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Williams Waltzes Past Wallace for the ‘O’Reilly World 50’ Crown at I-44 Speedway

Lebanon-I-44-SpeedwayBy 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 ‘O’Reilly 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 ‘O’Reilly 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 third.

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 and the first 250 kids through the gate get a free pass to Big Surf Water Park. 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 pages online.


Lebanon I-44 Speedway – August 18, 2012

Race Results



HEAT 1                                              HEAT 2

1.  35  Holt                                          1.  77  Slone

2.    2  Sharp                                        2.  O2  Brown

3.  14  Deuser                          3.  21  Dickinson

4.    6  Wallace                                    4.  46  Williams

5.  51  Coryell                         5.  10  Roper Jr.

6.  20  Fullerton                                   6.  27  Ross

7.    3  Willard                         7.  66  Woods

8.  67  Vanzandt                                 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



HEAT 1                                                          HEAT 2

1.  25  Counterman                             1,  91 D. Bates

2.  81  J. Bates                                     2.  7  Icenhower

3.  66  Taylor                                       3.  51  Kelley

4.  26  Lucas                                        4.  95  Lott

5.  OO  Johnson                                  5.  16  Scott

6.  15  Newell


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


Road Warriors



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





Kevin Greven


General Manager


Lebanon I-44 Speedway

24069 Route 66

Lebanon, MO 65536


Track (417) 532-2060

Cell (417) 399-5756

Fax (417) 532-7624


ASA Kickin’ Asphalt Every Saturday Night!




Jordan Kuehne
I-44 Speedway Public Relations Director
I-44 Speedway Writer/Trackside Announcer

Racing Online Columnist

Contact me at…
speedwayjordan@yahoo.com (E-mail)
(815)601-5673 (Cell)

jordo99 (Twitter)

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