Williams Waltzes Past Wallace for the 'World 50' Crown at I-44 Speedway
By Jordan Kuehne
(LEBANON, Mo.) - At 10:07 p.m., Cole Williams was stuck behind fellow teenager and ASA National Championship contender Matt Wallace for second. Fifteen minutes later, the
16-year-old had the 'World' in his hands - the young gun justified his eight-hour trek from the Louisville, Ky. area and collected his third win of the 2012 campaign at
Lebanon I-44 Speedway with a strong move around Wallace for the third annual 'World 50' crown.
"It felt great to get around Matt the right way," said Wallace after the win. "It's just awesome to be back in victory lane at I-44."
In other feature action, Ricky Icenhower navigated his way around Terry Taylor for the top spot and held on to snag his third trophy of the year in the Budweiser Modifieds.
Steve Shaw scored his third win of the season in the Hoosier Tire Road Warriors main event, fending off a late-race charge from points leader Dustin Reeves in the process.
The third annual O'Reilly Auto Parts ASA Late Models 'World 50' got off to a wild start when Mike Coryell made heavy contact with Lebanon I-44 Speedway points leader Mike
Slone as the green flag waved, sending both drivers for a ride through the infield grass and heavily damaging both machines. Slone, an ASA National Championship contender,
was able to return to the track after his crew made repairs while Coryell's night came to an early end.
When racing got underway in earnest, Steve Holt hustled to the early edge as Matt Wallace and Brian Brown gave chase in second and third. Their battle for the lead was halted
by a red flag with four laps completed after Austin Fullerton made hard contact with the turn four retaining wall. Fullerton was able to walk away from the accident and after
a lengthy delay for clean up, racing resumed with Holt up front.
Holt was fending off Wallace for the lead when a yellow slowed the action for an incident involving Slone and Cory Deuser. On the restart, Wallace waltzed to the bottom of the
racing surface and assumed command of the top spot with 38 laps remaining. Brian Brown followed Wallace, taking second from Holt and putting some space between himself and the
rest of the field as 'El Diablo' set his sights on Wallace.
As the race moved past the halfway mark, Wallace continued to build up a comfortable cushion out front as young Cole Williams nudged past Holt for third. Williams closed up on
Brown's back bumper and began sizing up the veteran for second, utilizing the low line as he pulled even with Brown for the bridesmaid's position. The two drivers went
door-to-door for several laps before Williams finally emerged with the spot right before a caution waved with 30 laps in the books.
With his lengthy lead erased, Wallace went back to work on the restart as his fellow teenager applied pressure in second. Williams got alongside Wallace with 14 circuits
remaining, pulling even with the 16-year-old before nosing ahead a couple laps later and sealing up the top spot. Steve Holt's engine expired with ten laps remaining, bringing
out another caution and setting up a chance for Wallace to flip the script over the final dash to the checkers. Brown ducked into the pits under yellow as Deuser inherited
After another lengthy delay, Williams rocketed to a three car-length edge over Wallace before a solo spin by Dale Roper, Jr. with two laps to go set up a green-white-checkered
finish as the caution waved. When the green flag waved on the final two laps, Williams slipped away just enough to hold off Wallace's last-lap effort, collecting his third win
of the 2012 campaign at Lebanon I-44 Speedway in limited action.
"That was an eventful race, no doubt," said Williams, whose team made the eight-hour trek from the Louisville, Kentucky area to race at I-44. "I was working my way to the front
and when I got up to Matt, I started thinking oh my gosh, I might actually be able to win this thing. And that's what we did."
Wallace gained ground on Slone in the standings with a hard-fought second as Deuser rallied from his early incident to grab a podium spot in third. Ken Dickinson, last season's
winner of this event, notched a solid fourth place effort while Grant Sharp rounded out the top five in fifth.
A healthy field of Budweiser Modifieds was thinned out on the opening circuit of their 20-lap feature as Chris Johnson nudged J.D. Kelly in turn three, sending Kelly hard into
David Bates' machine and bringing out an extended caution period. When racing got underway in earnest, Terry Taylor wasted no time slicing-and-dicing his way through the field
on his way to the top spot, pushing around Stephen Counterman for the lead on the third lap.
Ricky Icenhower worked his way into the bridesmaid's position and immediately began to pressure Taylor for the top spot, trying the low line around the 3/8th-mile asphalt oval
to no avail. With the race moving past the halfway mark, Counterman managed to get to the left-rear quarter panel of the leader as he gave Taylor a love tap before a caution
for a parked car on the backstretch halted proceedings with six laps remaining. Taylor got away on the restart but Icenhower shot out of a cannon on the backstretch and scored
the lead with five circuits to go, never looking back en route to his third win of the 2012 campaign. Taylor settled for second as Counterman came home in third.
Steve Shaw surged to the early advantage in the 12-lap Hoosier Tire Road Warriors main event as points leader Dustin Reeves followed him up to second. As action in the back of
the pack heated up, Reeves peeked to the inside of Shaw as he searched for a lane around the crafty veteran. As the race breezed by the halfway mark, Shaw and Reeves continued
to play a high-speed game of cat-and-mouse. Reeves gave a last-gasp effort on the white flag lap but it wasn't enough as Shaw held on for his third victory of the season.
Reeves went home with a runner-up finish and a comfortable edge in the standings while veteran Les Mallard completed the top-three with a third place result.
Racing returns to Missouri's only asphalt oval this Saturday night, August 25, as the O'Reilly Auto Parts ASA Late Models headline the 16th "Kickin' Asphalt" program of the
season as I-44 hosts a "Back to School Bash" on KOZL & KOLR Night at the Races. An action-packed undercard includes the Budweiser Modifieds and the Hardee's Sportsman as well
as the return of the track's two entry-level classes, the Hoosier Tire Road Warriors and the Coca-Cola Chargers. Spectator gates will open at 5 p.m. with the green flag set to
wave at 7:30 p.m. sharp on the evening's jam-packed slate of racing action.
For more information on Lebanon I-44 Speedway, including a full 2012 schedule and more, visit the track website at www.i44speedway.net or visit the track's Facebook and Twitter
Lebanon I-44 Speedway Race results Aug. 18, 2012
1. 35 Holt
2. 2 Sharp
3. 14 Deuser
4. 6 Wallace
5. 51 Coryell
6. 20 Fullerton
7. 3 Willard
8. 67 Vanzandt
1. 77 Slone
2. O2 Brown
3. 21 Dickinson
4. 46 Williams
5. 10 Roper Jr.
6. 27 Ross
7. 66 Woods
8. 12 Douglas
1. 46 Cole Williams Sellersburg, IN
2. 6 Matt Wallace Concord, NC
3. 14 Corey Deuser Lanesville, IN
4. 21 Ken Dickinson Lebanon
5. 2 Grant Sharp Conway
6. 77 Mike Slone Rolla
7. 67 Jim Vanzandt Springfield
8. O2 Brian Brown Springfield
9. 10 Dale Roper Jr Fair Grove
10. 66 Brian Woods Leawood, KS
11. 3 Lucas Handley Lebanon
12. 27 Joe Ross Kansas city
13. 35 Steve Holt Strafford
14. 12 Aaron Douglas Lebanon
15. 20 Austin Fullerton Chelsea, OK
16. 51 Mike Coryell Lebanon
1. 25 Counterman
2. 81 J. Bates
3. 66 Taylor
4. 26 Lucas
5. OO Johnson
6. 15 Newell
1. 91 D. Bates
2. 7 Icenhower
3. 51 Kelley
4. 95 Lott
5. 16 Scott
1. 7 Rick Icenhower Fair Grove
2. 66 Terry Taylor Fair Grove
3. 25 Stephen Counterman Fair Grove
4. 26 Payton Lucas Fair Grove
5. 91 David Bates Fair Grove
6. OO Chris Johnson Lebanon
7. 16 Tyler Scott Nixa
8. 95 Tim Lott
9. 81 Jay Bates Fair Grove
10. 51 JD Kelley Walnut Grove
11. 15 JC Newell Stoutland
1. OO Juergensen
2. 90 Shaw
3. 21 Mallard
4. 38 Harlow
5. 6 Reeves
6. 7 Jones
1. 90 Steve Shaw Rogersville
2. 6 Dustin Reeves Camdenton
3. 21 Les Mallard Fair Grove
4. OO Michael Juergensen Lebanon
5. 38 Carl Harlow
6. 7 Shawn Jones Belle
7. 8 Aaron Wilke Bridgeton