The Smooth Operator Dials in at Macon Speedway
By Brett Zerfowski
(Macon, IL) The San Francisco Giants used “Even Year Magic” to win the World Series in Major League Baseball during the even years of 2010, 2012 & 2014. Bobby Pierce has his own even year magic going during the Lucas Oil Late Model Series visit to Macon Speedway. When the checkered flag hit the air at the end of the St. Louis U-Pic-A-Part 100, Pierce stood tall. The win for Pierce was his third in the five-year history of this race and they’ve all come during even years: 2014, 2016 & 2018. Only Jimmy Owens (2015) and Josh Richards (2017) can say they have claimed the trophy and the $12,000 paycheck at the end of the night.
Bobby Pierce, the 21-year-old from Oakwood, was the fifth-fastest of 25 cars in the field during time trials and won his heat race to set himself up on the front row outside for the 5th Annual St. Louis U-Pic-A-Part 100.
Opposite him on the inside of row one was Moweaqua’s Shannon Babb, a Macon Speedway fan favorite, which set up an all-Illinois front row for this national touring series. Pierce blew away to the early lead but Babb stayed on his tail as best as he could and was challenged by Josh Richards for the second place spot. As the race went on, Babb kept pace but was met by Ryan Unzicker who would eventually make the pass for second.
Pierce’s lead was challenged by Unzicker and Babb at the midway point as lapped traffic started to slow down the “Smooth Operator.” Pierce would retain the lead and move forward. He would be passed for the lead on lap 93 by Unzicker as lapped car Mason Zeigler slowed Pierce but the lead for Unzicker was short lived as Pierce slid back to the lead only lap later and would make no doubt about the finish. Pierce led 99 laps out of the 100.
Race Notes: From green flag to checkered flag, the race was completed in 38 minutes, 17 seconds. That is the second-shortest St. Louis U-Pic-A-Part 100 in the short history of the race. The 2016 edition was finished in 35 minutes. This race only featured five cautions. That is the fewest yellow flags in the five-years of the race. All 25 cars were allowed to start the A-Main without the need for a B-Main. Of the 25 starters, 15 cars completed all 100 laps. Only four cars pulled off before reaching 50 laps. Bobby Pierce has won five 100-lap races at Macon Speedway. 3 St. Louis U-Pic-A-Part 100 races and 2 Herald & Review 100 races.
The Billingsley Elite Wash Modifieds raced for a special $1,000-to-win Saturday night and Highland’s Mike Harrison took away with the win. Starting in the second row, Harrison closed in on both Levi Kissinger and Brian Bielong before making the move on Kissinger’s top spot seven laps into the 20-lap A-Main and took off for the win.
The B-Modifieds were also part of this monster show and Jerry Thompson told the checkered flag. Thompson finished third in the point standings in 2017 and has had two strong races to begin 2018.
The grandstands were more full than ever before. People were standing because sitting was unavailable. The 50/50 raffle went for $1,000. Macon Speedway was showcased to thousands of eyes in person as well as on pay-per-view with dirtondirt.com.
B-Modifieds–1. Jerry Thompson (Troy), 2. Cody Stillwell (Godfrey), 3. Tom Riech (Springfield), 4. Tim Riech (Petersburg), 5. Dante Brown (Morrisonville), 6. Eric Brackett (Brighton), 7. Kenny Edwards (Edwardsville), 8. JR Wiltermood (Windsor), 9. Kevin Crowder (Argenta)
Billingsley Elite Wash Modifieds–1. Mike Harrison (Highland), 2. Levi Kissinger (Mt. Vernon, IN), 3. Tommy Sheppard, Jr. (New Berlin), 4. Brian Bielong (Summerfield), 5. Rodney Standerfer (Summerfield), 6. Ken Schrader (Concord, NC), 7. Zach Rhodes (Taylorville), 8. Guy Taylor (Springfield), 9. Blake Thompson (Troy), 10. Danny Smith (Argenta)
Lucas Oil Late Model Series–1. Bobby Pierce (Oakwood), 2. Ryan Unzicker (El Paso), 3. Shannon Babb (Moweaqua), 4. Jonathan Davenport (Blairsville, GA), 5. Josh Richards (Shinnston, W. VA), 6. Tim McCreadie (Watertown, NY), 7. Jimmy Owens (Newport, TN), 8. Don O’Neal (Martinsville), 9. Hudson O’Neal (Martinsville), 10. Jason Feger (Bloomington)
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