(Macon, IL) The 2020 Macon Speedway was shorter than usual due to the pandemic but was still filled with incredible moments and exciting nights of racing. Not many looked at September 26th from the start date of June 13th and thought of the possibilities that there could be for the final night of racing. Championships were still being decided in many of the classes as the final night of the 75th anniversary season got underway and it took the checkered flag lap of many divisions to sum up the best of the best.
Tommy Sheppard, Jr. was trailing Billy Knebel by four points, a matter of two feature positions, entering the evening in the BillingsleyRewards.com Modifieds class and thanks to a solid night of qualifying and heat racing, Sheppard drew the number two starting position for the 20-lap feature and led all 20 of the laps to win his fourth feature in a row. No matter if Sheppard won, if Knebel stayed within a finishing spot of Sheppard, he would remain the champion by virtue of the points lead. But unfortunate for Knebel, who started eighth, ran out of time for the race and the season and took a fourth place finish in the feature. The final points standings will show Sheppard taking the championship and Knebel finishing two points behind. For Sheppard, it is his third-straight BillingsleyRewards.com Modified championship and fourth overall after championship as he won the Pro Late Model track championship in 2017.
The night was not a total letdown for Knebel as he entered the evening with an insurmountable lead in the Pro Modified division. Leading Dalton Ewing by 56 points coming into the evening and Knebel making it to the track and starting in the feature, Billy Knebel would be crowned the champion. He wasn’t willing to just enjoy that moment. He also won the final feature of the season, his eighth win of the year in 12 races. Ewing, while racing in the BillingsleyRewards.com Modified feature, blew his engine and could not compete in the Pro Modified feature. That would cost him as Kyle Helmick moved into second place in the points standings with his second place finish in the 15-lap feature.
The closest points race of the season was in the Micro Sprints presented by Bailey Chassis. John Barnard led Jacob Tipton by four points entering the night’s 15-lap feature. Tipton started front row outside and Barnard started third row outside and chased down Tipton for the race. The final lap would see Tipton finish the race two positions ahead of Barnard and create a tie for the points championship. The tiebreaker would be determined by the amount of feature races won between the drivers. Barnard scored one feature win while Tipton did not win a feature race. Barnard’s lone feature win of the 2020 season secured him as the Micro Sprint track champion at Macon Speedway.
The race was won by Jeremy Camp, who flew through the race and placed first. Trevin Littleton was fast and took second then Tipton in third with Kyle Barker taking fourth ahead of Barnard.
In the Archer’s Alley Street Stock class, Bobby Beiler entered the night 36 points ahead of Jaret Duff for the division title and thanks to a front row starting spot, Beiler would grab hold of the checkered flag and win the race and the championship. Rudy Zaragoza and Darrell Dick would be in contention of the lead but Beiler, just as he has been most of the season, was just too fast to overcome.
Gene Reed would finish fourth and receive the trophy for the five-race end of season Top Gun Championship where the final five races between Lincoln Speedway & Macon Speedway would produce a special point fund and award. Reed ran all five shows and came away with the top honors.
Tommy Sheppard, Jr. also would lay claim to the Top Gun trophy and bonus money for leading the five-race point series in the Top Gun Championship in the Modified class.
The Pro Late Models also were involved in the Top Gun Championship Series and Cody Maguire of Carlinville would win that honor finishing 48 points ahead of Jake Little to earn the bonus prize money. However, Jake Little got the biggest laugh of the night as he took hold of his first Macon Speedway Pro Late Model track championship. Little has earned wins in the Midwest Big Ten Series over the course of the last few years but not been able to win the division championship at Macon Speedway…until 2020. Little ran behind racing teammates Dakota Ewing and Jose Parga for the 20-lap A-Main as Ewing kept ahead of Parga for the lead and win.
The final division of the night was already a wrapped-up deal as the Hornets points champion Brady Reed came into the night with an 80-point lead and had clinched the title after last week’s race. Reed came from the third row to get behind race leader Mike Eskew and on a caution lap restart allowed Reed to overcome Eskew for the lead and finish the night with the checkered flag.
The 2020 racing season at Macon Speedway is complete. The 75th Anniversary season is certainly one that might be remembered and thought of for years to come. Preparations are already prepared for the 2021 racing season at Macon Speedway with hopes that racing engines will roar once again in the spring.
The 2020 finale was sponsored by Caterpillar, Phoenix Tile and Brandt Professional Agriculture. A great thanks goes to the many sponsors of the 2020 season and the great racing fans who piloted their way to the track for the weeks in which the track was able to run. Another appreciation goes to the drivers who made it to the track week in and week out for the season, an average well over 100 racecars.
Feature Results (Top 10’s)
DIRTcar Pro Late Models
1) 2 +1 Dakota Ewing Warrensburg, IL 25 2) 4 +2 Jose Parga New Berlin, IL 6P 3) 1 -2 Jake Little Springfield, IL 38J 4) 6 +2 Cody Maguire Carlinville, IL 32M 5) 7 +2 Blake Damery Blue Mound, IL 66 6) 13 +7 Josh Heuiser St. Jacob, IL 1H 7) 3 -4 Donny Koehler Macon, IL 64 8) 8 – Tony Harter Sherman, IL 54 9) 11 +2 Colton Billington Mclean, IL 2C 10) 5 -5 Storm Beiler Decatur, IL 33B
1) 2 +1 Tommy Sheppard Jr New Berlin, IL T6 2) 3 +1 Cody Stillwell Godfrey, IL 00S 3) 9 +6 Guy Taylor Springfield, IL 77 4) 8 +4 Billy Knebel Pocahontas, IL 52 5) 6 +1 Alan Crowder Elwin, IL 87C 6) 4 -2 Danny Smith Argenta, IL 98 7) 5 -2 Curt Rhodes Taylorville, IL 10 8) 7 -1 Tim Luttrell Riverton, IL 6 9) 10 +1 Steve Phillips Neoga, IL 33 10) 17 +7 Maxx Emerson Taylorville, IL 11
DIRTcar Pro Mods
1) 5 +4 Billy Knebel Pocahontas, IL 52 2) 2 – Kyle Helmick Smithton, IL 27X 3) 7 +4 Zack Bunning Decatur, IL Z 4) 4 – Adam Rhoades Clinton, IL 10 5) 1 -4 Justin Reynolds Hillsboro, IL 3X 6) 11 +5 Jeff Wallace Decatur, IL 25 7) 9 +2 Matt Milner Chatham, IL 24M 8) 10 +2 Roy Magee Springfield, IL 11 9) 12 +3 Billy Justice Jr Cerro Gordo, IL 43 10) 8 -2 Kevin Rench Hillsboro, IL 116
Archers Alley Street Stocks
1) 1 – Bobby Beiler Blue Mound, IL B26 2) 3 +1 Rudy Zaragoza Jacksonville, IL 67 3) 2 -1 Darrell Dick Monticello, IL 22 4) 5 +1 Gene Reed Hammond, IL X5 5) 6 +1 Jeff Reed, Jr Blue Mound, IL 53R 6) 7 +1 Zach Taylor Springfield, IL Z24 7) 16 +9 Jaret Duff Maroa, IL 21 8) 8 – Guy Taylor Springfield, IL X7 9) 14 +5 Tommy Pickering Cerro Gordo, IL 199 10) 18 +8 Zach Clark Illiopolis, IL 4
1) 5 +4 Brady Reed Decatur, IL 32B 2) 3 +1 Mike Eskew Springfield, IL 21 3) 1 -2 Erik Vanapeldoorn Clinton, IL T82 4) 8 +4 Billy Mason Brownstown, IL 357 5) 4 -1 Cook Crawford Lincoln, IL 1 6) 9 +3 Allan Harris Chatham, IL 3H 7) 6 -1 Marty Sullivan Decatur, IL 39M 8) 2 -6 Bill Basso Athens, IL 44 9) 7 -2 Jason Hunter Centralia, IL 24H 10) 10 – william Kidman Edwardsville, IL 45W
Micros By Bailey Chassis
1) 1 – Jeremy Camp Sullivan, IL 23 2) 4 +2 Trevin Littleton Jacksonville, IL 44 3) 2 -1 Jacob Tipton Decatur, IL 10 4) 3 -1 Kyle Barker Cooksville, IL 27 5) 6 +1 John Barnard Sherman, IL 8B 6) 5 -1 Daryn Stark Springfield, IL 55S 7) 7 – Joe Taft Dawson, IL 00 8) 11 +3 Cliff Powell Hannibal, MO 401 9) 9 – Aarik Andruskevitch Riverton, IL 21 10) 8 -2 Mike Frantz 2F