By Brett Zerfowski
Jeff Leka made his return to Macon Speedway Saturday night to honor Dean Garland and took his place in the winner’s circle. Leka, started fifth in the 25-lap A-Main feature race, had difficulties getting past the third and fourth place Billingsley Towing Modifieds but knew he had plenty of time.
A few cautions later, Leka found himself competing for the lead with Danny Smith and eventually grabbed the lead and ran away with the feature. With the special event for Dean Garland, it was a Double-to-Start, Double-to-Win feature with an additional five laps added to the feature. Leka took the opportunity to pull ahead and make it an easy finish to the checkered flag.
Leka finished ahead of Curt Rhodes, and last week’s feature winner Ethan Schnapp finished third. Guy Taylor came from 11th to take fourth and Smith wound up fifth.
Bobby Beiler reclaimed the top spot in the Street Stock division with a 15-lap feature win. He was pressured late in the race by Tyler Blankenship and Brandon Eskew. Beiler pulled away from Eskew midway through the race to take the lead and hold on the top spot. Gene Reed was third, Greg Osman raced strong from deep in the pack to finish fourth and Eskew rounded out the top five.
The top four rows were decided by a six-lap dash. Beiler won the dash to find himself on the pole for the main event.
Dave Crawley, Jr. went strong again for the Sportsman division and kept ahead of the field to once again find himself holding the checkered flag and honoring his friend, Dean Garland. Dennis Vandermeersch was in front for the early going but his car had difficulty handling the turns and fell back to finish third. Nick Macklin ran the bottom and passed Vandermeersch to take the runner’s up spot. Wes O’Dell and Curt Rhodes finished out the top five.
The event was completed with 4-cylinder Hornet action. Jeremy Reed beat out Adam Webb for the trophy and check in the Outlaw Hornet division and Brian Offer was the quickest Stock Hornet of the fleet to get the checkered flag.
Macon Speedway was pleased to have family and friends of Dean Garland on hand to take in the racing action and they were welcomed to the track for a group photo during intermission.
This Saturday, POWRi Midgets & Micro Sprints will highlight the show along with stock cars. A full pit area is expected with the open wheel touring series making their final stop to Macon Speedway this season.