Vandermeersch Scores Topless 40 Victory

By BZ

(Macon, IL) Dennis Vandermeersch ran the top of the Macon Speedway on a hot and humid Saturday night to secure a 40-lap feature win while the Weddle Performance Engines division ran the evening without a roof on the racecars. It was nothing new to Vandermeersch as he claimed his fifth straight 40-lap feature win in the annual race. Although he led all 40 laps, it was not without heavy challenges from the second place car Wes O’Dell. O’Dell stayed on Vandermeersch’s bumper for nearly all the laps and followed him around through every turn and straightaway; he just didn’t have what was needed to make the pass and take control.

For Vandermeersch, it was also the sixth time he has won the 40-lapper in the 12-year history of the race dating back to 2011. It is also the second time that he led all 40 laps en route to the checkered flag. The final ten or so laps were more difficult than just keeping ahead of O’Dell as he announced that he lost control of his brakes. The 40 laps were completed in 20 minutes and had only five caution flags.

The finish of the night came in the BillingsleyRewards.com Modifieds feature race. With Macon Speedway co-owner Kenny Wallace in the house racing in the division, everybody was out to give it their all against the driver leading the National Points in the Modified class. Wallace was a fast qualifier and won his heat and that helped set him up on the front row outside of the 20-lap feature with 23 cars. Wallace ran the bottom and stayed ahead of Clint Martin, Alan Crowder, Rodney Standerfer and Billy Knebel in the early goings. Knebel hooked up on the bottom, too, and passed all the way to second place and challenged Wallace for the top spot. When Wallace and Knebel were running around the bottom of the fourth turn, Knebel bumped and got bumped and spun out to bring out a caution flag. The caution was for Knebel who was sent to the back of the field with half the race remaining. Eyes started to watch Wallace and Standerfer run on the bottom and Zach Rhodes, the eighth place starter, surging strong on the top groove. Rhodes strongly challenged as he gained speed and momentum through the corners. As the white flag was waving, it was Rhodes and Wallace sticking to their lines and as they came out of the final turn to the finish it was a drag race that Wallace took by the slimmest of margins.

Wallace appreciated the race that Rhodes gave and believed his car didn’t run good or well enough to win on this night. He dedicated to the race to Zach Rhodes’ father Curt, who passed away at the beginning of 2022. Curt was a former BillingsleyRewards.com Modified track champion and also raced other divisions in his time at Macon Speedway.

The Decatur Building Trades Pro Late Models class saw twists and turns throughout that 20 laps as Braden Johnson took his third feature win of the year. He was tangled up in a mess with Chase Osterhoff in the third turn of lap 13. As Osterhoff was pulled away by the tow truck, Johnson got back on the track and assumed his second place position behind Colby Eller. As they came around to the green flag and the next lap, Johnson bypassed Eller and ran away. Timmy Dick led the early stages of the race but was caught with lapped traffic and bounced off the first turn tractor tire that took away his chance at the first feature win of his season at Macon.

Guy Taylor got the feature programs started with his seventh win of the season in the Pro Modified class. The race was ran very quickly with no yellow flags or stoppages. Taylor ran away from the rest of the 16 cars.

The 51 Bistro Street Stocks saw Jeremy Nichols race from the pole to lead all 15 laps and win in the 67R car that is normally raced by Rudy Zaragoza. The win stopped the 3-race streak that Zane Reitz had as Reitz started in the middle of the pack.

Devin Feger led the laps to win the Micro Sprint feature Presented by Bailey Chassis. Not only holding off the runs by Aarik Andruskevitch but also his girlfriend Molly Day and current points leader John Barnard through the bottom line of the track, Feger claimed his first feature win of the year.

The night was capped off by a new Hornets feature winner in Paul Lawhorn of Mattoon. The race appeared to be won by Michael McKay as he fended off the fight from Mike Eskew, David Lauritson and Billy Mason but then Lawhorn went to the top of the track and sped by McKay in the final laps to make it a winner for the Mattoon driver.

The seven division night sponsored by Weddle Performance Engines saw over 100 entries and some hearty race fans in the stands on a day when the temperatures nearly reached 100 degrees and the heat index was well over 100.

Macon Speedway’s sister track Lincoln Speedway will host a special Sunday Funday with cooler temperatures. Six divisions will race and three of those divisions will participate in Midwest Big Ten Series race events: Pro Late Models, Modifieds and Street Stocks. The Sportsman, Division 2 Midgets and Hornets are also on the schedule. Macon Speedway finishes July with the MOWA Sprint Cars, POWRi Midgets & Micro Sprints plus the Decatur Building Trades Pro Late Models and Pro Modifieds. 

FEATURE RUNDOWNS (Top 10’s)

Decatur Building Trades Pro Late Models

  1. 14J-Braden Johnson[Taylorville, IL]; 2. 10C-Colby Eller[Taylorville, IL]; 3. 122-Timmy Dick[Monticello, IL]; 4. 11-Ryan Miller[Lincoln, IL]; 5. 27-Colby Sheppard[Williamsville, IL]; 6. 9B-Brandon Miller[Broadwell, IL]; 7. 10CE-Korey Damery[Macon, IL]; 8. (DNF) 130-Chase Osterhoff[Kankakee, IL]; 9. (DNF) 61-Jammie Wilson[Hoopeston, IL]; 10. (DNF) 27E-Dalton Ewing[Decatur, IL]

BillingsleyRewards.com Modifieds 

  1. 36-Kenny Wallace[St. Louis, MO]; 2. 10Z-Zach Rhodes[Taylorville, IL]; 3. 28-Rodney Standerfer[Summerfield, IL]; 4. 99-Tim Luttrell[Riverton, IL]; 5. 4T-Guy Taylor[Springfield, IL]; 6. 87C-Alan Crowder[Elwin, IL]; 7. 4M-Clint Martin[Ramsey, IL]; 8. 28S-Joe Strawkas[Buffalo, IL]; 9. 18-Jarrett Stryker[Breese, IL]; 10. 7-Blake Thompson[Troy, IL]

DIRTcar Pro Mods

  1. 4T-Guy Taylor[Springfield, IL]; 2. 67-Austin Seets[Brighton, IL]; 3. 78-Maxx Emerson[Taylorville, IL]; 4. 121-Deece Schwartz[Ashmore, IL]; 5. 2-Brayden Doyle[Ashmore, IL]; 6. 24Z-Zach Taylor[Springfield, IL]; 7. 24M-Matt Milner[Chatham, IL]; 8. 10-Adam Rhoades[Clinton, IL]; 9. 12-Dean Holt[Decatur, IL]; 10. 15C-Kevin Crowder[Argenta, IL]

Weddle Performance Engines Sportsman

  1. 25-Dennis Vander Meersch[Springfield, IL]; 2. 87-Wes O’Dell[Springfield, IL]; 3. 18-Jeremy Nichols[Lovington, IL]; 4. 84L-Jim Farley III[Springfield, IL]; 5. 11-Rick Roedel[Shelbyville, IL]; 6. 11M-Roy Magee[Springfield, IL]; 7. 5S-Ronald Bacon[Decatur, IL]; 8. 61-Stefan Bedinger[Taylorville, IL]; 9. (DNF) 21-Ed Cleeton[Tovey, IL]; 10. (DNF) 07-Phil Moreland[Assumption, IL]

51 Bistro Street Stocks

  1. 67-Jeremy Nichols[Lovington, IL]; 2. R1-Jim Ransom[Williamsport, IN]; 3. 14-Megan Erwin[Attica, IN]; 4. 16-Nick Macklin[Argenta, IL]; 5. 11-Terry Reed[Cerro Gordo, IL]; 6. 55-Zane Reitz[Veedersburg, IN]; 7. 21-Jaret Duff[Maroa, IL]; 8. 78B-Brad Peters[Stonington, IL]; 9. 21E-Eric Boomer[Bethany, IL]; 10. 08-Brian R Dasenbrock[Decatur, IL]

DIRTcar Hornets

  1. 14P-Paul Lawhorn[Mattoon, IL]; 2. 26A-Michael McKay[Springfield, IL]; 3. 15-David Lauritson[Normal, IL]; 4. 21-Mike Eskew[Springfield, IL]; 5. 357-Billy Mason[Brownstown, IL]; 6. 30J-Nick Johnson[Bartonville, IL]; 7. 00-Derrick DeFord[Canton, IL]; 8. 17-Brooke Trivitt[St. Elmo, IL]; 9. V30-Myles Vonbehren[Lodge, IL]; 10. 9-James Trivitt[St. Elmo, IL]

Micros By Bailey Chassis

  1. 40-Devin Feger[East Peoria, IL]; 2. 21-Aarik Andruskevitch[Riverton, IL]; 3. 17-Molly Day[East Peoria, IL]; 4. 8B-John Barnard[Sherman, IL]; 5. 27-Kyle Barker[Cooksville, IL]; 6. 00-Joe Taft[Dawson, IL]; 7. 101-Tobias Midkiff[Belleville, IL]; 8. 14-Chris DiBart[Bella Vista, AR]; 9. N1A-Shania Alexander[Humboldt, IL]; 10. (DNF) 09-Jayden Lucassen[Virginia, IL]

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