By Brian Walker
BELLEVILLE, ILL. (July 26, 2019) – Leading from start-to-finish, Riley Kreisel of Warsaw, Mo. controlled Friday’s “Border WAR” opener at Belle-Clair Speedway in convincing fashion. Earning his fifth-career POWRi Lucas Oil WAR Sprint League victory, the defending series champion shot his No. 90 to the top of the points chase with only a handful of races left.
Earning LRB, Inc. #HighPointMan honors, Kreisel had a little luck of the draw with a zero-inversion leaving his No. 90 on the pole position of the 25-lapper. Shooting to the early lead, Kreisel assumed command of the top spot while the 23-car field behind him jockeyed for position on the tight 1/5th-mile surface.
Heading into a swarm of lap traffic, Kreisel brought along Wesley Smith of Nixa, Mo. and Zach Daum of Pocahontas, Ill. as the trio ran bumper-to-bumper atop the cushion. A red flag for an upside-down TJ Artz bunched the field back up and fired them off at the halfway point.
Keeping it consistent on the high side, Kreisel remained large and in charge while Smith had his hands full with a persistent Daum, who insisted on rolling the bottom as he crept into contention. In the closing stages, Daum finally inched close enough to launch a slider on Smith and steal the second spot away as he set his sights on Kreisel out front. A lap 21 caution created a four-lap dash to the finish with Kreisel in control, but Daum fast and furious on his heels.
The 19-year old reigning WAR Sprints champion would not be denied on this night, however, as Riley Kreisel of Warsaw, Mo. sealed the deal and put a stamp on his wire-to-wire victory at Belle-Clair Speedway. Friday’s triumph marked Kreisel’s first win at the Belleville, Ill. facility, his second of the 2019 season, the fifth of his WAR career, and most importantly, it propelled him into control of the championship chase as the points leader.
Chasing Kreisel to the stripe was Zach Daum, who advanced from eighth-to-second aboard the McGarry Motorsports No. 31B. Colten Cottle of Kansas, Ill. rounded out the podium in his No. 5C entry, while Wesley Smith and Korey Weyant closed out the top five. Finishing in the top ten was Kory Schudy (sixth), Quinton Benson (seventh), Mitchell Davis (eighth), Pete Palazzolo (ninth) and Brian Beebe (tenth).
The “Border WAR” continues tomorrow night as the POWRi Lucas Oil WAR Sprint League visits St. Francois County Raceway in Farmington, Missouri.
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Hinchman Racewear Heat One (8 Laps):
1. 37-Brian Beebe, Oak Grove, MO (2); 2. 12-Wesley Smith, Nixa, MO (4); 3. 90X-Patrick Budde, Bartelso, IL (1); 4. 16-Anthony Nicholson, Bartlett, TN (3); 5. 22S-Slater Helt, Harrisonville, MO (5); 6. 45-Adam Wilfong, Indianapolis, IN (6).
Bell Racing HQ Heat Two (8 Laps):
1.5C-Colten Cottle, Kansas, IL (2); 2. 15B-Quinton Benson, Emma, MO (4); 3. 70-Pete Palazzolo, St. Louis, MO (3); 4. 56-Mitchell Davis, Auburn, IL (1); 5. 73-Samuel Wagner, Lone Jack, MO (5); 6. 31-Austin Sears, Macomb, IL (6).
Schure Built Suspension Heat Three (8 Laps):
1. 99-Korey Weyant, Springfield, IL (1); 2. 31B-Zach Daum, Pocahontas, IL (2); 3. 57-TJ Artz, Lincoln, NE (4); 4. 77-Jack Wagner, Lone Jack, MO (6); 5. 18-Justin Standridge, Springfield, MO (3); 6. 21X-Steve Stroud, St. Charles, MO (5).
Wilwood Disc Brakes Heat Four (8 Laps):
1. 90-Riley Kreisel, Warsaw, MO (3); 2. 28-Kory Schudy, Springfield, MO (4); 3. 4-Braydon Cromwell, Lone Jack, MO (1); 4. 20-Steve Thomas, Rantoul, IL (5); 5. 2-Jason Billups, Holt, MO (2).
POWRi Lucas Oil WAR Sprint League Main Event (25 Laps):
1. 90-Riley Kreisel (1); 2. 31B-Zach Daum (8); 3. 5C-Colten Cottle (3); 4. 12-Wesley Smith (4); 5. 99-Korey Weyant (7); 6. 28-Kory Schudy (6); 7. 15B-Quinton Benson (5); 8. 56-Mitchell Davis (16); 9. 70-Pete Palazzolo (11); 10. 37-Brian Beebe (2); 11. 8D-Justin Standridge (19); 12. 77-Jack Wagner (10); 13. 16-Anthony Nicholson (15); 14. 73-Samuel Wagner (18); 15. 20-Steve Thomas (12); 16. 45-Adam Wilfong (21); 17. 21X-Steve Stroud (23); 18. 90X-Patrick Budde (13); 19. 4-Braydon Cromwell (14); 20. 31-Austin Sears (22); 21. 2-Jason Billups (20); 22. 22S-Slater Helt (17); 23. 57-TJ Artz (9).
Lap Leader(s); Kreisel 1-25.
Hard Charger(s): Davis +8.