Auto Racing: Cannon fired up after win at Illiana
By Tony Baranek firstname.lastname@example.org August 3, 2013 10:42PM
Jeff Cannon and Paul Shafer Jr. battle it out during the midway point of Saturday night's late-model feature at Illiana Speedway. | Photo by Goodaker Photography
Fast time: Boris Jurkovic (17.278). 35-lap feature: 1. Jeff Cannon, 2. Eddie Hoffman, 3. Jurkovic, 4. Paul Shafer Jr., 5. Mike White, 6. Anthony Danta, 7. D.J. Weltmeyer, 8. Bobby Gash, 9. Danny Darnell, 10. Mark Ross Jr.
1st heat: 1. Geoff Kaiser, 2. Troy DeCaire, 3. Jerry Caryer. 2nd heat: 1. Dave Baumgartner, 2. Joe Swanson, 3. Kevin Feeny. 30-lap feature: 1. Tim Cox, 2. Swanson, 3. Caryer, 4. Hank Lower, 5. Kevin Feeny, 6. Kyle Feeny.
Fast time: John Senerchia (17.613). 1. Senerchia, 2. Eddie Wolf, 3. Chris Woodall, 4. Jacob McKown, 5. Rita Fields, 6. Bobbie Jean Wall.
Fast time: Chris King (17.311). 25-lap feature: 1. King, 2. Paul Shafer Sr., 3. Jacob Melvin, 4. Bryan Watters, 5. Jaret James, 6. Stan Zolodz IV.
1st heat: 1. Tom Crawford, 2. Will Smit, 3. Nicholas Joyner. 2nd heat: 1. Doug Verkaik, 2. Tyler Wheaton, 3. Tom Kaminski. 3rd heat: 1. Ricky Wilson, 2. Alex Treptow, 3. Zach Sontag. 15-lap feature: 1. Wilson, 2. Treptow, 3. Ryan Lagestee, 4. Mac Hastings, 5. Kyle Royster, 6. Will Panshun.
Updated: September 5, 2013 6:52AM
SCHERERVILLE, Ind. — Getting passed on the inside by a competitor who has won the previous three weeks looked like it would spell the end for Jeff Cannon in Saturday night’s 35-lap late-model feature at Illiana Speedway.
But few can ride the outside groove as well as Cannon, which the three-time division champion from Kouts, Ind., would soon prove.
Cannon hung on the outside of Paul Shafer Jr. from laps 16 through 19. Then, coming out of Turn 4, he broke free. It was clear sailing from there for Cannon, who went on to claim his first feature victory of the season.
“I was going to fight on that one for all it was worth,” Cannon said. “He’s a good kid. He battled hard. That car rolls so well through the center, but I was determined tonight, I guess.”
Cannon beat Eddie Hoffman to the finish line by 2.377 seconds. But as wide as the margin was at the finish, the first half of the race saw several battles up front.
Early leader Bobby Gash paced the field until lap 7, when he was joined and then passed on the low side by Mike White. White would go on to have a brief side-by-side encounter with Cannon, before the latter took over on lap 14.
The Cannon-Shafer tussle was a classic, with Shafer twice crossing the line a half car-length ahead. But Cannon never let go, and coming out of Turn 4 to complete lap 19 Shafer bobbled, giving Cannon the break he needed.
After that, it was a runaway.
“I was surprised that he didn’t stay right with me,” Cannon said. “My spotter just kept telling me the gap was opening up, so I just kept on driving the way I had been.”
Hoffman took second away from Shafer on lap 20, but was unable to make up any ground on Cannon.
“I went down on six cylinders,” Hoffman said. “It happened right after we got to second and something started laying down. They (the pit crew) think it’s the carburetor ... but I don’t know if I’d have had anything for him anyway. He was pretty fast.”
As the laps wound down, there was one more battle near the front, for third place between Shafer and Boris Jurkovic. Jurkovic made the pass on the final lap as they approached slower traffic in Turn 3. Fifth went to White, ahead of Anthony Danta.
The HOSS Outlaw open-wheel feature saw runaway leader Geoff Kaiser run out of gas with six laps remaining. That turned the lead over to Tim Cox, who scored the win by 3.197 seconds over Joe Swanson. Jerry Caryer, Hank Lower and Kevin Feeny completed the top five.
Chris King continued his dominance in the Legends division, passing Paul Shafer Sr. on lap 11, and beating him by 1.239 seconds. Third went to Jacob Melvin, ahead of Bryan Watters and Jaret James.
A wild scramble just four laps from the finish of the turbo stox feature saw John Senerchia emerge from a three-way battle with Eddie Wolf and Jacob McKown and capture the race by 1.232 seconds.
Wolf, who led from lap 1, held on for second, followed by Chris Woodall, McKown, Rita Fields and Bobbie Jean Wall.
The pure stocks main went to Ricky Wilson, over Alex Treptow and Ryan Lagestee.