High Side Charge Propels Shirley at Farmer City

High Side Charge Propels Shirley at Farmer City

Farmer City, IL (September 2, 2021) – the Mars Racing Series opened up the Labor Day weekend on Thursday night at Farmer City Raceway. The first of a two-night double header at the quarter-mile facility seen 20 late models checked in for a shot at the $5,000 payday.

In Allstar Performance qualifying Taylor Scheffler, the driver from Waukesha, WI laid down the fastest lap with a time of 12.544 seconds. Qualifying set up three heat races that would determine the starting line up for the main event.


In Arizona Sport Shirts Heat Race #1 McKay Wenger took advantage of the outside front row starting spot and was able to get out front early. McKay was able to then drive on to the heat race win. Taylor Scheffler, the nights fast qualifier came home runner up with series points leader Brian Shirley in third.

Heat Race #2, brought to you by Dirt Track Bank was dominated by past series champ Tanner English. He took the lead early and off he went. He checked out and won easily over Josh Rice who came home second. The 2021 Farmer City track champion and Hall of Famer Kevin Weaver finished in the third spot.

In the third and final heat race of the night presented by O’Reilly Auto Parts it was all Shannon Babb. Shannon got out front early and held off Mike Spatola for the win. Bob Gardner came home in third.

The forty lap $5,000 to win event was an exciting one for the race fans. On the opening lap Tanner English was able to get out front and take the lead. Fairbury, Illinois driver McKay Winger would battle with Tanner early on before taking over the top spot. Shannon Babb and Taylor Scheffler were two other drivers in the mix early on. as the race neared the halfway point the drivers on the move were Mike Spatola and Verona, Kentucky driver Josh Rice. Using the top side they started to reel in the top three. Just passed the halfway point Brian Shirley was the new man on a mission as he broke into the top three using the Farmer City cushion. 

Shirley would dispose of English and set his sights on leader McKay Wenger as the race neared ten laps to go. Shirley would get around Wenger with six laps remaining and drive on for the win. Wenger came home second and Tanner English rounded out the podium. Shannon Babb finished fourth after being in the mix early on. Bloomington, Illinois driver Jason Feger was the Keyser Manufacturing Hard Charger gaining seven spots to finish fifth.

The race went forty laps caution free. In victory lane Brian Shirley’s team joked up never seeing Brian get up on the wheel like that on the top. Brian joking stated, “I never had a car that could run the top like that.” It was Brian’s second straight win with the Mars Racing Series and his fourth of the season on tour.

The Mars Racing Series will be back in action on Friday night for $5,000 to win at Farmer City Raceway and then again on Saturday at Fairbury Speedway for $10,000 to win. Gates open at 3pm Friday.

Stay informed on all the news, events and schedule for the MARS Racing Series at www.marsracingseries.com.


A Feature 1 (40 Laps): 1. 3S-Brian Shirley[7]; 2. 42-Mckay Wenger[1]; 3. 81-Tanner English[2]; 4. 18B-Shannon Babb[3]; 5. 25F-Jason Feger[12]; 6. 10S-Taylor Scheffler[4]; 7. 89-Mike Spatola[6]; 8. B12-Kevin Weaver[8]; 9. 4G-Bob Gardner[9]; 10. 24-Ryan Unzicker[13]; 11. 11-Josh Rice[5]; 12. 11G-Gordy Gundaker[11]; 13. 18-Jeffrey Ledford[10]; 14. 25-Tucker Finch[17]; 15. 33H-Roben Huffman[15]; 16. 11T-Trevor Gundaker[18]; 17. 10-Paul Parker[16]; 18. 44-Blaze Burwell[14]; 19. 74-Russ Adams[19]; 20. 05-Gary Schalmo[20]

Heat 1 (10 Laps): 1. 42-Mckay Wenger[2]; 2. 10S-Taylor Scheffler[1]; 3. 3S-Brian Shirley[3]; 4. 18-Jeffrey Ledford[5]; 5. 24-Ryan Unzicker[4]; 6. 10-Paul Parker[6]; 7. (DNS) 74-Russ Adams

Heat 2 (10 Laps): 1. 81-Tanner English[1]; 2. 11-Josh Rice[2]; 3. B12-Kevin Weaver[3]; 4. 11G-Gordy Gundaker[5]; 5. 44-Blaze Burwell[4]; 6. 25-Tucker Finch[6]; 7. 05-Gary Schalmo[7]

Heat 3 (10 Laps): 1. 18B-Shannon Babb[2]; 2. 89-Mike Spatola[1]; 3. 4G-Bob Gardner[4]; 4. 25F-Jason Feger[3]; 5. 33H-Roben Huffman[6]; 6. (DNF) 11T-Trevor Gundaker[5]

Qualifying 1 (2 Laps): 1. 10S-Taylor Scheffler, 00:12.544[11]; 2. 81-Tanner English, 00:12.648[14]; 3. 89-Mike Spatola, 00:12.679[8]; 4. 42-Mckay Wenger, 00:12.761[4]; 5. 11-Josh Rice, 00:12.828[3]; 6. 18B-Shannon Babb, 00:12.868[15]; 7. 3S-Brian Shirley, 00:12.869[19]; 8. B12-Kevin Weaver, 00:12.903[17]; 9. 25F-Jason Feger, 00:12.932[20]; 10. 24-Ryan Unzicker, 00:12.944[5]; 11. 44-Blaze Burwell, 00:12.967[2]; 12. 4G-Bob Gardner, 00:12.985[10]; 13. 18-Jeffrey Ledford, 00:13.011[16]; 14. 11G-Gordy Gundaker, 00:13.036[1]; 15. 11T-Trevor Gundaker, 00:13.210[13]; 16. 10-Paul Parker, 00:13.241[18]; 17. 25-Tucker Finch, 00:13.315[12]; 18. 33H-Roben Huffman, 00:13.549[7]; 19. 74-Russ Adams, 00:13.647[9]; 20. 05-Gary Schalmo, 00:13.775[6]

Contingency Awards:

Allstar Performance Fast Time Award: Taylor Scheffler

VP Fuel Award from Git Sideways: Brian Shirley

Swift Springs Opposing Fast Time Award: Tanner English

Keyser Manufacturing Hard Charger Award: Jason Feger

Wilwood Tough Brake Award: Josh Rice

Ultrashield Non-Transfer Award: Ryan Unzicker

Auto Meter Non-Transfer Award: Russ Adams


Photo: Ryan Roberts