Ryan Unzicker Wins Second Herald & Review 100 at Macon Speedway

For the second time in his career and first in eight years, Ryan Unzicker is victorious in one of Illinois dirt track racing’s most prestigious events – the Herald & Review 100.

 

Unzicker, the 2011 DIRTcar Late Model national points champion from El Paso, IL, won a late-race duel with Brian Shirley, retaking the lead for good on Lap 85 and holding off Shirley and Jason Feger to bank the $7,500 grand prize and his first win in the 100-lap event since 2015.

 

“It feels good, honestly,” Unzicker said. “Macon’s one of my favorite places. What better way to win at one of your favorite tracks. It races so well.”

 

Unzicker took the green from third on the starting grid and stayed patient through the first half of the race, keeping pace with the leaders until it was time to strike. After getting by Feger for third after a Lap 63 restart, Unzicker got that chance as he continued to hammer the extreme bottom around the 1/5-mile oval.

 

“The car was just good enough to roll that bottom enough to where we weren’t getting too tight, and we could hug that left-rear [tire] into the traction and shoot off there where some of the other guys couldn’t,” he said.

 

Unzicker pulled even with five-time event winner Shannon Babb and took the runner-up spot from him on Lap 68. Then, he set his sights on leader Brian Shirley, who had been in control since before the halfway point.

 

With a head of steam and plenty of traction on the bottom, Unzicker nipped Shirley at the start/finish line to take over the top spot on Lap 80. Shirley was pounding the cushion on the top side and took the lead back the next time around, but Unzicker was not done yet. He battled back on the inside and beat Shirley to the line to take the lead back on Lap 83.

 

Shirley retook it once more on Lap 84 but made significant contact with the outside wall in Turn 2 on Lap 85, scrubbing off major speed and allowing Unzicker to sneak past him on the bottom.

 

From there on out, it was all Unzicker out front. Even a last-laps push from Feger on the top side was not enough for another good bid for the lead as Unzicker cruised across the line to take the win.

 

“I knew somebody was there, but I didn’t know it was Feger,” Unzicker said. “I could hear him just a little bit. I went up there one time and was like, ‘Oh boy, I better get back down.’”

 

UP NEXT

 

The DIRTcar Summer Nationals Late Models are back in action Friday, July 7 at Farmer City Raceway in Farmer City, IL. Tickets will be on sale at the gate; streaming is available at DIRTVision.com.

 

ABBREVIATED RESULTS (view full results)

 

Feature (100 Laps): 1. 24-Ryan Unzicker[3]; 2. 25-Jason Feger[2]; 3. 3S-Brian Shirley[9]; 4. 18-Shannon Babb[1]; 5. 1-BJ Robinson[5]; 6. 38J-Jake Little[8]; 7. 12-Ashton Winger[7]; 8. 4G-Bob Gardner[16]; 9. 44-Blaze Burwell[13]; 10. 51B-Brandon Carpenter[18]; 11. 9Z-Jayme Zider[11]; 12. 99-Jeff Larson[6]; 13. 31AUS-Kye Blight[12]; 14. 30-Mark Voigt[19]; 15. 15-Clayton Stuckey[15]; 16. 16-Rusty Griffaw[20]; 17. 6JR-Parker Martin[21]; 18. 5-Austin Vincent[10]; 19. 21B-Rich Bell[17]; 20. 91-Rusty Schlenk[4]; 21. 51-Dean Carpenter[14]; 22. 38-Thomas Hunziker[22]

 

 

 

Mike McKinney Leads Summit Modifieds Flag-to-Flag for First Career Win at Macon

 

For only having raced the Mighty Macon Speedway twice before in his career, you wouldn’t have known it watching Mike McKinney’s night of domination at the 1/5-mile bullring Thursday night.

 

McKinney, 30, of Plainfield, IL, bagged his first career Feature win at Macon and his first DIRTcar Summit Racing Equipment Modified Nationals win of the season with a clean sweep of the evening – setting Quick Time and a new track record in Qualifying, winning his Heat Race and leading all 25 laps of the Feature to collect his 17th career Summit Modified trophy. Not bad for a driver who hadn’t graced the black dirt high banks in some time.

 

“I came in here with zero expectations,” McKinney said. “We were gonna come here and just say we were here; I was just hoping to make it out of here in one piece. To set that new track record, win the Heat Race and lead every lap in the Feature, it was the last thing on my mind, for sure.”

 

Though no driver was able to seriously challenge him for the lead, McKinney endured race-long pressure from podium finishers Zeke McKenzie and Ray Bollinger, which he fended off, though it was no cakewalk.

 

“The bottom had a lot of grip,” McKinney said. “I figured if I could marry myself down there, it would take a hell of an effort to drive around me.”

 

UP NEXT

 

The DIRTcar Summit Modifieds are back in action Friday, July 7 at Farmer City Raceway in Farmer City, IL. Tickets will be on sale at the gate; streaming is available at DIRTVision.com.

 

FEATURE RESULTS

 

Feature (25 Laps): 1. 96M-Mike McKinney[1]; 2. 24Z-Zeke McKenzie[3]; 3. 77-Ray Bollinger[2]; 4. 4T-Guy Taylor[6]; 5. 24T-Trevor Ringle[7]; 6. J24-Jeremy Nichols[17]; 7. 130-Chase Allen[14]; 8. 13-Charlie Mefford[9]; 9. 94-Tom Pasek[12]; 10. 72A-Austin Lynn[22]; 11. 19-Chad Bauer[15]; 12. 82S-Todd Sherman[10]; 13. 82-Dalton Lane[8]; 14. 99-Tim Luttrell[20]; 15. 18S-Jarrett Stryker[13]; 16. 87C-Alan Crowder[21]; 17. 37L-Michael Ledford[11]; 18. 43-Jared Thomas[5]; 19. 21-Steve Myers[16]; 20. 5CS-Curt Spalding[23]; 21. 28S-Joe Strawkas[18]; 22. 99B-Blake Brown[4]; 23. 54-Zachary Hawk[19]

 

DIRTcar Series PR