who along with brother Morey built a track in the middle of a cornfield in Fulton County over 30 years, was attached to the annual “topless” races, where drivers and teams are encouraged to take the fabricated roofs off of their race cars to give fans an intimate look at the drivers in action.

The evening got off to an emotional start when Morey Denney spoke fondly over the PA system about his late brother, fighting tears to tell the story of how he approached Gerald with the idea to build a dirt track, to which Gerald responded, “brother, you’ve had a lot of dumd ideas…and this one is the dumbest”, and ending with “here we are, years later, still making a go of it, thanks to Gerald.”

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Weisser, Parga Blaze To Wins At Spoon River

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Threatening skies and a lingering sprinkle had everyone in a hurry trying to “beat the weather” to get to see the post race fireworks show Saturday night at Spoon River Speedway, and no one turned out to be in a bigger hurry that UMP Modified driver Allen Weisser and UMP Pro Late Model driver and defending National Pro Late Champion Jose Parga, who both pulled off sweeps in their respective divisions.

Parga got the evening’s festivities going in fast fashion during Perkins Seed House Pro Late Model qualifying, destroying the previous Pro Late Model track record with a 14.11 second lap. Parga turned out to be one of three drivers to break the previous division record on a the lightning-fast track Saturday, as AJ May turned a 14.25 and Mavrick Piller a 14.33 in their qualifying efforts.

Weisser set fast time for the Zane’s Auto Service Modified division a few minutes later, and both drivers earned pole positions in the first heat for their respective classes, which they both then won.

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Erb Jr Dominates Summer Nationals Event At Spoon River

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Dennis Erb, Jr. of Carpentersville, IL is a quiet man of few words who prefers to let the powerplant of his #28 UMP Super Late Model do the talking.

And that it did Thursday night at Spoon River Speedway as Erb powered his way to a dominating “Hell Tour” Victory, making history and picking up a $10,000 first place check in the process in front of a huge and enthusiastic crowd filling the grandstands at the legendary high-banked oval.

“We don’t get to come here and run much,” Erb said in Victory Lane, “but it’s always fun to race here. The track was great and racey all over, and that helped once we got into lapped traffic, I could put the car anywhere I needed to and that helped keep the lead. Great to see a big crowd tonight, it was a good night.”

It was the first time Spoon River Speedway put a $10,000-to-win show on during the Summer Nationals, and the racing did not disappoint.

After an initial false start, the Late Models blazed 28 of their scheduled 50 laps before the first caution of the event came out, for a spin by former Spoon River winner Ryan Unzicker. Erb, from the pole, jumped out front and never relinquished the lead in those first 28 laps, but the caution allowed Batesville, Arkansas legend Billy Moyer to draw back up on the rear bumper of Erb’s car for the restart.

It was of no matter to Erb, who picked right up where he left off before the caution and once again built a comfortable lead to take the win. Moyer, a two-time winner already this year on the Tour to become the all-time victory leader in Summer Nationals history with 92 (ahead of Moweaqua’s Shannon Babb, with 90) finished second on the night. Both Moyer and Erb had earlier won heat races, along with Unzicker and Gibson City’s Kevin Weaver.

Weaver was part of a terrific three-car battle for third over the last 30 laps of the feature, as he dueled with impressive Tennessee driver Mike Marlar and Oakwood, Illinois phenom Bobby Pierce. The three swapped positions, used every groove the track, threw crossover moves at each other, and put on a thrilling show as they tried to stay with the leaders. Pierce was quite possibly the fastest car on the track over the last 10-15 laps of the event, eventually getting clear of Marlar and Weaver to finish 3rd, as he was gaining on Moyer when the laps ran out.

Pierce, a three-time winner on the tour this year and the defending Summer Nationals Champion, added to his points lead with the victory. Marlar held off Weaver for fourth, with Weaver earning 5th on the night.

New Berlin’s Brandon Sheppard made up ground from his 10th starting spot to finish 6th, followed by Jason Feger of Bloomington, the 2014 Spoon River SN winner (2015 was rained out), Arkansas driver Timothy Culp, Babb, and Iowa hotshoe Chris Simpson to round out the top 10. Waukesha, Wisconsin’s Taylor Scheffler, making the Main event through the B-main qualifier, was the winner of the Hard Charger award as he drove from near the back of the field to a 12th place finish in the Main.

Ashland, Illinois youngster Kolby Vandenbergh won the Super Late Model B-main. Vandenbergh started his Late Model career at Spoon River Speedway in a Pro Late Model, as did several competitors in the event Thursday night, including Bobby Pierce. The C-main was won by Springfield’s Brian Diveley.

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The UMP Summit Modified Nationals were the other half of the show Thursday, and Mooresville, North Carolina’s Nick Hoffman spanked the field to pick up the winner’s share of the purse, $1,000.

“We want to win this tour this year, and thought we had a good chance here tonight after last year,” Hoffman said. Hoffman was at Spoon River for the 2015 Modified Fall Nationals, and ran well.

“We were good here last fall, and then I had an altercation on the track with my teammate, of all people,” he laughed, “but the track was to our liking tonight…smooth, dry slick with a good surface top to bottom…I could drive it wherever I needed to.”

Hoffman picked up his third Summit Modified feature win out of four events on the tour thus far, padding his points lead in the process. Litchfield, Illinois veteran Brent Mullins came home second, holding off Peoria’s Allen Weisser in a classic Spoon River inside-outside duel, with Mullins down low and Weisser working the top most of the 25-lap event.

In keeping with what Spoon River fans have been seeing on almost a weekly basis this year, Weisser was followed across the line by Kelly Kovski and Ray Bollinger. Those three drivers have battled at the front of the regular Saturday night features the entire 2016 season, and had a great race again Thursday.

Rounding out the top 10 in the Mod feature were: Tyler Nicely of Owensboro, Kentucky, Creve Coeur’s Mike Chasteen, Jr., Chris Osborne, Jr. of East Peoria, Sheffield, IL driver Nathan Balensiefen, and Phil Dixon of Crosby, TX.

Heat race wins in the Mod division went to Weisser, Michael Long of Quincy, and Hoffman. Balensiefen won the Hard Charger award in the feature.

Spoon River Speedway will take this Saturday night off to prepare for the next show, coming up Saturday, July 2nd, which will include a famous post-race fireworks show from promoter Brad Denney.

The UMP Summer Nationals continue at tracks throughout the Midwest through the middle of July, go to www.dirtcar.com for complete schedule, updated points, photos and more.

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