Sunshine Survives Late Flurry to Win at Fairbury

Tyler Courtney taking the checkered flag at Fairbury American Legion Speedway. (Lonnie Wheatley photo)

From Tyler Altmeyer

FAIRBURY, Ill. (June 3, 2021) – For the fourth time of his career – for the fourth time this season – “Sunshine” Tyler Courtney is a FloRacing All Star Circuit of Champions presented by Mobil 1 main event winner, securing his fourth check in the victory column in a wire-to-wire display at the almost legendary Fairbury Speedway in Fairbury, Illinois, on Thursday, June 3. Starting from the pole position by way of dash victory, Courtney’s campaign at the front of the field was far from a cake walk, as the former USAC champion was forced to slice and dice through wave after wave of slower traffic, all before fending off a wild, last-ditch effort slider from the “North Pole Nightmare” Bill Balog.

Adding some extra depth to the stat sheet, the All Star visit to Fairbury, which also featured the Bumper to Bumper IRA Outlaw Sprint Series, was the first appearance by the All Star Circuit of Champions since 1995.

“This has been a great last few weeks for this NOS Energy Drink/Turbo car. The guys have been busting their butts back at the shop to keep this thing fast,” Tyler Courtney said in Fairbury victory lane, driver of the Clauson Marshall Racing/NOS Energy Drink/Turbo/No. 7BC sprint car. “I’m having a blast right now. This is a good time of year to get going. We still have three more nights this weekend and a big week next week.”

Although the first five laps were relatively uneventful, a caution on lap six would essentially clump the field back together, eventually leading to an incredible three-car battle in traffic between Courtney, Bill Balog, and West Coast heavy hitter, Rico Abreu.

By lap 13, slower cars were stacked up two and three wide in front of the leaders, and although Courtney was all but stuck, the Indianapolis, Indiana-native was successful in slowly maneuvering through the mess, simultaneously keeping Balog in his back seat with Abreu also in tow. Lap after lap, traffic maintained its relentlessness, not allowing Courtney to find any breathing room, stretching his legs to a near-straightaway command, until lap 25.

Just as Courtney thought his troubles were over, the caution flags would reappear on lap 28 setting up what would be a three-lap dash to the finish. As mentioned, the ensuing restart led to a wicked, turn four slide job attempt by Bill Balog, barely leaving Courtney enough room to get by. Suffice it to say, Courtney squeezed through and held on to secure the $5,000 payday.

Rico Abreu, who got by Balog after his failed slide job attempt, finished second at Fairbury, followed by Balog, Ian Madsen, and Gio Scelzi.

“I should have started a little lower on that last restart,” Courtney said when discussing the last restart and Bill Balog’s slider. “I was expecting it, but he left me just enough room so I had to go for it. We just needed to be a little better on that restart and not give the guy a chance. But we led the lap that counts.”
Venturing north into the Badger State, the All Stars versus IRA weekend will continue with three nights in southern Wisconsin, kicking-off officially on Friday, June 4, at the Wilmot Raceway in Wilmot. Action will move to the Plymouth Dirt Track at Sheboygan County Fairgrounds on Saturday, June 5, followed by a Sunday night visit to Angell Park Speedway in Sun Prairie on June 6. All three Wisconsin blockbusters will feature $6,000-to-win main events.

Floracing All Star Circuit of Champions presented by Mobil 1
Fairbury Speedway
Fairbury, Illinois
Thursday June 3, 2021

Dixie Vodka Qualifying
1. 73-Scotty Thiel, 11.310[24]
2. 17B-Bill Balog, 11.323[30]
3. 18-Giovanni Scelzi, 11.342[1]
4. 24-Rico Abreu, 11.434[8]
5. 10-Zeb Wise, 11.435[32]
6. 91-Kyle Reinhardt, 11.499[18]
7. 13-Spencer Bayston, 11.528[21]
8. 11-Ian Madsen, 11.542[4]
9. 5-Paul McMahan, 11.553[16]
10. 19-Parker Price Miller, 11.563[25]
11. 65-Jordan Goldesberry, 11.579[7]
12. 55-Hunter Schuerenberg, 11.590[28]
13. 7BC-Tyler Courtney, 11.607[17]
14. 8M-TJ Michael, 11.637[20]
15. 4-Cap Henry, 11.689[10]
16. 5T-Travis Philo, 11.705[9]
17. 68-Dave Uttech, 11.728[2]
18. 51B-Joe B Miller, 11.750[5]
19. W20-Greg Wilson, 11.755[27]
20. 9K-Kyle Schuett, 11.763[6]
21. 39-Jake Blackhurst, 11.781[23]
22. 25-Danny Schlafer, 11.799[26]
23. 49-Josh Schneiderman, 11.805[12]
24. 2W-Scott Neitzel, 11.809[31]
25. 26-Cory Eliason, 11.821[11]
26. 07-Skylar Gee, 11.929[14]
27. 3-Austin O’Dell, 12.026[15]
28. 23-Russel Borland, 12.092[19]
29. 29-Brayton Lynch, 12.126[22]
30. 20R-Rob Pribnow, 12.152[3]
31. 4K-Kris Spitz, 12.183[13]
32. B11-Mark Brucker, NT[29]

Ford Performance Heat Race #1 (8 Laps)
1. 11-Ian Madsen[2]
2. 24-Rico Abreu[3]
3. 18-Giovanni Scelzi[4]
4. 51B-Joe B Miller[6]
5. 65-Jordan Goldesberry[1]
6. 68-Dave Uttech[5]
7. 9K-Kyle Schuett[7]
8. 20R-Rob Pribnow[8]

All Pro Aluminum Cylinder Heads Heat Race #2 (8 Laps)
1. 5T-Travis Philo[2]
2. 07-Skylar Gee[6]
3. 49-Josh Schneiderman[1]
4. 5-Paul McMahan[4]
5. 26-Cory Eliason[5]
6. 4K-Kris Spitz[8]
7. 3-Austin O’Dell[7]
8. 4-Cap Henry[3]

Hunt Brothers Pizza Heat Race #3 (8 Laps)
1. 7BC-Tyler Courtney[1]
2. 73-Scotty Thiel[4]
3. 13-Spencer Bayston[2]
4. 91-Kyle Reinhardt[3]
5. 8M-TJ Michael[5]
6. 39-Jake Blackhurst[6]
7. 23-Russel Borland[7]
8. 29-Brayton Lynch[8]

Mobil 1 Heat Race #4 (8 Laps)
1. 19-Parker Price Miller[2]
2. 55-Hunter Schuerenberg[1]
3. 17B-Bill Balog[4]
4. 10-Zeb Wise[3]
5. W20-Greg Wilson[5]
6. 25-Danny Schlafer[6]
7. 2W-Scott Neitzel[7]
8. B11-Mark Brucker[8]

Kears Speed Shop Dash #1 (4 Laps)
1. 7BC-Tyler Courtney[3]
2. 19-Parker Price Miller[1]
3. 18-Giovanni Scelzi[2]
4. 5T-Travis Philo[4]
5. 73-Scotty Thiel[5]

Elliotts Custom Trailers and Carts Dash #2 (4 Laps)
1. 5-Paul McMahan[1]
2. 17B-Bill Balog[3]
3. 24-Rico Abreu[2]
4. 11-Ian Madsen[5]
5. 10-Zeb Wise[4]

Classic Ink USA B-Main (12 Laps)
1. 4-Cap Henry[1]
2. 39-Jake Blackhurst[3]
3. 4K-Kris Spitz[5]
4. 23-Russel Borland[9]
5. 20R-Rob Pribnow[11]
6. 2W-Scott Neitzel[7]
7. 25-Danny Schlafer[4]
8. 68-Dave Uttech[2]
9. 9K-Kyle Schuett[6]
10. 29-Brayton Lynch[10]
11. 3-Austin O’Dell[8]

FloRacing A-Main (30 Laps)
1. 7BC-Tyler Courtney[1]
2. 24-Rico Abreu[6]
3. 17B-Bill Balog[4]
4. 11-Ian Madsen[8]
5. 18-Giovanni Scelzi[5]
6. 73-Scotty Thiel[9]
7. 55-Hunter Schuerenberg[11]
8. 4-Cap Henry[21]
9. 13-Spencer Bayston[13]
10. 5-Paul McMahan[2]
11. 26-Cory Eliason[20]
12. 5T-Travis Philo[7]
13. 19-Parker Price Miller[3]
14. 10-Zeb Wise[10]
15. W20-Greg Wilson[19]
16. 07-Skylar Gee[12]
17. 91-Kyle Reinhardt[15]
18. 65-Jordan Goldesberry[17]
19. 39-Jake Blackhurst[22]
20. 49-Josh Schneiderman[14]
21. 23-Russel Borland[24]
22. 51B-Joe B Miller[16]
23. 8M-TJ Michael[18]
24. 4K-Kris Spitz[23]