FAIRBURY, IL – The World of Outlaws Craftsman® Late Model Series travel to Fairbury American Legion Speedway (IL) for the prestigious 29th annual Prairie Dirt Classic presented by Bank of Pontiac this Friday–Saturday, July 27-28th. Defending series champion, Brandon Sheppard comes into the weekend as the defending race winner of one of the crown jewels of the dirt late model world. $30,000 is on the line on Saturday night and below is what you need to know heading to Fairbury, IL this weekend.
What: 29th annual Prairie Dirt Classic
Where: Fairbury American Legion Speedway – Fairbury, IL
Track Length: 0.25 miles
Race Distance(s): 100 lap Feature on Saturday / (4) 25-Lap Qualifier Features on Friday
Prize Money: $30,000 goes to the Winner of the #PDC on Saturday while $2,500 each goes to the winners of the 4 25-Lap Qualifier Features on Friday
2017 Prairie Dirt Classic Winner: Brandon Sheppard
2017 Prairie Dirt Shootout Winner: Don O’Neal
2017 Last Chance Showdown Winners: Rick Eckert, Cody Mahoney, Frank Heckenast Jr.
2017 Showdown Feature Winners: Devin Moran, Shane Clanton, Brandon Sheppard, Mike Marlar
2017 Fast Qualifier: Devin Moran 12.627
2017 Car Count: 65
WoOCraftLMS Track Record: Shannon Babb 12,388 (2014)
Previous WoOCraftLMS Feature Winners at Fairbury (6): Brandon Sheppard-1 (2017), Josh Richards-1 (2016), Jonathan Davenport-1 (2015), Kevin Weaver-1 (2015), Tim McCreadie-1 (2014), Shannon Babb-1 (2013)
Support Division: Summit Racing Equipment Modified Nationals
Next Event: Monday, July 30th – Plymouth Dirt Track – Plymouth, WI – More Info
•The 29th annual Prairie Dirt Classic is race #29 of the 2018 racing season for the World of Outlaws Craftsman® Late Model Series.
•This event is the seventh all-time appearance for the Outlaws at Fairbury American Legion Speedway. The first was in 2013.
•Five of the six events at Fairbury have been for the PDC. The lone exception would be the 2015 FALS Draw Showdown held prior to the 2015 PDC, won by fan favorite, Kevin Weaver. Side Note: Weaver, a four-time track champion, does have a PDC win, which came in 1991 in the second edition of the race.
•The PDC became Outlaws sanctioned for the first time in 2013. The previous events from 1990-2012 the race was a regional show at FALS.
•Only Shannon Babb has a PDC victory with the Outlaws (2013) and prior to the sanctioning of the event (2006 & 2002).
•In the previous 28 overall races, three-time series champion, Billy Moyer leads the way with (5) wins in the event. He is trailed by Bob Pierce with (4). Shannon Babb has (3), Jimmy Mars has (2) while 13 different drivers have single PDC triumphs.
•Jason Feger was the winner in the last non-Outlaws sanctioned PDC in 2012.
•The first PDC was held in 1990 when five-time track champion, Cary “Snooky” Dehm scored the win.
•This event is, amazingly, the first appearance of the 2018 racing season for the Outlaws in the state of Illinois. The next race for the series in the Prairie State will be the Chi-Town Showdown on October 12-13th at The Dirt Track at Route 66 in Joliet, IL
•The ¼ mile of FALS is one of the smallest tracks on the 2018 schedule.
•While Shannon Babb holds the Outlaws Track Record in qualifying with a 12.388 back in 2014, it’s three-time track champion, Scott Bull who has the overall Late Model Track Record at FALS with a 12.215 set back in 2011.
• The Prairie Dirt Shootout, implemented in 2010 as the “non-qualifiers” race for those who do not make the show either through the Showdown Features on Friday night, or the Last Chance Showdowns on Saturday. The winner of the Shootout has the option of taking the $2,000 prize money and loading up or the 27th starting spot in the 100-lap Feature. Don O’Neal took the starting spot in 2017 and finished 18th in the main
•Brian Shirley has (2) wins in the Prairie Dirt Shootout. The only driver with more than (1).
•Shannon Babb and Jonathan Davenport are the two drivers with wins in both the #PDC and the Prairie Dirt Shootout. No driver has won both in the same year.
•Ryan Unzicker is the defending track champion at FALS after capturing his first such title at his home track.
•Four-time track champion, Kevin Weaver is the current points leader at FALS and has (1) Feature Win
•Mike Spatola leads the way with (4) feature wins in weekly Late Models competition, including the last one on July 7th. Unzicker has (2) checkered flags with his last win coming on May 26th. Weaver (April 21st, Scott Schmitt (June 30th), Jeff Curl (June 16th), Brian Shirley (May 19th) and Billy Moyer also have scored victories. Moyer’s win came during the DIRTcar Summer Nationals Hell Tour stop on June 23rd.
•Speaking of Curl, the three-time FALS Modified Track Champion is a rookie this season in Late Models competition and has been impressive. (1) Feature Win. He is currently fourth in points and is the younger brother of Outlaws Series Director, Matt Curl.
•The Sunoco American Late Model Series visits FALS on Saturday, August 11th for the $10,000 to Win FALS Frenzy.
•The Summit Racing Equipment Modified Nationals will wrap up their 2018 racing season this weekend as well. After supporting the DIRTcar Summer Nationals Hell Tour, the Summit Mods will crown their champion at the end of their 40-Lap / $5,000 to Win Feature on Saturday. Mike McKinney leads five-time and defending Summit Modified Nationals Champion, Mike Harrison by just four points (615-611) with Kenny Wallace in third. Like the Outlaws, the Modifieds will follow a similar format for setting their field with four Qualifier Features on Friday to help set Saturday’s Feature lineup.
The 29th annual Prairie Dirt Classic begins on Friday, July 27th with four 25-lap thrilling World of Outlaws showdown features that will pay $2,500 to win and $200 to start. The top four finishers from the showdown features will be locked into the #PDC Additionally, the top two finishers from the showdown features on Saturday, July 28th will transfer into the redraw to be placed among the first four rows of the 100-lap finale event.
There will also be spots reserved for two World of Outlaws and two #FALS Provisionals that will round out the 26-car starting field for the #PDC. One more starter could come from the 9th annual Prairie Dirt Shootout presented by Summit Racing Equipment for non-qualifiers. The winner will have the option of taking the $2,000 prize money and loading up or the 27th starting spot in the Sears Craftsman 100-lap Feature for a chance at a $30,000 payday.
For more information on the Prairie Dirt Classic presented by Bank of Pontiac visit: fairburyspeedway.com. Tickets are still available online, and the event will air live on DIRTVision and DirtOnDirt.