The DirtCar Summer Nationals and Summit Modifieds make their 2021 stop at LaSalle Speedway Wednesday, June 23rd. Catch the best Late Model, Modified, and Street Stock drivers in the area battle it out at the 1/4 mile ring. The UMP Late Models will battle it out for the $5,000-to-win event. Get all start times and ticket information on our schedule tab. Join us for some mid-week racing as we help kick off summer in north central Illinois.
LaSalle, IL (May 8, 2021) – Saturday the Mars Racing Series was racing against mother nature in order to get the 10th edition of the Thaw Brawl in. With a moved up start time the LaSalle officials pushed ahead to get in the 60-lap event before the rain came.
In Allstar Performance Qualifying it was Garrett Alberson who set overall fast time with a lap of 13.166 seconds. He bested Brian Shirley and Tanner English who were less than a tenth of a second off.
Arizona Sport Shirts Heat Race #1 got things underway. It was outside front row started Tanner English who got the lead early and held on for the heat win. Fast qualifier Garrett Alberson finished in second. Jason Feger and Mike Chasteen Jr finished third and fourth.
During Dirt Track Bank Heat Race #2 defending Mars Champion Brian Shirley walked away with the win. Jeremiah Hurst came home in second with Ryan Unzicker and Rich Bell third and fourth.
This set the stage for the 60-lap, $12,000 to win tenth edition of the Thaw Brawl at LaSalle Speedway. At the drop of the green flag Chatham, IL driver Brian Shirley took the lead early and led until a yellow flew just past the halfway point. On lap 32 during the restart Garrett Alberson was able to jump to the outside and pass Shirley for the lead. A few rain drops fell on the track during and after the caution. Alberson held off Shirley in the closing laps as they maneuvered through lap traffic.
Garrett Alberson and the Roberts Motorsports team was excited as Garrett picked up the biggest win of this career. “I knew if I was gonna beat Shirley I had to give it all I had on the top during the restart.” “It was a small field here but a strong field, anytime you can beat Shirley, Tanner, Feger and Unzicker it is a feat.” Alberson, not a member or regular on the Mars tour said he always seen this event on Dirt on Dirt and always thought it would be cool to race in it.
Brian Shirley came home with the runner up spot. For the second night in a row Tanner English filled out the podium with his third place finish. Shortly after the feature was finished the clouds broke loose and rained after the start of the Modified feature event.
The next events for the Mars Racing Series will be this Friday night at Farmer City Raceway for the Farmer City 74 paying $10,000 to win. On Saturday night the $15,000 Spring Showcase will take place at Fairbury Speedway.
Keep up-to-date with all the news and information of the Mars Racing Series at www.marsracingseries.com.
Fast Qualifier: Garrett Alberson 13.166 seconds
Heat 1: Tanner English, Garrett Alberson, Jason Feger, Mike Chasteen Jr., Travis Stemler, Bob Gardner, Jake Miller, Kilby Vandenbergh
Heat 2: Brian Shirley, Jeremiah Hurst, Ryan Unzicker, Rich Bell, Dale Markham, Jeff Riddell, Ryan Weistart, Kyle Cooper, Mike Mataragas
Feature (60 Laps): Garrett Alberson, Brian Shirley, Tanner English, Ryan Unzicker, Jason Feger, Jeremiah Hurst, Travis Stemler, Bob Gardner, Ryan Weistart, Dale Markham, Jake Miller, Jeff Riddell, Kyle Cooper, Rich Bell, Kolby Vandenbergh, Mike Mataragas, Mike Chasteen Jr.
Allstar Performance Fast Time Award: Brian Shirley
Swift Springs Opposing Fast Time Award: Tanner English
Keyser Manufacturing Hard Charger Award: Bob Gardner
Wilwood Tough Brake Award: Kolby Vandenbergh
Ultrashield Non-Transfer Award: Kyle Cooper
LaSalle, IL (May 7, 2021) – The Mars Racing Series got the 2021 season kicked off with night one of the 10th Annual Thaw Brawl at LaSalle Speedway. t. After a pair of rainouts so far in 2021 the Mars Racing Series was more than itching to get things going. It was fitting for the season to kick off at the Series Owners Tony Izzo Jr bullring outside of LaSalle, IL. Twenty-one cars entered for the opening round on Friday night for the $3,000 to win event.
In Allstar Performance qualifying it was the two-time Mars Racing Series champion Tanner English from Benton, Kentucky who set the fastest lap at 12.646 seconds. He bested defending Series Champion Brian Shirley and El Paso, Illinois’ Ryan Unzicker.
After opening ceremonies it was Arizona Sport Shirts Heat Race #1 that got racing kicked off. It was fast qualifier Tanner English who got to the lead early and never looked back. Tanner won by a straight away over Jason Feger who finished second. Travis Stemler came across the stripe in third and Kolby Vandenbergh in fourth.
Heat Race #2 present by Dirt Track Bank saw Chatham, IL driver Brian Shirley come away with the heat race win. Former UMP National Champion Rusty Schlenk finished runner-up. Illinois drivers Mike Spatola and Bob Gardner finished third and fourth.
In the final heat race of the night presented by O’Riley Auto Parts went to Ryan Unzicker. Jeremiah Hurst came home in second. Rich Bell and Ryan Weistart finished third and fourth.
This all set the stage for the 30 lap $3,000 to win feature event presented by DNJ Intermodal Services on the quarter-mile at LaSalle Speedway. On the start Tanner English jumped out front and led the first couple of circuits. Brain Shirley ran the top side early on but it was Ryan Unzicker using the bottom side to get around English and take over out front. Handling a couple restarts and some bouts with lap traffic Ryan Unzicker was able to fend off challenges from Brian Shirley to pick up his fourth career Mars feature win. Tanner English was able to hold on to third and round out the podium.
Ryan exited his car and celebrated with son Broody climbing up on the roof of his new MB Custom machine to salute the LaSalle crowd. In victory lane Ryan was excited to pick up his second win of the 2021 season for this team. “To be able to beat Shirley and Tanner speaks a lot, the car is well balanced right now and is why we are here in victory lane,” said Unzicker. Brian Shirley who came home second was happy with his run, said the track was in good shape but he needs to get a little better for tomorrow night. Tanner English, who came home third, said he made the wrong tire choice but was still happy to run up front. Garrett Alberson was the hard charger finishing seventh after starting back in the fifteenth spot.
The Mars Racing Series will compete on Saturday night with the big $12,000 to win prize on the line. Also the coveted Thaw Brawl belt will be on the line, one the more unique trophies in dirt racing. With the treat of weather late in the night the start time has been moved up to 5pm instead of 6pm. Grandstands open at 3pm. All the action can be seen LIVE at floracing.com as well.
Fast Qualifier: Tanner English 12.646 seconds
Heat 1: Tanner English, Jason Feger, Travis Stemler, Kolby Vandenbergh, Mike Chasteen Jr, Titus Snead, Mike Provenzano, Greg Wagner
Heat 2: Brian Shirley, Rusty Schlenk, Mike Spatola, Bob Gardner, Jeff Ridell, Dale Markham, Victor Benedetto
Heat 3: Ryan Unzicker, Jeremiah Hurst, Rich Bell, Ryan Weistart, Garrett Alberson, Colin Shipley, Jake Miller
Feature (30 Laps): Ryan Unzicker, Brian Shirley, Tanner English, Jeremiah Hurst, Jason Feger, Rusty Schlenk, Garrett Alberson, Mike Spatola, Travis Stemler, Mike Chasteen Jr., Kolby Vandenbergh, Bob Gardner, Mike Provenzano, Colin Shipley, Dale Markham, Ryan Weistart, Titus Snead, Jeff Ridell, Rich Bell, Victor Benedetto, Greg Wagner, Jake Miller
LaSalle, IL (May 6, 2021) – It is finally here, the start to the 2021 Mars Racing Series. After a couple of rain cancelled events the officials from the Mars Racing Series are fired up and ready to kick off the season with the 10th Annual Thaw Brawl at LaSalle Speedway.
Tony Izzo, owner of the LaSalle Speedway, will start his second season with the Mars Racing Series that he purchased back at the end of 2019. Tony is ready to take what he learned in 2020 and make the series even better in 2021. One of the biggest changes in the off season was putting Tyson Graves, the series announcer in the role of Series Director. Tony states “It was a blessing to run into Tyson at PRI a couple years back, right away I could see his passion for racing and potential to be more than just a guy who can call a great race on the mic. After getting a year under his belt with the series you could see the determination in him to do everything possible to take the series to the next level. We wouldn’t be as far along with the Mars Series without him. He is willing to do what needs to be done.”
In the last few weeks the series has been gaining momentum as the hype and excitement of getting back to the track takes over for many Midwest drivers. The series has made some big announcements over the past few weeks. Those included inking a deal with long-time merchandise partner Arizona Sport Shirts. The series will have a line of merchandise that will be available at each event on their own trailer. Special event shirts, kid’s items, and other merchandise is in the works and will debut over the first few events of the year.
The series also has brought on a large list of support and contingency sponsors with special awards the drivers can earn at each event. Hard Charger, Hard Luck, and more will be awarded at all the events this year. The latest announcement was Allstar Performance stepping up to provide an Overall Fast Time Award at each event. Tyson Graves, Series Director says, “We are really excited about the upcoming season. Last year was a huge learning experience as I got to see a whole other side of the racing business. I am still learning but have worked hard in the off season to make our series one that racers want to come race with. It is important for me to find ways to give back to the drivers and put on organized shows that are exciting for the fans. The entire staff is ready, and we can’t wait for opening night.”
As the series rolls into LaSalle Speedway to kick off its 22nd season a lot of eyes will be on the defending Mars Series Champion Brian Shirley. Brian is a past winner of the Thaw Brawl will look to hoist the big belt in victory lane on Saturday night. Several regional drivers like, Jason Feger, Ryan Unzicker, Rusty Schlenk, Mike Spatola and others are all expected to be in the pit area.
The weekend will kick off on Thursday night with an open practice from 6 to 9 pm. The practice is scheduled to be streamed LIVE on the Racing Performance Media’s Facebook page. On Friday night a pair of 30 lap, $3,000 to win features will take place. The pit gates will open at noon with grandstands opening at 3pm. Hotlaps are slated for 6:30pm and opening ceremonies at 7:30pm. Saturday night the 60 lap $12,000 to win Thaw Brawl finale is on tap. The pit gates once again will be open at noon with grandstands opening at 3pm. Hotlaps at 6:30pm and opening ceremonies once again at 7:30pm. If you cannot make it out to the track you can tune in LIVE both nights at FloRacing.com.
For more information on the Mars Racing Series be sure to visit www.marsracingseries.com or follow us on our social media platforms.
Special Thanks to all our sponsors:
Dirt Track Bank, Arizona Sport Shirts, Allstar Performance, Racing Performance Media, Swift Springs, O’Riley Auto Parts, Hoosier Tire Midwest, Allgair Racing Shocks, Keyser Manufacturing, Wilwood Brakes, Git Sideways Race Fuels, Five Star Race Car Bodies, EngineMasters, AutoMeter, Illinois Army National Guard