(Macon, IL) The 2022 Macon Speedway season came to a close on Saturday night to cap off the 77th consecutive season of racing at the world’s fastest 1/5-mile dirt track during the BRANDT Professional Agriculture Race for the Cup finale. For the final six racing divisions at the track, many knew who the likely champions would be at the start of the night as long as the top point drivers would arrive. The evening still featured many outstanding finishes and celebrations.
Colby Eller came into the final night an 18-point leader in the Decatur Building Trades Pro Late Model class. After facing a night of ups and downs, Eller left the night with the track championship and a second place finish to the 20-lap feature race. Braden Johnson started the season with a feature win and he finished the season that way for his seventh feature of the year. Eller celebrated announcing he was racing this season in honor of his friend Curt Rhodes, who passed away earlier in the 2022 year. The race was sponsored by R&K Eller Construction, who offered additional payout for the field of cars.
Rodney Standerfer has hinted that 2022 might be the final racing season for him and he was poised to finish the year with a big smile. After starting the evening with the fast qualifying time and heat race win in the BillingsleyRewards.com Modifieds, Standerfer got started on the pole and led early. His farewell finale would be spoiled by Rob Timmons, a former Pro Modified driver from Centralia, who was hooked up on the top of the track all race long and finished the night with the final checkered flag. Standerfer still got his moment to shine as he carried the big checkered flag around the track one final time as he clinched his third BillingsleyRewards.com Modified points championship at Macon Speedway.
Guy Taylor clinched the Pro Modified championship weeks earlier due to the points lead of the second place driver. On the final night of the season, Taylor looked like he would score his 14th feature of the season but ran into a hard spin in the fourth turn coming to lap nine which set up a hit and a pass from second placer Maxx Emerson. Emerson was on the gas strong and steady for the remaining five laps and picked up his first feature win of his career. Racing was also competitive with Kevin Crowder and Matt Milner in the race for third place. Crowder, last week’s feature winner, would emerge ahead of Milner.
In the Weddle Performance Engines Sportsman class, Dennis Vandermeersch was well in place to win another divisional title. His biggest obstacle was a lapped car spinning out ahead of him as well as Ethan Schnapp. While Schnapp led and Vandermeersch was second, a lapped car lost control and wiped out in front of them causing the top two drivers to collide and damage their cars. The damage was sufficient enough to take them both out of the race. That allowed third place driver Wes O’Dell to be the leader and he would finish off the race by winning his second feature of the season, first since April 23rd. Vandermeersch would still be crowned the champion of the Weddle Performance Engines Sportsman division despite not finishing the race.
Jim Ransom of Williamsport, Indiana, got himself locked in at Macon Speedway in the 51 Bistro Street Stocks. The race was strong with 17 drivers in the field for the 15-lap event. Andy Zahnd, Gene Reed and Rudy Zaragoza all contested for the lead but Ransom pulled away. With a caution flag setting up a green-white-checkered finish, Zaragoza came on fast and turned the final lap into a drag race to the finish. The champion of the division, Terry Reed, would finish with a top five end result.
The final division up for grabs was the 4-cylinder Hornet class where newcomer Tristin Quinlan was one race away from clinching his first title. A solid points lead over Billy Mason set up a 15-lap race that saw Quinlan slam the door on the championship and take hold his first championship after racing in both Street Stocks and Hornets in his young career.
The final races of the season featured the Mechanics Races for the Sportsman, Street Stocks and Pro Modified/Modified classes. Justin Curry in the Ronald Bacon 5S went ahead of Richard Lowe from the Jim Farley III 84L to claim the Sportsman race. Things looked good for mystery driver in the 67R Rudy Zaragoza during the Street Stock Mechanics race. However, as the last lap came to finish with him leading, the black flag started waving as former National Champion Jeff Leka would be disqualified for being a current driver. T5 Terry Reed, Sr. would be awarded the race in Gene Reed’s Street Stock. Danny Page, a former Modified driver who has been retired for 15 years, came back to pass Tim Shomidie in Guy Taylor’s 4T to win in the Pro Modified/Modified Mechanic Race. The final race of 2022 was a five-car Hornet Powder Puff race where Courtney Ring outran the four other ladies in the Allan Harris 3H to be the Queen of the Track.
The season has ended at Macon Speedway but plenty of racing action remains. Lincoln Speedway hosts the DIRTcar Fall Nationals with Super Late Models, Pro Late Models, Modifieds, Pro Modifieds, Street Stocks and Hornets in a two-day show. Although Macon Speedway rests for now, April 2023 is on the eyes of many race fans in Central Illinois. Thanks to all the drivers, fans, sponsors and supporters for keeping dirt track racing going strong for 77 years at Macon Speedway with great feelings towards year 78 in 2023.
Feature Rundowns (Top 10’s)
Decatur Building Trades Pro Late Models
- 14J-Braden Johnson[Taylorville, IL]; 2. 10C-Colby Eller[Taylorville, IL]; 3. 27-Colby Sheppard[Williamsville, IL]; 4. 10-Blake Damery[Macon, IL]; 5. 11-Ryan Miller[Lincoln, IL]; 6. 27E-Kyle Mixon[Alton, IL]; 7. 16C-Tristan Coleman[Lincoln, IL]; 8. 11E-Randy Eller[Taylorville, IL]; 9. (DNF) 64-Butch Hilderbrand[Cerro Gordo, IL]; 10. (DNF) T22-Curtis Eller[Taylorville, IL]
- 5T-Rob Timmons[Centralia, IL]; 2. 28-Rodney Standerfer[Summerfield, IL]; 3. 9-Austin O’Dell[Rochester, IL]; 4. 35-Clark Robertson[Shelbyville, IL]; 5. 87C-Alan Crowder[Elwin, IL]; 6. 00S-Cody Stilwell[Godfrey, IL]; 7. 4T-Guy Taylor[Springfield, IL]; 8. 99-Tim Luttrell[Riverton, IL]; 9. 78-Maxx Emerson[Taylorville, IL]; 10. (DNF) 24M-Matt Milner[Chatham, IL
DIRTcar Pro Mods
- 78-Maxx Emerson[Springfield, IL]; 2. 4T-Guy Taylor[Springfield, IL]; 3. 15C-Kevin Crowder[Argenta, IL]; 4. 24M-Matt Milner[Chatham, IL]; 5. 27X-Jonathan Hall[Decatur, IL]; 6. 32-Brett Page[Centralia, IL]; 7. 6-Billy Adams[Shelbyville, IL]; 8. 23-Ryan Timmons[Centralia, IL]; 9. 7S-Jeremy Sebens[White Heath, IL]; 10. (DNF) Z24-Taryn Page[Harristown, IL]
Weddle Performance Engines Sportsman
- 87-Wes O’Dell[Springfield, IL]; 2. 20-Tyler Roth[Fairbury, IL]; 3. 84L-Jim Farley III[Springfield, IL]; 4. 11R-Rick Roedel[Shelbyville, IL]; 5. 21C-Ed Cleeton[Tovey, IL]; 6. 5S-Ronald Bacon[Decatur, IL]; 7. 14-Cole Landers[Taylorville, IL]; 8. 21-Dustin Moore[Rochester, IL]; 9. (DNF) 7S-Ethan Schnapp[Springfield, IL]; 10. (DNF) 25-Dennis Vander Meersch[Springfield, IL]
51 Bistro Street Stocks
- R1-Jim Ransom[Williamsport, IN]; 2. 67-Rudy Zaragoza[Jacksonville, IL]; 3. 2Z-Andy Zahnd[White Heath, IL]; 4. 11-Terry Reed[Cerro Gordo, IL]; 5. 21E-Eric Boomer[Bethany, IL]; 6. T5-Gene Reed[Hammond, IL]; 7. 78B-Brad Peters[Stronington, IL]; 8. 80-Brian J Dasenbrock[Decatur, IL]; 9. 19-Brandon Yaden[Deland, IL]; 10. 45-Chandler Smith[Highland, IL]
- 95Q-Tristin Quinlan[Decatur, IL]; 2. 357-Billy Mason[Brownstown, IL]; 3. 3H-Allan Harris[Chatham, IL]; 4. 33H-Mike Gossett[Decatur, IL]; 5. 37-Lukas Robison[Sullivan, IL]; 6. 24D-Chris Wright[Brownstown, IL]; 7. 41-Jaekob Durbin[Ramsey, IL]; 8. 20B-Bridget Fulton[Marissa, IL]; 9. 39M-Marty Sullivan[Decatur, IL]; 10. 04-Gage Rusher[Stonington, IL]