FAIRBURY FOUR: Gustin, Pierce, Scott, and O’Neal win Prairie Dirt Classic Showdowns

Gustin wins a Showdown at Fairbury
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16 drivers are locked into Saturday’s 100-lap finale

The World of Outlaws Morton Buildings Late Models kicked off the 31st Prairie Dirt Classic at Fairbury Speedway in style Friday, with more than 70 cars fighting for 16 spots in Saturday’s 100-lap finale.

Ryan Gustin, Bobby Pierce, Stormy Scott, and Hudson O’Neal collected each $3,000 by winning one of Friday’s four Showdowns and have the chance to start on the pole for the Morton Buildings Feature.

SHOWDOWN #1

World of Outlaws Rookie of the Year contender Ryan Gustin has never been afraid to run the outside at any speedway. He used that experience to his advantage Friday, leading all 25 laps to score the $3,000 prize.

The Marshalltown, IA driver also swept the night, winning his Showdown and setting Slick Woody’s Cornhole Co. Quick time.

Gustin received advice from a DIRTcar Summit Racing Equipment Modified Nationals driver to help him get around Fairbury Speedway.

“Mike Harrison has been helping me out a little bit, telling me what lines to run and stuff,” Gustin said. “He’s got a million laps around [Fairbury Speedway], so I really got to thank him and everyone else that helps.”

Shannon Babb, a three-time Prairie Dirt Classic winner, finished second after starting 13th. Chris Madden crossed the line third, and Chris Simpson grabbed the fourth and final transfer spot.

SHOWDOWN #2

Bobby Pierce was one turn away from winning the Prairie Dirt Classic in 2019 before Brandon Sheppard passed him for the win on the final corner. The “Smooth Operator” proved he’s wasting no time in his quest for redemption, winning Friday’s second Showdown.

Bobby Pierce battles with Jonathan Davenport
Davenport leads Pierce during the 2nd Showdown at Fairbury Speedway/Jacy Norgaard photo

The Oakwood, IL driver chased down early race leader Jonathan Davenport and pulled an epic slide job in traffic to take the lead away from “Superman” with six laps to go.

Pierce stated he should’ve tried to make the pass a few laps sooner.

“I was kind of kicking myself in the butt for not pulling the trigger on the slider I was thinking about a few laps before that,” Pierce said. “Right place right time with the lap car, and it kind of set the pick for me, so I went right there and capitalized on it.”

Davenport settled for second, followed by Brian Shirley and Tyler Bruening.

SHOWDOWN #3

Kyle Larson started on the pole for Friday’s third showdown, hoping to find Victory Lane for the first time at the Prairie Dirt Classic. But Stormy Scott had other ideas, sneaking by Larson on the bottom to grab the $3,000 prize.

Stormy Scott passes Kyle Larson
Stormy Scott passes Kyle Larson for the lead/Jacy Norgaard photo

The Las Cruces, NM driver, bested a field of former Series champions, including Brandon Sheppard and Rick Eckert. The trip to Victory Lane caught him by surprise, knowing the competition he was facing.

“If you had asked me if I thought we were going to be here before this deal started, I would’ve told you no way; I just would’ve been happy to get into the show,” Scott said. “I’m more thrilled for my crew than myself to finally put an entire night together for these guys because they deserve it, and they work their butts off.”

Larson, Sheppard, and Eckert grabbed the final three transfer spots into Saturday’s race.

SHOWDOWN #4

Hudson O’Neal wasted no time driving away from the rest of the field in Friday’s fourth showdown, leading all 25 laps.

The Martinsville, IN driver, started on the inside and made sure he beat Jimmy Owens to Turn 1 to carry his momentum to the top.

“I knew that the top was going to be okay, and I wanted to get up there to where I had some momentum built up where if somebody showed me the nose underneath, I could at last do something with him,” O’Neal said. “I didn’t want to get caught on the top and have no momentum built up, so that was kind of just where I stayed for the whole race.”

Hudson O'Neal wins Showdown number 4
Hudson O’Neal wins Showdown #4/Jacy Norgaard photo

Owens crossed the line second, followed by Chase Junghans and Allan Weisser.

Weisser was penalized three positions due to a post-race infraction, moving Mckay Wenger into the fourth and final transfer spot.

The four Showdown winners will learn their starting positions on Saturday in the Morton Buildings redraw during Opening Ceremonies.

UP NEXT: The Most Powerful Late Models on the Planet return to Fairbury Speedway on Saturday for the 100-lap Prairie Dirt Classic.  Last chance showdowns will set the rest of the field along with the Late Model Shootout, where the winner can collect $2,500 or start last in the $50,000-to-win finale.

If you can’t make it to the track, watch all the action live on DIRTVision with the annual Platinum FAST PASS subscription for $299/year or the monthly FAST PASS subscription for $39/month

Drydene Heat #1 – Flight (A) (25 Laps) – Top 4 Transfer-1. 19R-Ryan Gustin [1]; 2. 18-Shannon Babb [13]; 3. 44-Chris Madden [2]; 4. 32S-Chris Simpson [3]; 5. 99JR-Frank Heckenast [8]; 6. 41-Jeremiah Hurst [4]; 7. 25F-Jason Feger [10]; 8. T2-Todd Bennett [7]; 9. B12-Kevin Weaver [9]; 10. 12-Ashton Winger [18]; 11. 14-Wil Herrington [16]; 12. 11T-Trevor Gundaker [6]; 13. 10J-Joseph Joiner [17]; 14. 26M-Brent McKinnon [14]; 15. 12Q-Brandon Queen [19]; 16. 10S-Taylor Scheffler [12]; 17. 24-Ryan Unzicker [5]; 18. 162-Logan Moody [11]; 19. 18L-Jeffrey Ledford [15]

Drydene Heat #2 – Flight (A) (25 Laps) – Top 4 Transfer-1. 32-Bobby Pierce [2]; 2. 49-Jonathan Davenport [1]; 3. 3S-Brian Shirley [6]; 4. 16-Tyler Bruening [3]; 5. 0-Nick Hoffman [10]; 6. 45-Kyle Hammer [8]; 7. 7-Ricky Weiss [4]; 8. B1-Brent Larson [7]; 9. 28-Dennis Erb [13]; 10. 7S-Jay Sparks [5]; 11. 59-Garrett Alberson [15]; 12. 9S-Eric Smith [9]; 13. 15V-Kolby Vandenbergh [11]; 14. 1st-Johnny Scott [12]; 15. 6S-Blake Spencer [17]; 16. 3-Dale Markham [18]; 17. 40B-Kyle Bronson [14]; 18. 2-Mike Chasteen [16]

Drydene Heat #3 – Flight (B) (25 Laps) – Top 4 Transfer-1. 2s-Stormy Scott [3]; 2. 6-Kyle Larson [1]; 3. 1-Brandon Sheppard [6]; 4. 0E-Rick Eckert [5]; 5. 9-Devin Moran [8]; 6. 76-Brandon Overton [11]; 7. 20RT-Ricky Thornton [7]; 8. 99B-Boom Briggs [14]; 9. 22-Chris Ferguson [2]; 10. 25B-Mike Benedum [10]; 11. 89-Mike Spatola [9]; 12. 4G-Bob Gardner [13]; 13. 10-Scott Schmitt [16]; 14. 111-Steven Roberts [12]; 15. 11H-Spencer Hughes [4]; 16. 73-Ryan Weistart [17]; 17. 76S-Titus Sneed [18]; 18. 354-Chris Nash [19]; 19. 35-Austin Simpson [15]

Drydene Heat #4 – Flight (B) (25 Laps) – Top 4 Transfer-1. 71-Hudson O’Neal [1]; 2. 20-Jimmy Owens [2]; 3. 18C-Chase Junghans [3]; 4. 42-Mckay Wenger [8]; 5. 11-Gordy Gundaker [6]; 6. 35C-Derek Chandler [5];7. 61-Allen Weisser [4]; 8. 97-Cade Dillard [10]; 9. 51-Matt Furman [12]; 10. 25-Shane Clanton [9]; 11. 1M-Mike Mataragas [11]; 12. 116-Torin Mettille [13]; 13. 9Z-Lyle Zanker [16]; 14. T4-Adam Tishhouser [14]; 15. 12C-Jeff Curl [15]; 16. 84-Myles Moos [7]; 17. 79W-Greg Wagner [17]; 18. B14-Victor Benedetto [18]

Qualifying Flight-A –1. 19R-Ryan Gustin, 12.97; 2. 49-Jonathan Davenport, 13.315; 3. 44-Chris Madden, 13.392; 4. 32-Bobby Pierce, 13.409; 5. 32S-Chris Simpson, 13.473; 6. 16-Tyler Bruening, 13.475; 7. 41-Jeremiah Hurst, 13.476; 8. 7-Ricky Weiss, 13.484; 9. 24-Ryan Unzicker, 13.544; 10. 7S-Jay Sparks, 13.546; 11. 11T-Trevor Gundaker, 13.555; 12. 3S-Brian Shirley, 13.555; 13. T2-Todd Bennett, 13.556; 14. B1-Brent Larson, 13.56; 15. 99JR-Frank Heckenast, 13.566; 16. 45-Kyle Hammer, 13.596; 17. B12-Kevin Weaver, 13.657; 18. 9S-Eric Smith, 13.665; 19. 25F-Jason Feger, 13.667; 20. 0-Nick Hoffman, 13.669; 21. 162-Logan Moody, 13.687; 22. 15V-Kolby Vandenbergh, 13.708; 23. 10S-Taylor Scheffler, 13.713; 24. 1st-Johnny Scott, 13.734; 25. 18-Shannon Babb, 13.757; 26. 28-Dennis Erb, 13.873; 27. 26M-Brent McKinnon, 13.88; 28. 40B-Kyle Bronson, 13.893; 29. 18L-Jeffrey Ledford, 13.893; 30. 59-Garrett Alberson, 13.909; 31. 14-Wil Herrington, 13.916; 32. 2-Mike Chasteen, 13.935; 33. 10J-Joseph Joiner, 13.99; 34. 6S-Blake Spencer, 13.994; 35. 12-Ashton Winger, 14.165; 36. 3-Dale Markham, 14.509; 37. 12Q-Brandon Queen, 14.646

Qualifying Flight-B-1. 6-Kyle Larson, 13.551; 2. 71-Hudson O’Neal, 13.722; 3. 22-Chris Ferguson, 13.899; 4. 20-Jimmy Owens, 13.913; 5. 2s-Stormy Scott, 13.968; 6. 18C-Chase Junghans, 13.996; 7. 11H-Spencer Hughes, 14.015; 8. 61-Allen Weisser, 14.073; 9. 0E-Rick Eckert, 14.083; 10. 35C-Derek Chandler, 14.096; 11. 1-Brandon Sheppard, 14.12; 12. 11-Gordy Gundaker, 14.15; 13. 20RT-Ricky Thornton, 14.151; 14. 84-Myles Moos, 14.158; 15. 9-Devin Moran, 14.215; 16. 42-Mckay Wenger, 14.215; 17. 89-Mike Spatola, 14.232; 18. 25-Shane Clanton, 14.248; 19. 25B-Mike Benedum, 14.252; 20. 97-Cade Dillard, 14.276; 21. 76-Brandon Overton, 14.285; 22. 1M-Mike Mataragas, 14.316; 23. 111-Steven Roberts, 14.407; 24. 51-Matt Furman, 14.415; 25. 4G-Bob Gardner, 14.434; 26. 116-Torin Mettille, 14.473; 27. 99B-Boom Briggs, 14.508; 28. T4-Adam Tishhouser, 14.608; 29. 35-Austin Simpson, 14.616; 30. 12C-Jeff Curl, 14.641; 31. 10-Scott Schmitt, 14.681; 32. 9Z-Lyle Zanker, 14.705; 33. 73-Ryan Weistart, 14.75; 34. 79W-Greg Wagner, 14.982; 35. 76S-Titus Sneed, 15.72; 36. B14-Victor Benedetto, NT; 37. 354-Chris Nash, NT

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