DECATUR -- Dennis Vandermeersch has run a lot of laps around Macon Speedway for the better half of three decades. Late Models, Modifieds and Sportsman cars have been raced by the retired firefighter from Springfield and the record shows that the Sportsman division is easily his most successful and dominate. That showed again Saturday night when Vandermeersch swept away the night. He began with fast qualifying time and a heat race win. He ended with a 40-lap feature win in which he led every lap.
The race never seemed to get out of Vandermeersch's control despite challenges from another longtime Sportsman competitor Wes Odell. A few moments of lapped traffic slowing down the leader and allowing Odell to close the gap were all that made fans think this was not going to be a checkered flag for Vandermeersch. And to make for an added twist for the event, the division had to race without a roof and go topless. That made Vandermeersch pleased when it came to exiting the car as he climbed right out on top and let out a yell of excitement.
The win was Vandermeersch's second in the eight-year history of the Topless Sportsman 40. He is tied with Jeremy Nichols and Dave Crawley, Jr. as other two-win racers. The event was completed in 12 minutes, 39 seconds and only required three caution flags. Only four cars were unable to complete the race.
Guy Taylor used a late-race pass to capture the BillingsleyRewards.com Modified feature race. Starting from the third position in the second row, Taylor used the top groove to pass Tommy Sheppard, Jr. with a lap to go to hold the checkered flag. A last lap caution would make for an interesting finish but Sheppard could not get the lead back.
Jake Little had to wheel his way to a checkered flag victory in the Decatur Building Trades Pro Late Model division. Starting in the third row, Little had to get through the night's fast qualifier in Roben Huffman along with points leader Guy Taylor to get it. Alongside Little in the third row was Dakota Ewing, who also made the passes and followed Little to the lead, and would finish second.
Nick Macklin scored a Street Stock win thanks to a breakdown in Darrell Dick's engine which led to a fire that needed extinquished by the track officials. With Dick and Macklin racing side-by-side, the finish could have been one of the more exciting races of the evening but Dick's engine got flamed and ended his evening. Macklin coasted away with the checkered flag.
Cody Stillwell held on for dear life to pick up the win in the B-Modifieds and extend his points lead as the racing season hits July. Stillwell, native of Godfrey, was met with a challenge from Tim Hancock, Jr. for the entire 15 laps and nearly lost the top spot several times to the top-riding Hancock but Stillwell would not give up on the bottom and it held just enough to secure a checkered flag.
Aidan Roosevans swept the special appearance with the Micro Sprints, presented by Bailey Chasis. The 14-year-old from O'Fallon scored his first feature win Saturday night after winning both the heat and controlling the 15-lap feature.
Wrapping up the seven racing division night were the Hornets. Jeremy Reed had a second row starting point and got by Matthew Reed on his way to the winner's circle. The win for Reed was his fifth of the season.