(Macon, IL) The fifth annual POWRi Illinois SPEED Week brought another strong field of cars to Mighty Macon Speedway this past Saturday night, June 3. Nearly 120 cars attended the fourth night of SPEED Week, with Route 66 Speedway, Fairbury, and Jacksonville the first three nights. The two Track Enterprises operated facilities of Macon and Lincoln close the weekend festivities out on Saturday and Sunday.
First on track, feature time, was the much anticipated 30-lap POWRi Lucas Oil National Midget League event. As the race took green, frontrunner, Michael Pickens, from New Zealand, took the early lead. Pickens, the winner of the opening night of SPEED Week at Route 66, set sail early on with former champion, Zach Daum in hot pursuit. After a lap five restart, Pickens, Daum, and Tyler Thomas broke away from the rest of the field in single file formation at the top. Thomas was eliminated from contention with a flat tire, near the halfway point. Over the last ten laps, Zeb Wise and Brad Loyet joined the lead pack as they set a blistering pace. Behind them, it was slidejob city as drivers diced for position. Over the final eight laps, Daum gave it a great effort, hounding Pickens to the lowside. He never did get the run he needed but it kept fans on the edge of their seats. At the checkered, Pickens was followed by Daum, Wise, Loyet, and Shane Golobic.
Up next was the POWRi Speedway Motors National Micro League 20-lap feature presented by The Beach House. When the race went green, Luke Verardi in the Pepsi #28 rocketed out front with a commanding lead. Second through fourth were putting on a good show, as Todd Kirkman, Jacksonville winner, Joe B Miller, and Eric Wright were hounding one another. Eric Wright was running a strong second when he lost control, spinning in front of the field with 13 laps in. That handed second to Nick Howard, who was no slouch either. Howard stayed glued to the back of Verardi before the first slidejob and crossover on lap 16. Howard tried again on lap 20 and this time it paid off, as he was able to fend off Verardi, coming to the checkered. Howard led just one lap, the last one. Following the Lawrence, KS driver was Verardi, Garrett Duff, Craig Ronk, and Joey Wirth.
The final POWRi race of the night was the Lucas Oil Division II Midgets main event. Andy Malpocker, in his hooked up #22 took the early lead for the 22-car field. Malpocker caught slower traffic at the back of the field with just a couple of laps in and started work traffic. After a red came out for a flip, the field was realigned nose-to-tail. After a couple successive yellows and restarts, it was clear to see no one had anything for Malpocker. Following the St. Charles, MO driver were AJ Hill, Broc Hunnell, Andy Baugh, and Shane Morgan.
In the UMP Pro Late Model feature had a solid field of 14 cars take the green with a few newcomers mixed in. Jake Little, of Springfield, IL, who has had a great start to the season, had a strong re-draw of “2” to start second in the feature. Most new at that point, he would be tough to beat. There was one lead change during the event, as Aaron Heck, drove under Little in turn three. Little timed it up just right and drove back by him coming off of four and never again relinquished the lead. Heck, who made his first Macon visit, finished second with Kyle McMahon, Tommy Sheppard, Jr., and Matt Taylor completing the top five.
Rounding out the night’s action was the UMP Street Stock feature. Jeremy Nichols, who had problems in the heat, got them fixed before the feature and it didn’t take him long to move from the back to the front. The Lovington, IL driver went on to win yet another Macon feature and was followed by Shawn Ziemer, Brian Dasenbrock, Jason Scrimpsher, and Rudy Zaragoza.
With little turnaround, the POWRi Illinois SPEED Week now heads to Lincoln Speedway for the Championship Finale on Sunday, June 4. The event will see Midgets, Micros, DII Midgets, plus the strong track classes of UMP Pro Late Models and UMP Modifieds. The finale will see pits opening at 2:00, stands at 3:00, hotlaps at 5:00, and racing will begin at 6:00. Grandstand admission is just $15 for adults and free for kids 11 and under. Full info is at www.lincolnspeedway.com.
For Macon Speedway, the next event is the big Saturday, June 10 show featuring three-time NASCAR Cup Series champion, Tony Stewart, racing with the Arctic Cat All Star Circuit Of Champions. The Sprint cars will be joined by Pro Late Models, Billingsley Elite Wash Modifieds, and Street Stocks. More info can be found on the All-Star Sprint weekend at www.maconracing.com.
MACON SPEEDWAY FEATURE RESULTS
POWRi Lucas Oil National Midget League Feature (Top 10) – 1) #1NZ Michael Pickens 2) #5D Zach Daum 3) #39 Zeb Wise 4) #05 Brad Loyet 5) #17W Shane Golobic 6) #7 Austin Brown 7) #27 Tucker Klaasmeyer 8) #28 Ace McCarthy 9) #8GQ Jimi Quinn 10) #4D Robert Dalby
POWRi Speedway Motors National Micros Presented By The Beach House (Top 10) – 1) #37H Nick Howard 2) #28 Luke Veradi 3) #66J Garrett Duff 4) #5R Craig Ronk 5) #5R Joey Wirth 6) #14 Kurt Westerfield 7) #38 Jackson Frisbie 8) #3 Ayrton Gennetten 9) #47R Tyler Rennison 10) #51B Joe B Miller
POWRi Lucas Oil Division II Midget League Feature (Top 10) – 1) #22 Andy Malpocker 2) #D33 AJ Hill 3) #F5 Broc Hunnell 4) #6B Andy Baugh 5) #15M Shane Morgan 6) #19E Daltyn England 7) #14B Rohan Beasley 8) #14 Jack Routson 9) #87 James Teare 10) #7 Dave Baugh
UMP Pro Late Model Feature (Top 10) – 1) #38J Jake Little (Springfield, IL), 2) #45 Aaron Heck (Mt. Vernon, IL), 3) #45M Kyle McMahon (Mt. Vernon, IL), 4) #T6 Tommy Sheppard, Jr. (New Berlin, IL) 5) #24 Matt Taylor (Springfield, IL), 6) #44 Guy Taylor (Springfield, IL) 7) #27 Greg Kimmons (Pleasant Plains, IL) 8) #52R Jeff Reed, Jr. (Blue Mound, IL) 9) #33H Roben Huffman (Midland City, IL) 10) #11 Andy Scoles (St. Charles, MO)
UMP Street Stock Feature – 1) #J24 Jeremy Nichols (Lovington, IL) 2) #23Z Shawn Ziemer (Boody, IL) 3) #08 Brian Dasenbrock (Decatur, IL) 4) #55S Jason Scrimpsher (Decatur, IL) 5) #67R Rudy Zaragoza (Jacksonville, IL) 6) #24 Justin Crowell (Lincoln, IL)