Shirley Sees Redemption in American Ethanol 40 From LaSalle Speedway



LaSalle, IL – Night number two of the American Ethanol Late Model Tour (AELMT) West Coast Swing saw nearly 40 of the region’s best Late Model drivers make the trip to try and take home the $4,000 pay day.  Many of the drivers were racing for their second night in a row with AELMT, including the American Ethanol 40 winner, Brian Shirley.


The night started as all AELMT events do with Motul Motor Oil and Lubricants Qualifying, featuring four groups qualifying in two car segments.  Current AELMT points leader Brandon Thirlby set the pace for group one, turning a 13.651 second lap time at the 1/4 mile high banked oval.  Scott Schmitt paced group two at 13.525, while Dennis Erb Jr was at the top of group four at 13.426.  Group three featured the overall fast time of the night, with Brian Shirley going a 13.374 to pick up the Motul Fast Time Award.


Heat race action featured plenty of side by side racing, with only the top four cars going directly to the main event, while other competitors would be forced to race their way in through a last chance qualifier.  Allstar Performance Heat Race One was paced by Jose Parga who took the lead on lap one and never looked back.  AELMT regulars Thirlby and Tracis Stemler battled hard for the second spot, with Thirlby taking it over for good at the halfway mark. Heat Race Two saw former LaSalle Speedway Track Champion Rich Bell find his way back to Victory Lane.  Carbon Green BioEnergy Heat Race Three continued the trend of hard racing with minimal incidents, as Brian Shirley took the lead on lap two, and went on to collect the win.  Finally, NUVU Fuels Heat Race Number Four saw multiple lead changes before Friday night’s Dairyland Duel Winner Dennis Erb, Jr took the lead and went on to the win.


Bilstein Shock Absorbers Last Chance Qualifier Number One went from green to checkered with Jonathan Brauns taking the lead on lap six, and on to the win.  IBEC Last Chance Qualifier Number Two saw a number of AELMT regulars, again competing to make the main event.  Nick Kurtz was unable to start his LCQ due to a broken cam, which would end their night.  Eric Spangler went on to collect the LCQ win.

The stage was set for the American Ethanol 40 with Brandon Thirlby leading the field to green.  On lap three, however, Brian Shirley who started on the outside pole took the lead for good.  A lap 28 caution slowed the field for Jason Feger’s number 25, who lost a drive shaft in turn three, forcing his car to come to rest at the top of turn four.  One other caution flag flew on lap 30 when Spencer Diercks and Scott Fisk made contact, cutting tires on both vehicles ending their night.  The final 10 laps went green as Brian Shirley rebounded from his Dairyland Duel blunders to park it in victory lane.


Next up for the American Ethanol Tours is a triple-header weekend starting on Friday, August 31st.  The American Ethanol Modified Tour Presented by Allstar Performance (AEMODT) with compete in a rescheduled race at Hartford, Michigan’s Hartford Speedway.  From their, the AEMODT crews will travel back to Lake City’s Merritt Speedway on Saturday, September 1st.  Finally, on Sunday September 2nd, the AELMT is back in action also from Merritt Speedway.  These events mark the final races before teams gear up for the Championship Series from Marne, Michigan’s Berlin Raceway September 15th, 22nd, and 29th.


For more on the AELMT log onto or find them on social media including Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.  If ever you can’t attend an American Ethanol Tour Event, just log onto your favorite Tour’s website, and click Race Day Live to enjoy flag-to-flag coverage powered by Motorsports Broadcasting of Michigan, and LIVE timing and scoring powered by Motor City Racing Promotions.




1. 3S Brian Shirley

2. 28 Dennis Erb Jr.

3. 75 Billy Drake

4. M14 Brandon Thirlby

5. 1M Mike Mataragas

6. 6P Jose Parga

7. 2 Travis Stemler

8. 21B Rich Bell

9. 15S Taylor Scheffler

10. 39 Rob Toland

11. 32C Chad Holladay

12. 0R Mark Rose

13. 15 Phil Ausra

14. 27 Eric Spangler

15. 87 David Mielke

16. 29 Spencer Diercks

17. 10 Scott Schmidt

18. 12 Scott Fisk

19. 25F Jason Fager

20. M27 Mike Provenzano

21. 22B Jonathon Brauns

22. 7 John Provenzano


Last Chance Qualifier #1

1. 2B Jonathon Brauns

2. 2 Travis Stemler

3. 25 Jarred Seifert

4. 15 Phil Ausra

5. 79W Greg Wagner

6. 73 Ryan Weistart

7. 7M Brad Mann


Last Chance Qualifier #2

1. 27 Eric Spangler

2. 87 David Mielke

3. 6 Tony Peterson

4. 32C Chad Holladay

5. 45 Kevin Reeve

6. 4 Jason Playter Jr.

7. 14 Victor Benedetto

8. RH21 Gregg Haskell


Heat 1

1. 6P Jose Parga

2. M14 Brandon Thirlby

3. 29 Spencer Diercks

4. M27 Mike Provenzano

5. 2 Travis Stemler

6. 15 Phil Ausra

7. 7M Brad Mann

8. 79W Greg Wagner


Heat 2

1. 21B Rich Bell

2. 15S Taylor Sheffler

3. 25F Jason Fager

4. 10 Scott Schmidt

5. 87 David Mielke

6. 6 Tony Peterson

7. 45 Kevin Reeve

8. 14 Victor Benedetto


Heat 3

1. 3S Brian Shirley

2. 1M Mike Mataragas

3. 39 Rob Toland

4. 12 Scott Fisk

5. 25 Jarred Seifert

6. 22B Jonathan Brauns

7. 74 Mark McGrath

8. 73 Ryan Weistart

9. 28 Sam Epling


Heat 4

1. 28 Dennis Erb Jr.

2. 75 Billy Drake

3. 7 John Provenzano

4. 0R Mark Rose

5. 27 Eric Spangler

6. 4 Jason Playter Jr.

7. RH21 Gregg Haskell

8. 32C Chad Holladay



Allstar Performance Hard Charger: 2 Travis Stemler

CompCams Halfway Leader: *3S Brian Shirley

ARP Most Laps Lead: *3S Brian Shirley

Quarter Master Move of the Race: *75 Billy Drake

Dirty Girl Raceway P10 Award: *39 Rob Toland

Motul Motor Oil Fast Qualifier: *3S Brian Shirley

Lane Automotive Member A: M14 Brandon Thirlby

QuickCar Member B: 45 Kevin Reeve

* = Non-Member, not eligible to receive award certificate






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