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MARS Modified Championship to Open the Month of May with Doubleheader



FAIRBURY, IL (May 2, 2023) With two races in the books, the inaugural MARS Modified Championship Powered by Summit Racing Equipment season will continue to ride the wave of momentum into this Friday and Saturday’s events at the Paducah International Raceway and Red Hill Raceway. With tremendous support from the drivers and teams, the series is expecting a great turnout after the opening weekend averaged 42 cars per night. After 2 nights of action, Michael Long of Fowler, IL currently leads the series points heading into the weekend.




The weekend kicks off on Friday, May 5 at the Paducah International Raceway in Paducah, KY. This will mark the lone stop to the Bluegrass State in the 2023 season and the furthest south the series will venture in its inaugural year. The show will feature $2,000 to win MARS Modified Championship Powered by Summit Racing Equipment, 602 Crate Late Models, CRUSA Street Stocks, DIRTcar 4-Cylinders, Bombers, and Rusty Bolts. On Friday, the pit gates are set to open at 3 p.m. with the general admission gates opening at 6 p.m. The driver’s meeting will be at 6 p.m. with hot laps hitting the speedway at 6:30 p.m. Ticket prices for Friday night’s event in the general admission area will be $20, veterans $15, $10 for children ages 6-12, and children ages 5 and under free. Pit passes for Friday’s event will be $40 for adults, $30 for veterans, $20 for children ages 4-12, with children 3 and under free.




Saturday night the action shifts back north to the Land of Lincoln with a stop at the Red Hill Raceway in Sumner, IL. Fresh off an exciting MARS Late Model Championship Powered by FK Rod Ends event where Brandon Sheppard was victorious, race fans are hungry for more action from the MARS Dirt Series. Joining the card headlined by the $2,000 to win MARS Modified Championship Powered by Summit Racing Equipment will be the B-Mods, MMSA Mini Sprints, DIRTcar Factory Stocks, and the DIRTcar Hornets. On Saturday, the pit gates are set to open at 3:30 p.m. with general admission gates opening at 5 p.m. The driver’s meeting is set for 5:30 p.m. with hot laps beginning at 6 p.m. General admission prices for the Saturday show will be $20 with children ages 12 and under free. Pit passes for Saturday’s event will be $35 with children ages 10 and under $20.




MARS Modified Championship Powered by Summit Racing Equipment Feature purse for each night: 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 – (Friday $65) (Saturday $60)




MARS Modified Championship Powered by Summit Racing Equipment Top 15 in Points


Michael Long – 145

Allen Weisser – 117

Zeke McKenzie – 108

Kyle Steffens – 104

Tyler Nicely – 102

Mike McKinney – 101

Josh Harris – 98

Dillon Nusbaum – 96

Trevor Neville – 94

Brian Shaw – 93

Charlie Mefford – 89

Mike Chasteen Jr – 75

Jared Thomas – 73

Cole Falloway – 70

John Clippinger – 63



Sunoco Race Fuels Rookie of the Year Top 10 in Points


Charlie Mefford – 89

Jared Thomas – 73

John Clippinger – 63

Blake Bailey – 60

Mike Learman – 48

Caden McWhorter – 43

Rick Frasure – 43

Tyler Blankenship – 30

Jacob Rexing – 27

Ryan Hamilton – 25



2023 MARS Modified Championship Powered by Summit Racing Equipment Statistics




Multi Fire X Fast Time Award Winners


Tyler Nicely – 1


Josh Harris – 1




Willy’s Carb & Dyno Heat Race #1 Winners


Charlie Mefford – 1


Zeke McKenzie – 1




Summit Racing Equipment 1st Place Finisher


Tyler Nicely – 1


Michael Long – 1




Fast Shafts 3rd Place Finisher


Trevor Neville – 1


Josh Harris – 1




Out-Pace Racing Products 5th Place Finisher


Zeke McKenzie – 1


Allen Weisser – 1




Keyser Manufacturing 7th Place Finisher


Charlie Mefford – 1


Zeke McKenzie – 1




Hooker Harness 11th Place Finisher


Mike McKinney – 1


Cole Falloway – 1




MD3 Hard Charger Award Winners


Michael Long – 1


Caden McWhorter – 1




Wilwood Brakes Hard Luck Award Winners


Cole Falloway – 1


Trevor Neville – 1




Sunoco Race Fuels Rookie of the Race Winners


Charlie Mefford – 1


Caden McWhorter – 1




FIVE THINGS TO WATCH FOR:




o Solid Start: Opening weekend is now in the books for the series and if it is any indication of the rest of the year, the fields are guaranteed to be stacked. With 43 cars on Friday, April 28 at Brownstown Bullring and 41 cars Saturday, April 29 at Fairbury Speedway, strong fields are expected once again this weekend.




o Beginning of the Championship Chase: With a driver’s worst two finishers prior to championship weekend being dropped, ultimately it is still anyone’s game when it comes to point standings. With the first two events in the books, Michael Long of Fowler, IL leads series standings after a win at Fairbury and a 2nd place finish on Friday night at Brownstown Bullring after charging from his 17th place starting position. With Long not expected to make the trip south this weekend, a new driver will sit atop the standings at the conclusion of this weekend’s action. Allen Weisser, Zeke McKenzie, Kyle Steffens, and Tyler Nicely round out the top 5.




o Mefford Leads the Sunoco Race Fuels Rookie of the Year Charge: Chargin’ Charlie Mefford of Belton, KY will lead the Sunoco Race Fuels Rookie of the Year class into Paducah International Raceway as the current point leader. Mefford had a respectable opening weekend of competition with 2 top 15 finishes out of 40+ entries each night. Jared Thomas, John Clippinger, Blake Bailey, and Mike Learman round out your current top 5 in the standings with a diverse group of 12 drivers intending on chasing the Rookie title.




o Paducah Posse: Most drivers know when they pull into the gates at Paducah International Raceway on a weekly basis, that there are two drivers in particular that they are going to have to go through to bring home a win… That would be Crofton, Kentucky’s Trent Young and Paris, Tennessee’s Lucas Lee. In 11 DIRTcar UMP Modified events held last season at the speedway, every feature was won between those two drivers and the 2022 Paducah International Raceway track champion Peyton Walker.




o Power in Numbers: When it comes to Red Hill Raceway, the DIRTcar UMP Modified division is always loaded with talent. Since the re-opening of the 3/8 mile oval, the track has averaged 24 cars per event with the highest being this past Sunday evening with 29 cars in attendance. We expect another solid car count this Saturday night with $2,000 being up for grabs.




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, Twitter, 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 2023 racing season: FK Rod Ends, Summit Racing Equipment, Elliott’s Custom Trailers & Carts, Flo Racing, Racing Electronics, Hoosier Racing Tire, Sunoco Race Fuels, Illinois State Rifle Association, Pontiac RV, Allstar Performance, O’Reilly Auto Parts, DIRTcar Racing, Driscoll Motors, Woods Basement Systems, 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, Out-Pace Racing Products, Keyser Manufacturing, Varsitee Screenprinting, Willy’s Carb & Dyno, Mackinaw Valley Powder Coating, Trackside Racewear, and Hooker Harness.




MARS Championship Upcoming Events




o May 5, 2023 – Paducah International Raceway – Paducah, KY - $2,000 to win MARS Modified Championship Powered by Summit Racing Equipment.




o May 6, 2023 – Red Hill Raceway – Sumner, IL - $2,000 to win MARS Modified Championship Powered by Summit Racing Equipment.




o May 19, 2023 – Kankakee County Speedway – Kankakee, IL - Big Daddy Scrap 40 - $5,000 to win MARS Late Model Championship Powered by FK Rod Ends.




o May 20, 2023 – Charleston Speedway – Charleston, IL – Graves 40 - $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.




o May 21, 2023 – Adams County Speedway – Quincy, 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 Championship Racing Series

Photo - MARS Email Chain

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