Auto Racing: Jeff Cannon adds Illiana late-model victory to his canon
By tony Baranek firstname.lastname@example.org June 7, 2014 9:56PM
Ryan Hill (2) and Don Sabatino (55) drag race down the back straightaway during a late-model heat Saturday at Illiana Speedway. | Goodaker Photography/for Sun-Times Media
LATE MODEL: Fast time: Jeff Cannon (19.489). 1st heat: 1. Cannon, 2. Ryan Hill, 3. Eddie Hoffman. 2nd heat: 1. Phil Splant, 2. Bobby Gash, 3. Dennis Lyp. 30-lap feature: 1. Cannon, 2. Anthony Danta, 3. Hoffman, 4. Chris King, 5. Splant, 6. Hill.
TURBO STOX: Fast time: Chris Woodall (17.615). Heat: 1. Woodall, 2. Ryan Moore, 3. Bobby Gash III. 20-lap feature: 1. Woodall, 2. Moore, 3. Billy Jarrells, 4. Rita Fields, 5. Michael Gerike, 6. Gash.
LEGENDS: Fast time: Paul Shafer Sr. (17.352). Heat: 1. Stan Zolodz IV, 2. Shafer, 3. Ben Fidone. 12-lap feature: 1. Zolodz, 2. Shafer, 3. Jason Ellis, 4. Fidone.
PURE STOCKS: 1st heat: 1. Melissa Kuehs, 2. Colin Robinson, 3. David Kuehs. 2nd heat: 1. Phil Sallay, 2. Brandon Reed, 3. Kevin Sisk. 15-lap feature: 1. Melissa Keuhs, 2. Kevin Sisk, 3. Phil Sallay, 4. Colin Robinson, 5. Mark Ross Jr., 6. Tom Crawford Jr.
BANDOLEROS: Heat: 1. Kenny Myer, 2. Cole Sutton, 3. Kailyn Coates. 6-lap feature: 1. Myer, 2. Sutton, 3. Coates.
Updated: July 9, 2014 6:36AM
Jeff Cannon spent a lot of lonely laps in front of the late-model field during Saturday night’s feature at Illiana Speedway.
He really didn’t mind.
“I wasn’t real sad. Last week was fun but it was a little nerve-wracking. It’s nice to win one,” a smiling Cannon said, referring to the May 31 side-by-side event in which he lost by a fraction of a second to Eddie Hoffman.
The victory was Cannon’s second of the season, moving him into the points lead over Eddie Hoffman.
There wasn’t much to this one. Cannon started a few rows back, but quickly found his way to early leader Phil Splant. A restart after a yellow flag on lap five afforded him an opportunity to beat Splant via the low side.
The rest of the way all he had to do was keep a steady pace.
“Things just kind of worked our way,” Cannon said. “At the beginning we were able to pick our way through traffic pretty good. Everybody was good to us about giving us a lane to race in.”
Not so happy was eventual runner-up Anthony Danta. Danta, who won Friday night’s feature at Grundy County Speedway, was equally fast at Illiana in his No. 51. He lost a lot of sheet metal, however, in a pace lap encounter with Bobby Gash.
“If he didn’t run into you under the pace lap you might have a better shot,” an agitated Danta said. “It’s just a shame that you get wrecked under yellow for no reason.
“Something in the steering’s bent, the door was knocked off for no reason. We’re not even racing at that point. We had a car to win [Saturday]. Now I have a wrecked car.”
Despite the damage, Danta was able to wheel by Hoffman and take over second place on lap 12. He made up some distance on Cannon, but was still 0.792 seconds behind Cannon at the finish. Hoffman was third, followed by Chris King, Splant and Ryan Hill.
Melissa Keuhs claimed the first pure stocks feature win of her career. She did it after an early race pass on her husband, David, to take the lead.
“I beat him every week,” she said, laughing. “He spends so much time on my car that he doesn’t work on his. This one felt really good all the way.”
Kevin Sisk was the closest to Keuhs at the finish. Third went to Phil Sallay, ahead of Colin Robinson, Mark Ross Jr., and Tom Crawford Jr.
Turbo Stox points leader Chris Woodall made quick work of the field in a 20-lap main, beating Ryan Moore by 5.273 seconds. Billy Jarrells, Rita Fields, Michael Gerike and Bobby Gash II completed the top six.
Stan Zolodz IV bounced back from a mid-race crash with Ben Fidone to chase down and pass Paul Shafer Sr., with just three laps remaining and claim his third Legends feature. Shafer held on for second ahead of Jason Ellis.
A bumper-to-bumper battle on the final lap saw Kenny Meyer edge out Cole Sutton in the bandoleros main.