Sheppard Strikes Twice At Macon


MACON, Ill. – Tommy Sheppard Jr. continued his strong season with another victory in Modified competition Saturday at Macon Speedway.

Coming through a restart on lap 13, Zach Rhodes was in control of the race until lap 20 when Sheppard leapfrogged Rhodes and second-place Alan Crowder to take the lead.

From that point forward it was all Sheppard, who pulled away to the victory over Crowder and Rhodes.

In a special visit from the Midwest Stock Car Tour as part of the Archer’s Alley Street Stocks, Sheppard climbed into a Street Stock to race in the third annual Dean Garland Classic.

From the sixth starting position, Sheppard was running behind Lance Evans and Bobby Beiler. As the 40-lap event was pick up steam and momentum, so was Sheppard.

Evans fell out of the race with flat right rear tire and that left Sheppard to race with Darrell Dick for the lead. Lapped traffic slowed Dick down from being able to make it a close finish and that left Sheppard with enough daylight heading to the finish line to steal the victory.

Thanks to a dice roll and invertion, Blake Damery and Donny Koehler startedon the front row of the Decatur Buildling Trades Pro Late Models feature. That meant Dakota Ewing would start fifth and have to work his way through the field to earn another feature win.

Damery was a lock at the bottom of the track as the second-year Pro Late Model driver led solidly for the first 14 laps. Ewing started his charge and caught up to Koehler from the top side and eventually take second place.

Damery was caught in a three-way race for the lead as Ewing and Koehler made moves to close the gap. Damery would lose the lead to Ewing on lap 17 but a spinout created a restart. Ewing looked poised to win again, but Damery did not quit running his race at the bottom.

A slip-up by Ewing on the white flag lap set up Damery’s pass on the bottom of the fourth turn and a photo finish between Ewingand Damery stalled the action. Video evidence confirmed that Damery crossed the line before Ewing and was awarded the checkered flag. While in the victory lane interview, Ewing came up to Damery and offered his handshake in stellar sportsmanship.

The Sportsman division ran its own 40-lap feature Saturday night in topless style. The first lap was a coin toss between Dennis Vandermeersch and Wes Odell. After that, Vandermeersch set the pace and the tone for the race running the high groove.

The bottom started to catch on better with Tim Bedinger and Bobby Beiler working ahead to pass Odell and try to close in for the lead. Vandermeersch was a solid lock at the front of the race and throughout.

Nick Justice ran a cautionless race to the checkered flag in the Neal Tire & Auto Pro Modified group. Newcomer Kyle Helmick stayed just ahead of Tim Hancock to make sure the many time feature winner would not be in the running for the checkered flag on this night. Justice has battled ups and downs all season with his new Pro Modified and finally looked like he figured it out in the 15-lapper.

Luke Verardi and Gabe Verardi finished one and two in the special attraction visit from the Micro Sprints Presented by Bailey Chassis.

The night was finished off with the Hornets and Brady Reed taking another win.