Macon Speedway
Macon Speedway

Macon Speedway
Macon, IL

Peck Finishes Sixth and Fourth at Macon Freedom Fest


Peck Finishes Sixth and Fourth at Macon Freedom Fest

(Photo by Allen Horcher)

MACON, Ill. – A feeling of relief sits on Justin Peck’s shoulders after the holiday weekend. Before the weekend, it seemed as if nothing could go right for his 2015 campaign that has been marred by part failure and other times, just genuinely bad luck. But all bad things do end, and for Peck, that time came during the POWRi National Midget Series events at Macon Speedway on Friday and Saturday. Friday resulted in a sixth-place effort and Saturday’s showing of fourth garnered his second top-five finish of the season.

Friday night kicked off the “Freedom Fest” with 39 midgets gracing the pit area at the Macon, Ill. fifth-mile. Starting outside row three of the first heat race, the weekend was soon off to a fast start. The upcoming third-place result was fifth overall in passing points, putting the Monrovia, Ind. native fifth on the grid for the 30-lap feature race.

At the drop of the green, a three-car battle for the point began almost instantly. Peck remained in the fifth position, watching the battle unfold, and after fending off a slidejob from behind, consecutive caution flags flew with five and six laps complete. Peck shot forward on the restart and gained the fourth spot coming off turn four to complete lap seven. The fight would continue momentarily, but Peck ultimately took the position. When the lead trio began to catch lapped traffic, the No. 5x started to reel them in to join on the fun. But soon, POWRi points leader Darren Hagen was nipping on his heels as well. A Hagen slider on lap 16 wouldn’t stick, but Hagen seized the position two laps later. Momentarily, Peck would throw an attempt of his own on nonwing sprint car standout Justin Grant, who Hagen passed for third, but was unsuccessful in taking back fourth. Off of turn four to make it three to go, up-and-coming Spencer Bayston slid past Peck briefly for fifth, but after Peck pulled back ahead, Bayston completed his pass in the next corner. Peck went for the crossover again, but couldn’t pull back ahead. The race would end in that order.

Another night at Macon was on tap, and another fantastic night of racing was the result, though eight cars fewer were in action to set the car count at 31. Again starting heat one from sixth, Peck put on an excellent display of driving to come home with the win, and with it came the honor of high point driver and the right to start the main event from the pole position.

It was all the Justin Peck show in the early stages of the race, with the 16-year-old taking just ten laps to reach the tail end of the field and begin putting cars a lap down. However, one of those cars was quite the match for Peck, and though he was much faster, he couldn’t manage to get by. Soon, Friday night winner Andrew Felker was to his rear bumper. Felker went for the slider on lap 14 and took over the lead. Peck, still battling the same car, was soon under attack from Bayston, but fended him off before a caution emerged with 16 in the books. Another caution would come in three short laps, but not before Bayston found his way around Peck for second. It took the frontrunners only five laps to get back into lapped traffic after returning to racing, and fourth-running Hagen was gaining quickly. Going on the offensive into the last corner, Hagen shot under Peck to steal away the final podium spot just feet from the finish. Though disappointed that the win slipped from his grasps, Peck was optimistic after the race, happy to finally piece together two strong races. “Great weekend though. The motor is finally running 100%”

Peck would like to thank Dura Coat Products, Factory Kahne, Simpson Race Products, Lucas Oil, Keizer Wheels, Hoosier Racing Tire, Saldana Racing Products, Pit Stop BBQ & Grill, Quick Change Products, and Spider Graphix, as well as his parents, Joe Devin, Carl Thomas, Rich Gabel, Jon Steed, Mike Gass, Zack Burks, and all of his fans for their continued support.

Quick Results

July 3 – Macon, IL – Midget – Heat: 3rd (6); Feature: 6th (5)
July 4 – Macon, IL – Midget – Heat: 1st (6); Feature: 4th (1)

2015 Stats

18 races, 11 features, 0 wins, 2 top fives, 6 top tens, 5 DNFs

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Article Credit: Redbeard Promotions

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