(Macon, IL) The third annual Diane Bennett Memorial race at Macon Speedway did just what it has for the first two years, added bonus money to the purse prizes of the racing divisions and brought in some exciting racing. 104 entries among six racing divisions on Saturday night paid homage to a woman who spent better than 30 years handscoring races at Macon Speedway and other racing events and facilities.
One of the top races of the night was the special 25-lap, $1,550-to-win BillingsleyRewards.com Modified feature racing. Guy Taylor and Rodney Standerfer, former track champions in the division, were the front row with Tommy Sheppard, Jr., defending champion, and Curt Rhodes, another former champion, starting in the second row. The early stretch of the race was controlled by Sheppard with Taylor and Standerfer keeping close. Going into the third turn on lap nine, Taylor passed Sheppard for the lead and things looked good for Taylor. However, a miscue at the top of the second turn changed things as Sheppard not only regained the lead but Taylor fell into the middle of the race field and eventually four laps later was off the track. Sheppard would go on to return to victory lane and take home the big payday.
The Decatur Building Trades Pro Late Model class was also a special 25-lap event with a prize of $1,270-to-win. Jose Parga did go on for the win but it was a fairly close race between him and second place driver Braden Johnson. Parga kept Johnson roughly a car length’s lead for the better part of the race and led all 25 laps. Dakota Ewing, racing in Storm Beiler’s 33B instead of his usual 25, would go for third after starting on the pole.
Jeremy Nichols won from the pole in the Archer’s Alley Street Stocks but it wasn’t a typical blast off for the win kind of race. Darrell Dick, Guy Taylor, Nick Macklin and Terry Reed were keeping it close and made for an fun 15-lap race.
The Pro Modified feature was full of unique settings. The start of the race began with a caution flag. Minutes later as the race restarted and the drivers were coming to the first lap, Billy Justice, Jr. and Chris Erwin got up on the top of the third turn wall and rolled their cars. Justice’s car sparked into a fiery mess and crew members raced to help with fire extinguishers and get Justice out and away from his racecar. All parties would be safe although Justice’s car would be towed back to the pit area. Once the race got moving again, Kyle Helmick would go from being the third row outside starter to being on the front row outside and drive away from Kevin Crowder and Nick Justice. While Helmick was leading and pulling away, the run of the racing was between Crowder and Justice who traded back and forth and side-by-side action until the race came down to two-to-go and Justice fell victim to a broken racecar after colliding with Crowder.
There were no cautions in the 15-lap feature for the Micro Sprints Presented by Bailey Chassis. Jeremy Camp took off with the lead from the pole position and all 16 cars kept things moving as the full race was completed in 3 minutes.
The night was completed by the 4-cylinder Hornet class as Eric Vanapeldoorn from Clinton won the 14-car race. Much like his 6-lap heat race, he had to stop Jeremy Reed from taking the lead from him and he was successful both times.
Thousands of donated dollars for the sake of the 104 entries on Saturday night was an amazing accomplishment by Kellie Bennett and her family to honor her mother Diane and create a different event and evening. Instead of arranging money for whoever wins, the idea came to offer money to all positions in all classes. The idea has been a success and many drivers have benefited from the night and been able to keep their racing programs going in the second half of the racing season.
Next Saturday night at Macon Speedway the HART non-wing Micro Sprints will race for the first time this season. Also on the program will be the Decatur Building Trades Pro Late Models, the BillingsleyRewards.com Modifieds, Archer’s Alley Street Stocks, Pro Modifieds and Hornets. August continues with the annual POWRi Midgets and Micro Sprints Camfield Memorial Night with special guest Jack Hewitt.
Decatur Building Trades Big Ten Pro Late Models
- 6P-Jose Parga[New Berlin, IL]; 2. 14J-Braden Johnson[Taylorville, IL]; 3. 33B-Dakota Ewing[Warrensburg, IL]; 4. 27-Colby Sheppard[Williamsville, IL]; 5. 10-Blake Damery[Blue Mound, IL]; 6. 33H-Roben Huffman[Midland City, IL]; 7. 122-Timmy Dick[Monticello, IL]; 8. 11-Ryan Miller[Lincoln, IL]; 9. 14-Derek Smith[Decatur, IL]; 10. F15-Bob Sidener[Springfield, IL]
- T6-Tommy Sheppard Jr[New Berlin, IL]; 2. 28-Rodney Standerfer[Summerfield, IL]; 3. 87C-Alan Crowder[Elwin, IL]; 4. 10R-Curt Rhodes[Taylorville, IL]; 5. 18-Jarrett Stryker[Millstadt, IL]; 6. 98-Danny Smith[Argenta, IL]; 7. 24B-Brent Weaver[Godfrey, IL]; 8. 78-Maxx Emerson[Taylorville, IL]; 9. 7B-Jeremy Nichols[Lovington, IL]; 10. 27X-Kyle Helmick[Smithton, IL]
DIRTcar Pro Mods
- 27X-Kyle Helmick[Smithton, IL]; 2. 15C-Kevin Crowder[Argenta, IL]; 3. 52-Billy Knebel[Pocahontas, IL]; 4. 24-Guy Taylor[Springfield, IL]; 5. 33-Josh Robb[Mt. Zion, IL]; 6. Z-Larry Bunning[Decatur, IL]; 7. 3X-Justin Reynolds[Hillsboro, IL]; 8. 116-Kevin Rench[Hillsboro, IL]; 9. 10-Adam Rhoades[Clinton, IL]; 10. 24M-Matt Milner[Chatham, IL]
Archers Alley Big Ten Street Stocks
- 67R-Jeremy Nichols[Lovington, IL]; 2. 22-Darrell Dick[Monticello, IL]; 3. 16-Nick Macklin[Argenta, IL]; 4. 11-Terry Reed[Cerro Gordo, IL]; 5. 53R-Jeff Reed Jr[Blue Mound, IL]; 6. 08-Brian Dasenbrock[Decatur, IL]; 7. 21-Jaret Duff[Maroa, IL]; 8. X7-Guy Taylor[Springfield, IL]; 9. 21R-Dustin Reed[Decatur, IL]; 10. Z24-Zach Taylor[Springfield, IL]
- T82-Erik Vanapeldoorn[Clinton, IL]; 2. 34-Jeremy Reed[Decatur, IL]; 3. 357-Billy Mason[Brownstown, IL]; 4. 324-Shelby Beiler[Macon, IL]; 5. J13-Justin Coffey[Stonington, IL]; 6. 1-Cook Crawford[Lincoln, IL]; 7. 3H-Allan Harris[Chatham, IL]; 8. 9B-Brandon Miller[Broadwell, IL]; 9. 187-Korey Bailey[Stonington, IL]; 10. 313-Gabe Rusher[Stonington, IL]
Micros By Bailey Chassis
- 23-Jeremy Camp[Sullivan, IL]; 2. 55S-Daryn Stark[Springfield, IL]; 3. 21-Aarik Andruskevitch[Riverton, IL]; 4. 68-Devin Feger[East Peoria, IL]; 5. 27-Kyle Barker[Cooksville, IL]; 6. 10-Jacob Tipton[Decatur, IL]; 7. 8B-John Barnard[Sherman, IL]; 8. 17-Molly Day[Allerton, IL]; 9. 83-Jeff Beasley[Urbana, IL]; 10. 87-Collin Shain[Sullivan, IL]