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
Popejoy Incorporated Presents the Illinois Dirt Shootout Powered by Hotrod Septic Treatment Entries #106 - #120
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5/7/2024

5/7/2024

MARS - Midwest Auto Racing Series


Popejoy Incorporated Presents the Illinois Dirt Shootout Powered by Hotrod Septic Treatment Entries #106 - #120

Popejoy Incorporated Presents the Illinois Dirt Shootout Powered by Hotrod Septic Treatment Entries #106 - #120

Over the course of the next few weeks, the MARS Modified Championship Powered by Summit Racing Equipment will be spotlighting each of the drivers entered into the upcoming Illinois Dirt Shootout being held at Fairbury Speedway on May 23 - 25.

Wes Steidinger

Event Car #: 99
Hometown: Fairbury, IL
Best MARS finish: Has not competed in a MARS event

Making his return to racing for the first time in several years will be one of the Fairbury fan favorites, Wes Steidinger. Wes is a 16-time Late Model feature winner at the speedway and will be looking to tackle the Modified division for the first time since early in his career. Steidinger will be behind the wheel of the Beak Built Chassis #99 for the event.

Scott Heath

Event Car #: 35
Hometown: Moneta, VA
Best MARS finish: Has not competed in a MARS event

A driver from Virginia looking to make his first career MARS start in the Land of Lincoln. Heath may not be a driver that goes out and runs 30-40 times a year typically, but he does put up solid finishes when he does decide to hit the track. Last weekend he picked up his first win of the season in DIRTcar UMP Modified action at Virginia Motor Speedway.

Don Kiger

Event Car #: 01
Hometown: Tilton, IL
Best MARS finish: Has not started a MARS feature

Veteran racer from Central Illinois that has been turning circles in the region for decades in the famed #01 machine. His best finish of 2023 was a 7th place finish in weekly action at Charleston Speedway. This season Kiger has only hit the track once, at the April 13 MARS event at Farmer City Raceway, where mechanical issues plagued him throughout the evening.

Kenny Carmichael

Event Car #: 92
Hometown: Terre Haute, IN
Best MARS finish: Has not competed in a MARS event

The Carmichael name has deep roots in the Eastern Illinois and Western Indiana racing scene. While competing in a many of big shows over the course of his career, not many compare to the upcoming Illinois Dirt Shootout. This season has already seen a handful of starts for the Terre Haute, Indiana native with his best finish being a 5th place finish in Super Stock action this past weekend at the Terre Haute Action Track. His best DIRTcar UMP Modified showing of the season came at the Buckeye Bob 33 special at Lincoln Park Speedway where he captured a 10th place finish.

Ervin Vance

Event Car #: P20
Hometown: Beaver, KY
Best MARS finish: Has not competed in a MARS event

Ervin Vance may have only raced 11 times in 2023, but don’t let that fool you with his ability to run out front. He has one of the best overall average finishes of anyone in the field of 180. In 11 starts he rattled off 5 victories and only 1 finish further back than 8th position. Vance was the 2023 Portsmouth Raceway Park track champion.

Rob Fuqua

Event Car #: 3F
Hometown: Paris, IL
Best MARS finish: Has not started a MARS feature

After taking a period of time away from racing, Fuqua stormed back to full-time DIRTcar UMP Modified competition in 2023. While primarily racing on Saturday nights at Charleston Speedway, he was able to capture a 7th place finish in track standings last season. For the second consecutive season, Fuqua kicked off his racing season with Speedweeks stops at East Bay Raceway Park and Volusia Speedway Park with his best finish of the season being a 2nd place run at Volusia.

Danny Schwartz

Event Car #: 21D
Hometown: Ashmore, IL
Best MARS finish: 9th at Farmer City Raceway

Long-time Illinois DIRTcar UMP Modified ace that kicked off 2024 in a positive fashion. Schwartz found his way into the first 3 MARS feature events of the season with his best finish being a career best 9th at Farmer City Raceway. Schwartz finished 3rd in Charleston Speedway points in 2023.

Caleb Slaughter

Event Car #: 121
Hometown: Lewisburg, KY
Best MARS finish: 10th at Charleston Speedway

Kentucky driver that has shown a lot of promise in limited competition over the past few seasons of DIRTcar UMP Modified competition. Last season he picked up a pair of feature wins at the Clarksville Speedway. His 2024 has featured 3 starts so far with his best finish of 4th coming this past weekend in weekly competition at Red Hill Raceway.

James Weintraut

Event Car #: 83J
Hometown: Clayton, IN
Best MARS finish: Has not competed in a MARS event

Weekly competitor in the state of Indiana that frequents Lincoln Park Speedway. His best finish of the season came there this past weekend as he brought home a 14th place finish.

Jeff Leka

Event Car #: 3L
Hometown: Buffalo, IL
Best MARS finish: Has not competed in a MARS event

After one of the most successful DIRTcar UMP Modified careers ever, the Buffalo, Illinois driver decided to step away from competition, for the most part, at the end of the 2022 season. In 2023 Leka decided to return to the driver’s seat for a few nights and picked up back-to-back wins in DIRTcar Stock Car competition driving a Rudy Zaragoza owned entry. One of those wins included the DIRTcar Fall Nationals at Lincoln Speedway.

Kevin Weaver

Event Car #: 12W
Hometown: Gibson City, IL
Best MARS finish: 7th at Spoon River Speedway

While the start of his 40th year of racing did not go as planned, look for the Flatlands Flash to make some noise at the Illinois Dirt Shootout. He may not have the experience that most in the field have in Modifieds, but he has more laps around the Fairbury Speedway than arguably anyone in the field. Weaver has had successful runs in the past few seasons in limited starts with the Del Puro owned team in Modified competition.

Caden McWhorter

Event Car #: 14CM
Hometown: Fairbury, IL
Best MARS finish: 7th at Farmer City Raceway

One of the most consistent front runners of the Central Illinois young guns over the course of the past 12 months. Last season McWhorter rattled off a pair of wins at Farmer City Raceway and went on to finish 5th in track points. In only 4 starts this season, he has picked up 1 top-5 and 2 top-10 finishes with many more on the horizon over the course of 2024.

Chris Osborne Jr

Event Car #: 61
Hometown: Marquette Heights, IL
Best MARS finish: Has not competed in a MARS event

While primarily competing in B Mod competition across the Midwest in recent years, Osborne Jr made a rare start in the DIRTcar UMP Modified division a couple weeks back. After making the long journey south to the Clarksville Speedway he was able to bring back a 2nd place finish for his efforts.

Austin Rettig

Event Car #: 94
Hometown: Sikeston, MO
Best MARS finish: 5th at Brownstown Bullring

Over the winter Rettig went to work and designed a Modified Chassis of his own. Early in 2024 Beast Mod Race Cars was born. With years of experience in Late Model, Modified, and Stock Car racing, Rettig compiled these notes to build a car to his liking, and it appears the hard work has paid off. The first night out he picked up a victory at Benton Speedway.

Blake Brown

Event Car #: 99B
Hometown: Corbin, KY
Best MARS finish: Has not competed in a MARS event

If you are from the Illinois area, Blake Brown may be a Modified driver that you have never really heard much about due to not typically racing in this area, and only running DIRTcar UMP Modified sanctioned events for a portion of his schedule. The results show that he is primed to become one of the higher profiled Modified drivers in the country as his career progresses. In 2023 he won approximately 1/3 of the events he entered (over 30) and is on an unbelievable run to start 2024. He picked up 5 consecutive victories in Modified and Super Stock action to kick off his season at Volunteer Speedway, Rockcastle Speedway, and Wartburg Speedway and most recently finished 6th at Eldora Speedway for the Dirt Track World Championship make up event.


Article Credit: Jonathan Clayton

Submitted By: Jonathan Clayton

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