APRIL 22, 2014
MACON, Ill. – After a rainout earlier this month delayed its arrival to Macon Speedway, the POWRi Lucas Oil National Midget Series rolls onto the historic fifth-mile oval to bring some high class open-wheel racing to the legendary track Saturday night.
Fast building a reputation as one of the best midget series in the country, POWRi features a championship battle led by a rising star who might be the next big thing. Christopher Bell, who won on Macon’s fast high banks last season, has built a comfortable 160-point lead, and fans have already began to wonder if he’s the next Kyle Larson, a contender for Rookie of the Year in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series with Ganassi Racing after winning in a POWRi midget at Jacksonville (Ill.) Speedway a year ago. Tanner Thorson, Bell’s teammate, sits second in the points standings just 10 points ahead of defending series champ Zach Daum. A native of Pocahantas, Ill., near Vandalia, Daum is known as The Dauminator, and he also drives USAC Silver Crown and sprint cars while not chasing the POWRi title.
The POWRi tour will also swing through Macon Speedway four more times later in the season, because the drivers enjoy racing on the smooth, banked facility that provides plenty of room to make a move to the front. During the series stop here on June 7, it’s part of a four-race Illinois Speed Week. POWRi also brings its 600cc outlaw micros, and Macon Speedway’s squadron of talented mini-sprint drivers will take aim on defending the honor of the track against the touring aces.
UMP modifieds will also race, and the UMP Street stocks return to Macon Speedway after defending track champ Gene Reed of Blue Mound grabbed the victory in the Big Ten Series street stocks opener here last weekend. The 20-lap battle began the 10-race series at four tracks, including four more stops at Macon Speedway and an appearance at the Christian County Fair in Taylorville. Outlaw hornets and stock hornets will also races at Macon Speedway Saturday.
The pits will open Saturday at 3 p.m., an hour earlier than normal, because the POWRi veterans show up early. The pits will likely reach overflow. Gates swing open at 5 p.m., and racing starts at 7.
The buildup continues for the St. Louis U-Pic-A-Part 100 in the Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series on May 1. Arguably the top late model series in the country, the Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series and its national stars will arrive to race against the regional hot shoes and Macon Speedway’s talented local drivers for $12,000 to win and $1,000 to start the feature. Also, NASCAR stars and Macon Speedway co-owners Ken Schrader and Kenny Wallace will also compete in UMP modifieds, which will race for $1,000 to win. Gates will open at 4 p.m., an hour early to accommodate a big crowd. Racing starts at 7. Tickets are $30 and sold day of the race. RV parking is available, and a midway of souvenir trailers will also generate interest just outside the Macon Speedway main gate.
Macon Speedway is located nine miles south of Decatur on U.S. 51, then 0.6 miles west on Andrews Street, then south to 205 N. Wiles. Macon Speedway hosts racing every Saturday night, plus many weeknight specials. For more information, follow Macon Speedway at (www.maconracing.com), Facebook (www.facebook.com/maconracing) and Twitter (@maconspeedway). It’s easy to join the Macon Speedway Text service. Fans can text MSFANS to 74574 to receive fan information. Drivers text MSDRIVERS to 74574 to receive driver information. Message and data rates may apply.