English Earns Career Payday in Spring Showcasemars
Photo: Brendon Bauman
Fairbury, Illinois (May 15, 2021) – The fourth round of the 2021 Mars Racing Series happened on Saturday night at Fairbury Speedway. Mother Nature once again tried to play havoc on the event with pesky afternoon drizzles. But once the rain completely moved out the show started on time without any delays. Thirty-five cars signed in to compete for the biggest payday on the 2021 schedule.
In Allstar Performance Qualifying it was the youngster from St. Charles, Missouri Trevor Gundaker who laid down the quickest lap at 12.796 seconds. In Group B the fastest time went to Ryan Unzicker with a time of 12.965 seconds. This set the stage for four heat races to start determining who would make the feature event.
During Arizona Sports Shirts Heat Race #1 Brian Shirley used the outside front row starting position to get out and win a spot in the redraw. Donny Walden who started in fifth came home runner up. Kolby Vandenbergh and Trevor Gundaker also transferred on to the main event.
In Heat Race #2 presented by Dirt Track Bank Brandon Sheppard start on the pole and finished on the pole at the end of race. Ryan Gustin, the driver from Marshalltown, IA came home in second. Chase Junghans along with Waukesha, WI driver Mitch McGrath also moved on to the feature event.
It was all Ryan Unzicker in O’Reily Auto Parts Heat Race #3. Dennis Erb Jr finished behind Unzicker in second. Billy Moyer Jr and Mike Spatola finished out the top four moving on to the main event.
Heat Race #4 presented by Hoosier Tire Midwest was the most exciting of the night. Bobby Pierce took the lead early on but on the last corner Tanner English pulled the slide job on Pierce to pick up the win. Pierce finished second. Mike Provenzano and Kevin Weaver finished third and fourth to grab the final heat transfers into the feature event.
It took a pair of B-Main’s presented by Racing Performance Media and Auto Meter to finish filling the field out. Justin Reed and Gordy Gundaker took the transfers in B-Main #1. In B-Main number two Shannon Babb and Mckay Wenger moved on. Jason Feger and Eric Smith took the two provisonals to set the 22 car starting field for the $15,000 to win Spring Showcase.
In the 50-lap feature event Tanner English started out front and led early on. He had to fend off charges from Brandon Sheppard and Brian Shirley early on. As the race settled in the middle stages Sheppard started to give up a couple spots as Dennis Erb Jr moved into contention. During the final stages it was a three car battle between English, Shirley and Erb Jr. During the final ten laps Tanner English had to hit his marks as Dennis Erb Jr was right on this back bumper. English was able to hold on for his biggest career payday to date of $15,000. Tanner was all smiles in victory lane. He had three straight third place finishes heading into Fairbury with the series. The two-time Mars Series Champion now has the series points lead after four events. Brian Shirley finished third, Brandon Sheppard fourth and Ryan Unzicker came home fifth. Keyser Manufacturing Hard Charger was Shannon Babb who gained ten spots in the feature event.
The series heads to Kankakee County Speedway and Shadyhill Speedway for a pair of $5,000 to win events this next weekend May 21st & 22nd.
Keep up-to-date with all the news and information of the Mars Racing Series at www.marsracingseries.com.
Fast Qualifier: Trevor Gundaker 12.796 seconds
Heat 1: Brain Shirley, Donny Walden, Kolby Vandenbergh, Trevor Gundaker, Justin Reed, Jeffery Ledford, Gordy Gundaker, Torin Mettille, Ryan Weistart
Heat 2: Brandon Sheppard, Ryan Gustin, Chase Junghans, Mitch McGrath, Shannon Babb, Jason Feger, McKay Wenger, Chris Kratzer, Matt Mickelson
Heat 3: Ryan Unzicker, Dennis Erb Jr., Billy Moyer Jr, Mike Spatola, Eric Smith, Titus Sneed, Dale Markham, Zach Hall, Jeff Curl
Heat 4: Tanner English, Bobby Pierce, Mike Provenzano, Kevin Weaver, Billy Hough, Derek Chandler, Mike Chasteen Jr., Taylor Scheffler
B-Main 1: Justin Reed, Gordy Gundaker, Torin Mettille, Jeff Curl, Jeffery Ledford, Ryan Weistart, Zach Hall, Titus Sneed, Eric Smith, Dale Markham
B-Main 2: Shannon Babb, McKay Wenger, Taylor Scheffler, Derek Chandler, Mike Chasteen Jr., Billy Hough, Chris Kratzer, Matt Mickelson, Jason Feger
Feature (50 Laps): Tanner English, Dennis Erb Jr, Brian Shirley, Brandon Sheppard, Ryan Unzicker, Ryan Gustin, Donny Walden, Shannon Babb, Billy Moyer Jr., Chase Junghans, Gordy Gundaker, Mitch McGrath, Trevor Gundaker, Kolby Vandenbergh, Jason Feger, Bobby Pierce, Kevin Weaver, Justin Reed, Mckay Wenger, Mike Provenzano, Mike Spatola, Eric Smith
Allstar Performance Fast Time Award: Ryan Unzicker
VP Fuel Award from Git Sideways: Tanner English
Swift Springs Opposing Fast Time Award: Brandon Sheppard
Keyser Manufacturing Hard Charger Award: Shannon Babb
Wilwood Tough Brake Award: Mike Spatola
Ultrashield Non-Transfer Award: Taylor Scheffler