September 10, 2012
FOR MORE INFORMATION, CONTACT:
Jordan Kuehne, (815)601-5673
(LEBANON, Mo.) – Corey Deuser made his long trek from the Hoosier State to Lebanon I-44 Speedway worth it, capitalizing on a strong starting position and never looking back en route to a wire-to-wire victory in the O’Reilly Auto Parts ASA Late Models main event. With just one week remaining, 16-year-old Matt Wallace closed the gap between himself and veteran points leader Mike Slone by finishing one spot ahead of Slone in the headliner.
In other action, Ricky Icenhower continued his dominant run in the Budweiser Modifieds with another triumph as Gary Ball finally found his way into the winner’s circle after the Hoosier Tire Road Warriors main event. Lil’ J.C. Newell got around his grandpa on the way to victory and locked up the Hardee’s Sportsman title in the process, while Lauren Buhr rallied past Coca-Cola Chargers’ points leader Paul Jepson for her second trophy of the year. Brad Stiffler made his 11-hour trip to I-44 a happy one as he swept away the second and final stop of the year for the Pro National Baby Grand cars at Missouri’s only asphalt oval.
Corey Deuser drove to the lead in the early stages of the 30-lap O’Reilly Auto Parts ASA Late Models headliner. Young gun Matt Wallace took second as Brian Brown jumped to his inside and tried to steal the spot immediately. Wallace managed to fend off Brown’s advances as he quickly pulled away and started closing in on the leader.
Behind Deuser and Wallace, points leader Mike Slone slipped by Brown, taking a podium spot on lap 11 after starting near the back of the field. Slone closed up to Wallace’s back bumper, pushing past the 16-year-old North Carolina hotshoe and into second, a crucial move that had direct implications on the point standings. Just a few laps later, Wallace pulled off the impressive crossover move, returning the favor and getting around Slone.
Meanwhile, up front, Deuser loved the intense battle for the bridesmaid’s position in his rearview mirror as he pulled away to a straightaway advantage. Despite Wallace’s best efforts, Deuser had the car to beat and he was rewarded with his first trip to the winner’s circle in his O’Reilly Auto Parts ASA Late Model.
“Man, the guys gave me a car to win tonight,” said a baby-faced Deuser in victory lane. “I’m focused on this thing and tonight, we were pretty good. It’s pretty cool to get a win.”
Wallace scored a crucial second, edging out Slone for third and gaining valuable points with just one week remaining in the title chase. Austin Fullerton made a successful return to I-44 with a fourth-place finish just weeks after a hard hit that totaled his last car and Cole Williams worked his way through the field and managed a top-five in fifth.
Steven Polley paced the second and final 30-lap Pro National Baby Grands feature in the early stages as Baby Grands national points leader, 18-year-old Brad Stiffler, surged into second. An early caution halted the proceedings and when racing resumed, Stiffler blew past Polley into the top spot as the Ohio hotshoe eyed a season sweep at the 3/8th-mile oval. An Austin Fullerton blown engine brought out the second caution with seven laps in the books as his machine went up in flames on the frontstretch. Fullerton emerged unscathed as Stiffler remained out front when the green flag waved. The Ohio driver survived a number of cautions over the remainder of the race, never coming under much fire from anyone as he swept away the season for the Pro National Baby Grands at I-44. Sooner State hotshoe Austin Johnson came home second as Arkansas driver Cole Rouse notched a podium spot in third.
An eventful opening few laps ended up with Jay Bates out front in the 20-lap Budweiser Modifieds feature. Points leader Tyler Scott wasted no time maneuvering past Payton Lucas for the bridesmaid’s position. While action in the back of the pack heated up, Scott surged to the lead as Ricky Icenhower followed him into the second position. Icenhower wasn’t willing to be patient, moving to the inside of Scott as the race approached the halfway mark and easing ahead of the young gun for the lead with 11 laps remaining. While Scott did what he could to stay within shouting distance, it wasn’t enough as Icenhower hit his marks on the way to his fourth trophy of the 2012 campaign. Scott settled for second and another solid night as he chases a title while his top challenger Payton Lucas finished third.
The 20-lap Hardee’s Sportsman headliner quickly became a family affair out front as the elder J.C. Newell scored the early edge over grandson Lil’ J.C. Newell. The 16-year-old teenager pushed his grandpa to his limit before stealing away the top spot at the dinner table with a move on the low side of the track with 13 circuits remaining. The points leader eased away from his racing idol and never looked back, rolling to another comfortable triumph. With the win, the young Newell locked up the track championship for the division. As a bonus, his grandpa held off Robert Reeves for the runner-up spot to make it a family affair up front.
Points leader Paul Jepson jumped into the lead on the third circuit of the 15-lap Coca-Cola Chargers feature, cruising past Jimmy Poindexter for the top spot. While Lauren Buhr maneuvered around Poindexter for the second position, Jepson quickly broke away from the field and built up a cushion. Buhr swiftly sliced the deficit between herself and the leader, closing up to the back bumper of Jepson as the race approached the halfway mark and giving him a nudge to let him know she was there. Buhr looked high and low for a path around Jepson, diving to the bottom of the racing surface and sliding ahead of the veteran for the top spot with just two circuits remaining. From there, she pulled away and held on to collect her second checkers of the year. Jepson all but locked up the championship with his second place finish as rival Caston Jones finished one spot behind him in third.
Gary Ball rolled to the top spot in the 12-lap Hoosier Tire Road Warriors main event as Robert Reeves made quick work out of a number of challengers, moving up to second just three circuits in. A caution with eight laps to go enabled Reeves to close up to Ball’s back bumper but on the restart, the veteran slipped away from Reeves. From there, it was all Gary Ball as he cruised to his first feature win of the season during the penultimate “Kickin’ Asphalt” show at I-44. Reeves rolled to a solid second while Les Mallard came home third.
The time has finally come for Lebanon I-44 Speedway to crown its 2012 ASA Racing Monster Energy Chase for the Cup champions. All five classes will be in action next Saturday, September 15, including the headlining O’Reilly Auto Parts ASA Late Models that will headline Monster Energy Championship Night. All divisions will be racing for double points as the gloves will come off with points on the line for the final time this season. A strong undercard featuring the Budweiser Modifieds, Hardee’s Sportsman, Hoosier Tire Road Warriors and Coca-Cola Chargers will all determine and honor titlists as well. 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 on a night that fans definitely will not want to miss!
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 – September 8, 2012
O’Reilly Auto Parts ASA Late Models
Heat 1: 1 (14) Deuser, 2 (20) Fullerton, 3 (35) Holt, 4 (3) Willard, 5 (54) Reaves, 6 (9) Cory
Heat 2: 1 (6) Wallace, 2 (10) Roper Jr., 3 (02) Brown, 4 (77) Slone, 5 (46) Williams, 6 (67) Vanzandt, 7 (98) Smith
Feature: 1 (14) Corey Deuser, Lanesville, IN, 2 (6) Matt Wallace, Concord, NC, 3 (77) Mike Slone, Rolla, 4 (20) Austin Fullerton, Chelsea, OK, 5 (46) Cole Willimas, Sellersburg, IN, 6 (02) Brian Brown, Springfield, 7 (10) Dale Roper, Jr, Fair Grove, 8 (67) Jim Vanzandt, Springfield, 9 (35) Steve Holt, Strafford, 10 (9) Tucker Cory, Quincy, IL, 11 (3) Brennon Willard, Sleeper, 12 (54) Jim Reaves, Strafford, 13 (98) Terry Smith, Belton.
Heat 1: 1 (81) J. Bates, 2 (26) Lucas, 3 (1) Rash, 4 (12) Allen, 5 (00) Johnson
Heat 2: 1 (66) Taylor, 2 (7) Icenhower, 3 (57) Scott, 4 (25) Counterman, 5 (51) Kelley
Feature: 1 (7) Ricky Icenhower, Fair Grove, 2 (57) Tyler Scott, Nixa, 3 (26) Payton Lucas, Fair Grove, 4 (25) Stephen Counterman, Fair Grove, 5 (12) Scotty Allen, Urbana, 6 (81) Jay Bates, Fair Grove, 7 (51) JD Kelley, Walnut Grove, 8 (1) Rocky Rash, Elkland, 9 (00) Chris Johnson, Lebanon, 10 (66) Terry Taylor, Fair Grove, 11 (15) JC Newell, Stoutland
Heat 1: 1 (21) Besser, 2 (64) Kirk, 3 (36) J. Higdon, 4 (10) Sharp, 5 (63) C. Higdon
Heat 2: 1 (6) Reeves, 2 (84) Newell, 3 (15) Newell, 4 (25) Owens
Feature: 1 (15) Lil JC Newell, Stoutland, 2 (84) JC Newell, Decauterville, 3 (6) Robert Reeves, Camdenton, 4 (1) Toby Harden, Ozark, 5 (64) Dalton Kirk, Gardner, KS, 6 (10) Rick Sharp, Fair Grove, 7 (21) Randy Besser, Branson, 8 (63) Chuck Higdon, Springfield, 9 (36) Jon Higdon, Springfield, 10 (25) Darin Owens, Halfway
Hoosier Tire Road Warriors
Heat 1: 1 (35) Ball, 2 (38) Harlow, 3 (7) Jones, 4 (32) Sharp, 5 (28) Dawson
Heat 2: 1 (6) Reeves, 2 (21) Mallard, 3 (90) Shaw, 4 (00) Juergensen, 5 (26) Cherry, 6 (33) Scott
Feature: 1 (35) Gary Ball, Lebanon, 2 (6) Robert Reeves, Lebanon, 3 (21) Les Mallard, Fair Grove, 4 (90) Steve Shaw, Rogersville, 5 (00) Michael Juergensen, Lebanon, 6 (7) Shawn Jones, Belle, 7 (32) Riley Sharp, Republic, 8 (33) Mike Scott, Rogersville, 9 (28) Tim Dawson, 10 (38) Carl Harlow, Exeter, 11 (26) Nick Cherry, Springfield
Ozark Coca-Cola Chargers
Heat 1: 1 (34) Jones, 2 (5) Poindexter, 3 (22) Atkinson, 4 (42) Nisbett, 5 (12) Taylor
Heat 2: 1 (44) Jepsen, 2 (11) Buhr, 3 (74) Hunter, 4 (64) Joslin
Feature: 1 (11) Lauren Buhr, Neosho, 2 (44) Paul Jepsen, Rolla, 3 (34) Caston Jones, Belle, 4 (5) Jimmy Poindexter, Willard, 5 (74) Larry Hunter, Laquey, 6 (22) Scotty Atkinson, Conway, 7 (12) Ronnie Taylor, 8 (42) Jordan Nisbett, Lebanon,
Pro Nation (Baby Grand)
Heat 1: 1 (2X) Rouse, 2 (18) Stiffler, 3 (81) Blari, 4 (9) Mayfield, 5 (33) Greven, 6 (57) Morgan
Heat 2: 1 (22) Johnson, 2 (2) Fullerton, 3 (78) Herdman, 4 (52) Polley, 5 (16) Barkley, 6 (83) McClay
Feature: 1 (18) Brad Stiffler, Washington Courthowe, OH, 2 (22) Austin Johnson, Tulsa, OK, 3 (2X) Cole Rouse, Fort Smith, AR, 4 (78) Tyler Herdman, Tulsa, OK, 5 (81) Jacob Blair, Kansas City, 6 (52) Steven Polley, Suttsville, KY, 7 (33) Daulton Greven, Bolivar, 8 (83) Jacob McClurg, McDermit, OH, 9 (16) Mark Barkley, Rogers, AR, 10 (2) Austin Fullerton, Chelsea, OK, 11 (9) Kenneth Mayfield, 12 (57) Zac Morgan, Lebanon.