Special From The HR & Mark Tupper…
MACON — There’s big news in the Central Illinois auto racing world this week.
The weatherman appears ready to drop the green flag on the 73rd season of racing at Macon Speedway. With no rain in the forecast, conditions are “go” for six classes of cars to get racing one week after the planned season opener was postponed due to cold and rain.
Saturday night will allow fans and drivers to knock some of the winter rust off before the racing program hits high gear the following week. That’s when the Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series will roar into Macon Speedway highlighted by a 100-lap late model feature that will pay $12,000 to win.
But first, Saturday’s season opener, which will include:
Racing in these divisions: Big Ten Street Stocks, Decatur Building Trades Pro Late Models, Billingsley Elite Wash Modifieds, B-Mods, Sportsman and Hornets.
It’s also “College Night,” which means that all college students with a valid student ID will be admitted free.
Macon will also be resuming its pay-per-view option this season. Late in the 2017 season, for the first time the speedway started broadcasting its races live via an on-line pay-per-view program. For those who can’t make it to the track, race fans can follow along with the “Macon Speedway Live” option.
The broadcast stream will start approximately 15 minutes before the night’s racing program begins. After the races have ended, the night’s program will go to an on-demand section. Those who purchased the live broadcast will be able to access it to watch again and again. And those who were at the track can purchase the on-demand footage for $10 when they return home.
Track videographer Chuck Flynn will capture the live action along with track announcers Larry Limbach, now in his 45th season, and Brett Zerfowski, in his 15th season.
The pay-per-view option can be purchased by can be purchased for $15 at portal/stretchinternet.com/maconspeedway/.
Defending champions expected to race Saturday night are Tommy Sheppard Jr. from New Berlin in the Pro Late Model division, Curt Rhodes of Taylorville in the Modified division, Tim Hancock of Mount Olive in the B-Mods, Timmy Dick of Monticello in the Sportsman division, Brian Dasenbrock of Decatur in the Street Stocks division and Dustin Reed of Decatur in the Hornet division.
Looking ahead to the Lucas Oil Late Model race on April 28, drivers like Scott Bloomquist from Mooresburg, Tenn., Bobby Pierce from Oakwood, Jimmy Owens from Newport, Tenn., Shannon Babb from Moweaqua, Jonathan Davenport from Blairsville, Ga., Earl Pearson Jr. from Shreveport, La., Don O’Neal and Hudson O’Neal from Martinsville, Ind., and Josh Richards from Shinnston, W. Va., are expected to be on hand.
This will be the fifth consecutive years that the Lucas Oil series had made its way to Macon. Bobby Pierce won in 2014 and 2016. Jimmy Owens won the 2015 race and last year Josh Richards claimed the top prize.
For Saturday night’s season opener, pit gates will open at 3, grandstands at 5. Hot laps begin at 6 p.m. with racing getting underway at 7:15.
Grandstand admission will be $12 for adults. Children age 11 and under are admitted free. The pay-per-view will go live at 6:45 and can be purchased for $15 at portal/stretchinternet.com/maconspeedway/.