Jason Feger talks about winning the Herald & Review 100 at Macon Speedway.
MACON — The annual BRANDT Season Championship Night is set to put a cap on the 2022 racing season this Saturday night
at Macon Speedway.
The track will host six divisions of racing for the special cup feature trophies in addition to points to determine the final standings. Mechanic races and a powder puff will be held at the end of the night.
The tightest point battle entering the final night is in the pro late model class. Taylorville driver Colby Eller leads the standings by just 18 points over fellow Taylorville driver Braden Johnson. Ryan Miller is third in points, while Colby Sheppard and Rockett Bennett complete the top five.
Rodney Standerfer (28) leads the modifieds division into the final racing night at Macon Speedway for the 2022 season.
Just 36-point differentials are the case in the modified and hornet divisions. In the mods, Summerfield driver Rodney Standerfer leads over Guy Taylor. In the hornets, Tristin Quinlan is on top of Billy Mason. Thirty-six equates to 18 feature spots, which will be tough to overcome for the runners-up in each class.
The point championship in the sportsman division is a virtual lock for Springfield driver Dennis Vandermeersch. This would not have been the case had the Knoxville late model race he was attending a week ago not been rained out. Vandermeersch was there as a fan but when that race got postponed to the following day, he left immediately to come to Macon and compete in that night’s event, keeping his point lead intact. His advantage over second-place driver Rick Roedel is 50 points.
The championships in the pro modified and street stock classes are already locked up. Springfield driver Guy Taylor has won 13 out of the 18 features to take the pro mod championship, while Terry Reed, from Cerro Gordo, has the street stock title.
Closing out Saturday's action will be special mechanic races for the mods/pro mods and sportsman/street stocks as well as a powder puff race for the hornets. The races are intended for those who haven’t raced as a driver in at least five years, giving them a chance to have fun behind the wheel.
Pit gates open Saturday at 4 p.m., grandstands at 5 p.m., hot laps are at 6 p.m. and racing will take the green at 7 p.m. Grandstand admission is $15, while kids 11 and under are free.
Take a look at this list of all the Herald & Review 100 winners at Macon Speedway through the years
2022 — Jason Feger
Bloomington's Jason Feger celebrates after winning the 42nd edition of Herald & Review. Feger came out of the hour-long race that was filled with 13 cautions unscathed to take the title.
2021 — Bobby Pierce Jr.
Bobby Pierce took the lead in lap 23 when race leader Brian Shirley got a flat tire and "The Smooth Operator" led the remaining 77 laps to get his third H&R 100 title.
This gave the Pierce family seven totals H&R 100 wins with Bobby's father, Bob Pierce, winning four times.
2020 — Brandon Sheppard
Brandon Sheppard battled to the win against friend Brian Shirley in the 40th running of the Herald & Review 100 in 2020. It was Sheppard's first H&R 100 crown.
To accommodate a COVID-19 schedule delay, the race was run in August rather than around the 4th of July holiday.
2019 — Gordy Gundaker
Race leader, Moweaqua's Shannon Babb, going for his record sixth H&R 100 race win, sustained race-ending front wheel damage as he slammed into the car he was attempting to lap.
Then two-time winner Bobby Pierce Jr. crossed the finish line and appeared to win, but a yellow flag brought the drivers back to finish the 100th lap, and last year's winner — Gordy Gundaker — emerged as the repeat champion.
2018 — Gordy Gundaker
Gordy Gundaker was destined for second place, with Brian Shirley holding a sizable lead entering the final 15 laps of Thursday’s Herald & Review 100 at Macon Speedway.
But when Shirley got caught up in lapped traffic, Gundaker took advantage for his first UMP DIRTcar Summer Nationals Late Model win.
2017 — Bobby Pierce Jr.
The 20-year-old Bobby Pierce Jr. became the fourth driver to win back-to-back Herald and Review 100s. Pierce had to ward off Ryan Unzicker to the tune of 12 lead changes, with 10 coming between the two, in the 100-lap race, but came out of a caution on lap 73 and opened the lead.
“That was one of the most fun races I've ever had,” Pierce said. “Me and Ryan raced each other really clean. It was a lot of fun. This place always brings you out whether you're on top or bottom. I'm just so glad to have my second one.”
2016 — Bobby Pierce Jr.
Five-time Herald & Review 100 champion Shannon Babb flipped over on lap 3. Leader and four-time winner Kevin Weaver then smoked up and exited off the track into the pit on lap 35.
That left the door wide open for Bobby Pierce. The 19-year-old super late model driver captured his first-ever H&R 100 at Macon Speedway, adding on to his spectacular run in the Summer Nationals Hell Tour.
“I like this track a lot,” said Pierce, whose dad, Bob, has won the event four times. “It's a handful to drive. It was good and pretty fast."
2015 — Ryan Unzicker
While the leaders pushed the pace to put on a show early in the Herald & Review 100, Ryan Unzicker patiently waited his turn.
With 20 laps to go, it didn't look like anyone could catch Bobby Pierce. But lap traffic turned into a headache, just like Unzicker hoped.
Unzicker, of El Paso, passed Pierce less than 10 laps later, held off Jason Feger and went on to win his first H&R 100 — somewhat salvaging his summer.
"This is what I needed," Unzicker said.
2014 — Shannon Babb
Through 34 editions of the Herald & Review 100 stock car race, a lot of history has been written.
Shannon Babb has penned more than his share.
“The Moweaqua Missile” climbed victoriously from his car and became the first driver to hoist the championship trophy for the fifth time when he gradually pulled away from good friend Ryan Unzicker of El Paso over the final 30 laps.
Babb led Unzicker by just a nose after a re-start following a yellow flag on lap 70. By the 80th lap Babb’s lead was three car lengths. And when he hit lap 90, the lead had grown to 10 car lengths.
All that was left was to finish the race without incident and when he did, a large, lusty Macon Speedway crowd stood and cheered, clapped and waved their caps wildly for one of the speedway’s all-time most popular drivers.
2013 — Shannon Babb
Shannon Babb stood on top of his No. 18 late model waving the checkered flag in celebration of his fourth H&R 100 victory.
Babb, a native of Moweaqua, tied Kevin Weaver and Bob Pierce for the most wins in the 33-year history of the race and took home a check for $5,000. Babb also won in 2006, ’09 and ’11.
Babb started ninth and wasn’t among the leaders until a yellow flag on lap 40. The restart featured a stretch of three-wide racing between Babb, Weaver and Brian Shirley, with Babb in the middle. But when the three approached some traffic on laps 45 and 46, Babb shot into the lead on lap 47 and it was never close again — even with yellow flags on laps 55, 62 and 70.
“I was having a blast racing between Weaver and Shirley,” Babb said. “It was anyone’s race at that point.”
2012 — Brian Shirley
Brian Shirley gratefully accepted a couple bottles of water after he climbed out of his car following the 32nd running of the Herald & Review 100 at Macon Speedway.
He drank from both bottles but dumped the remainder over his head. It was the culmination of an exceptionally long, hot and humid day for the Chatham late model driver.
Shirley and his crew were up until the sun rose Thursday morning, repairing his car after he sent it into the wall during Wednesday’s Summer Nationals Hell Tour stop in LaSalle. He was back in his car Thursday night for qualifying that began in triple-digit heat and a feature race that was still in the low 90s well after the sun set.
Shirley, the Hell Tour points leader, moved into the lead spot during the H&R 100 two laps after a caution that saw then-leader Kevin Weaver, of Gibson City, spin out between turns three and four. Shirley held that lead for 84 laps and held off hard-charging Moweaqua native Shannon Babb for the victory by half a car length.
“All I can say is thanks to the fans for coming,” Shirley said before he received his $5,000 check and trophy. “I really wanted to win this race.”
2011 — Shannon Babb
Nothing can stop Shannon Babb on the racetrack right now.
Moweaqua’s own utilized a restart on Lap 84 to snatch the lead from Brandon Sheppard and Babb reeled off his seventh straight win by taking the Herald & Review 100 at Macon Speedway. It’s the third time he’s captured the lengthy event.
The win, which seemed inevitable given Babb’s recent success, materialized as he dominated the high-side of the track and Sheppard slowed on the bottom. Just last year, Babb put his car into the wall with the lead and four laps remaining while trying to ride that same high-side to victory.
Not even the same sketchy patch on Turn 2 could slow Babb down this year.
“Brandon was really good there at the bottom, but it left, so the top got rolling and my old car got rolling,” Babb said. “I remembered (last year). (The top) was treacherous tonight.”
2010 — Dennis Erb Jr
It appeared Shannon Babb's luck was turning around in his homecoming.
But with the lead and only four laps left, the Moweaqua native's second straight Herald & Review 100 title slipped right past him.
On Turn 2 of the 96th lap, Babb's high line took him into the wall and allowed Dennis Erb Jr., of Carpentersville, to take the lead he had been stalking all night. Erb avoided trouble in the final three laps, and the three-time defending UMP DIRTcar Summer Nationals champ finally took home the H&R 100 trophy.
"It's fast when you hit (the groove) just right, but I got the front end up near the wall that time," Babb said. "Everyone's so tight, if you bobble it a little bit, they'll get you.
"I wasn't quite right tonight. We were close, but we just didn't have it."
2009 — Shannon Babb
Perhaps it was an omen. Almost every marquee night at Macon Speedway in recent memory has been lost to rain. But overcast skies in the morning gave way to bright sun and unseasonably cool weather for the 29th annual Herald & Review 100 at Macon Speedway.
The clear, cool night was a harbinger of good things to come for hometown favorite Shannon Babb as well.
Babb, from Moweaqua, started the night with the fastest qualifying lap, 10.406 seconds, just 0.1 off of the track record. That momentum continued in the 100-lap late model feature, when Babb took the lead on Lap 19 and never looked back, cruising to his second H&R 100 title.
Babb's fans along the front stretch roared when the "Moweaqua Missle" emerged for the victory celebration. "Hell yeah it's special," Babb said with a grin. "It's only my second win of the year."
2008 — Kevin Weaver
Once Kevin Weaver found a line, he was golden. It just took him a while to find that line.
Weaver finally overtook Dennis Erb after a caution involving Steve Sheppard Jr. and his son Brandon Sheppard on Lap 84, then cruised to a five car-length victory at the Herald & Review 100 at Macon Speedway.
Sheppard looked wild throughout the early stages of the race, trying to find a way off of the Turn 2 berm that his high racing line was taking him into.
"Most of the time you can get some momentum coming off that berm and there's a way to drive it," Weaver said. "There was no way to drive that berm tonight."
But Weaver kept trying, slipping at least three spots behind the leader at one point. He tried the low side of the track, then back to the high side before something finally clicked midway through the race. Weaver made up ground until the caution on Lap 84, then just ran a steady path to the win. No one got close to him once the got the lead.
Asked if he had the fastest car and just had to find a way around the track, Weaver smiled and said, "We didn't have the fastest car. "I drove the (bleep) out of it to get this win."
It's his fourth H&R 100, tying the legendary Bob Pierce for most wins all-time. That means a lot to the graying man from Gibson City.
"I know one thing, I'd love to be the one with the most wins," he said. "The Herald & Review is a great race, and it was a great race tonight. This is a big win."
2007 — Wes Steidinger
Wes Steidinger came from behind, passing Don O'Neal on Lap 85, cruising across the finish line and collecting the $6,000 first-place check. Steidinger called it the biggest win of his career.
"This is, well, it's just unbelievable," Steidinger said. "I mean, to win here, against Don O'Neal and Steve Sheppard, that's huge for me. It's a big, big win."
2006 — Shannon Babb
For the second straight year, rain delayed the start of the race. Shannon Babb crossed the finish line after midnight for his first H&R 100 win.
Babb, a Moweaqua native, led all 100 laps — only the second driver to accomplish that feat — and finally won the H&R 100 following several maddeningly close calls.
"It's just a matter of hitting on something," Babb said. "We had a real free car, and it was easy on the tires late when other guys were riding their's hard."
2005 — Joe Ross Jr.
At 1:27 a.m., Springfield's Joe Ross Jr. took the checkered flag in the 25th annual H&R 100 at Macon Speedway, one of the longest and wackiest races in recent memory.
Ross won his second H&R 100 (and his first since 1995) foremost because he decided to compete.
A 20-minute downpour late Thursday afternoon turned a prepared track into a sloppy mess, and despite the diligent work of Macon Speedway officials, the track wasn't ready until 9:30 p.m., about two hours after the show was supposed to start.
The race was an event on the UMP Summer Nationals series, but only one of the top 12 drivers in attendance, Rodney Melvin, decided to run. The rest loaded up their cars and didn't race, citing track conditions.
"I intended to win, no matter who was in it," Ross told the crowd following his victory lap. The crowd roared their approval.
Ross also won because his car didn't look like it was beaten with a pack of baseball bats. Macon Speedway chewed up and spat out most of the 21-car field in the feature race. Only nine cars finished, and only four of those cars were on the lead lap. Ross got in the front row after Matt Taylor wrecked before the first lap was complete, and was able to lead wire-to-wire.
2004 — Don O'Neal
When water sprayed from under Randy Korte's hood, handing Don O'Neal the lead halfway through the Herald & Review 100, everyone in the joint figured that "The Real Deal" was a lock to run away with his first Macon title.
Defending champion Terry English, though, gave him a challenge until O'Neal was able to pass English late in the race and take the checkered flag.
2003 — Terry English
In the only time in the race's history it wasn't sponsored by the Herald & Review, 500,000 gallons of water were pumped off the track just to have the race. Driving at Macon Speedway for the first time in 13 years — the last time he wrecked his car on the first lap — English passed Joe Ross Jr. on the 30th lap and never relinquished the lead.
2002 — Kevin Weaver
Kevin Weaver won his third Herald & Review 100 championship, taking the lead on lap 19 and hugging the inside track during the remaining 81 laps to win.
"It feels really good to win this race again," Weaver said. "The Herald & Review is one of the biggest races in Illinois of the year."
2001 — Bob Pierce
In a race that featured 15-year-old Riverton native Justin Allgaier — a current NASCAR Xfinity Series driver — Bob Pierece won his fourth Herald & Review 100.
For a little more than 75 laps, Pierce and Don O'Neal fought at the front of the pack. O'Neal, the pole sitter, hung on to the lead at the bottom of the track while Pierce stuck right on his tail. Finally, with 17 laps to go, Pierce was able to slide underneath O'Neal and pull away for the win.
"Experience gains patience, and you've got to have patience in a race like this," Pierce said.
2000 — Matt Taylor
Springfield's Matt Taylor surprised everyone by pulling the upset, slinging past Kevin Weaver on lap 95 and soaring to the Herald & Review 100 win. Taylor and his dad Dick Taylor became the first father-son duo to win the Herald & Review 100.
"I was here when my dad won it (in '88), but I was up in the stands," Matt said. "This was a whole lot better."
1999 — Billy Drake
Low was the way to go for Billy Drake of Bloomington.
Drake won the Herald & Review 100 by staying on the bottom groove of the track. He led the final 67 laps of the race.
"I'm just tickled to death on how the car has performed lately," Drake said.
1998 — Ed Bauman
This time, Ed Bauman didn't need a massive stroke of luck. All it took was a strategy adjustment, a speedy car and, all right, a healthy dose of good fortune.
Bauman took the lead in the Herald & Review 100 on Lap 95, when Shannon Babb spun on the inside of the first turn. Despite a shaky finish, Bauman held on for his second straight H&R 100 win.
Kevin Weaver, the only other back-to-back winner, finished second.
1997 — Ed Bauman
In one of the most memorable Herald & Review 100s ever, Shannon Babb went from last to first driving another driver's car, crossing the finish line as the winner. But a post-race weigh-in found that Babb's car was under the required weight, giving Ed Bauman of New Berlin the win at the 17th annual race.
"It's the rules. You have to deal with it," Babb said. I thought we might be underweight when I pulled into the scales."
Bauman was happy to win, but not like that.
"I feel for Shannon," Bauman said. "He's a heck of a driver and drove one heck of a race.
"I hate to win like that. But, heck, I'm taking it."
1996 — Billy Drake
The 16th Herald & Review 100 was among its most controversial.
Ahead with five laps left, Joe Ross Jr. lost his position after being bumped in the rear by Billy Drake of Bloomington. The force of the impact caused Ross to spin out, drawing a yellow flag and earning him a spot in the rear of the pack.
But instead of going to the back, Ross sped off the track and into the pits in frustration. Drake took the lead and won the race.
"When you're down to five laps to go with $5,000 to win you might lean on somebody pretty hard, but you don't take somebody out. He flat out took me out," said Ross, who won the previous year.
Drake said "little bumps" were a part of racing at Macon Speedway.
"We were racing nip and tuck in lapped traffic and Joe had to back off it a little. I bumped him a bit and then backed off it, too, and when I did that (Bill Frye) bumped into me," Drake said. "I hate that it had to happen like that."
1995 — Joe Ross Jr.
Racing against arguably the most impressive field of drivers assembled in Macon Speedway's history to that time, Joe Ross Jr. held off challenge after challenge to win the 15th annual Herald & Review 100.
In all, 45 racers showed up, including Billy Moyer, Bob Pierce, Kevin Weaver, Ed Dixon, Kevin Gundaker, Jim Curry and Rick Aukland.
But Ross became the first Macon Speedway regular to win the H&R 100 since 1989.
"I don't look at myself as a big-time racer like Kevin Weaver, Billy Moyer or Bob Pierce," Ross said. "I do OK here at Macon, but that's about it."
1994 — Bob Pierce
Danville's Bob Pierce became the first three-time winner of the Herald & Review 100, two years after losing the title when his car weight under the required minimum.
Pierce passed Ed Bauman and Gary Nettleton to win the race.
"No way I was going to come up light this time," Pierce said.
Pierce had previously won the H&R 100 in 1983 and 1985.
1993 — Billy Moyer Jr.
The only question by the end of the race was whether or not Billy Moyer Jr. was going to lap the field on his way to the win.
He didn't, but Moyer still ended up posting what veteran observers called the most dominant performance in the 13-year history of the Herald & Review 100.
"We're kind of on a roll I guess," said Moyer, or Batesville, Ark.
1992 — Kevin Weaver
After rain ended the first two attempts to hold the Herald & Review 100, Kevin Weaver was given the title when Bob Pierce's car weighed under the minimum at the post-race weigh-in.
Pierce, trying to become the race's first three-time winner, crossed the finish line first. After his car weighed under the number, he disputed it.
"There's no way I was light," Pierce said.
It cleared the way for Weaver, who became the first back-to-back winner.
"It was a heckuva lot sweeter last year," Weaver said.
1991 — Kevin Weaver
Gibson City's Kevin Weaver's fulfilled a bold guarantee made two weeks ago when rain halted the initial try of the Herald & Review 100 after 39 laps. He said he'd win, and he did, leading all 61 of the final laps.
"It's like anything else, you've got to have a lot of confidence in yourself and your crew," Weaver said.
1990 — Scott Bloomquist
Scott Bloomquist rolled into town and left with his first Herald & Review 100 win, which was his 17th feature victory of the season.
A special note of thanks for Bloomquist's win went to Roger Long, who helped Bloomquist change a tire with a caution flag out and 26 laps down. It allowed Bloomquist to take over the lead from Kevin Weaver after 81 laps.
1989 — Jim Leka
After a piston in Roger Long's car gave Jim Leka the break he needed, Leka took advantage and won the Herald & Review 100 for the second time.
"I wasn't sure if I could have caught him," Leka said. "He was awfully far ahead.I was closing, but I didn't think I was closing enough. Then when I saw him start smoking, I couldn't believe it."
1988 — Dick Taylor
In one of the Herald & Review 100's closest races, Springfield's Dick Taylor outlasted four other drivers, taking the lead on the 98th lap in turn one and holding off Rick Standridge for the win.
"I saw him there," Taylor said of Standridge, who had held off Taylor two win at the finish line a year earlier. "I didn't want to go low too soon, or the other guy would go by you on top. It worked out great. The new car was the key. Everything was working right."
1987 — Rick Standridge
Divernon's Rick Standridge led every lap in an impressive wire-to-wire finish.
But Standridge had to hold off Dick Taylor, who closed at the end and lost by a half a car length.
Crashes and car problems marred the race — only seven of 18 starters finished.
1986 — Jim Leka
Jim Leka rallied from a 13th-place starting position to win his first Herald & Review 100.
A restart on the 81st lap helped Leka catch up to Joe Ross Sr. Driving the high groove, Leka finally passed Ross on the 83rd lap.
Leka then staved off a late challenge from Roger Long to take the checkered flag.
1985 — Bob Pierce
Bob Pierce became the first two-time winner of the Herald & Review 100, taking the lead on the 46th lap and cruising to the win.
"For a track I don't come to a whole bunch, this sure has been good to me," Pierce said.
ESPN was on hand at the race for its Speed Week program.
1984 — Roger Long
Bad luck left Oakwood's Roger Long alone for a year. After rain delayed the race a week, Long, who had finished second in 1981 and 1984, battled past pole-sitter Bob Pierce on the 25th lap. Long then held off Joe Ross Sr. for the win.
1983 — Bob Pierce
Danville's Bob Pierce won his first Herald 7 Review 100, holding off Gary Webb of Davenport, Iowa, over the final 20 laps.
Webb nearly caught Pierce on the final lap, but his car fishtailed as he hit the gas too hard in the final turn.
Pierce had wrestled the lead from Danny Carpenter on the 20th lap.
1982 — Pete Willoughby
Columbus, Ind., trucker Pete Willoughby moved up from third to first about halfway through the race, passing Don Hester of Tupelo, Miss., and Russ Petro of Indianapolis for the win.
1981 — Butch Garner
It was like the dramatic home run with two out in the bottom of the ninth in the last game of the World Series. Butch Garner, the soft-spoken Decatur driver with a fan following second to none, roared from behind and took the lead on the final turn of the final lap.
Garner, of Forsyth, passed Ray Godsey of Bedord, Ind., on the final lap, as Godsey's car broke down and plowed into the south wall.