Auto Racing: Cannon fires off second straight win at Illiana
By Tony Baranek firstname.lastname@example.org August 10, 2013 10:22PM
Fast time: Eddie Hoffman (19.596). 1st heat: 1. Shaun Wiltjer, 2. Bobby Gash, 3. Wes Griffith. 2nd heat: 1. Phil Splant, 2. Dean Patterson, 3. Don Sabatino. 30-lap feature: 1. Jeff Cannon, 2. John Nutley, 3. Anthony Danta, 4. D.J. Weltmeyer, 5. Gash, 6. Splant.
Fast time: Ryan Moore (17.710). Heat: 1. Eddie Wolf, 2. Moore, 3. John Senerchia. 25-lap feature: 1. Moore, 2. Senerchia, 3. Jacob McKown, 4. Pat Ligue, 5. Wolf, 6. Michael Gerike.
Fast time: Chris King (17.268). Heat: 1. King, 2. Garrett Harris, 3. Jaret James. 20-lap feature: 1. Harris, 2. King, 3. Ben Fidone, 4. Bryan Watters, 5. Jacob Melvin, 6. James.
1st heat: 1. Colin Robinson, 2. Tyler Wheaton, 3. Trevor DeVries. 2nd heat: 1. Ricky Wilson, 2. Alex Treptow, 3. Mike Wojcik. 12-lap feature: 1. Kyle Royster, 2. Mac Hastings, 3. Wilson, 4. Treptow, 5. Jim Gross, 6. Melissa Wilson.
Heat: 1. Kenny Myer, 2. Cole Sutton, 3. Kaitlyn Coates. Feature: 1. Myer, 2. Sutton, 3. Coates.
Updated: September 12, 2013 6:40AM
SCHERERVILLE, Ind. — As hard as Jeff Cannon had to work to get into second place with seven laps left in Saturday night’s late-model feature at Illiana Speedway, most observers couldn’t think he’d have enough car left to challenge John Nutley.
“I didn’t either,” Cannon said. “I didn’t think I’d have enough brakes left. They went out about three laps into the race, but they came back with three to go. Why, I don’t know.”
The Kouts, Ind., native not only caught Nutley but was able to pass him on the outside just three circuits from the finish. It was Cannon’s second win of the season and second in a row.
The final 23 laps saw some classic racing up front. The first seven, not so much.
On lap six, Paul Zolodz and Eddie Hoffman had contact on the back straightaway. Hoffman’s No. 8 wound up going to the right, hard into the wall.
One lap into the restart, Shaun Wiltjer and Paul Shafer Jr., running side by side for the lead, touched in Turn 1. Shafer hit the wall with ferocity, while Wiltjer spun around. Several moments later, Wiltjer’s front end was crashed into by Tony Alexander.
There was much damage to the machines, but all of the drivers were OK.
On the second restart, John Nutley pulled away from Bobby Gash to take the lead before being challenged in a side-by-side battle by Anthony Danta that raged for 10 laps. Nutley was able to clear Danta on the high side and appeared ready to sail, while Cannon used the low groove, after digging for three laps, to secure second place.
When he reached Nutley, Cannon didn’t hesitate in taking his No. 33 to the high groove.
“I had such a hard time getting around Danta,” Cannon said. “I knew as soon as I got under Nutley it would be the same situation. I just tried the high side where I could keep the momentum going.
“I just feel horrible for Eddie, and (Shafer) Jr., and all that. There was a lot of uncalled-for racing out there tonight. I guess I’m just happy we made it through it all.”
Nutley almost had a last lap disaster when Danta got underneath him, but was able to straighten out and claim second place. Fourth went to D.J. Weltmeyer, ahead of Gash and Phil Splant.
“We did a little bit of work this week and changed the car around,” Nutley said. “When everyone got here today we had all kinds of problems. It was good for the team to pick up the pace and go run second. It’s been a long time.”
Garrett Harris had points leader Chris King bearing down on him on lap 11 of the Legends feature when King spun in Turn 4 and had to restart in the back. King eventually roared back to the front, but Harris was able to deny a last-lap challenge. Third-place finisher Randy Harris was disqualified, turning the spot over to Ben Fidone.
Ryan Moore passed Eddie Wolf on lap 16, and went on to scorch the field in the turbo stox feature. John Senerchia survived several battles to claim second place ahead of Jacob McKown, Pat Ligue, Wolf and Michael Gerike.
The “third-place finisher wins” pure stocks main went to Kyle Royster.