MACON, Ill. – Bobby Pierce Jr. and Shannon Babb drove to victory lane last season in the two premier late model events at Macon Speedway. With the Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series back for the second annual St. Louis U-Pic-A-Part 100 on Thursday, April 30, Pierce and Babb will likely renew a rivalry that brought the local heroes door-to-door.
And Macon Speedway fans loved every minute of it.
The fifth-mile high banked dirt oval hosts the POWRi Lucas Oil National Midgets on Saturday, April 25 before the track extends its rich tradition with the super late models. The Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series makes its only Central Illinois appearance for the second straight season as the sport’s biggest names go after the largest purse in speedway history and the $12,000 to win first prize.
A year ago in the series’ first appearance here, the pack couldn’t keep pace with Pierce, the son for a multi-time former Herald & Review 100 winner. Pierce Jr. built a commanding lead by handling the traffic on the tight short track. The rising star backed up an earlier victory in Florida with the impressive win on home soil.
“I kept looking at my dad when I went by, and his eyes kept getting wider and wider,’’ said Pierce, who was a Fithian Oakwood High School senior last spring. “On a track like this, you can’t calm down. You have to go full bore all the way.’’
A little more than two months later, Babb and Pierce were battling for the win in the Herald & Review 100 when Pierce bounced into the wall. Babb went onto win the race for a record fifth time. The Moweaqua Missile brought the local crowd to its feet.
“We’ve grown up here and raced here a lot, so it means a lot to win this thing,’’ Babb said. “You know, it’s tough running 100 laps here and staying out of trouble.’’
While the Herald & Review 100 has a rich tradition, the St. Louis U-Pic-A-Part 100 is still just getting the attention of the racing community. It provides Macon Speedway with a second high profile super late model 100-lapper.
Macon Speedway season reserved seat ticket holders receive a $10 discount for the St. Louis U-Pic-A-Part 100. By purchasing a $75 reserved seat for the entire Macon Speedway racing season in the Wayne Webb Memorial Grandstand with a chair back seat, each reserved ticket will allow the race fan to buy a St. Louis U-Pic-A-Part 100 ticket with a $10 discount.
With drivers like Scott Bloomquist, Don O’Neal and local favorite Brandon Sheppard, late model fans from all over the Midwest will head to Macon Speedway for the St. Louis U-Pic-A-Part 100. Expect a large, enthusiastic crowd to kick start the local dirt track season.
Tickets for the St. Louis U-Pic-A-Part 100 are $30 for adults and $5 for children 11-under. Pits open at 3 p.m., and the grandstands open at 4. Hot laps start at 6 with racing set for 7 p.m.
NASCAR personality Kenny Wallace, a Macon Speedway co-owner, will race in the modified division. The program also includes B-Mods.
For more information, follow Macon Speedway online at www.maconracing.com, on 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 date rates apply. Updates are also available by calling Macon Speedway at 217-764-3000.
Macon Speedway is located nine miles south of Decatur on U.S. 51, then 0.6 miles west on Andrews Street and south to 205 N. Wiles. Macon Speedway hosts racing every Saturday night, plus many weeknight specials.