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Racing Has Officially Returned to the Highbanks in Illinois, Recap From Southern Illinois Raceway

Updated: May 28, 2020

Photo by 357 Studios, Chris Cobin at Southern Illinois Raceway in 2019

Fairfield, Ill (5/24/20) Racing has officially returned to Illinois, specifically to Southern Illinois Raceway. SIR is home to the Highbanks Hustle and the Terry Sprague Memorial every year. The first night back in 2020 certainly did not disappoint with beautiful weather, a pass for a win in the final corner, and young drivers showing the future is in good hands. Down below is the recap from each feature from tonight!

Dwarf Feature- The first feature of the night belonged to the Dwarf cars. Dwarfs are very similar to legend cars. Pole-sitter Chris Maier jumped out quickly to the lead but Jeff Billingsley did not let Maier get very far as he applied pressure through the first caution. As the second caution came out Billingsley pulled alongside Maier, getting ready to take the lead but the caution flew just a tick too soon restarting him in second. Just three laps later after the restart, Billingsley got his shot as Maier went high and Billingsley with a good run off of turn four went low into turns one and two. Billingsley snuck below Maier and took the top spot heading down the backstretch with 7 laps down.

The #31 of Jeff Billingsley saw something he did not want to see with 6 to go, and that was a caution flag. On the restart Billinglsey maintained the lead until Maier got his line figured out one lap later. Billingsley went high opening the door for Maier on the inside. Maier decided to go inside and was to able pull even with the #31 going down the backstretch. Going into three and four Billingsley went high again and Maier went low, allowing Maier to clear him coming off if four. Maier didn't give it back up winning the first feature of 2020 at Southern Illinois Raceway

Full Results: 1. (88) Chris Maier, 2. (31) Jeff Billingsley, 3. (9) Audie Murphy, 4 . (31J) Justin Lassiter, 5. (23N) Brad Norman, 6. (90) Harold Gibbs, 7. (7) Robin Norman, 8. (19) kerry Oestreicher, 9. (17) Cliff Dunn, 10. (518) Tobias Kowalik, 11. (66) Todd Duggins Heat 1: Chris Maier Heat 2: Jeff Billingsley

Sportsman Feature- The Sportsman feature was all the #81D of Blake Daniels. He started first and finished first using the bottom to pull away from the field. Cale Goodwin finished second and Gunner Shroyer placed third to round out the podium. The hard charger of the Sportsman feature went to Kassidi Gibs finishing 5th after starting 12th.

Full Results: 1. (81D) Blake Daniels, 2. (85) Cale Goodwin, 3. (44) Gunner Shroyer, 4. (32) Bryce Lucius, 5. (K44) Kassidi Gibbs, 6. (88D) Dalton Dowdy, 7. (130) Gage Collins, 8. (B8) John Barnard, 9. (25) Chevy Boyer, 10. (45) Seth Duty, 11. (4) Trevor Walker, 12. (34H) Jaxon Horn, 13. (3K) Dale Kinell, 14. (1) Carl Holland, 15. (17H) Jace Horn, 16. (7T) Noah Treece, 17. (20) Ryan Null, 18. (11K) Kylee Griffits, 19. (14) Dylan Kaufman, 20. (71) Jeff Wiggs Heat 1: Cale Goodwin Heat 2: Gunner Shroyer

Non-Wing Outlaw Feature- A. J. Hopkins put his rocket ship on the cushion and rode it to victory blowing through the field, never being pressured on a restart until 4 to go. When Blake Pence got a great restart running second and stayed on Hopkins rear but could never get close enough to throw the slider. Pence had to settle for second while another Pence, Zach Pence, finished third to fill up the top 3. James Kelly was the hard charger of the Non-Wing Outlaw feature starting 19th and bringing it home 7th.

Full Results: 1. (2V) AJ Hopkins, 2. (5P) Blake Pence, 3. (17Z) Zach Pence, 4. (23C) Tony Clifton, 5. (18) Michael Brummit, 6. (96) Alex Burgener, 7. (11R) James Kelly, 8. (40C) Cody Miles, 9. (7B) Brocton Williams, 10. (8C) LeRoy Carley, 11. (3l) Mike Landis, 12. (7N) Darin Naida, 13. (45) Scott Anderson, 14. (95) Jimmy Wells, 15. (9W) Billy Williams, 16. (5) Chris Lewis, 17. (35W) Ronald Wyatt, 18. (92) Ronald Sterling, 19. (6S) Charles Starnes Jr, 20. (16) Garrett Britton, 21. (31H) Laine Hite, 22. (6B) Robert Tidabach, 23. (14S) Zac Summers, (24) Fred McCarter Heat 1: Blake Pence Heat 2: Jordan Sterling Heat 3: Darin Naida

Mod Lite Feature- Matt Filkins started outside row one and ended P. 1 at the end of the Mod Lite Feature. Filkins made it look easy getting around the high banks with only four cars left by the end of the race. Caleb Palmer brought her home 2nd and Kevin Harris 3rd to round out the podium.

Full Results: 1. (07) Matthew Milkins, 2. (22) Caleb Palmer, 3. (59H) Kevin Harris, 4. (10) Mike LaBrot, 5. (28) Billy Beard, 6. (52) Bryce Vowman, 7. (J8) John Langley, 8. (88) Dustin Ledbetter Heat 1: Billy Beard

Jr Sprint Feature- Ryder Eigenrauch drove the wheels off en route to his victory for the young Jr Sprint drivers. JJ Williams showed off his talent to all the pretty ladies in the stands gaining seven positions to finish second, with that finish he earned the hard charger award.

Full Results: 1. (22R) Ryder Eigenrauch, 2. (8J) JJ Williams, 3. (5E) Eli Holden, 4. (2T) Titan Cobin, 5. (16) Noah Britton, 6. (18) Jackson Lieb, 7. (57R) Aiden Robinson, 8. (71C) Noah Chitwood, 9. (1P) Reece Palmisano Heat 1: Ryder Eigenrauch

Restrictor Feature- His first time in a Restrictor he gets a win, ladies, and gentleman that "he" is Jaxton Wiggs. In hot laps the youngster got a little rowdy and flipped, which is also his first flip. Accomplishing many firsts tonight, Jaxton made it back out for his heat after replacing the wing to gain five spots and to win his heat. Starting on the pole Jaxton made it look easy to take his first feature win in his new car. I would not be surprised to see some good things out of this kid for years to come.

Full Results: 1. (71) Jaxton Wiggs, 2. (16W) Hunter Walker, 3. (64) Caleb Sutherland, 4. (11M) Kayla Martin, 5. (88) Billy Lieb, 6. (7BC) Kanon Posey, 7. (81K) Andrew Kind, 8. (95) Steven Doss Heat 1: Jaxton Wiggs

Wing Outlaw Feature- The best race of the night went to Chase Porter, barley. Andrew Peters started on the pole and led until the very end. Peters ran into lap traffic and Porter who started 6th worked his way up to 2nd with just a couple laps left. With slower cars in Peters's way, Porter came up quickly. The white flag flew in the air and everyone knew it was about to get really good. Lap traffic in front of the leader, fastest cars on the track nose to tail, it was set up to be a great way to end the night. Heading into the final corner Peters went low with some lap traffic right in front of him, Porter went opposite to the cushion. The lap cars in front of Peters caused him to check up and that allowed Porter to sail around on the high side winning by almost two car lengths. Marion, Illinois native Brocton Williams drove from 12th to 4th earning tonight's hard charger for the Outlaw Wing feature.

Full Results: 1. (2X) Chase Porter, 2. (94) Andrew Peters, 3. (91M) Craig Ronk, 4. (7B) Brocton Williams, 5. (20) Taylor Hungate, 6. (7N) Darin Naida, 7. (2C) Chris Cobain, 8. (22J) Jason Eigenrauch, 9. (2) Jaxon Bishop, 10. (20X) Loagn Null, 11. (131) Dusty Young, 12. (32) Austin Schaeffer, 13. (45) Scott Anderson, 14. (00) Cole Tinsley, 15. (3L) Mike Landis, 16. (55S) Daryn Stark, 17. (82H) Hunter Pruitt, 18. (P1) Parker Leek, 19. (N1A) Shania Alexander, 20. (30C) Patrick Collins, 21. (2P) Jake Palmisano, 22. (76) James Koenigstein, 23. (949) Dustin Clary, 24. (11R) Ryan Criswell Heat 1: Taylor Hungate Heat 2: James Koenigstein Heat 3: Chase Porter

It was a busy night a Southern Illinois Raceway but it sure was a good one. The next race at SIR is next Saturday, May 30. If next Saturday was as good as this, I guarantee you don't wanna miss it! Monday morning we will release 'Weekend Winners' highlighting winners from across the nation. Then on Thursday it is the 'Weekend Outlook' letting you know where the latest racing will be and what classes will be running. Also, Like us on Facebook and to Follow us on Instagram for the latest updates!

-Lucas Halbert

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