Coles County Speedway
Gilbert, Sharpe, Mueller, Burge and Williams Highlight Halloween Clash Winners
Mattoon, IL 10/21/23 -- A Fresh new era was ushered in at the historic Coles County Speedway in Mattoon, IL this past Saturday night. Under the new leadership of Brian and Amanda Rieck and the RS12 Motorsports team, the longest tenured micro sprint track in the United States began a new chapter with the Inaugural Coles County Halloween Clash.
With assistance from the track prep crew at Doe Run Raceway, the racing surface was fantastic all night long and produced memorable battles in all five feature events. Chris LaRose at High Caliber Graphics provided brand new signage for the speedway as well as sponsorship banners along the fencing. Along with Sonny Ross from Charleston Speedway flagging the races and Loren Kelly, the tower announcer for the Bumper to Bumper IRA Sprints touring series, the night ran smoothly and both racers and fans alike expressed their excitement about the future of the facility.
"It truly takes a village." Brian Rieck of RS12 Motorsports stated. "I really couldn't be happier with how things worked out. 142 cars in the pits definitely exceeded my expectations. Everyone came together to make this night what it was, and I think we showed we're taking this seriously and really care about this place. We want to bring it back to being a premiere place to race in the area and we have some exciting plans for 2024."
In the night's first feature event, the racing potential of the track was evident.
The 25 lap Outlaw Non-Wing Feature rolled to the speedway and immediately, the top three drivers began to put on a show for the fans at the Speedway. Kole Kirkman, Stone Sharpe and Jaylon Mills exchanged slide job after slide job and ran three-wide for numerous laps. In the end, Sharpe managed to overtake Kirkman and held off the Kokomo, IN driver on a late race restart to cash the $1,000 check and pick up the first A Main win of the night.
In the Jr. Sprint Feature, Illiopolis, IL's A.J. Williams overtook polesitter Madison Meany of Terre Haute, IN to pick up his 4th feature win of 2023 and first at Coles County.
The Winged A Class feature appeared to be Jackson McClain's to lose until the #81 machine slowed off of turn 2 with an apparent mechanical issue and Ryan Mueller of Wildwood, MO pulled ahead to take the lead and the eventual win, holding off Bradley Huish of Farmington, MO in dramatic fashion.
On paper, it shows that Gavin Burge of Anderson, IN started on the pole of the Restricted Micro feature and won from the top spot. However, both Bodee Everett and Nyles Tudor made bids for the lead at different stages of the 20 lap affair, but Burge held strong and parked it in Victory Lane.
The 25 Lap Winged Outlaw finale A Main was the only straightforward event of the night, as 2nd starting J.B. Gilbert of Charleston, IL took the lead on the initial start and never looked back, surgically working through traffic to beat polesitter Larry Drake to the line. The win earned Gilbert a $1,000 pay day and was the Coles County regular's 5th triumph of the 2023 season at the Speedway.
The event also included a Candy Dash presented by Patriot Landscaping, a costume contest, a pit bike race, a hot lap session by Scott Plew in his Midwest Throwback Sprint Car and Zander LaRose in his Box Stock Kart, and a pre-race "Trunk or Treat" in the pits open to fans.
Brian and Amanda Rieck as well as the entire team at Coles County Speedway would like to thank all of these supporters for making an event like this possible. We hope to see you all in 2024 for the next chapter of the 67-year-old history of the Speedway!
High Caliber Graphics
Freedom of Speech Therapy
Cleveland Grain Systems
Chamstream Race Fuels
Competition Suspension Inc.
1st Class Wrecker Service
Burromax Pit Bikes
Article Credit: Loren Kelly-Box3 Media
Submitted By: Loren Kelly