Nichols Doubles Down In Macon Sunday Special


MACON, Ill. – Jeremy Nichols has done plenty in his career as a stock car driver.

He’s won races. he’s won championships. He’s raced in nearly every division that Macon Speedway has offered.

But in a Sunday night special at Macon, Nichols did something he’s never done before at the track. He won two races with the same car on the same night.

In recent years, Macon Speedway fans have seen drivers like Mike Pickering grace victory lane in the Street Stocks and the Sportsman class on the same night. However, “Jimbo” had a race car for each division.

Nichols raced and won in the Archer’s Alley Street Stock feature with a car that’s engine was popping and making a variety of noises. Holding off Terry Reed, Bobby Beiler and Guy Taylor was quite difficult, but Nichols managed to make it happen.

After making sure the engine was corrected as good as it was going to be, Nichols took the track in the special Tim Bedinger Classic Sportsman division feature and won from the pole position.

Winning from the pole position is a common attraction to racing but when a Street Stock can outrun and stay ahead of a Sportsman car – knowing the Sportsman car has more horsepower and engine power – that’s the big surprise.

Most fans are aware of the speed and skills of drivers such as Dennis Vandermeersch and Wes O’Dell, so for Nichols to stay ahead of them and truly dominate the 15-lap race was quite amazing.

However, the night ended early for Vandermeersch.

After racing on the top, the car locked towards the turn three wall and blasted into the concrete. That hit was only the beginning as two other cars came barreling towards him and smashed into his car.

After taking the first five features and a consecutive streak that continued through the 2019 season, the winning ways ended for Vandermeersch on a night when the feature was dedicated to his friend and racer, Tim Bedinger – who passed away early in 2020.

The Hornet division was promoted as the special race of the week, as the Ed Cain Trucking Hornet World Championship was featured.

The race lived up to expectations, as the 25-car field featured top Hornet drivers such as Mike Eskew, Brady Reed, Jeremy Reed, Joe Reed and Billy Mason.

With the race starting with accidents and cautions and Hornets falling off to the pits or on the back of tow trucks, the field shrunk and that helped keep the action moving, as Mike Eskew and Brady Reed battled for the full 15 laps.

Reed bumped on the back bumper of Eskew for many laps trying to loosen up the Springfield native, but to no avail, and Eskew ended as the winner of the race.

Jake Little used the top side of the fifth-mile dirt oval to win the Pro Late Model feature race. The track was quite fast on the top and that’s where Little felt comfortable for the 20-lap race.

Tommy Sheppard, Jr. once again found victory lane in the Modifieds. Two straight weeks of feature wins and closing in on the points leader Billy Knebel has allowed Sheppard to inch closer to a chance at a third straight Modified division title.

Knebel was involved in a last lap incident with the car trailing him. The points standings could have a much tighter look to them in the final weeks to come.

Devin Feger blasted away to win in the Micro Sprint feature presented by Bailey Chassis. Trevin Littleton and Molly Day were close but not at the same speed on the night as Feger as he took his first feature win at Macon Speedway for 2020.

The Pro Modified feature could be described as a nightmare. Cautions for accidents and wrecks and spinouts slowed the 15-lap event down to a snail’s pace as the drivers couldn’t get together to complete green flag laps.

But when they were able to get it going, Billy Knebel outran Kevin Crowder, Ryan Hamilton and Maxx Emerson for the checkered flag. The division’s heat races were also plagued with accidents, wrecks and spinouts.

The Sunday night special at Macon Speedway was made possible due to Saturday rainfall that was moved to Sunday thanks in part to Macon Speedway officials for adjusting the schedule and adding Sunday as a rain date.

The 75th Anniversary Celebration was sponsored by the Decatur Area Convention & Visitors Bureau.