MARS - Midwest Auto Racing Series

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Official Summary of Results April 20, 2024 World F...

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Official Summary of Results April 20, 2024 World Famous Highland Speedway Highland, IL Feature Results for the MARS Modified Championship Powered by S
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Official Summary of Results April 20, 2024 World Famous Highland Speedway Highland, IL Feature Results for the MARS Modified Championship Powered by Summit Racing Equipment – 41 entries Michael Long – Fowler, IL - $2,000 Ray Bollinger – Kewanee, IL - $1,500 Mike McKinney –...more
MARS Modified Championship Powered by Summit Racing Equipment Rai

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Greater St. Louis Metropolitan Area Doubleheader Up Next for MARS

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Greater St. Louis Metropolitan Area Doubleheader Up Next for MARS Modified Championship Powered by Summit Racing Equipment Tour FAIRBURY, IL (April 16, 2024) – With the first weekend of the season in the history books for the MARS Modified Championship Powered by Summit...more
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Popejoy Plumbing, Heating, Electric and Geothermal Presents the Illinois Dirt Shootout Powered by Hotrod Septic Treatment Entries #61 - #75 Over the course of the next month and a half, the MARS Modified Championship Powered by Summit Racing Equipment will be spotlighting...more


FK Rod Ends
Land of Lincoln Triple-Header Next for MARS Championship Tours
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5/15/2023

5/15/2023

MARS - Midwest Auto Racing Series


Land of Lincoln Triple-Header Next for MARS Championship Tours

Land of Lincoln Triple-Header Next for MARS Championship Tours

FAIRBURY, IL (May 15, 2023) After a week away from MARS competition, both series are set to return to action this weekend to continue their quest for the season ending championship. After 3 events completed in MARS Late Model Championship Powered by FK Rod Ends competition, New Berlin, Illinois’ Brandon Sheppard leads series points standings followed by Drake Troutman, Jason Feger, Ryan Unzicker, and Mike Harrison. Opening weekend for the Late Model series showed solid car counts and great racing action that fans will grow accustomed to when MARS comes to town.

On the MARS Modified Championship Powered by Summit Racing Equipment side of things, Tyler Nicely of Owensboro, Kentucky retook the points lead after his win on Saturday, May 6 at Red Hill Raceway with a narrow advantage going into Charleston this Saturday night over Kyle Steffens, Josh Harris, Allen Weisser, and Charlie Mefford. This weekend, the MARS Dirt Series is set to showcase the stars of the Midwest at three well-known Illinois ovals.

Friday, May 19 – Kankakee County Speedway – Kankakee, IL – MARS Late Model Championship Powered by FK Rod Ends

On Friday night, May 19, the MARS Late Models will return to the Kankakee County Speedway in Kankakee, Illinois for the Big Daddy Scrap 40. Promoter Billy Knippenberg has worked diligently since at the helm of the speedway to bring Kankakee back to its glory days. In 4 events so far this season, the speedway has averaged 117 cars per night in the pit area with 2-3 wide racing being the normal for the 2023 season. Over the off season, a multitude of track work was done including an outside retaining wall being added in turns 1 & 2 of the racetrack. Dividends have paid off to this point, as drivers are raving that Kankakee races as well now as it ever has before. Last season’s event winner was Manhattan, Illinois driver Mike Spatola as he crossed the finish line over Ryan Unzicker, McKay Wenger, Frank Heckenast Jr, and Kevin Weaver. Friday will mark the first of 3 Super Late Model shows at the track in 2023.

Joining the MARS Late Model Championship Powered by FK Rod Ends will be the DIRTcar Pro Late Models, DIRTcar UMP Modifieds, DIRTcar Stock Cars, DIRTcar Pro Modifieds, and DIRTcar Sport Compacts. Pit gates are set to open at 4:00 p.m. with general admission gates opening at 5:30 p.m. The driver’s meeting is set for 5:45 p.m. with hot laps beginning with the MARS Late Models at 6:15 p.m. Ticket prices for Friday’s event are $25 for general admission with children 11 and under admitted free of charge. Pit passes will be available for $45 for adults with children ages 5-10 years old being admitted for $25. Children 4 years old and under will be free.

Saturday, May 20 – Charleston Speedway – Charleston, IL – MARS Late Model Championship Powered by FK Rod Ends & MARS Modified Championship Powered by Summit Racing Equipment

Coming up on Saturday night, May 20, both the MARS Late Model Championship Powered by FK Rod Ends & MARS Modified Championship Powered by Summit Racing Equipment will be making their first ever appearance to the ¼ mile oval located in Coles County Illinois. The Late Model portion of the event will be brought to you by Great Lakes Lifting, while the Modified portion of the event will be made possible by C.R. Neff Plumbing Heating and A/C LLC. The Graves 40 for the MARS Late Models and Graves 30 for the MARS Modifieds will be held in honor of the Graves family’s rich history at the Charleston Speedway. This event will mark the only appearance for Super Late Models at the speedway in 2023 and the first time Super Late Models have hit the Charleston Speedway for competition since 2017 when Billy Moyer Jr took home a DIRTcar Summer Nationals win. In 2 weekly events at the speedway so far this season in DIRTcar UMP Modified weekly competition, Justin Jones and Kasey Schrock have taken home victories.

MARS Late Model Championship Powered by FK Rod Ends and the MARS Modified Championship Powered by Summit Racing Equipment will headline the card on Saturday night with the DIRTcar Pro Modifieds and DIRTcar Stock Cars also racing for added money. Pit gates will open on Saturday at 3:00 p.m. with general admission gates scheduled to open at 4:00 p.m. The driver’s meeting will begin at 5:30 p.m. with hot laps hitting the speedway at 6:00 p.m. General admission prices are $25 for adults, children ages 5-11 $10, and children ages 4 and under free. Pit passes will be $40 for adults, children ages 3-11 $20, with children ages 2 and under admitted for free.

Sunday, May 21 – Adams County Speedway – Quincy, IL – MARS Late Model Championship Powered by FK Rod Ends & MARS Modified Championship Powered by Summit Racing Equipment

Finishing off the weekend for the MARS Championship tours will be a visit to the western side of the state of Illinois for a Sunday evening event at the Adams County Speedway. The evening’s action will be brought to you with the help from Heartland Towing & Recovery. As most remember, last season’s visit to the Adams County Speedway was an instant classic with Tommy Sheppard Jr making the charge from 10th to bring home the victory. With only 1 other division joining the card Sunday (HART Limited Modified Series), fans can expect a crisply ran show so fans and teams alike can head to their next destination at a reasonable hour. Jacob Rexing currently leads the Adams County Speedway DIRTcar UMP Modified points standings with a win and a 3rd place finish to his credit so far this season and will look to be a frontrunner this weekend as well.

On Sunday, pit gates are scheduled to open at 2:30 p.m. with general admission gates opening at 3:30 p.m. The driver’s meeting is set to take place at 5:00 p.m. with hot laps on the speedway at 5:30 p.m. General admission prices are $30 for adults, $25 for senior citizens and military, $5 for children ages 6-13, with children ages 5 and under being admitted for free. Pit passes are $40 for adults, $20 for children ages 4-12, with children ages 3 and under being admitted into the pit area for free.

MARS Late Model Championship Powered by FK Rod Ends Tire Rule for each night:

LF: Hoosier NLMT2/LM20/NLMT3/LM30
RF: Hoosier NLMT2/LM20/NLMT3/LM30
LR: Hoosier NLMT2/LM20/NLMT3/LM30
RR: Hoosier NLMT3/LM30/NLMT4/LM40

Grooving and Siping will be permitted. We will mark tires at the scales after qualifying. You must run these 4 tires for the remainder of the night. You will be allowed 2 new tires for the feature only. If you have a flat in Qualifying, Heat Race, or B-Main, you must replace with a used tire of the same compound.

MARS Late Model Championship Powered by FK Rod Ends Feature purse for each night: 1) $5,000 2) $2,500 3) $2,000 4) $1,600 5) $1,400 6) $1,200 7) $1,000 8) $800 9) $700 10) $600 11) $500 12) $500 13) $500 14) $500 15) $500 16) $500 17) $500 18) $500 19) $500 20) $500 21) $500 22) $500. Non-Transfer Tow Money (Friday $95) (Saturday $90) (Sunday $90)

MARS Modified Championship Powered by Summit Racing Equipment Feature purse for each night: 1) $2,000 2) $1,500 3) $1,200 4) $1,000 5) $800 6) $600 7) $500 8) $400 9) $300 10) $275 11) $250 12) $250 13) $250 14) $250 15) $250 16) $250 17) $250 18) $250 19) $250 20) $250 21) $250 22) $250. Non-Transfer Tow Money – (Saturday $65) (Sunday $65)

MARS Late Model Championship Powered by FK Rod Ends Top 20 in Points

  1. Brandon Sheppard – 215
  2. Drake Troutman – 170
  3. Jason Feger – 168
  4. Ryan Unzicker – 149
  5. Mike Harrison – 145
  6. Shannon Babb – 140
  7. Frank Heckenast Jr – 135
  8. Bob Gardner – 127
  9. Brian Shirley – 125
  10. Tanner English – 121
  11. Tommy Sheppard Jr – 118
  12. Jake Little – 112
  13. Tyler Erb – 106
  14. Logan Nickerson – 106
  15. Rich Dawson – 103
  16. Kyle Hammer – 100
  17. Blaze Burwell – 99
  18. Mark Voigt – 94
  19. Justin White – 82
  20. Doug Tye – 67

Sunoco Race Fuels Rookie of the Year Top 10 in Points

  1. Mike Harrison – 145
  2. Tommy Sheppard Jr – 118
  3. Jake Little – 112
  4. Logan Nickerson – 106
  5. Rich Dawson – 103
  6. Kyle Hammer – 100
  7. Blaze Burwell – 99
  8. Justin White – 82
  9. Doug Tye – 67
  10. Hunt Gossum – 53

MARS Modified Championship Powered by Summit Racing Equipment Top 15 in Points

  1. Tyler Nicely – 177
  2. Kyle Steffens – 169
  3. Josh Harris – 168
  4. Allen Weisser – 156
  5. Charlie Mefford – 149
  6. Trevor Neville – 148
  7. Michael Long – 145
  8. Zeke McKenzie – 137
  9. Mike Chasteen Jr – 132
  10. Brian Shaw – 125
  11. John Clippinger – 114
  12. Mike McKinney – 101
  13. Blake Bailey – 97
  14. Dillon Nusbaum – 96
  15. Mike Learman – 81

Sunoco Race Fuels Rookie of the Year Top 10 in Points

  1. Charlie Mefford – 149
  2. John Clippinger – 114
  3. Blake Bailey – 97
  4. Mike Learman – 81
  5. Rick Frasure – 79
  6. Jared Thomas – 73
  7. Logan Veloz – 54
  8. Lance Evans – 49
  9. Caden McWhorter – 43
  10. Tyler Blankenship – 30

2023 MARS Late Model Championship Powered by FK Rod Ends Statistics

Illinois State Rifle Association Heat Race #1 Winners
Tyler Erb – 1
McKay Wenger – 1
Brandon Sheppard – 1

Pontiac RV Heat Race #2 Winners
Drake Troutman – 2
Ryan Unzicker – 1

FK Rod Ends 1st Place Finisher
Tyler Erb – 1
Shannon Babb – 1
Brandon Sheppard – 1

Out-Pace Racing Products 3rd Place Finisher
Shannon Babb – 1
Brian Shirley – 1
Drake Troutman – 1

FK Rod Ends 5th Place Finisher
Jason Feger – 2
Ryan Unzicker – 1

Fairbury Fastener 7th Place Finisher
Tanner English – 1
Frank Heckenast Jr – 1
Blaze Burwell – 1

Budda by Bert Transmission 9th Place Finisher
Drake Troutman – 1
Taylor Scheffler – 1
Tommy Sheppard Jr – 1

Hooker Harness 11th Place Finisher
Daryn Klein – 1
Logan Nickerson – 1
Frank Heckenast Jr – 1

Keyser Manufacturing 13th Place Finisher
Rich Dawson – 1
Mike Spatola – 1
Logan Nickerson – 1

Fast Shafts 15th Place Finisher
Bob Gardner – 1
Jake Little – 1
Mark Voigt – 1

MD3 Hard Charger Award Winners
Jason Feger – 1
Taylor Scheffler – 1
Tommy Sheppard Jr – 1

Wilwood Brakes Hard Luck Award Winners
Matt Bailey – 1
Kevin Weaver – 1
Brandon Tibaldi – 1

Sunoco Race Fuels Rookie of the Race Winners
Mike Harrison – 2
Blaze Burwell – 1

2023 MARS Modified Championship Powered by Summit Racing Equipment Statistics

Multi Fire X Fast Time Award Winners
Tyler Nicely – 1
Josh Harris – 1
John Clippinger – 1

Willy’s Carb & Dyno Heat Race #1 Winners
Charlie Mefford – 1
Zeke McKenzie – 1
John Clippinger – 1

Summit Racing Equipment 1st Place Finisher
Tyler Nicely – 2
Michael Long – 1

Fast Shafts 3rd place Finisher
Trevor Neville – 1
Josh Harris – 1
Kyle Steffens – 1

Out-Pace Racing Products 5th Place Finisher
Zeke McKenzie – 1
Allen Weisser – 1
Mike Chasteen – 1

Keyser Manufacturing 7th Place Finisher
Charlie Mefford – 1
Zeke McKenzie – 1
John Clippinger – 1

Hooker Harness 11th Place Finisher
Mike McKinney – 1
Cole Falloway – 1
Josh Lemke – 1

MD3 Hard Charger Award Winners
Michael Long – 1
Caden McWhorter – 1
Justin Jones – 1

Wilwood Brakes Hard Luck Award Winners
Cole Falloway – 1
Trevor Neville – 1
Zeke McKenzie – 1

Sunoco Race Fuels Rookie of the Race Winners
Charlie Mefford – 2
Caden McWhorter – 1

FIVE THINGS TO WATCH FOR:
• Major Late Model Point Shake-Up: Heading into the weekend, Brandon Sheppard and Drake Troutman are currently 1-2 in series points standings. With the World of Outlaws Case Construction Late Model Series racing in Pennsylvania and New York this weekend, neither of those drivers are expected in MARS competition over the course of the weekend. Jason Feger, Ryan Unzicker, and Mike Harrison are the drivers currently sitting 3rd-5th in series standings looking to make the jump to the top after 3 nights of racing this weekend.

• Aussie Invasion: Although still in Australia during the first weekend of MARS action, Kye Blight, in his Paul Stubber Racing machine, is set to tackle the MARS tour full time in 2023. Kye opened his USA campaign this past weekend at Attica Raceway Park and Wayne County Speedway where he picked up respectable finishes of 4th and 6th place. Kye sat fast time overall in last year’s Big Daddy Scrap 40 at Kankakee and will be looking to build off that success on Friday.

• Tightening Modified Points Battle: After 3 events in on the 2023 season, the battle for points lead has heated up drastically. Tyler Nicely, Kyle Steffens, and Josh Harris are separated by a mere 9 points, with Allen Weisser, Charlie Mefford, and Trevor Neville all less than 30 points back from the lead. With the tour carrying the stiffest competition in DIRTcar UMP Modified racing from track to track, we expect the points battle to be heated throughout this inaugural season.

• Harrison/Mefford Lead Sunoco Race Fuels Rookie of the Year Chase: To this point in the season, Mike Harrison and Charlie Mefford have made it clear that they will be the guys to beat on the Sunoco Race Fuels Rookie of the Year Chase for their respective divisions. On the Late Model side, Harrison currently holds a 27-point advantage over Tommy Sheppard Jr. Charlie Mefford holds an even larger lead in the Modified standings as he is currently 35 points over second place John Clippinger.

• Adams County Modified Challengers: While the series will bring the best Modified drivers in the Midwest to Adams County Speedway on Sunday, three drivers in particular will welcome the challenge: Austen Becerra, Dave Wietholder, and Jacob Rexing. Between Becerra and Wietholder, they combined for 9 of the 16 feature wins during the 2022 points season at Adams County. Austen Becerra was crowned track champion for the DIRTcar UMP Modified division in 2022. Jacob Rexing currently leads the 2023 Adams County Speedway points standings with him and Becerra both sharing victories after the first two events.

If you are unable to make it to the track this weekend, you can catch these 3 shows plus EVERY MARS Late Model Championship Powered by FK Rod Ends event in 2023 live at floracing.com.

For more information about the MARS Dirt Series, please contact Jonathan Clayton at 731-467- 1316, visit the tour’s webpage at marsracingseries.com, or visit @MARSDirtRacing on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

MARS Late Model Championship Powered by FK Rod Ends and MARS Modified Championship Powered by Summit Racing Equipment would like to thank the following sponsors and marketing partners for their support of the 2023 racing season: FK Rod Ends, Summit Racing Equipment, Elliott’s Custom Trailers & Carts, Flo Racing, Racing Electronics, Hoosier Racing Tire, Sunoco Race Fuels, Illinois State Rifle Association, Pontiac RV, Allstar Performance, O’Reilly Auto Parts, DIRTcar Racing, Driscoll Motors, Woods Basement Systems, MD3, Josh James Artwork, MWD Signs & Graphix, Fairbury Fastener & Supply, King’s Graphix, Dirt Draft, Digital Copy Systems, Whelen, Multi Fire X, Budda Bert Transmission, Dyer’s Top Rods, Fast Shafts, Wilwood Brakes, Wehrs Machine & Racing Products, Out-Pace Racing Products, Keyser Manufacturing, Varsitee Screenprinting, Willy’s Carb & Dyno, Mackinaw Valley Powder Coating, Trackside Racewear, and Hooker Harness.

MARS Championship Upcoming Events

o May 19, 2023 – Kankakee County Speedway – Kankakee, IL – Big Daddy Scrap 40 – $5,000 to win MARS Late Model Championship Powered by FK Rod Ends

o May 20, 2023 – Charleston Speedway – Charleston, IL – Graves 40 – $5,000 to win MARS Late Model Championship Powered by FK Rod Ends & $2,000 to win MARS Modified Championship Powered by Summit Racing Equipment.

o May 21, 2023 – Adams County Speedway – Quincy, IL – $5,000 to win MARS Late Model Championship Powered by FK Rod Ends & $2,000 to win MARS Modified Championship Powered by Summit Racing Equipment.

o May 26, 2023 – Farmer City Raceway – Farmer City, IL – $5,000 to win MARS Late Model Championship Powered by FK Rod Ends & $2,000 to win MARS Modified Championship Powered by Summit Racing Equipment.

o May 27, 2023 – Fairbury Speedway – Fairbury, IL – $5,000 to win MARS Late Model Championship Powered by FK Rod Ends & $2,000 to win MARS Modified Championship Powered by Summit Racing Equipment.


Submitted By: Jonathan Clayton

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