JOE ROSS, JR. wins HERALD-REVIEW 100 at MACON!
A wise man once developed a theory called Newtons Law that if anything can go wrong it probably will. Truer words have never been spoken of the Herald & Review 100 at Macon Speedway on Thursday night.
Rain showers pelted the track in the early afternoon on Thursday, leaving the track and pit area a mess after rains had also previously covered the small Midwest farmtown the night before. With a full grandstand and a pit full of race cars, promoter Rich Webb was left in a no-win situation. The end result was decisions that has left fans and drivers at odds with each other when most all of the top Summer National points contenders decided to load their cars and sit out the night.
This is a two-sided argument that in the end will probably leave parties having to agree to disagree.
Bottom line is that the promoter and staff did everything within their power to try to fulfill the craving of a grandstand full of fans who sat for over 5 hours to see a race.
For those who decided to sit the evening out, I understand your side, for those who decided to race, I understand your side. Congrats to all on both sides.
When racing finally got underway 23 of the 39 cars on hand decided they would attempt to race and Steve Sheppard, Jr. recorded the fast time with a lap of 10.971, the only driver to break into the 10 second barrier.
The trophy dash was won by Matt Taylor over Kyle Logue, Jason Feger, Rodney Melvin, Joe Ross, Jr., Brent Kreke, Frankie Martin, Steve Sheppard, Jr. and Kirby Damery.
Heat races were won by Don Hammer over Frankie Martin, Chris Dick, Don Cisco, III, Randy Meyers, Christian Rayburn, Rick Standridge and John Graham and Steve Sheppard, Jr. over Dick Taylor, Ed Bauman, Corey Daugherty, Doug Heber, Butch Smith, Jayme Zidar and Adam Mefford.
The anticipation for the 100 lap A-Main event was high and the action was plenty as the finale got underway. Pole sitter Matt Taylor led the field to the green and made contact with the outside turn 4 wall, nearly flipping his car and ending his night prematurely. Also involved in the opening lap melee was Jason Feger who would be forced to make an early visit to the pits. This moved third row pole sitter Joe Ross, Jr to the pole for the start of the main.
When the race took green on the restart, Ross jumped to the point and would never again be headed, surviving a mid race flat tire, with a speedy crew, Ross managed somehow to get his tire changed in the muddy infield and return to the track prior to a restart and was given his spot back at the front of the pack. (A somewhat unorthodox practice I will say, I know of no track where you can change a tire and get your spot back, BUT: this is and has been the practice of Macon Speedway and I will say that the officials have been consistent in their enforcement of this procedure).
Ross survived several mid race threats from Steve Sheppard, Jr. then Rodney Melvin and later Steve Sheppard again, but was just too strong and showed his muscle, overcoming the threats to lead the entire distance of 100 laps, lapping some cars 7,8, or 9 times on the small 1/5 mile speed plant. At the checkers, only 4 cars of the 9 running remained on the lead lap. Ross was followed to the stripe by Sheppard, Jr., Hammer, Logue, Dick, Rayburn, Dick Taylor, Zidar and Meyers to complete the field.
The H&R 100 win was the second for Ross, Jr. who had also won the race in 1995 and has been a dominant force at the midwest bullring, winning the previous two weekly shows in tune up for Thursday nights affair. Ross was joined in victory lane by his father Joe Sr. who was a longtime Midwest racer with a great deal of success at the Macon facillity as well as other tracks in the area.
Ross was driving a C.J. Rayburn Race Car owned by Bill West of Arcadia, Illinois with sponsorship from B.W.E., R&R Delivery and J.P. Floors.
A-Main Results 100 Laps
1. Joe Ross, Jr.
2. Steve Sheppard, Jr.
3. Don Hammer
4. Kyle Logue
5. Chris Dick
6. Christian Rayburn
7. Dick Taylor
8. Jayme Zidar
9. Randy Meyers
10. Frankie Martin
11. Rodney Melvin
12. Jason Feger
13. Adam Mefford
14. Ed Bauman
15. Don Cisco, III
16. Butch Smith
17. Corey Daugherty
18. Brent Kreke
19. Rick Standridge
20. John Graham
21. Matt Taylor