Auto Racing: Cannon dominates in late-model battle
By Tony Baranek email@example.com July 26, 2014 10:10PM
Jeff Cannon (33) roars around the outside of Eddie Hoffman to take the lead in Saturday night's late-model feature at Illiana Speedway. | Goodaker Photography/For Sun-Times Media
Fast time: Anthony Danta (19.642). 1st heat: 1. Mike White, 2. Eddie Hoffman, 3. D.J. Weltmeyer. 2nd heat: 1. Dennis Lyp, 2. Ryan Hill, 3. Chris King. 30-lap feature: 1. Jeff Cannon, 2. Danta, 3. Weltmeyer, 4. Hoffman, 5. White, 6. Mark Ross Jr.
Fast time: Tim Stewart (17.637). Heat: 1. Chris Woodall, 2. Michael Gerike, 3. Bobby Gash III. 15-lap feature: 1. Woodall, 2. Gash, 3. Gerike, 4. Wesley Dennis, 5. Stewart, 6. Ryan Moore.
1st heat: 1. Charlie Burgess, 2. Michael Tobuch, 3. David Kuehs. 2nd heat: 1. Craig Urban, 2. Hunter Rohweder, 3. Kevin Sisk. 15-lap feature: 1. Urban, 2. Rohweder, 3. Tom Crawford Sr. 4. Burgess, 5. Matt Baikie.
Fast time: Paul Shafer Sr. (17.480). Heat: 1. Stan Zolodz, 2. Paul Shafer Jr., 3. Paul Shafer Sr. 15-lap feature: 1. Paul Shafer Jr., 2. Paul Shafer Sr., 3. Jacob Melvin, 4. Stan Zolodz IV, 5. Jason Ellison, 6. Brian Tedeschi.
Updated: August 28, 2014 6:54AM
SCHERERVILLE, Ind. — In their last two meetings, it was close but no cigar for Jeff Cannon in side-by-side late-model feature battles with Anthony Danta at Illiana Speedway.
On Saturday, he smoked him.
The dynamic duo were 1-2 for the third week running, but this time it was Cannon who prevailed by a dominant 2.514 seconds.
The win was the third of the season for Cannon, who went into the night with a slim points lead over Eddie Hoffman.
“Oh, man, for once,” Cannon said with a smile. “This thing’s awesome on the outside, huh. Maybe it was my turn.”
Two bad turns at the start of the feature resulted in several damaged cars, the worst being suffered by Don Sabatino, Bobby Gash and Michael Martin Jr.
After the two yellows, the race went caution-free from laps 2 through 30. The early leaders were Mark Ross Jr., and then Eddie Hoffman, but once Cannon and Danta found their way to the front, it was lights out for the rest of the field.
Both roared around Hoffman on the outside and went off on their own journey.
“I tried to drive my line,” Cannon said. “I knew if (Danta) caught me, it was going to be a battle to the end. I was figuring it was going to be a hard battle.”
It was a little less than that. Danta was within a few car-lengths for awhile, but it soon became noticeable that Cannon wasn’t being caught.
“The car just wasn’t very good all night,” Danta said. “It’s been tight. For a little bit there I was able to keep pace with him, but about halfway through he was better.
“I just kind of tried to not burn it up and stay where I was at because I knew he had a better car and I wasn’t going to get him. Congrats to him.”
D.J. Weltemeyer won out in a torrid battle with Hoffman for third, while Mike White was fifth and Mark Ross Jr., sixth.
Paul Shafer Jr., who captured the late-model title at Illiana Speedway in 2013, brought a Legends car to the speedway on Saturday and captured the 15-lap feature.
Shafer took the lead from rookie Jason Ellis, who paced the field from laps 1 through 8. He went on to beat his father, Paul Shafer Sr., by 1.044 seconds.
Third went to Jacob Melvin ahead of Stan Zolodz IV, Ellis and Brian Tedeschi.
Turbo stox points leader Chris Woodall had little trouble winning his seventh feature, beating Bobby Gash III to the finish line by 2.390 seconds. Michael Gerike was third, ahead of Wesley Dennis, Tim Stewart and Ryan Moore.
Justin Mikel finished first in the pure stocks main, but was disqualified for a tire infraction. Craig Urban was awarded the win, with Hunter Rohweder second, Tom Crawford Sr. third, Charlie Burgess fourth and Matt Baikie fifth.