New Champions Crowned in Finale at Macon Speedway
(Macon, IL) The final race night of the 2023 racing season completed just before midnight on Saturday and not because the night was drawn out with lengthy intermissions or late starts. 143 racecars covering seven racing divisions flooded the pit area and provided race fans one final lasting memory before the high-banked dirt oval will fall silent for the next six months.
The return of the Diane Bennett Memorial and Tom Bennett Fan Giveback brought races from all over Illinois as well as Missouri and Indiana to test their luck on the “Coolest Bullring in the Country.” Along with the Bennett Memorial race night, it was also the Brandt Season Championship which saw six Macon Speedway divisions crown champions.
Braden Johnson of Taylorville would fall second in the Decatur Building Trades Pro Late Model 40-lap feature but would hoist the checkered flag in glory of his first track championship at Macon Speedway. The driver would win four features during the course of the season but couldn’t manage the pass around Dakota Ewing to get number five. Ewing’s Pro Late Model was smooth across the top of the track to secure his second feature of the year.
Tim Luttrell caught fire during the season and ran his way to five feature wins and the points lead going into the final week. Luttrell’s third place finish in the 30-lap Red’s Place Modifieds feature event was enough to help him capture his first track championship. Jeremy Nichols made a pass on Missouri driver Damian Kiefer for the lead on lap 13 and then Kiefer was crashed into by a lapped car that led to his car getting mangled and taken into the infield. Austin Lynn kept pace with Nichols for the lead but finished the runner up.
Dalton Ewing won not only the feature but the Pro Modified track championship as he passed Guy Taylor in the late stages of the race to cement his 2023 legacy. His brother Dakota has won a Pro Late Model championship and his father Steve has won championships in Modifieds and Street Stocks. Dalton is a Pro Modified champion with the help of seven feature wins during the season.
Plenty of excitement occurred in the Weddle Performance Engines Sportsman Division as Wes O’Dell was hanging on by two points over Randy Huffman for the championship. O’Dell finished a spot behind Huffman to draw their point totals to even but because O’Dell had five feature wins, he owned the tie breaker and claimed the championship for the season. Former track champion Dennis Vandermeersch rushed to the top of the track to pass Steven Mattingly, who won last week during KerbyStrong, and ran away with the race for his second feature win of 2023.
The night also saw the return of a former Macon Speedway legend in Jeff Leka. The former Modified National Champion returned to race in the Street Stocks class in the Rudy Zaragoza 67R racecar and had a good night winning his heat and also his feature. The top of the track worked well for Leka and not so well for Bobby Beiler, the second place driver who would claim the Street Stock championship.
The Hornets saw Tristin Quinlan return to championship glory. The Decatur champion kept his distance from Billy Mason en route to his second consecutive Hornet title. Quinlan’s other Hornet was also in action Saturday night and was driven by former Hornet National Champion as well as Macon Speedway Hornet champion in Adam Webb.
The night also included the winged Micro Sprints Presented by Bailey Chassis. Jeremy Camp led all 15 laps and the race went green flag to checkered flag in a mere three minutes. It was among the fastest races of the night, if not the entire season. The Sullivan driver coasted from the pole position to reach the checkered flag.
Macon Speedway thanks Brandt for sponsoring the Season Championship Night, the Bennett family for their continued promotion and help with the Diane Bennett Memorial Race Night and the Tom Bennett Fan Giveback and also Decatur Building Trades for being part of the final night of racing in 2023.
The first year of the Kearns family ownership of Macon Speedway is complete. There have been upgrades and changes in the 78-year-old track that have been needed as well as changes that were made because of Mother Nature and her fury from earlier in the year. The off-season will allow for more change and more ideas for the 2024 season as for what cars, races and special events the track will have coming soon. Keep posted to maconracing.com as well as the Macon Speedway Facebook page for updates and information on the upcoming schedule and events for the 79th consecutive season of dirt track stock car racing at Macon Speedway.
Decatur Building Trades Big Ten Pro Late Models
- 25-Dakota Ewing; 2. 14J-Braden Johnson; 3. 77-Blaise Baker; 4. 55-Rockett Bennett; 5. 11-Ryan Miller; 6. 22-Chris Dick; 7. 21-Jarod Shasteen; 8. 11E-Randy Eller; 9. (DNF) 33-Bill Berghaus; 10. (DNF) 10C-Colby Eller
Red’s Place Big Ten Modifieds
- J24-Jeremy Nichols; 2. 72A-Austin Lynn; 3. 99-Tim Luttrell; 4. 87D-David Shain; 5. 9-Austin O'Dell; 6. 25B-Braiden Bohlmann; 7. 52-Billy Knebel; 8. 11-Zach Rhodes; 9. N59-Chad Evans; 10. 5T-Rob Timmons
DIRTcar Pro Mods
- 27-Dalton Ewing; 2. 4T-Guy Taylor; 3. 25X-Kyle Helmick; 4. 62-Troy Medley; 5. 22-Darrell Dick; 6. Z24-Zach Taylor; 7. 78-Maxx Emerson; 8. 33B-Jeff Leka; 9. 71-Joel Ortberg; 10. 24M-Matt Milner
Weddle Performance Engines Sportsman
- 25-Dennis Vander Meersch; 2. 7-Steven Mattingly; 3. 46-Randy Huffman; 4. 87-Wes O'Dell; 5. 21C-Ed Cleeton; 6. 07-Phil Moreland; 7. 12M-Terry Myers; 8. 11-Roy Magee; 9. 21-Jeff Ray; 10. 5S-Ronald Bacon
DIRTcar Street Stock
- 67R-Jeff Leka; 2. 17-Bobby Beiler; 3. 11-Terry Reed; 4. 55-Zane Reitz; 5. 14-Gene Reed; 6. 08-Brian R Dasenbrock; 7. 80-Brian J Dasenbrock; 8. 21E-Eric Boomer; 9. 187-Korey Bailey; 10. (DNF) 4-Zach Clark
- 95-Adam Webb; 2. 95Q-Tristin Quinlan; 3. 23H-Allan Harris; 4. 41-Jaekob Durbin; 5. 357-Billy Mason; 6. 7-John Bright Jr; 7. 04-Steve Stine; 8. 14P-Paul Lawhorn; 9. 13G-Gage Rusher; 10. 37C-Casey Eskew
Micros By Bailey Chassis
- 23-Jeremy Camp; 2. 55S-Daryn Stark; 3. 8W-Breanna Wirth; 4. 65E-Chad Elliott; 5. 55-Hayden Harvey; 6. B8-John Barnard; 7. 21-Aarik Andruskevitch; 8. 17-Kurt Westerfield; 9. 25-Tyler Grafton; 10. 87-Collin Shain
Submitted By: Adam Mackey