MARS - Midwest Auto Racing Series

Official Summary of Results May 25, 2024 Fairbury...
Gary Cook Jr. Memorial Canceled for Sunday, May 26...
Illinois Dirt Shootout Presented by Popejoy Incorp...
Official Summary of Results May 25, 2024 Fairbury...

Official Summary of Results May 25, 2024 Fairbury...

5/25/2024 -
Official Summary of Results May 25, 2024 Fairbury Speedway Fairbury, IL Illinois Dirt Shootout Presented by Popejoy Incorporated & HOTROD Septic Treat
Gary Cook Jr. Memorial Canceled for Sunday, May 26...

Gary Cook Jr. Memorial Canceled for Sunday, May 26...

5/25/2024 -
Gary Cook Jr. Memorial Canceled for Sunday, May 26 at Spoon River Speedway FAIRBURY, IL (May 25) Due to the projected heavy rainfall and severe thunde
Illinois Dirt Shootout Presented by Popejoy Incorp...

Illinois Dirt Shootout Presented by Popejoy Incorp...

5/24/2024 -
Illinois Dirt Shootout Presented by Popejoy Incorporated & HOTROD Septic Treatment Canceled for Friday, May 24 FAIRBURY, IL (May 24) Due to early afte

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Official Summary of Results May 25, 2024 Fairbury Speedway

Official Summary of Results May 25, 2024 Fairbury Speedway

5/25/2024
Official Summary of Results May 25, 2024 Fairbury Speedway Fairbury, IL Illinois Dirt Shootout Presented by Popejoy Incorporated & HOTROD Septic Treatment Feature Results for the MARS Modified Championship Powered by Summit Racing Equipment – 126 entries Mike Harrison –...more
Gary Cook Jr. Memorial Canceled for Sunday, May 26 at Spoon River

Gary Cook Jr. Memorial Canceled for Sunday, May 26 at Spoon River...

5/25/2024
Gary Cook Jr. Memorial Canceled for Sunday, May 26 at Spoon River Speedway FAIRBURY, IL (May 25) Due to the projected heavy rainfall and severe thunderstorms beginning tomorrow morning, officials with the MARS Championship Tours and track personnel at Spoon River Speedway...more
Illinois Dirt Shootout Presented by Popejoy Incorporated & HOTROD

Illinois Dirt Shootout Presented by Popejoy Incorporated & HOTROD...

5/24/2024
Illinois Dirt Shootout Presented by Popejoy Incorporated & HOTROD Septic Treatment Canceled for Friday, May 24 FAIRBURY, IL (May 24) Due to early afternoon downpours and projected showers and storms throughout the evening, night #2 of the Illinois Dirt Shootout at Fairbury...more
Official Summary of Results May 23, 2023 Fairbury Speedway

Official Summary of Results May 23, 2023 Fairbury Speedway

5/23/2024
Official Summary of Results May 23, 2024 Fairbury Speedway Fairbury, IL Illinois Dirt Shootout Presented by Popejoy Incorporated & HOTROD Septic Treatment MARS Modified Championship Powered by Summit Racing Equipment – 123 entries Allstar Performance Feature 1 Michael Long...more


FK Rod Ends
Memorial Day Weekend Trifecta Next for MARS Championship Tours
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5/23/2023

5/23/2023

MARS - Midwest Auto Racing Series


Memorial Day Weekend Trifecta Next for MARS Championship Tours

Memorial Day Weekend Trifecta Next for MARS Championship Tours

Memorial Day Weekend is typically tagged as the unofficial beginning to summer for many people. For the MARS Championship Tours, it means the unofficial halfway point to the season. Following this weekend of racing, the MARS Championship Tours will be off the next 7 weeks after an action-packed spring schedule. Drivers in each series are sure to be jockeying for every position they can grab this weekend to set them in the best points situation as possible before heading into the summer break.

After 6 events for the MARS Late Model Championship Powered by FK Rod Ends, Ryan Unzicker is now the current point leader after hitting his stride in last weekend’s events. Unzicker won at Charleston Speedway and Adams County Speedway after finishing 2nd last Friday at Kankakee County Speedway. Jason Feger currently sits 2nd in points only 20 markers behind Unzicker. Feger has 1 win on the series (Kankakee County Speedway May 19th) and 5 Top 10 finishes in 6 starts. Mike Harrison, Tommy Sheppard Jr, and Rich Dawson round out the top 5 in current points standings.

The inaugural season for the MARS Modified Championship Powered by Summit Racing Equipment has been just as most had hoped for when it was created; the best Modified drivers in the Midwest competing night after night. After 5 events, the battle at the top of the series points standings continues to be tight with only 16 points separating the top 3. Kyle Steffens will lead the series to Farmer City Raceway Friday night as the point leader, after sweeping last weekend at Charleston Speedway and Adams County Speedway. Tyler Nicely currently sits 2nd in series points, with Josh Harris rounding out the top 3. All 4 drivers have been the standard for points racing as all 4 have top 10 finishes in 4 out of 5 races. Michael Long currently sits 4th in points with Allen Weisser rounding out the top 5.

This weekend both series will be in action all 3 nights for the first time this season at 3 of the most popular Illinois dirt ovals.

Friday, May 26 – Farmer City Raceway – Farmer City, IL – MARS Late Model Championship Powered by FK Rod Ends and MARS Modified Championship Powered by Summit Racing Equipment

On Friday night, May 26, the MARS Championship tours will roll into the Farmer City Raceway for the first of 2 stops on the season. During the 2022 season the MARS Late Model Series made 3 trips to Farmer City with Tyler Erb, Jason Feger, and Mike Spatola bringing home victories. Logan Moody leads the weekly DIRTcar Late Model points at Farmer City with Roben Huffman, Colton Billington, Jason Feger, and Kevin Weaver rounding out the top 5. In Modified competition, Michael Ledford leads the way as the Farmer City Raceway point leader with 4 wins already tallied to his name.

Joining the MARS Late Model Championship Powered by FK Rod Ends and the MARS Modified Championship Powered by Summit Racing Equipment will be the DIRTcar Pro Late Models and the DIRTcar Stock Cars. Pit gates are set to open at 4:00 p.m. with the grandstands opening for seating at 4:00 p.m. as well. The driver’s meeting is set for 6:00 p.m. with hot laps beginning for the MARS Late Models at 6:30 p.m. Ticket prices for Friday’s event are $25 in the grandstands with children ages 12 and under admitted free. Pit passes will be available for $40 for adults, $20 for children ages 5-12, with children ages 4 and under admitted for free.

Saturday, May 27 – Fairbury Speedway – Fairbury, IL – MARS Late Model Championship Powered by FK Rod Ends and MARS Modified Championship Powered by Summit Racing Equipment

Coming up on Saturday, both the MARS Late Model Championship Powered by FK Rod Ends and the MARS Modified Championship Powered by Summit Racing Equipment will roll into Fairbury Speedway for their second visit of the season. The first trip this year featured 32 MARS Late Models and 41 MARS Modifieds with Shannon Babb and Michael Long taking home victories. Fairbury is notorious for being the gathering spot for many of the top competitors across the Midwest, so look for solid fields in both divisions on Saturday. The evening’s action will be presented by Fairbury Fastener & Supply. Make sure to make a stop into Fairbury Fastener & Supply on your way into town Saturday morning as they are also a proud sponsor of the MARS Championship Late Model Championship Powered by FK Rod Ends.

Joining the MARS Late Model Championship Powered by FK Rod Ends and the MARS Modified Championship Powered by Summit Racing Equipment will be the Midwest Big Ten Pro Late Model Series and the DIRTcar Sportsman division. Pit gates will open on Saturday at 12:00 noon with general admission gates scheduled to open at 2:00 p.m. The driver’s meeting will take place at 5:30 p.m. with hot laps hitting the speedway at 5:50 p.m. sharp. General admission prices are $20 for adults with children ages 12 and under admitted free. Pit passes will be $35 for adults with children ages 12 and under admitted for $15.

Sunday, May 28 – Spoon River Speedway – Lewistown, IL – MARS Late Model Championship Powered by FK Rod Ends and MARS Modified Championship Powered by Summit Racing Equipment

The bookend of the holiday weekend trifecta will be the Gary Cook Jr. Memorial on Sunday, May 28, at Spoon River Speedway. While both series will be in action, the race will be a special tribute to the late Gary Cook Jr with the MARS Modified Championship Powered by Summit Racing Equipment paying $2,564 to win. Last year in 3 MARS Late Model Series events, Jason Feger took the first 2 victories with Ryan Unzicker winning the 3rd trip for the series. Mike McKinney took home the DIRTcar sanctioned Gary Cook Jr Memorial in 2022 and will be looking to back that up with a similar performance in 2023.

Joining the card Sunday night with the MARS Late Model Championship Powered by FK Rod Ends and the MARS Modified Championship Powered by Summit Racing Equipment will be the DIRTcar Pro Late Models, E Mods, and DIRTcar Hornets. Pit Gates are scheduled to open at 1:00 p.m. with grandstands set to open at 5:00 p.m. The driver’s meeting is scheduled to begin at 5:30 p.m. with hot laps to hit the track at 6:00 p.m. General admission prices are $25 for adults with children ages 10 and under admitted for free. All pit passes will be $45.

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 $90) (Saturday $85) (Sunday $95)

MARS Modified Championship Powered by Summit Racing Equipment Feature purse for Friday & Saturday: 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 – (Friday $65) (Saturday $60)

MARS Modified Championship Powered by Summit Racing Equipment Feature purse for Sunday: 1) $2,564 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 – (Sunday $70)

2023 MARS Late Model Championship Powered by FK Rod Ends Point Standings

  1. Ryan Unzicker – 369
  2. Jason Feger – 349
  3. Mike Harrison – 312
  4. Tommy Sheppard Jr – 276
  5. Rich Dawson – 269
  6. Jake Little – 251
  7. Bob Gardner – 243
  8. Kyle Hammer – 224
  9. Blaze Burwell – 222
  10. Brandon Sheppard – 215
  11. Logan Nickerson – 201
  12. Justin White – 199
  13. Mark Voigt – 193
  14. Frank Heckenast JR – 178
  15. Drake Troutman – 170
  16. Doug Tye – 163
  17. Rodney Melvin – 151
  18. Tyler Erb – 141
  19. Shannon Babb – 140
  20. Brian Shirley – 125

Sunoco Race Fuels Rookie of the Year Point Standings

  1. Mike Harrison – 312
  2. Tommy Sheppard Jr – 276
  3. Rich Dawson – 269
  4. Jake Little – 251
  5. Kyle Hammer – 224
  6. Blaze Burwell – 222
  7. Logan Nickerson – 201
  8. Justin White – 199
  9. Doug Tye – 163
  10. Kye Blight – 115

MARS Modified Championship Powered by Summit Racing Equipment Point Standings

  1. Kyle Steffens – 319
  2. Tyler Nicely – 312
  3. Josh Harris – 303
  4. Michael Long – 265
  5. Allen Weisser – 261
  6. Charlie Mefford – 222
  7. Zeke McKenzie – 218
  8. Mike Chasteen Jr – 210
  9. Trevor Neville – 205
  10. Blake Bailey – 160
  11. Brian Shaw – 155
  12. Dillon Nusbaum – 153
  13. Rick Frasure – 130
  14. Logan Veloz – 128
  15. John Clippinger – 114

Sunoco Race Fuels Rookie of the Year Points Standings

  1. Charlie Mefford – 222
  2. Blake Bailey – 160
  3. Rick Frasure – 130
  4. Logan Veloz – 128
  5. John Clippinger – 114
  6. Mike Learman – 81

2023 MARS Late Model Championship Powered by FK Rod Ends Statistics

Illinois State Rifle Association Heat Race #1 Winners
Tyler Erb – 2
McKay Wenger – 1
Brandon Sheppard – 1
Kevin Weaver – 1
Dillon McCowan – 1

Pontiac RV Heat Race #2 Winners
Ryan Unzicker – 3
Drake Troutman – 2
Jason Feger – 1

FK Rod Ends 1st Place Finisher
Ryan Unzicker – 2
Tyler Erb – 1
Shannon Babb – 1
Brandon Sheppard – 1
Jason Feger – 1

Out-Pace Racing Products 3rd Place Finisher
Shannon Babb – 1
Brian Shirley – 1
Drake Troutman – 1
Logan Nickerson – 1
Mike Harrison – 1
Tommy Sheppard Jr – 1

FK Rod Ends 5th Place Finisher
Jason Feger – 2
Ryan Unzicker – 1
Kyle Hammer – 1
Rodney Melvin – 1
Rich Dawson – 1

Fairbury Fastener 7th Place Finisher
Tanner English – 1
Frank Heckenast Jr – 1
Blaze Burwell – 1
Billy Moyer – 1
Dillon McCowan – 1
Justin Reed – 1

Budda by Bert Transmission 9th Place Finisher
Drake Troutman – 1
Taylor Scheffler – 1
Tommy Sheppard Jr – 1
Mike Spatola – 1
Josh Boller – 1
Trevor Gundaker – 1

Hooker Harness 11th Place Finisher
Daryn Klein – 1
Logan Nickerson – 1
Frank Heckenast Jr – 1
Kye Blight – 1
Blaze Burwell – 1
Bob Gardner – 1

Keyser Manufacturing 13th Place Finisher
Rich Dawson – 1
Mike Spatola – 1
Logan Nickerson – 1
Bob Gardner – 1
Kyle Hammer – 1
Justin White – 1

Fast Shafts 15th Place Finisher
Bob Gardner – 1
Jake Little – 1
Mark Voigt – 1
Justin White – 1
Jason Feger – 1
Austin Howes – 1

MD3 Hard Charger Award Winners
Rodney Melvin – 2
Jason Feger – 1
Taylor Scheffler – 1
Tommy Sheppard Jr – 1
Kyle Hammer – 1

Wilwood Brakes Hard Luck Award Winners
Matt Bailey – 1
Kevin Weaver – 1
Brandon Tibaldi – 1
Chase Osterhoff – 1
Trevor Gundaker – 1
Kyle Hammer – 1

Sunoco Race Fuels Rookie of the Race Winners
Mike Harrison – 2
Blaze Burwell – 1
Logan Nickerson – 1
Rich Dawson – 1
Tommy Sheppard Jr – 1

2023 MARS Modified Championship Powered by Summit Racing Equipment Statistics

Multi Fire X Fast Time Award Winners
Josh Harris – 2
Tyler Nicely – 1
John Clippinger – 1
Kyle Steffens – 1

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

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

Fast Shafts 3rd place Finisher
Josh Harris – 2
Trevor Neville – 1
Kyle Steffens – 1
Tyler Nicely – 1

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

Keyser Manufacturing 7th Place Finisher
Charlie Mefford – 1
Zeke McKenzie – 1
John Clippinger – 1
Allen Weisser – 1
Rick Conoyer – 1

Hooker Harness 11th Place Finisher
Mike McKinney – 1
Cole Falloway – 1
Josh Lemke – 1
Justin Jones – 1
Jacob Rexing – 1

MD3 Hard Charger Award Winners
Michael Long – 1
Caden McWhorter – 1
Justin Jones – 1
Will Krup – 1
Logan Veloz – 1

Wilwood Brakes Hard Luck Award Winners
Cole Falloway – 1
Trevor Neville – 1
Zeke McKenzie – 1
Logan Mounce – 1
Blake Bailey – 1

Sunoco Race Fuels Rookie of the Race Winners
Charlie Mefford – 3
Caden McWhorter – 1
Logan Veloz – 1

FIVE THINGS TO WATCH FOR:

• Smooth Strolling Steffens: If there is anyone in the MARS Modified Championship Powered by Summit Racing Equipment that is going into the weekend with confidence, it must be series points leader Kyle Steffens. Steffens swept the weekend last weekend at Charleston and Adams County against the best in the Midwest. He will miss this Friday’s event at Farmer City Raceway due to his USAC Silver Crown schedule but will be back in action Saturday at Fairbury. Ultimately missing 1 event will not ruin his title run hopes, as drivers are allowed to drop their worst two finishes prior to championship weekend.

• Unzicker to the Top: After an impressive performance last weekend, Ryan Unzicker has shot to the top of the MARS Late Model Championship Powered by FK Rod Ends standings. Unzicker finished runner up at Kankakee and followed his weekend up with winning the Charleston and Adams County events. With Unzicker having endless laps around Farmer City, Fairbury, and Spoon River, look for him to continue his runs toward the front this weekend.

• Magicman Making Moves: One driver having a strong month of May is Plainfield, Illinois’ Mike McKinney. McKinney has captured a $3,000 to win DIRTcar UMP Modified event at Spoon River, a $3,000 to win DIRTcar UMP Modified event at Fairbury Speedway, and the $2,069 to win Greg Gilmore Memorial this past Saturday at Spoon River. Look for McKinney to be towards the front of the Modified field all 3 nights of the MARS events this weekend.

• Modified Aces Continue to Climb the Late Model Ranks: One of storylines of the MARS Late Model Championship Powered by FK Rod Ends season to this point has been the progression of the former DIRTcar UMP Modified drivers. This past weekend, Rich Dawson, Mike Harrison, and Tommy Sheppard Jr all found the podium in a feature event and continue to climb the points chart. Mike Harrison currently leads the Sunoco Race Fuels Rookie of the Year standings over Tommy Sheppard Jr and Rich Dawson.

• Capping Off the First Half of the Season: This weekend will mark the unofficial halfway point into the season for each tour. We will take the early summer off and be back in action towards the end of July, with an action packed late-summer and fall schedule lying ahead. Look for stats, sponsor content, and more over the course of the off time.

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 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

o May 28, 2023 – Spoon River Speedway – Lewistown, IL – Gary Cook Jr Memorial - $5,000 to win MARS Late Model Championship Powered by FK Rod Ends & $2,564 to win MARS Modified Championship Powered by Summit Racing Equipment

o July 21, 2023 – Jacksonville Speedway – Jacksonville, IL – Wild Man Kelly Classic - $5,000 to win MARS Late Model Championship Powered by FK Rod Ends

o July 22, 2023 – Federated Auto Parts Raceway at I-55 – Pevely, MO – Tribute to Ed Dixon - $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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