Sheppard Makes Case for Three-Peat


(Macon, IL) Tommy Sheppard, Jr. has won the last two track championships in the Modifieds class. He came into the month of September in second place trailing Billy Knebel in the points by nearly 60. That is certainly a tall task to overcome with just a month remaining in the season. Weather permitting, Macon Speedway will host a race every Saturday in the month and the Modifieds will be on the schedule every week.

Sheppard has a very fast Modified. When he gets out of traffic and gets to run, especially on the top groove, he can fly and glide around the track quicker than many others and he proved it once again Saturday night at Macon Speedway. After passing Curt Rhodes for the lead, Sheppard stuck to his guns at the top and secured a feature win to start the month. While fans watched Sheppard cross the finish line, they also kept an eye on where the 52 of Knebel was running. Knebel would finish ninth on the night and lose 18 points in his lead to Sheppard.

While Sheppard was out in front, Rhodes and Indiana driver James Walters raced side by side for the second spot.

Jeremy Nichols came back to the Archer’s Alley Street Stocks class and took the full 15-lap race with the lead. Racing in Rudy Zaragoza’s 67R, Nichols topped the current track points leader, Bobby Beiler, and the current Nationals points leader, Terry Reed.

Jose Parga stepped on the gas from the green flag start of the Pro Late Models feature and easily took home the win. The track saw plenty of action in the 20 laps as contact was common in the race between the competitors.

As the Sportsman division has raced at Macon Speedway this year, Dennis Vandermeersch has been the unstoppable force in the division. The former multi-time track champion has gone 4-for-4 in Sportsman features during the 2020 season and he continued that dominance to make it a perfect 5-for-5 in feature races with a stellar performance in the 15-lapper. The race for second place became the show to see as Jim Farley III, Phil Moreland and Ethan Schnapp battled for that second spot.

A caution-fest of the Pro Modified feature led to Kyle Helmick getting another win. The current points leader started his night by arriving and drawing the same number as his car number, 27, and he had a good feeling entering the night. Following a successful heat race, Helmick got the front row outside position for the feature. Spending the race trying to fend off Kevin Crowder for the lead, Helmick inched further ahead when the race did get some consecutive green flag laps.

As the race was nearing the end, Crowder got into a chance for the lead and was coming through the first turn on lap 13 when his left rear tire flew off the car and forced a quick and unfortunate end to his feature race. Billy Knebel, who is second in the points standings, had a difficult start as he needed a tire change and after coming back on the track in the last place spot. As the race proceeded, Knebel moved up the field and was running third at the time of the green flag lap behind Crowder. Following the lost tire, Knebel would take second place and keep the points race close with the final weeks closing in.

Youngster John Barnard from Sherman took his first win in the Micro Sprints Presented by Bailey Chassis. After starting seventh and waiting out Kyle Barker, Barnard found his comfort zone and launched himself into the lead and for the win.

Jeremy Reed was the winner in the Hornets division. Running behind Mike Eskew, Reed was looking for any opportunity he could find on the track and needed to go a different direction. That direction was up. Up the track and close to the concrete wall. Eskew stuck to the middle of the track and held his ground. As Reed tested the top, he found some speed and was able to catch up and go side by side with Eskew as they came down to the final laps. Reed made the pass and took the lead and the win.

The night of action featured seven divisions of racing and was sponsored by Jeff Weddle and Weddle Performance Engines in East Peoria. Next Saturday night, Macon Speedway celebrates its 75th Anniversary season with the Decatur Area Convention & Visitors Bureau. It will also be a special night for the Hornets as they run the Ed Cain Trucking World Hornet Championship. Pro Late Models, Modifieds, Sportsman, Archer’s Alley Street Stocks, Pro Modifieds, Micro Sprints Presented by Bailey Chassis and Hornets will make up the night’s action. 

Feature Results (Top 10’s)

DIRTcar Pro Late Models

1) 2 +1 Jose Parga New Berlin, IL 6P 2) 3 +1 Cody Maguire Carlinville, IL 32M 3) 4 +1 Donny Koehler Macon, IL 64 4) 5 +1 Colby Eller Taylorville, IL X 5) 6 +1 Jarod Shasteen Macon, IL 21 6) 7 +1 Brady Lynch Hillsboro, IL 14B 7) 1 -6 Blake Damery Blue Mound, IL 10 8) (DNF) 8 – Dakota Ewing Warrensburg, IL 25 Modifieds 

1) 4 +3 Tommy Sheppard Jr New Berlin, IL T6 2) 1 -1 Curt Rhodes Taylorville, IL 10 3) 5 +2 James Walters Brazil, IN 34W 4) 7 +3 Chad Sellers Breese, IL E55 5) 9 +4 Alan Crowder Elwin, IL 87C 6) 3 -3 Zach Rhodes Taylorville, IL 11 7) 10 +3 Guy Taylor Springfield, IL 77 8) 15 +7 Kyle Helmick Smithton, IL 27X 9) 16 +7 Billy Knebel Pocahontas, IL 52 10) 8 -2 Danny Smith Argenta, IL 98

DIRTcar Pro Mods 

1) 2 +1 Kyle Helmick Smithton, IL 27X 2) 6 +4 Billy Knebel Pocahontas, IL 52 3) 4 +1 Maxx Emerson Taylorville, IL 78 4) 8 +4 Dalton Ewing Decatur, IL 27 5) 13 +8 Roy Magee Springfield, IL 11 6) 10 +4 Jeff Wallace Decatur, IL 25 7) 14 +7 Kevin Rench Hillsboro, IL 116 8) 15 +7 Talen Beard Highland, IL 21T 9) 16 +7 Kevin Medlin Aviston, IL 33 10) 3 -7 Adam Rhoades Clinton, IL 10

DIRTcar Sportsman 

1) 2 +1 Dennis Vander Meersch Springfield, IL 25 2) 1 -1 Jim Farley III Springfield, IL 84L 3) 5 +2 Ethan Schnapp Springfield, IL 2S 4) 8 +4 Scott Landers Taylorville, IL 41 5) 3 -2 Phil Moreland Assumption, IL 07 6) 12 +6 Dustin Reed Decatur, IL 21R 7) (DNF) 9 +2 Matt Reed Decatur, IL 4 8) (DNF) 7 -1 Terry Myers Buffalo, IL 12M 9) (DNF) 10 +1 Carter Dart Springfield, IL D7 10) (DNF) 11 +1 Ryan Blankenship Harristown, IL 13

Archers Alley Street Stocks

1) 2 +1 Jeremy Nichols Lovington, IL 67R 2) 1 -1 Bobby Beiler Blue Mound, IL B26 3) 3 – Terry Reed Cerro Gordo, IL T5 4) 6 +2 Jeff Reed, Jr Blue Mound, IL 53R 5) 4 -1 Guy Taylor Springfield, IL X7 6) 11 +5 Darrell Dick Monticello, IL 22 7) 8 +1 Gene Reed Hammond, IL X5 8) 9 +1 Jordan Smith Argenta, IL J98 9) 14 +5 Zach Clark Illiopolis, IL 4 10) 12 +2 Wes Biesenthal Athens, IL 14

DIRTcar Hornets 

1) 1 – Jeremy Reed Decatur, IL 33 2) 2 – Mike Eskew Springfield, IL 21 3) 3 – Jacob Shanks Decatur, IL 31 4) 5 +1 Cook Crawford Lincoln, IL 1 5) 13 +8 Bill Basso Athens, IL 11 6) 8 +2 Brad Dart Springfield, IL 66D 7) 7 – Ken Reed Decatur, IL 98 8) 12 +4 Ray Goodall Springfield, IL 14 9) (DNF) 10 +1 Brady Reed Decatur, IL 32B 10) (DNF) 6 -4 Marty Sullivan Decatur, IL 39M

Micros By Bailey Chassis 

1) 7 +6 John Barnard Sherman, IL 8B 2) 4 +2 Cole Tinsley Bonne Terre, MO 00 3) 3 – Jacob Tipton Decatur, IL 10 4) 6 +2 Jeff Beasley Urbana, IL 83 5) 5 – Aarik Andruskevitch Riverton, IL 21 6) 8 +2 Cliff Powell Hannibal, MO 6 7) 9 +2 Joe Taft Dawson, IL 00T 8) (DNF) 2 -6 Michael Brummitt Mount Zion, IL 18 9) (DNF) 10 +1 Hayden Harvey Warrensburg, IL 55 10) (DNF) 1 -9 Kyle Barker Cooksville, IL 27

Permanent link to this article: