Race Weekend Central

Thinkin’ Dirty: 2022 Herald & Review 100 at Macon

The Headline(s)

Illinois late model veteran Jason Feger won the rescheduled Herald & Review 100 at Macon Speedway after 20 years of trying, with Mike Harrison also scoring a win.

How it Happened

2022 Herald & Review 100
Where: Macon Speedway – Macon, Ill. (streamed on Macon Racing TV)
Winner’s Purse: $5,000

“Twenty years I’d been trying for that,” an elated Jason Feger said as he emerged in victory lane Thursday night (Sept. 1) at the Macon Speedway bullring. Feger won the Herald & Review 100 super late model race that was rescheduled after being rained out for its regularly scheduled date on the DIRTcar Summer Nationals “Hell Tour.” 

Feger’s win came courtesy of navigating a choppy feature that was slowed by 13 cautions as well as a lap 7 red-flag incident that saw Paul Stubber flip as part of a four-car accordion wreck in turn 3. Feger led the final 61 laps of the feature after Rusty Schlenk led from laps 2-38, never again being challenged for the race lead despite the myriad yellow flags.

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Schlenk did attempt to make a race of it, however. After losing the lead on lap 38, Schlenk quickly dropped through the field before drawing the caution flag on lap 52 and heading to the work area. Returning to the track, Schlenk battled back up to the fourth position, but banged up his racecar running the track’s high side in the process.

As a result, Schlenk had to have track officials remove his dragging spoiler under a lap 85 yellow flag, an alteration that left Schlenk to eventually spin out on a lap 86 restart, then park his car for the night.

2022 HERALD & REVIEW 100 RACE RESULTS

Earlier, with Hell Tour modified champion Nick Hoffman nowhere to be found, longtime midwest modified ace Mike Harrison won the UMP modified support class feature running away.

Success Stories

If anyone needed a visual aid of how much Thursday night’s win meant to Feger, consider that he hugged the track PA man before beginning his victory lane interview. Said Feger, despite the Herald & Review 100 being only a $5,000-to-win feature, it’d been on his list for decades. And with the quote of the night regarding the rash of yellow flags, Feger remarked, “[it’d] take a few beers to rehydrate from that one.”

Oregon native Thomas Hunziker was present for Thursday’s race despite the Hell Tour having long been over. Despite being involved in a pile-up 10 laps short of the finish, he survived enough of the attrition to score a top-10 result.

Myles Moos did every bit as much damage to the body of his racecar that Schlenk did coming through the field Thursday, only he managed to last all 100 laps and scored a fourth-place finish for his troubles.

Vexed, Villains & Victims

The good news is that Stubber was uninjured when his car flipped during the lap 7 red-flag incident Thursday. But really, flipping a dirt late model on a bullring as tiny as Macon Speedway is the dirt racing equivalent of Carl Long tumbling a NASCAR machine at Rockingham Speedway. 

There were two former Herald & Review 100 winners in Thursday night’s field, and neither of them came close to adding to their resumes. Shannon Babb’s hard-luck 2022 season continued, with the veteran retiring his car three laps into the feature with an unknown mechanical malady.

Ryan Unzicker didn’t make it much farther, getting collected in a lap 11 yellow flag that saw the second, third and fourth-place cars all get caught in an accordion wreck after race leader Schlenk slammed on the brakes to avoid a slow lapped car in turn 3. Unzicker was never a factor after the incident, finishing a distant 16th.

Reading this column, it’s obvious Schlenk was front and center for much of the action on track during the Herald & Review 100, but the results won’t show it. Despite leading more than 30 laps and charging back through the field, Schlenk’s car was too thoroughly damaged by the time it got back up front to actually challenge for the win.

NASCAR Regulars

Former NASCAR Cup Series regular Kenny Wallace ran mid-pack in his heat race, then finished a mid-pack sixth of 11 cars in the modified feature Thursday night after getting spun out on lap 10 of the event.

Fanning the Flames

If racing stock cars at Bristol Motor Speedway is the equivalent of flying jet fights in a gymnasium, I don’t know what metaphor applies to racing super late models at Macon. Proportionally starting 23 cars on this Illinois bullring makes for tighter confines than even a 43-car field on Thunder Valley’s half-mile.

I don’t know what caused me more disbelief Thursday night — listening to the track PA crew speculate on the possibility of the Herald & Review 100 being run caution-free despite the aforementioned tight confines, or that this race, in fact, actually has been run caution-free once in its 42-year existence.

Let’s do a compare and contrast, and let’s get some positives out of the way here. I paid $19.99 for the Macon Racing TV pay-per-view of Thursday’s Herald & Review 100, and it was a completely competent broadcast. Track PA did their job, the cameras were on point with the action on track (including showing debris on track both times that debris cautions were thrown) and some issues with audio static during hot laps were resolved quickly. 

Having said that, after taking notes during Thursday night’s stream (Sept. 1), I never want to hear another complaint about DirtVision costing $39.99 a month again. Macon Racing’s stream included no on-screen graphics, no electronic scoring, no timing, no lap counter and no replays. Fortunately, and to their credit, the Macon PA booth made reference to the lap counter during every yellow-flag incident, which kept viewers oriented on the feature’s progression. Do the math, dirt fans. You get what you pay for.

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On that lap count note, what I wouldn’t give for the camera platform at Macon to be a couple feet higher. If it was, it’d catch the scoreboard lap counter every single time it zoomed down the backstretch, and the lack of scoring/graphics would be even less obvious.

Numbers Game

13

Cautions in Thursday’s Herald & Review 100 (not including a lap 7 red flag).

23

Super late models entered for the Herald & Review 100 Thursday.

42

Editions of the Herald & Review 100 after Thursday night’s race.

Where it Rated (on a scale of one to six cans with one a stinker and a six-pack an instant classic): We’ll give the rescheduled Herald & Review 100 three cans of a reasonably chilled domestic. Not a bad way to spend a weeknight, but a depleted car count being removed from the Hell Tour and yellow fever throughout the feature made the 100-lapper a bit of a slog.

Up Next: We deliberately didn’t cover the opening night of the Skagit Nationals for the World of Outlaws because we’ll be doing a three-day wrap-up of the event for the weekend edition of Thinkin’ Dirty. Coverage of the Friday and Saturday night racing programs can be found on DirtVision.

About the author

Senior Commentator at Frontstretch

Richmond, Virginia native. Wake Forest University class of 2008. Affiliated with Frontstretch since 2008, as of today the site's first dirt racing commentator. Emphasis on commentary. Big race fan, bigger First Amendment advocate.

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