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BALLOU AND PEGHER REIGN AT ELDORA

By Larry Boos

ROSSBURG, OH (July 31) – Robert Ballou may have picked up another non-winged Sprint Car win at Eldora Speedway on Saturday night, but the going gets tougher with each visit. Meanwhile Mike Pegher had his hands equally full to capture the FASTRAK Late Model 50 lap affair on a night sponsored by NAPA Auto Parts.

When the green flag unfurled to send the 25-lap non-winged Sprint main into motion, it was Steve Irwin jumping into the early lead, with Mike Brecht and Ballou in tow. Within one lap, Brecht swept past Irwin to take the top spot, and one tour later around the one-half mile clay oval, Ballou followed suit, to move into second.

After setting Brecht up for three laps, Ballou shot past Brecht to take command on lap six. Past experiences have shown that once Ballou gets in front, the handwriting is on the wall – a convincing victory.

Saturday night, Brecht and a fast moving Matt Westfall had other thoughts. Brecht tried in vain to hold bag the determined Westfall, but with lapped traffic in play, Westfall moved by on lap nine and set sail for Ballou.

With only one incident to slow the pace, Westfall kept Ballou well within sight and several times pulled up directly behind him; using the lapped traffic as an ally.

Time just worked against Westfall, as he settled for runner-up honors, with Thomas Messeraul, Casey Riggs and Justin Marvel completing the top five.

Drama reigned supreme in the FASTRAK finale, as multiple caution periods, combined with a double file restart procedure, kept the field bunched up.

Josh Holtgraver was the early man in command, with Chris Cantrell hot on his heels. Royce Bray entered the scene three laps into the chase to make for a very interesting top trio.

By lap ten, Steve Dixon became the new player as Cantrell dropped the pace a bit.

Dixon continued to move forward, as lapped traffic became a factor, and he took over second on lap 12.

Those efforts went for naught, as on a lap 26 restart, Dixon triggered a multiple car incident in turn two. Enough damage was sustained to eliminate him for the night.

On the restart, Holtgraver again took command, with Royce back in tow, while Mike Pegher was on the move. Pegher picked off Bray on lap 27 and two laps later found himself in front. That lasted two laps before Holtgraver returned the favor.

That trio battled nip and tuck, with Bray actually moving back into command on lap 39, as Holtgraver’s mount began to spew smoke. One lap later, Holtgraver collided with the wall to end his night. Bray again assumed command before Pegher built up a head of steam and shot back into the lead on lap 43. It was a lead he was to hold to the finish, as he bested Bray, David Smith, Cantrell and Gary Knollinger.

July 31, 2010
NAPA Auto Parts Night
Non-winged Sprints – 24 cars
Heat 1:
1. Thomas Meseraull[1]; 2. Mike Brecht[3]; 3. Jason Holt[2]; 4. Casey Riggs[4]; 5. Luke Hall[5]; 6. Aric Gentry[6]; 7. John Stapp[7]; 8. Joe Irwin[8];

Heat 2:
1. Steve Ott[1]; 2. Matt Westfall[4]; 3. Joe Bares[5]; 4. Landon Simon[3]; 5. Kyle Simon[6]; 6. Nick Landon[8]; 7. Aaron Middaugh[7]; 8. Cody White[2];

Heat 3:
1. Robert Ballou[4]; 2. Justin Marvel[2]; 3. Steve Irwin[3]; 4. Richard Vaugh[1]; 5. Travis Hery[6]; 6. Todd Keen[5]; 7. Aaron Frey[7]; 8. Scotty Weir[8];

A Main :
1. Robert Ballou[4]; 2. Matt Westfall[5]; 3. Thomas Meseraull[9]; 4. Casey Riggs[6]; 5. Justin Marvel[8]; 6. Steve Irwin[1]; 7. Landon Simon[2]; 8. Steve Ott[10]; 9. Luke Hall[12]; 10. Joe Bares[13]; 11. Richard Vaugh[11]; 12. Todd Keen[17]; 13. Kyle Simon[14]; 14. Aaron Middaugh[21]; 15. Travis Hery[15]; 16. Nick Landon[23]; 17. John Stapp[19]; 18. Mike Brecht[3]; 19. Jason Holt[7]; 20. Aaron Frey[21]; 21. Aric Gentry[18]; 22. Joe Irwin[22];

FASTRAK Late Models – 29 cars
Heat 1:
1. Chris Contrell[2]; 2. Steve Cooke[1]; 3. Shanon Buckingham[3]; 4. Dan Breuer[4]; 5. Steve Dixon[5]; 6. Chris Steele[6]; 7. JT Eaton[7]; 8. Forrest Trent[8]; 9. Andrew Wylie[9]; 10. Mike Covington[10];

Heat 2:
1. Mike Pegher[1]; 2. David Smith[4]; 3. Ryan Atkins[2]; 4. RJ Otto[5]; 5. Lee Cooper[6]; 6. Bryan Force[3]; 7. Butch Lambert[8]; 8. Damian Bidwell[9]; 9. Garrett Mott[7]; 10. Kevin Colston[10];

Heat 3:
1. Royce Bray[1]; 2. Josh Holtgraver[3]; 3. Daniel Angleiccnio[2]; 4. Dave Airgood Jr.[6]; 5. David Watts[8]; 6. Kyle Lukon[5]; 7. Gary Knollinger[7]; 8. Brandon Williams[9]; 9. Jenson Ford[4];

B Main :
1. Jenson Ford[1]; 2. Gary Knollinger[4]; 3. Butch Lambert[6]; 4. Damian Bidwell[8]; 5. Garrett Mott[3]; 6. Mike Covington[10]; 7. Forrest Trent[5]; 8. JT Eaton[-]; 9. Andrew Wylie[7]; 10. Brandon Williams[9];

A Main :
1. Mike Pegher[10]; 2. Royce Bray[11]; 3. David Smith[5]; 4. Chris Contrell[1]; 5. Gary Knollinger[19]; 6. Dan Breuer[7]; 7. Steve Cooke[9]; 8. Butch Lambert[20]; 9. Daniel Angleiccnio[8]; 10. Ryan Atkins[7]; 11. Lee Cooper[16]; 12. Damian Bidwell[21]; 13. Garrett Mott[22]; 14. Josh Holtgraver[2]; 15. Dave Airgood Jr.[17]; 16. Steve Dixon[12]; 17. Bryan Force[3]; 18. Kyle Lukon[14]; 19. Chris Steele[15]; 20. RJ Otto[13]; 21. Shanon Buckingham[4]; 22. David Watts[18]; 23. Mike Covington[23]; 24. Forrest Trent[24];