A little carnage, a flip and a fire and a whole lot of money on the line made for an interesting trip to Macon Speedway on Saturday, Aug. 7, at the third annual Diane Bennett Memorial Race.
More than $10,000 in extra money was raised in honor of the long-time scorer at the Macon Speedway, with the extra funds distributed to every feature position in all six divisions. Hillsboro’s Kevin Rench and Rench Trucking donated $200 to the cause, with $20 in prize money going to 10 different spots in the Pro Modified class, while Jason Williamson sponsored the Hard Charger Award in the Pro Mod ($50) and Mini Sprint ($25) classes.
Rench would win some of his own money back as he finished eighth overall in the Pro Mod class, which featured 18 cars, including three other Hillsboro racers.
Rench finished fifth in his heat race to earn a spot on the inside of row seven. From there he worked his way up through the field and survived a couple dust ups around him, including an early wreck between Billy Justice, Jr. and Chris Erwin, who collided and went into the wall in the third turn.
Both Justice and Erwin would walk away without major injuries, but when track workers flipped over Justice’s number 37, a fire erupted and briefly spread to one of the workers, who dropped to the track to extinguish the flames before severe injury could occur.
The biggest competition for Rench most of the night was fellow Hillsboro racer Justin Reynolds, who spent much of the 15-lap feature side-by-side with Rench. After starting in the 15th spot, Reynolds worked his way up eight positions, second most of the night, to take home seventh spot overall.
Saturday’s race also marked the return to the track for Hillsboro’s Artie Lynch, who raced often at Macon and with his father, Art, but slowed down once he started a family.
All three of Artie and Andi Lynch’s boys (Nathan, Evan and Brady) now race, but only one, Nathan, joined Artie on the track on Saturday. Driving the 14E, usually piloted by Evan Lynch, the patriarch of this incarnation of Lynch Motorsports started on the front row in his heat race, but brake issues pushed him back to sixth in qualifying. Nathan would be in the second heat and moved up from the fourth spot to second, earning the fifth starting spot in the feature.
While his luck wasn’t as bad as Justice and Erwin, Lynch was also bitten by the accident bug as he took a hit early to the left rear, which broke the drive shaft and a pull bar mount. The damage kept Lynch from finishing the race and relegated him to 16th after a string of seven straight top 10 finishes.
Artie Lynch would earn bragging rights over his boy, at least for one night as he started 18th, stayed out of trouble and brought home 12th place on the night.
With six races left, Nathan Lynch currently sits in sixth in the Pro Mod point standings, 48 points ahead of Justin Reynolds, who is also a cousin to the Lynch siblings.
The next race at Macon will be Saturday, Aug. 14, with gates opening at 4 p.m. and hot laps beginning at 6 p.m. Racing, starting with the qualifying heats, begins at 7 p.m.
Lynch, Reynolds Take Top 10s
Nathan Lynch and Justin Reynolds both finished in the top 10 in the Pro-Mod class during weekly racing at Macon Speedway on Saturday, July 24.
Both racers had to work their way from the back in the feature as Reynolds and Lynch each finished fifth in their respective heats.
Lynch would move up four spots from the tenth starting position to finish sixth in the 12-car feature, while Reynolds also moved up a spot to take eighth after starting ninth.
The finishes kept both racers in the top 10 in the track point standings, with Lynch currently in fifth with 536 points and Reynolds in seventh with 470. Kevin Rench and Evan Lynch are just outside the top 10 in 11th and 12th, while Brady Lynch sits in 24th.
In addition to the Hillsboro crew, Morrisonville’s Dante Brown also raced at Macon, taking seventh in the Sportsman class.