MACON, Ill. – Macon Speedway wrapped up a pandemic-shortened 75th anniversary season with its final night of competition on Saturday.
Championships were still being decided in many of the classes as the final night of the year got underway, and it took the checkered flag lap of many divisions to sum up the best of the best.
Tommy Sheppard Jr. was trailing Billy Knebel by four points, a matter of two feature positions, entering the evening in the BillingsleyRewards.com Modifieds class.
Thanks to a solid night of qualifying and heat racing, Sheppard drew the number two starting position for the 20-lap feature and led all 20 of the laps to win his fourth feature in a row.
No matter if Sheppard won, if Knebel stayed within a finishing spot of Sheppard, he would remain the champion by virtue of the points lead.
Unfortunately for Knebel, who started eighth, he ran out of time for the race and the season and took a fourth place finish in the feature. The final points standings will show Sheppard taking the championship and Knebel finishing two points behind.
For Sheppard, it marked his third-straight BillingsleyRewards.com Modified championship and fourth overall Macon title, as he won the Pro Late Model track championship in 2017.
The night was not a total letdown for Knebel as he entered the evening with an insurmountable lead in the Pro Modified division.
Leading Dalton Ewing by 56 points coming into the evening and Knebel making it to the track and starting in the feature, Knebel would be crowned the champion.
He wasn’t willing to just enjoy that moment. He also won the final feature of the season, his eighth win of the year in 12 races.
Ewing, while racing in the BillingsleyRewards.com Modified feature, blew his engine and could not compete in the Pro Modified feature. That would cost him as Kyle Helmick moved into second place in the points with his second-place finish in the 15-lap feature.
The closest point race of the season was in the Micro Sprints presented by Bailey Chassis. John Barnard led Jacob Tipton by four points entering the night’s 15-lap feature.
Tipton started front row outside and Barnard started third row outside and chased down Tipton for the race. The final lap would see Tipton finish the race two positions ahead of Barnard and create a tie for the points championship.
The tiebreaker was determined by the amount of feature races won between the drivers. Barnard scored one feature win while Tipton did not win a feature race.
Barnard’s lone feature win of the 2020 season secured him as the Micro Sprint track champion at Macon Speedway.
The race was won by Jeremy Camp, who flew through the race and placed first. Trevin Littleton was fast and took second then Tipton in third with Kyle Barker taking fourth ahead of Barnard.
In the Archer’s Alley Street Stock class, Bobby Beiler entered the night 36 points ahead of Jaret Duff for the division title and thanks to a front row starting spot, Beiler would grab hold of the checkered flag and win the race and the championship.
Rudy Zaragoza and Darrell Dick would be in contention of the lead but Beiler, just as he has been most of the season, was just too fast to overcome.
Gene Reed would finish fourth and receive the trophy for the five-race end of season Top Gun Championship where the final five races between Lincoln Speedway & Macon Speedway would produce a special point fund and award.
Reed ran all five shows and came away with the top honors.
Tommy Sheppard Jr. also would lay claim to the Top Gun trophy and bonus money for leading the five-race point series in the Top Gun Championship in the Modified class.
The Pro Late Models also were involved in the Top Gun Championship Series and Cody Maguire of Carlinville would win that honor finishing 48 points ahead of Jake Little to earn the bonus prize money.
However, Jake Little got the biggest laugh of the night as he took hold of his first Macon Speedway Pro Late Model track championship.
Little has earned wins in the Midwest Big Ten Series over the course of the last few years but not been able to win the division championship at Macon Speedway, until 2020.
Little ran behind racing teammates Dakota Ewing and Jose Parga for the 20-lap A-main as Ewing kept ahead of Parga for the lead and win.
The final division of the night was already a wrapped-up deal as the Hornets points champion Brady Reed came into the night with an 80-point lead and had clinched the title after last week’s race.
Reed came from the third row to get behind race leader Mike Eskew and on a caution lap restart allowed Reed to overcome Eskew for the lead and finish the night with the checkered flag.