(Macon, IL) Bobby Pierce challenged for the lead early in the 2021 edition of the Herald & Review 100 Thursday night at Macon Speedway but it wasn’t a pass for the lead that gave him the advantage, it was a caution flag and a flat tire on leader Brian Shirley that allowed Pierce to claim the lead.
With debris in the fourth turn and a slowing Shirley, the caution came out and fans watched as the Chatham, IL driver pulled to the turn two gate and off the track for a tire change. With 23 laps complete, the second-place car became the first place car.
It wasn’t an easy ride for Pierce around the 1/5th mile dirt oval for his third Herald & Review 100 trophy, however, as former winners Ryan Unzicker and Shannon Babb closed in for the lead midway through the event. Lapped traffic began to slow Pierce around the top of the track and that allowed Unzicker and Babb a chance to close the gap and offer a chance for themselves to advance their positions.
The crowd started to really sense the moment and the opportunity, especially for fan favorite and former track star in Babb. But once the traffic was cleared, Pierce opened the lead back up and never looked back.
The race saw nine caution flags over the 100 laps and three different leaders as Unzicker, the pole sitter, had the lead for the first two laps before Shirley controlled the race from lap three until the unfortunate end to his lead on lap 23. The 100-lapper was completed in 45 minutes. Pierce’s payday was a little sweeter as instead of just a $5,000 check, he also scored an additional $500 from Decatur Battery.
Pierce’s night was a total success. He was scored fastest in his group for qualifying. He started on the pole and won and began the 100-lap feature from the second row inside starting position.
Another driver who succeeded because of fast qualifying time and heat race victory was Highland’s Mike Harrison. Harrison, no stranger to the Macon Speedway winner’s circle, took the top honor in the BillingsleyRewards.com/Summit Equipment Modifieds division. Harrison also enjoyed a second row starting assignment for his feature and won the 25-lapper as he grabbed the lead away from Ray Bollinger with four laps to go and both drivers side-by-side and changing track grooves.
The third division to race Thursday during the 41st Annual Herald & Review 100 was the Pro Modified class. The Pro Modifieds have had a good season and was given the opportunity to showcase their class during the track’s biggest race of the summer. The race did not fair well for the division as the cars were not set up for the dry slick track conditions. From the initial green flag to begin the race until the race scored its first official lap completed, it took 24 minutes and 10-to-11 restarts. The track officials were left with no choice but to cut laps off the feature race in an effort to make up time. As the Pro Modified class hit the first lap, the full house crowd let out a Bronx cheer. The race did pick up consecutive green flag laps and get back to normal and while that was happening Kyle Helmick pulled through win the 10-lap victory.
Macon Speedway will be in action this coming Saturday, July 10, as Air King presents Fireman’s Ball & 1st Responders Night in addition to the Chris Oberheim Memorial. All seven divisions will be in action with free grandstand admission for 1st responders who show proper ID.
Feature Results (Top 10’s)
DIRTcar Summer National Super Late Models
- 32-Bobby Pierce[Oakwood, IL]; 2. 24-Ryan Unzicker[El Paso, IL]; 3. 18-Shannon Babb[Moweaqua, IL]; 4. 36-Logan Martin[West Plains, MO]; 5. 11-Gordy Gundaker[St. Charles, MO]; 6. 11T-Trevor Gundaker[St. Charles, MO]; 7. 16-Rusty Griffaw[Festus, MO]; 8. 3S-Brian Shirley[Chatham, IL]; 9. 38J-Jake Little[Springfield, IL]; 10. 12-Ashton Winger[Senoia, GA]
Summit Modified Nationals
- 24H-Mike Harrison[Highland, IL]; 2. 53-Bobby Stremme[South Bend, IN]; 3. 77-Ray Bollinger[Kewanee, IL]; 4. 7-Drake Troutman[Hyndman, PA]; 5. 77T-Guy Taylor[Springfield, IL]; 6. 24Z-Zeke McKenzie[Claypool, IN]; 7. 27X-Kyle Helmick[Smithton, IL]; 8. 28-Rodney Standerfer[Summerfield, IL]; 9. 21M-Willy Myers[Collinsville, IL]; 10. T6-Tommy Sheppard Jr[New Berlin, IL]
DIRTcar Pro Mods
- 27X-Kyle Helmick[Smithton, IL]; 2. 52-Billy Knebel[Pocahontas, IL]; 3. 37-Billy Justice Jr[Cerro Gordo, IL]; 4. 15C-Kevin Crowder[Argenta, IL]; 5. 9-Andrew Depper[Belleville, IL]; 6. 14N-Nathan Lynch[Hillsboro, IL]; 7. 3X-Justin Reynolds[Hillsboro, IL]; 8. 36-Nick Justice[Decatur, IL]; 9. 58R-Ryan Hamilton[Fairview Heights, IL]; 10. 7B-Brian Burns[Bethany, IL]