By Dewain Hulett
For the Ideal Ready Mix Sprint Invaders
KNOXVILLE, Ill. (August 3, 2011) – Ben Wagoner started outside the front row for the 20 lap Ideal Ready Mix Sprint Invaders stop at the Knox County Fair, in Knoxville, Ill., Wednesday and led every lap on the way to the victory.
It didn’t come easy, though, as he reached lapped traffic in just five laps, with second place running Matt Sutton within striking distance.
The pair used the highline to work their way around the back markers until the midpoint in the race when Wagoner began to slow and Sutton closed quickly. Sutton made an attempt to pass Wagoner in turns one and two of lap 15 but couldn’t get the job done. On the next lap Sutton was side-by-side with Wagoner in turns three and four when the caution came out.
“Midway through the race I went into turns one and two and the (brake) pedal went right to the floor,” Wagoner said. “We kind of got saved by the caution.
“It’s definitely a good night for us considering what has happened to us this year,” he added.
The caution was for Joe Beaver who had come to a stop on the back stretch. Afterward Sutton said that caution cost him a win.
“I didn’t need the yellow,” Sutton said. “We had him.
“We were a lot better than him in traffic,” he added. “Clean racetrack was definitely better for him, and he was definitely better than us off turn four.”
Wagoner used the advantage as he pulled away on the restart and was never really challenged over the last five laps to pick up the feature win.
The win was impressive, considering Wagoner planned to go to the hospital today, to be checked out for injuries he sustained in a flip at Spoon River Speedway last Wednesday. He continues to have pain in his sternum from that wreck.
“It really wasn’t too bad,” Wagoner said of the pain. “I plan to go to the hospital tomorrow morning to get my sternum checked out to see how bad that is.”
Ryan Jamison finished third, while Kaley Gharst was fourth. Bobby Mincer rounded out the top five.
Heat 1: 1. Joe Beaver, 2. Ryan Jamison, 3. Dustin Whiting, 4. Tim Moore, 5. Kevin Hetrick, DNS Justin Parrish.
Heat 2: 1. Kaley Gharst, 2. Matt Sutton, 3. John Greenewood, 4. Kenny Bragg, DNS Korey Weyant, Tony Daniels
Heat 3: 1. Bobby Mincer, 2. Ben Wagoner, 3. Jimmie Davies, 4. Blake Nimee, 5. Andy Houston, 6. John Draper.
Feature: 1. Ben Wagoner, 2. Matt Sutton, 3. Ryan Jamison, 4. Kaley Gharst, 5. Bobby Mincer, 6. Blake Nimee, 7. Jimmie Davies, 8. Dustin Whiting, 9. John Greenwood, 10. Justin Parrish, 11. Kenny Bragg, 12. Andy Houston, 13. John Draper, 14. Joe Beaver, 15. Kevin Hetrick, 15. Tim Moore, DNS Korey Weyant, Tony Daniels.
Rod End – Tim Moore
Rod End – Blake Nimee
Saldana – Andy Houston
Super Sox – Kenny Bragg
Competition Suspensions – Dustin Whiting
Brake Man – Jimmie Davies
Kelzer Wheels – John Greenwood
KSE Hard Charger – Blake Nimee
Galesburg Machine Shop Mystery Spot – Joe Beaver
Cindy Bragg – 2 Girls Embroidery Mystery Spot – Justin Parrish.
By Dewain Hulett