(Macon, IL) The bottom groove. That's what Chris Dick will remember about the 5th Annual KERBYSTRONG 100 at Macon Speedway. Starting in the 10th position, Dick set up his car to run the bottom side of the 1/5th mile dirt track and that helped him speed through the field and find himself in a battle for the lead with Dakota Ewing. Ewing won fast qualifier and his heat which set him up for the pole position on the special 50-lap, $2,000-to-win feature in the Decatur Building Trades Pro Late Models.
Ewing started out on the top side of the track and begin his early domination of the event. As the race grew longer, Ryan Little and Dick closed in. Little would lose second place to Dick and would spin out midway through the race. With only Ewing in his windshield view, Dick continued to run the bottom while Ewing charged high. Lapped traffic played a small-to-moderate effect as Dick passed Ewing for the lead on lap 37. After his pass, the final 13 laps were all green flags and that provided Dick the growing lead to create breathing room on the way to the double checkered flag finish.
Tommy Sheppard, Jr. had a rough beginning to his night in the BillingsleyRewards.com Modifieds. Not being able to finish his heat race put him at the tail of the 12-car feature field but a strong finish is what Sheppard had as he pulled out another win to extend his division points lead. Tim Hancock, Jr. led the first 13 laps in the special 25-lap $700-to-win race. But as Sheppard caught up to Hancock from the top groove, the race was lost for Hancock.
Rounding out the division races as part of the 5th Annual KERBYSTRONG 100 was the Sportsman division as their 25-lap race for $600-to-win. Dennis Vandermeersch, pole sitter and winner of the inaugural as well as most recent KERBYSTRONG race, led all 25 laps and claimed his third KERBYSTRONG title in the five-year history of the event. Vandermeersch and Scott Landers, 2017 KERBYSTRONG champion, were neck-and-neck in the early stages but the top side was too solid for Vandermeersch as he pulled firmly ahead and won in a caution-free race. The top three rows were positioned by the finish of the Aubie's Custom Contracting Dash which saw Vandermeersch take the victory.
Tim Hancock, Jr. not only lost the lead and race in the BillingsleyRewards.com Modifieds, he lost the lead and race in the Neal Tire & Auto Pro Modifieds division to his dad, Tim Hancock, Sr. Coming to the green flag, lapped traffic caught up to the Junior Hancock while gave all the opportunity needed for the veteran racer as he whisked away with the checkered flag.
Bobby Beiler raced to championships with the top side of the track a few years ago. After a short break, Beiler came back to racing and once again grabbed the top side to gain momentum and speed. He also grabbed the Archer's Alley Street Stock winner's circle on Saturday. Racing along with current points leader Terry Reed, Beiler overcame some obstacles to get to the top and finish off the win.
Brady Reed extended his points lead in the Hornets division with another checkered flag. Despite a rough beginning for the Decatur driver, Reed got moving and got fast to pass Steve Stine and seal the deal.
Macon Speedway was honored to have the Kerby Damery family as well as the KERBYSTRONG Foundation in attendance for the 5th Annual KERBYSTRONG 100. Kerby Damery meant a great deal to Macon Speedway as well as his town of Macon during his life before it was cut short due to cancer. KERBYSTRONG was built to win the race in the fight against cancer. His family tradition of racing continues through his son Blake who races in the Decatur Building Trades Pro Late Models in an orange & blue 10, the same look and design as his dad's Late Model racecar.
Up next for Macon Speedway is a tremendous event of open wheel & stock car racing. The MOWA 410 Sprint Cars are scheduled to race along with Neal Tire & Auto Pro Modifieds, a Midwest Big Ten Series race for the Decatur Building Trades Pro Late Models and a late addition to the card is a make-up visit from the POWRi Midgets & Micro Sprints. Something for everybody next Saturday night at Macon Speedway!
Decatur Building Trades Pro Late Models--1. Chris Dick (Deland), 2. Dakota Ewing (Warrensburg), 3. Guy Taylor (Springfield), 4. Donny Koehler (Macon), 5. Jose Parga (New Berlin), 6. Colby Sheppard (Williamsville), 7. Brandon Eskew (Ashland), 8. Roben Huffman (Midland City), 9. Logan Moody (Catlin), 10. Chuck Mitchell (Jacksonville)
BillingsleyRewards.com Modifieds--1. Tommy Sheppard, Jr. (New Berlin), 2. Tim Hancock, Jr. (Mt. Olive), 3. Alan Crowder (Elwin), 4. Tim Hancock (Mt. Olive), 5. Trevor Neville (Mackinaw), 6. Kyle Helmick (Smithton), 7. Brian Burns (Bethany), 8. Willy Myers (Collinsville), 9. Joe Strawkas (Buffalo), 10. Roger Mills (Rockville, IN)
Sportsman--1. Dennis Vandermeersch (Springfield), 2. Wes Odell (Springfield), 3. Scott Landers (Taylorville), 4. Rick Roedel (Shelbyville), 5. Bobby Beiler (Blue Mound), 6. Terry Myers (Buffalo), 7. Travis Martin (Ramsey), 8. Joel Irvin (Harristown), 9. Connor Klay (Stonington)
Neal Tire & Auto Pro Modifieds--1. Tim Hancock (Mt. Olive), 2. Tim Hancock, Jr. (Mt. Olive), 3. Billy Knebel (Pocahontas), 4. Nick Justice (Decatur), 5. Willy Myers (Collinsville), 6. Rob Timmons (Centralia), 7. Tim Riech (Petersburg), 8. Jeff Watts (Dalton City), 9. Dustin Wiltermood (Windsor), 10. Nathan Lynch (Hillsboro)
Archer's Alley Street Stocks--1. Bobby Beiler (Blue Mound), 2. Terry Reed (Cerro Gordo), 3. Darrell Dick (Monticello), 4. Gene Reed (Hammond), 5. Rudy Zaragoza (Jacksonville), 6. Larry Russell, Jr. (Decatur), 7. Brian Dasenbrock (Decatur), 8. Jaret Duff (Maroa), 9. Shawn Ziemer (Boody), 10. Brian Dasenbrock, Jr. (Decatur)
Hornets--1. Brady Reed (Decatur), 2. Marty Sullivan (Decatur), 3. Steve Stine (Stonington), 4. Cook Crawford (Lincoln), 5. Ken Reed (Decatur), 6. Carter Dart (Springfield), 7. Jacob Shanks (Decatur), 8. Paul Peters (Pana), 9. Carson Dart (Springfield), 10. Kodi Landholt (Buffalo)