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MARS Late Model Championship Set to Begin 2024 Season with Land of Lincoln Triple-Header; MARS Modified Championship Return to Brownstown Bullring & Debut at Peoria



FAIRBURY, IL (April 22, 2024) – With race season beginning to roll into high gear in the Midwest, the MARS Late Model Championship Powered by FK Rod Ends is set to do just the same. The tour will roll straight out of the gate with a Land of Lincoln triple-header for the second year in a row. 


This year’s edition will kick off on Friday night, April 26, at Brownstown Bullring in Brownstown, Illinois for the Sievers JCB Diggin’ Dirt 40 featuring $5,000-to-win MARS Late Models. This will mark the second consecutive season that the tour will open at the racy ¼ mile oval. In 2023 it was Tyler Erb victorious on opening night over Brandon Sheppard and Shannon Babb. The second stop of the season was for the Brownstown 100 in mid-September where Tanner English topped a stout 35-car field of competitors. 


Saturday night, April 27, the MARS Late Model tour will return to the Peoria Speedway in Peoria, Illinois for the first time since 2021 for the 3rd annual Garry Swibold Memorial. With bonus money courtesy of the Peoria Speedway and the Swibold family, a driver could walk away with over $7,000 in winnings if their night went perfectly from start to finish. The complete list of additional prize money is listed below. Chatham, Illinois driver Brian Shirley picked up the series win at the last MARS event at the speedway. 


The triple-header will conclude on Sunday, April 28, as the tour makes its debut at East Moline Speedway in East Moline, Illinois for a $5,000-to-win event. A major overhaul of the track and facilities since new promoter Chuck Hanna and team took over the reins has left a very positive impression on every driver and fan that have entered the gates since the grand reopening last season. This will mark the first Super Late Model event at the speedway since the new surface has been sculpted, and the facilities upgraded, which in-turn is expected to produce a hearty crowd for racing action on Sunday evening. 


After capturing his first career MARS championship in 2023, Bloomington, Illinois driver Jason Feger has his sights set on repeating in 2024, but the competition level appears to be fierce with the drivers intending on chasing the tour this season. Approximately 18 drivers are set to begin racing at Brownstown, Illinois this Friday with intentions on chasing a series title in 2024. 


The MARS Modified Championship Powered by Summit Racing Equipment tour will roll into their third consecutive weekend of action on Friday night when they head to Brownstown Bullring for race #4 of the chase for the title. On Saturday night, the MARS Modified tour will stop at Peoria Speedway for the first time in series history as they will also take part in the Garry Swibold Memorial. Special bonuses are set to be distributed to Modified drivers at the $2,098-to-win event Saturday, to where the race winner could take home upwards of $3,000 for their efforts if they led every lap of the main event. 


Stellar MARS Modified fields have become the norm on the tour, and this week is no exception to that. After 3 events, 20 drivers still hold perfect attendance on the tour, with many other of the most talented drivers in the region planning to add to that field this weekend. 


With 3 events complete it is defending champion Michael Long holding the MARS Modified Championship Powered by Summit Racing Equipment points lead by a narrow 10-point margin over Plainfield, Illinois driver Mike McKinney. Ray Bollinger, Zeke McKenzie, and Cole Falloway round out the current top-5 in championship standings.


Kyle Hammer currently leads the way in Sunoco Race Fuels Rookie of the Year standings by 23 points over Hillsboro, Missouri driver Trey Harris. Lyndon Whitfill, Treb Jacoby, and Mason Duncan currently round out the top-5 in rookie standings. 


Brownstown Bullring

Brownstown, IL


Friday, April 26


$5,000-to-win MARS Late Model Championship Powered by FK Rod Ends Sievers JCB Diggin’ Dirt 40   

$2,000-to-win MARS Modified Championship Powered by Summit Racing Equipment Sievers JCB Diggin’ Dirt 30

$750-to-win B Mods

$500-to-win DIRTcar Factory Stocks

$300-to-win DIRTcar 4-Cylinders


Pits open at 4:00 p.m.

Grandstands open at 5:00 p.m.

Drivers Meeting at 6:00 p.m.

Hot Laps at 6:30 p.m.


Adult General Admission $30

General Admission ages 10 and under are FREE of charge

Pit Pass $40

Pit Pass ages 6-12 $25

Pit Pass ages 5 and under FREE


Peoria Speedway

Peoria, IL


Saturday, April 27


Garry Swibold Memorial


$5,098-to-win MARS Late Model Championship Powered by FK Rod Ends

$2,098-to-win MARS Modified Championship Powered by Summit Racing Equipment

B-Mods

Kidz Mods

DIRTcar 4-Cylinders


MARS LATE MODEL BONUS MONEY


$100 – Fastest Hot Lap Time

$500 – Fast Qualifier

$100 – Each Heat Race Winner

At Least $30 – Each Lap Led in the Feature

$100 – Hard Charger for the Feature


MARS Late Model Championship Powered by FK Rod Ends Lap Sponsors


1. Out-Pace Racing Products

2. Austin Archdale Racing

3. Sharwarko Family

4. Greg Crow Racing 

5. Butler Repair

6. Larry Bantz and Bantz Racing

7. In Memory of Garry

8. “Tara Best” Shear Magic Beauty Salon 

9. Gettin' Dirty TV

10. In Memory of Karen Thurman

11. Greg Crow Racing 

12. In Memory of Richard Craven

13. In Memory of Garry Swibold

14. In Memory of Glen Thompson

15. Nigel Shannon for Matt Shannon Racing

16. Blue Butts

17. Blue Butts

18. Lincoln and Nash Decker

19. In Memory of Jacey Endres

20. In Memory of Bill Hall Sr

21. Crosier Family

22. Central Illinois Trailer Rental, LLC

23. In Memory of Jerry Bagby Sr

24. In Memory of Kathy Adams

25. Jason Feger Racing

26. In Memory of Dana Bauman

27. In Memory of Larry Yard National Speedway Directory

28. Rick & Joe’s Semi Detailing 

29. In Memory of Sharon Bauman

30. Bauman Motorsports

31. In Memory of Billie Schmitz

32. In Memory of Leroy Bauman

33. In Memory of Uncle Dave McClelland

34. Tim Wells & Family

35. In Memory of Darryl DeVito

36. Amber Crouch Racing

37. Rick & Joe’s Semi Detailing 

38. In Memory of Lyle Bauman

39. In Memory of Linda Mottaz

40. UAMP Motorsports


MARS MODIFIED BONUS MONEY


At least $30 per Lap Led in the Feature


MARS Modified Championship Powered by Summit Racing Equipment Lap Sponsors


1. Out-Pace Racing Products

2. Central Illinois Trailer Rental, LLC

3. Steak N Shake University

4. Steak N Shake University

5. Steak N Shake University

6. Steak N Shake University

7. Blue Butts

8. Blue Butts

9. Gettin' Dirty TV

10. In Memory of Bob Hall

11. In Memory of M1 Dale Munson

12. In Memory of Richard Craven

13. In Memory of Garry Swibold

14. In Memory of Glen Thompson

15. Kelley Towing and Auto Recycling

16. Kelley Towing and Auto Recycling

17. Kelley Towing and Auto Recycling

18. Kelley Towing and Auto Recycling

19. Reeser Lawncare & Landscaping, Inc.

20. Reeser Lawncare & Landscaping, Inc.

21. Reeser Lawncare & Landscaping, Inc.

22. Reeser Lawncare & Landscaping, Inc.

23. Reeser Lawncare & Landscaping, Inc.

24. Reeser Lawncare & Landscaping, Inc.

25. Reeser Lawncare & Landscaping, Inc.

26. Reeser Lawncare & Landscaping, Inc.

27. Reeser Lawncare & Landscaping, Inc.

28. Reeser Lawncare & Landscaping, Inc.

29. Reeser Lawncare & Landscaping, Inc.

30. UAMP Motorsports 


Pits open at 3:00 p.m.

Grandstands open at 4:00 p.m.

Drivers Meeting at 5:00 p.m.

Hot Laps at 5:30 p.m.


Adult General Admission $25

General Admission ages 10 and under are FREE of charge

Pit Pass $40

Pit Pass ages 10 and under $20


East Moline Speedway

East Moline, IL


Sunday, April 28


$5,000-to-win MARS Late Model Championship Powered by FK Rod Ends

IMCA Modlites

IMCA Sport Mods

Street Stocks

IMCA Hobby Stocks

4-Cylinders


Pits open at 1:00 p.m.

Grandstands open at 2:00 p.m.

Drivers Meeting at 4:00 p.m.

Hot Laps at 4:30 p.m.


Adult General Admission $25

Adult Reserved Seat $28

General Admission ages 12 and under $10

Pit Pass $40

Pit Pass ages 12 and under $20


MARS Late Model Championship Powered by FK Rod Ends Tire Rule for each night:


LF: Any (90) Hoosier 

RF: Hoosier NLMT2 (90) or Hoosier NLMT3 (90)

LR: Hoosier NLMT2 (90) or Hoosier NLMT3 (90)

RR: Hoosier NLMT3 (92) or Hoosier NLMT4 (92)


Grooving and Siping will be permitted.


MARS Late Model Championship Powered by FK Rod Ends Feature purse for Friday & Sunday: 1) $5,000 2) $2,500 3) $2,000 4) $1,600 5) $1,400 6) $1,200 7) $1,000 8) $800 9) $700 10) $600 11) $500 12) $500 13) $500 14) $500 15) $500 16) $500 17) $500 18) $500 19) $500 20) $500 21) $500 22) $500. Non-Transfer Tow Money - $90


MARS Late Model Championship Powered by FK Rod Ends Feature purse for Saturday: 1) $5,098 2) $2,500 3) $2,000 4) $1,600 5) $1,400 6) $1,200 7) $1,000 8) $800 9) $700 10) $600 11) $500 12) $500 13) $500 14) $500 15) $500 16) $500 17) $500 18) $500 19) $500 20) $500 21) $500 22) $500. Non-Transfer Tow Money - $90 


MARS Modified Championship Powered by Summit Racing Equipment Feature purse for Friday: 1) $2,000 2) $1,500 3) $1,200 4) $1,000 5) $800 6) $600 7) $500 8) $400 9) $300 10) $275 11) $250 12) $250 13) $250 14) $250 15) $250 16) $250 17) $250 18) $250 19) $250 20) $250 21) $250 22) $250. Non-Transfer Tow Money - $65


MARS Modified Championship Powered by Summit Racing Equipment Feature purse for Saturday: 1) $2,098 2) $1,500 3) $1,200 4) $1,000 5) $800 6) $600 7) $500 8) $400 9) $300 10) $275 11) $250 12) $250 13) $250 14) $250 15) $250 16) $250 17) $250 18) $250 19) $250 20) $250 21) $250 22) $250. Non-Transfer Tow Money - $65


MARS Modified Championship Powered by Summit Racing Equipment Point Standings


1. Michael Long – Fowler, IL – 220 points

2. Mike McKinney – Plainfield, IL – 210 points 

3. Ray Bollinger – Kewanee, IL – 154 points

4. Zeke McKenzie – Claypool, IN – 153 points

5. Cole Falloway – Owensboro, KY – 149 points

6. Kyle Hammer – Clinton, IL – 137 points

7. Josh Harris – Utica, KY – 131 points

8. Michael Ledford – Pontiac, IL – 128 points

9. Dylan Woodling – Warsaw, IN – 126 points

10. Danny Schwartz – Ashmore, IL – 120 points

11. Kyle Steffens – St. Charles, MO – 119 points

12. Trey Harris – Hillsboro, MO – 114 points

13. Dave Wietholder – Liberty, IL – 105 points

14. Lyndon Whitfill – Fairbury, IL – 100 points

15. Treb Jacoby – O’Fallon, MO – 97 points

16. Allen Weisser – Peoria, IL – 90 points

17. Rick Frasure – Lawrenceville, IL – 88 points

18. Lucas Lee – Paris, TN – 86 points

19. Mike Chasteen Jr – Peoria, IL – 84 points

19. Trevor Neville – Mackinaw, IL – 84 points


MARS Modified Championship Powered by Summit Racing Equipment Top-10 Sunoco Race Fuels Rookie of the Year Standings


1. Kyle Hammer – 137 points                                                 

2. Trey Harris – 114 points

3. Lyndon Whitfill – 100 points

4. Treb Jacoby – 97 points

5. Mason Duncan – 83 points

6. Jesse Dill – 81 points

7. Jarrett Stryker – 80 points

8. JD Laster – 68 points

9. Deece Schwartz – 51 points

10. Evan Fink – 50 points


2024 MARS Modified Championship Powered by Summit Racing Equipment Statistics


Multi Fire X Fast Time Award Winners


Austin Friedman – 1

Michael Long – 1

Mike McKinney – 1 


Willy’s Carb & Dyno Heat Race #1 Winners


Michael Long – 1

Charlie Mefford – 1

Mike McKinney – 1 


Lethal Chassis Heat Race #2 Winners


Josh Harris – 1

Mike McKinney – 1

Michael Long – 1 


Summit Racing Equipment 1st Place Finisher


Michael Long – 2

Mike McKinney – 1


Fast Shafts 3rd place Finisher


Michael Ledford – 1

Kyle Steffens – 1

Mike McKinney – 1 


Keyser Manufacturing 7th Place Finisher


Allen Weisser – 1

Ray Bollinger – 1

Dylan Woodling – 1 


MD3 Hard Charger Award Winners


Cole Falloway – 1

Lucas Lee – 1

Dylan Woodling – 1 


Wilwood Brakes Hard Luck Award Winners


Ryan Thomas – 1

Rick Frasure – 1

CJ Springer – 1 


Sunoco Race Fuels Rookie of the Race Winners


Kyle Hammer – 2

Trey Harris – 1 


FIVE THINGS TO WATCH FOR:


·      MARS LATE MODEL CHAMPIONSHIP HOPEFULS: With this weekend being opening weekend for the tour, it is a welcomed restart for many, and the beginning of a season long grind for the first time for others. Defending champion Jason Feger is set to return to defend his title, but a host of others have verbally committed on their intentions to follow the tour in 2024. A total of approximately 18 drivers are set to battle it out for the series title.


·      MARS LATE MODEL ROOKIE OF THE YEAR CLASS BEGINS TO FORM: With drivers having until the conclusion of opening weekend to register for the Sunoco Race Fuels Rookie of the Year chase, the full class is yet to be seen. One thing that is for certain is that the class of 2024 appears to be destined for battle that will come down to Championship Weekend. Drivers that have already submitted paperwork or have verbally committed to the chase are Dale Markham, Jeffrey Ledford, David Marlow, Eddie Bolin, Colby Sheppard, Jake Little, and Daniel Adam.


·      FIRST TIME IN EAST MOLINE: Sunday in East Moline is one of the most highly anticipated events on the schedule by drivers and fans alike, all thanks to new promoter Chuck Hanna. The long-time Late Model racer took over the challenge in 2023 and hit the ground running by breathing life into the place with an all-new racing surface and facility upgrades throughout. This will mark the first visit of Super Late Models to the facility in his tenure. 


·      TIGHT AT THE TOP: If the first 3 events are any indication of what the MARS Modified title chase will consist of fans are going to want to follow along every single night. Two juggernauts of the DIRTcar UMP Modified world, Michael Long and Mike McKinney, are separated by only 10 points heading into Brownstown Bullring on Friday. 


·      POWER IN NUMBERS: With 3 events in the record books for the MARS Modified tour, 20 drivers still have perfect attendance on the series. The top-10 in series standings have a guaranteed point fund that is paid at the end of the tour, but any driver that has perfect attendance, and is not top-10 in points, is guaranteed to receive a check for 10th place money. 


If you are unable to make it to the track, you can catch EVERY MARS Late Model Championship Powered by FK Rod Ends event in 2024 live at floracing.com.


For more information about the MARS Dirt Series, please contact Jonathan Clayton at 731-467- 1316, visit the tour’s webpage at marsracingseries.com, or visit @MARSDirtRacing on Facebook, X, and Instagram.


MARS Late Model Championship Powered by FK Rod Ends and MARS Modified Championship Powered by Summit Racing Equipment would like to thank the following sponsors and marketing partners for their support of the 2024 racing season: FK Rod Ends (MARS Late Model title sponsor), Summit Racing Equipment (MARS Modified title sponsor), Elliott’s Custom Trailers & Carts (Official trailer and golf cart provider of the MARS Dirt Series), Flo Racing (Official streaming provider of the MARS Late Model tour), Racing Electronics (Official communications provider of the MARS Dirt Series), Hoosier Racing Tire (Official tire manufacturer of the MARS Dirt Series), Sunoco Race Fuels (Official fuel of the MARS Dirt Series and proud sponsor of the Sunoco Rookie of the Year chase all season long on the MARS Late Model & Modified Championship tours), Illinois State Rifle Association, Pontiac RV (Official RV Dealer of the MARS Dirt Series), Allstar Performance, O’Reilly Auto Parts, DIRTcar Racing, Driscoll Motors (Official dealership of the MARS Dirt Series), Woods Basement Systems (Official Basement Contractor of the MARS Dirt Series), MD3, Josh James Artwork, MWD Signs & Graphix, Fairbury Fastener & Supply, King’s Graphix, Dirt Draft, Digital Copy Systems, Whelen, Multi Fire X, Budda Bert Transmission, Dyer’s Top Rods, Fast Shafts, Wilwood Brakes, Wehrs Machine & Racing Products, Keyser Manufacturing, Varsitee Screenprinting, Willy’s Carb & Dyno, Trackside Racewear, Hooker Harness, Lethal Chassis, Remtek Enterprises, and QuickCar Racing Products.


MARS Championship Upcoming Events


o   April 26, 2024 – Brownstown Bullring – Brownstown, IL – Sievers JCB Diggin’ Dirt 40 $5,000-to-win MARS Late Model Championship Powered by FK Rod Ends & Sievers JCB Diggin’ Dirt 30 $2,000-to-win MARS Modified Championship Powered by Summit Racing Equipment


o   April 27, 2024 – Peoria Speedway – Peoria, IL – Garry Swibold Memorial $5,098-to-win MARS Late Model Championship Powered by FK Rod Ends & $2,098-to-win MARS Modified Championship Powered by Summit Racing Equipment


o   April 28, 2024 – East Moline Speedway – East Moline, IL – MARS Invasion of East Moline – $5,000-to-win MARS Late Model Championship Powered by FK Rod Ends


o   May 17, 2024 – Kankakee County Speedway – Kankakee, IL – Richard Craven Memorial – $5,012-to-win MARS Late Model Championship Powered by FK Rod Ends & $2,012-to-win MARS Modified Championship Powered by Summit Racing Equipment 


o   May 18, 2024 – World Famous Highland Speedway – Highland, IL – $5,000-to-win MARS Late Model Championship Powered by FK Rod Ends & $2,000-to-win MARS Modified Championship Powered by Summit Racing Equipment


Story - MARS Racing Series


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