RPW Exclusive: Brian Shirley Wins Night 1 Of Illini 100 After Near Flip While Leading

Column By: ROBERT SYMONDS / RPW – FARMER CITY, IL – Following Thursday’s Practice cancellation, the World of Outlaws Late Models was able to get in racing Friday night for Night One of the Illini 100 this weekend at the Farmer City Raceway in Illinois.

Farmer City Raceway is known for some amazing racing but it also know for having a fast fast track. With the World of Outlaws Late Model Series in town, you know limits are going to be pushed. This can be said during Group A Qualifying where Brandon Sheppard snapped a 11 year Track Record held previously by Billy Moyer. B-Shepp turned a quick time of 11.750 which is very fast around this quarter mile high banked dirt track.

After the lineups were decided, winning qualifying heats was Brandon Sheppard, Chris Madden, Brian Shirley, and Series Rookie Kyle Hardy. Making through winning the Last Chance Showdowns was Blake Spencer and Bob Gardner.

The upcoming amain event would be 25 laps in distance paying $6000 to the winner. Brian Shirley and Chris Madden led the field to green. With the track ever changing since qualifying, one thing never changed, the track was fast. The top three of Shirley, Madden, and Sheppard set a blistering pace pulling away from the field as laps ticked off.

In less than 5 laps, Brian Shirley caught lap traffic. Trying to negotiate the lap car of Brent Larson, Shirley nearly flips his 3s in turn three. Shirley ended up hitting the B1 after coming back down on 4 wheels and the B1 spins to draw caution 1 of the event.

On the ensuing restart, Madden takes the opportunity and dives under Shirley for the race lead leaving Sheppard to duel with Shirley for the runner up position. After a couple laps side by side, Sheppard got a little sideways off turn 4 and Shirley was able to maintain the second spot plus close back in on Madden.

Off of turn 2, Madden slips up in the rough patches to allow Shirley regain the race lead on lap 12. Madden slips up so much that time off turn 2 that Sheppard was able to get by for the runner up position.

Though there are a couple more cautions that would slow the field, the top 3 would remain untouched and Brian Shirley would get the victory on Night 1 of the Illini 100. Brandon Sheppard would finish 2nd, Chris Madden settled for 3rd, Dennis Erb Jr 4th, and Darrell Lanigan 5th.

“My heart was pounding and I was able to get it back down,” Brian Shirley commenting on the near flip on lap 6 in Victory Lane. “Thank the good lord for making sure we were able to make it through.”

Shirley was able to get the $6000 victory heading into the big event Saturday night for the Illini 100.

“We don’t know what our future holds but we are here this weekend,” Shirley added in Victory Lane Friday night.

Craftsman World of Outlaws Late Model Series – Illini 100 Night 1 – Farmer City Raceway – April 5, 2019

Craftsman World Of Outlaws Late Models (25 Laps)- Brian Shirley, Brandon Sheppard, Chris Madden, Dennis Erb Jr, Darrell Lanigan, Kyle Hardy, Chase Junghans, XXXXXX, Ricky Weiss, Jimmy Mars, Bobby Pierce, Spencer Diercks, Bob Gardner, Mike Spatola, Cade Dillard, Boom Briggs, Frank Heckenast Jr, Ryan Unzicker, Tanner English, Billy Moyer, Brent Larson, Kent Robinson, Jose Parga, Blake Spencer

Qualifying Heats Results 10 Laps – Top 4 Qualify

Heat Race #1 – Brandon Sheppard, Shane Clanton, Chase Junghans, Ricky Weiss, Myles Moos, Jeff Curl, Jose Parga, Boom Briggs, Jason Feger

Heat Race #2 – Chris Madden, Tanner English, Frank Heckenast Jr, Jimmy Mars, Shannon Babb, Blake Spencer, Cade Dillard, Scott James, Chuck Hummer

Heat Race #3 – Brian Shirley, Dennis Erb Jr, Kent Robinson, Mike Spatola, Bob Gardner, Chris Simpson, Bobby Pierce, Kevin Weaver, Allen Murray

Heat Race #4 – Kyle Hardy, Darrell Lanigan, Billy Moyer, Ryan Unzicker, Spencer Diercks, Lyle Zanker, Allen Weisser, Scott Schmitt, Brent Larson

Last Chance Showdown Results – 12 Laps – Top 3 Qualify

Last Chance Showdown #1 – Blake Spencer, Cade Dillard, Jose Parga, Jeff Curl, Chuck Hummer, Boom Briggs, Scott James, Myles Moos, Shannon Babb

Last Chance Showdown #2 – Bob Gardner, Bobby Pierce, Spencer Diercks, Chris Simpson, Lyle Zanker, Allen Murray, Allen Weisser

Group Qualifying Results

Group A Qualifying – Brandon Sheppard 11.750, Chris Madden 11.952, Chase Junghans 11.987, Frank Heckenast Jr 12.054, Shane Clanton 12.090, Tanner English 12.140, Jason Feger 12.182, Scott James 12.212, Myles Moos 12.218, Jimmy Mars 12.265, Boom Briggs 12.293, Shannon Babb 12.310, Ricky Weiss 12.363, Cade Dillard 12.448, Jose Parga 12.514, Blake Spencer 12.606, Jeff Curl 12.815, Chuck Hummer 14.103

Group B Qualifying – Brian Shirley 12.146, Darrell Lanigan 12.223, Dennis Erb Jr 12.248, Billy Moyer 12.310, Kent Robinson 12.342, Kyle Hardy 12.383, Bobby Pierce 12.446, Scott Schmitt 12.473, Mike Spatola 12.497, Allen Weisser 12.500, Bob Gardner 12.504, Brent Larson 12.603, Chris Simpson 12.614, Spencer Diercks 12.635, Allen Murray 12.676, Ryan Unzicker 12.838, Kevin Weaver 12.956