(Macon, IL) Erik Vanapeldoorn has shown up for big races at Macon Speedway before. He’s no stranger. In fact, he set the qualifying record last season. He’s won races in his orange 4-cylinder Hornet, just not the Hornet Challenge. After taking the Friday night opener at Lincoln Speedway and the $1,000 payday, Vanapeldoorn was placed in the middle of the 24-car field and started 15th. He didn’t feel like he had a chance to win. He was wrong. After the checkered flag hit the air on the 25th lap, a few cautions and little luck put Vanapeldoorn first and he swept away the weekend.
The race began with Greg Garrison, native of Bloomington, Ind., and Mike Eskew exchange the top spot. Garrison took off and raced away. He looked like a solid lock for the win. However, a caution flag led to a restart and Garrison fell through the group as he was driving around on a flattened right front tire. That’s when Vanapeldoorn seized the chance and took away the lead. Many of the central Illinois Hornet top drivers were closing in on the lead but Vanapeldoorn stopped them with quick moves in the corners and fast straightaway action.
Another surprising finish took place during the Micro Sprint feature, presented by Bailey Chassis. Aaron Andruskevitch started on the pole position and looked like a sure thing for the victory. He got close to losing the lead midway through the race by Tyler Day but a yellow flag came out and Day was forced behind Andruskevitch on the restart. Day didn’t give up and worked through the corners and closed the gap once again. As the race hit the final lap and the final turn, Day put himself in position to get by Andruskevitch and win the 20-lapper.
Dakota Ewing needed a perfect race to take the Decatur Building Trades Pro Late Model A-Main. Jake Little and Jeff Reed, Jr. were all over his back bumper but with Ewing in the lead, he looked and felt in control. The smooth work across the top of the track and manuevering through lapped traffic handed him another feature win as he extended his points lead.
Tommy Sheppard, Jr. also extended his points lead with a feature win during the BillingsleyRewards.com Modifieds. Sheppard was as locked in as he could get as he was nearly a half-a-lap ahead of the second place racer during solid green flag laps. Curt Rhodes ran alongside Zeb Moake for second spot and would work it eventually take it away during the final laps of the show.
Terry Reed continued his winning ways during the Archer’s Alley Street Stock feature. Getting the lead from Bobby Beiler would not be easy but as he wrestled it away in the race’s early laps, Reed just held on for another win.
Tim Hancock from Mt. Olive was strongly challenged by fellow front row mate Jordan Bauer during the Neal Tire & Auto Pro Modified feature. Bauer stayed right around Hancock and looked ready to close in for the lead but couldn’t find the right opportunity and took runner up.
Another solid night of racing at Macon Speedway brought in over 100 racecars and another full bleachers. Grassroots racing is definitely back in popular demand in Macon, Illinois. The night was sponsored by Caterpillar, Decatur Memorial Hospital and Ed Cain Trucking. Macon Speedway’s next event features the POWRi Midgets & Micro Sprints during the POWRi Speedweek. Macon Speedway will feature the Sportsman and the Decatur Building Trades Pro Late Models in a Midwest Big Ten Series event.
Hornet Challenge–1. Erik Vanapeldoorn (Clinton), 2. David Lauritson (Normal), 3. Jeremy Reed (Decatur), 4. Brady Reed (Decatur), 5. Mike Eskew (Springfield), 6. Eldon Hemken (Sorento), 7. Michael McKay (Springfield), 8. Jeffrey DeLonjay (Quincy), 9. Jaden DeLonjay (Quincy), 10. Chad Beintker (O’Fallon)
Micro Sprints Presented by Bailey Chassis–1. Tyler Day (Atwood), 2. Aaron Andruskevitch (Riverton), 3. Aiden Purdue (Clinton), 4. Garrett Duff (Weldon), 5. Nick Worley (St. Charles, MO), 6. Tyler Duff (Weldon), 7. Molly Day (Atwood), 8. Jordan Clary (Edwardsville), 9. Jacob Tipton (Decatur), 10. Devin Feger (East Peoria)
Decatur Building Trades Pro Late Models–1. Dakota Ewing (Warrensburg), 2. Jake Little (Springfield), 3. Jeff Reed, Jr. (Blue Mound), 4. Logan Moody (Catlin), 5. Colby Sheppard (Williamsville), 6. Donny Koehler (Macon), 7. Blake Damery (Blue Mound), 8.Storm Beiler (Decatur), 9. Braden Johnson (Taylorville), 10. Jarod Shasteen (Macon)
Archer’s Alley Street Stocks–1. Terry Reed (Cerro Gordo), 2. Nick Macklin (Argenta), 3. Gene Reed (Hammond), 4. Bobby Beiler (Blue Mound), 5. Jonathan Hall (Harristown), 6. Jaret Duff (Maroa), 7. Wes Biesenthal (Athens), 8. Kevin Lewis (Decatur), 9. Fredie Thomas (Macon), 10. Jason Scrimpsher (Decatur)
BillingsleyRewards.com Modifieds–1. Tommy Sheppard, Jr. (New Berlin), 2. Curt Rhodes (Taylorville), 3. Zeb Moake (Freeburg), 4. Tim Hancock (Mt. Olive), 5. Zach Rhodes (Taylorville), 6. Alan Crowder (Elwin), 7. Katie Lord (Zionsville, IN), 8. Nick Justice (Decatur), 9. Tim Riech (Petersburg), 10. Jared Thomas (Edinburg)
Neal Tire & Auto Pro Modifieds–1. Tim Hancock (Mt. Olive), 2. Jordan Bauer (St. Jacob), 3. Owen Steinkoenig (Highland), 4. Rob Timmons (Centralia), 5. Billy Knebel (Pocohontas), 6. Tim Riech (Petersburg), 7. Ryan Timmons (Centralia), 8. Kyle Helmick (Smithton), 9. Josh Robb (Mt. Zion), 10. Roy Magee (Springfield)