Ready to Win but Didn’t Saturday Night at Macon Speedway


(Macon, IL) For the drivers of the six racing divisions at Macon Speedway on Saturday night, many of those who led laps in the feature looked like locks for the victory lane. And then something happened to where that didn’t happen. Either a broken racecar or a late-race pass kept traditional and known winners away from the checkered flag.

Braden Johnson certainly looked unstoppable in the Decatur Building Trades Pro Late Model class as the first half of the race was dominated by his speed and quickness around the middle and top lines of the track. But then disaster struck and his Pro Late Model lost power on the front straightaway on lap eight and forced a yellow flag. Johnson would be towed into the infield and back to his pit area. The drive shaft broke under his car due to a choppy and jumpy racing surface. The second place car, Timmy Dick, would assume the lead and take the advantage and lead himself into the winner’s circle.

Fortunate not to have broken but also not able to finish first was Tommy Sheppard, Jr. in the Modifieds class. “The Tommy Show” was back at Macon Speedway after spending the last few weeks racing in the Summer Nationals series. Sheppard started his night with fast qualifier and a heat race win to position him on the pole for the 20-lap feature. Leading the first 14 laps with little to no troubles, Pro Modified driver Billy Knebel made his move on the bottom and closed the gap and would be scored first on the 15th lap and take off with the win over the race’s final five laps. For Knebel, it was his first A-Modified feature win of the season and it felt pretty good to prove that once again the Pro Modifieds can compete well in the A-Modified division.

Jeremy Nichols looked in position to win in the Archer’s Alley Street Stocks class but Nick Macklin and the fourth turn took away that chance. Macklin moved from the fifth starting spot to the lead with five laps remaining and Nichols stayed close. As they hit the final turns to the checkered flag, Nichols gave it once last effort in the fourth turn and threw it hard into the corner and the car lifted off the ground and rolled twice before landing on all fours in the turn. The checkered flag hit the air and Macklin finished first. The race was part of the 10-race Midwest Big Ten Series event which a separate point fund is put together for drivers who race in this statewide touring series.

Jeremy Reed looked like the checkered flag was headed back to Reed Racing in the Hornet division. However, the car started to slow and lost power and he had to pull into the infield and that allowed Brandon Miller to overtake the lead and win over the 20-car field.

The night was full of surprises. However, Kyle Helmick led wire-to-wire from the pole in the Pro Modified class to offer some stability to the evening. Hayden Harvey of Warrensburg took the second feature of his season at Macon Speedway in the Micro Sprints Presented by Bailey Chassis as he roared to a big lead and drove off for victory.

The evening was also given some added bonuses with the addition of the Kid Modz class, a Modified division geared for children aged 8-15 to get seat time and race. The 9-car field was down to two in the final lap as 14-year-old Ariyonnah Kalb of Peoria took the checkered flag ahead of Brenden Heizer.

The intermission involved the annual Faster Pastor race as area church leaders took to the track for the right to be the Faster Pastor. The lead pastor of Decatur First Church of the Nazarene, Adam Lewis, drove off to victory in the Hornet that is driven by Storm Beiler. Storm Auto Mall donated $100 to the winning church.

124 entries for the night at Macon Speedway with special surprises all night long is what will be remembered of this Church Night. Macon Speedway brings it back to life on Saturday, July 24th, with Weddle Performance Engines Night featuring the Sportsman Topless 40 and the Ed Cain Trucking Hornet Challenge. It will also be the First Responders Night and the Chris Oberheim Memorial. Six racing divisions are scheduled including the Decatur Building Trades Pro Late Models, Modifieds, Weddle Performance Engines Sportsman, Archer’s Alley Street Stocks, Pro Modifieds and Hornets.


Decatur Building Trades Pro Late Models

  1. 122-Timmy Dick[Monticello, IL]; 2. 27-Colby Sheppard[Williamsville, IL]; 3. 10-Blake Damery[Blue Mound, IL]; 4. 64-Donny Koehler[Macon, IL]; 5. 7S-Jeremy Sebens[White Heath, IL]; 6. 33B-Storm Beiler[Decatur, IL]; 7. 14-Derek Smith[Decatur, IL]; 8. 11-Ryan Miller[Lincoln, IL]; 9. F15-Bob Sidener[Springfield, IL]; 10. (DNF) 14J-Braden Johnson[Taylorville, IL] Modifieds

  1. 52-Billy Knebel[Pocahontas, IL]; 2. T6-Tommy Sheppard Jr[New Berlin, IL]; 3. 77-Guy Taylor[Springfield, IL]; 4. 24M-Matt Milner[Chatham, IL]; 5. 00S-Cody Stilwell[Godfrey, IL]; 6. 27X-Kyle Helmick[Smithton, IL]; 7. 34T-Tanner Reed[Paris, IL]; 8. 22P-Wil Prater[Paris, IL]; 9. 78-Maxx Emerson[Taylorville, IL]; 10. 24-Zach Taylor[Springfield, IL]

DIRTcar Pro Mods

  1. 27X-Kyle Helmick[Smithton, IL]; 2. 52-Billy Knebel[Pocahontas, IL]; 3. 2-Brayden Doyle[Ashmore, IL]; 4. 15C-Kevin Crowder[Argenta, IL]; 5. 24-Guy Taylor[Springfield, IL]; 6. 14N-Nathan Lynch[Hillsboro, IL]; 7. 79-Scott Dunlap[Oblong, IL]; 8. 33-Josh Robb[Mt. Zion, IL]; 9. 24M-Matt Milner[Chatham, IL]; 10. 28-JR Dunlap[Palestine, IL]

Archers Alley Big Ten Street Stocks

  1. 16-Nick Macklin[Argenta, IL]; 2. 11-Terry Reed[Cerro Gordo, IL]; 3. 29-Bobby Beiler[Blue Mound, IL]; 4. X7-Guy Taylor[Springfield, IL]; 5. Z24-Zach Taylor[Springfield, IL]; 6. 21-Jaret Duff[Maroa, IL]; 7. 22-Darrell Dick[Monticello, IL]; 8. 46-Randy Huffman[Maroa, IL]; 9. 67-Rudy Zaragoza[Jacksonville, IL]; 10. 3J-Jonathon Hall[Harristown, IL]

DIRTcar Hornets

  1. 9B-Brandon Miller[Broadwell, IL]; 2. 04-Steve Stine[Stonington, IL]; 3. 31-Jacob Shanks[Decatur, IL]; 4. 26A-Michael McKay[Springfield, IL]; 5. 187-Korey Bailey[Stonington, IL]; 6. 00-Derrick DeFord[Canton, IL]; 7. 324-Shelby Beiler[Macon, IL]; 8. J13-Justin Coffey[Stonington, IL]; 9. 14M-Cole Martz[Findlay, IL]; 10. 44-Bill Basso[Athens, IL]

Micros By Bailey Chassis

  1. 55H-Hayden Harvey[Warrensburg, IL]; 2. 10-Jacob Tipton[Decatur, IL]; 3. 21-Aarik Andruskevitch[Riverton, IL]; 4. 18-Michael Brummitt[Mt. Zion, IL]; 5. 27-Kyle Barker[Cooksville, IL]; 6. 8B-John Barnard[Sherman, IL]; 7. 7-Ryan Frantz[Atwood, IL]; 8. 16W-Hunter Walker[Decatur, IL]; 9. 00-Joe Taft[Dawson, IL]; 10. 55S-Daryn Stark[Springfield, IL]


  1. 34-Ariyonnah Kalb[Peoria, IL]; 2. 4-Brenden Heizer[Okawville, IL]; 3. (DNF) 24-Blake Crebo[Hanna City, IL]; 4. (DNF) 11-Hagen Langley[Greenville, IL]; 5. (DNF) 4KK-Kaylynn Eskew[Pleasant Plains, IL]; 6. (DNF) 22-Hudson Dick[Monticello, IL]; 7. (DNF) 66-Audrey Gerberding[Rochester, IL]; 8. (DNF) 14-Wyatt Lappe[Illiopolis, IL]; 9. (DNF) B8-Erin Boesdorfer[Armington, IL]

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