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The Lake News Online
  • Williams Walks into the Winner's Circle for a Third Straight Time at Lebanon I-44 Speedway

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  • Lebanon, Mo. - Cole Williams made it look easy again on Saturday night, surviving a late-race caution and cruising to his third consecutive win in the headlining O'Reilly Auto Parts NASCAR Pro Late Models at Lebanon I-44 Speedway. With a celebration of Lebanon on a literal 'Chamber of Commerce night" at the races, Williams slipped past veteran Brian Brown at the midway point of the race and never looked back en route to the victory. In other racing action, sentimental favorites Scotty Allen and J.C. Newell won while Ben White and Austin Johnson scored second victories in their respective classes before a fireworks nightcap sent a packed house home happy.
    The facility was packed as the surrounding community definitely showed their support of this great fundraiser for the Lebanon Area Chamber of Commerce in the 2013 "Our Town Your Town" Celebration.
    Vino Alan, a Laquey, Missouri native and a finalist on the X Factor officially got the night started with some great vocals after the first session of the Monster Energy Motocross Stunt team wowed the crowd. The Lebanon Office of Emergency Management and all of their associated agency's did a great job of getting the huge crowd in the facility and helping make all things run smooth as the huge crowd maneuvered their way through the 50 plus vendors on the Lebanon I-44 Speedway Midway.  
    A wild start to the 30-lap O'Reilly Auto Parts NASCAR Pro Late Models main event was slowed by a caution on lap two as Brian Brown scored the lead in the beginning stages. Behind the leader, Joe Ross got into the back of Cole Rouse for second, almost sending Rouse around and stacking up the field behind them as Tucker Cory spun to avoid the mayhem as another caution came out with 27 laps to go.
    On the restart, Brown once again broke away from the pack and grabbed a five car length advantage as Rouse wrestled second away from Ross. The teenager began to close the deficit between himself and Brown, peeking to the inside of the veteran on the entrance to turn one as the race eased past the halfway point. The young gun lost control of his machine as point's leader Cole Williams slipped around him and moved into the bridesmaid's position. Cory got sent through the spin cycle by Ross with 13 laps to go as yet another yellow slowed the proceedings and allowed Williams to close up to Brown's back bumper.
    Williams wasted little time navigating his way into the top spot, blowing by Brown for the lead a lap after the green flag waved and checking out on the field. A late-race caution for a multi-car incident that swept up Cole Rouse and Tucker Cory bunched the field back up with 26 laps in the books and just four circuits remaining. The 17-year-old made his eight-hour trek from the Louisville, Kentucky-area worth it once again with a strong restart, grabbing his third consecutive checkered flag and stretching out his growing edge in the point standings.
    Page 2 of 3 - "We got another one tonight because of patience," the teenager said in victory lane. "Sometimes you just have to wait for a spot to open up and I did that tonight. Once it did, I made my move. If we want to win a championship out here, consistency is the key and we are being consistent right now."
    Lil' J.C. Newell came home in the runner-up spot while fellow teenager Matt Wallace finished third to make it three teenagers atop the podium. Brown settled for fourth while Joe Ross rounded out the top five in fifth.
    Emerging with the early edge in the 25-lap Budweiser NASCAR Modifieds feature, Scotty Allen quickly pulled away from the pack and steadied himself with a two car length advantage out front. Allen's lead was erased when Paul Jepson blew a tire and made contact with the wall to bring out the caution with 16 circuits remaining.
    When the green flag waved, Allen asserted himself as the man to beat as defending champion Tyler Scott turned up the pressure for second. Scott's aggressive maneuver ended up costing him third as David Bates slipped past the young gun when he got loose in turn two as the race rolled past halfway. With Bates battling point's leader Terry Taylor for the runner-up spot, eventually taking it with five laps to go, Allen stretched his lead to an insurmountable margin and held off the hard-charging Bates to the checkers.
    Aaron Douglas drove to the early advantage in the 20-lap Monster Energy NASCAR Sportsman headliner as points leader Robert Reeves settled into second and began tracking him down. Reeves didn't wait long to make his move, diving to the inside of Douglas on the fourth lap and grabbing the lead on the exit of turn two. Reeves immediately put space between himself and the field as J.C Newell worked his way into the second position.
    Newell began cutting into Reeves' lengthy advantage as the laps wound down, slicing it to just two car lengths before the caution waved for an incident in turn one involving Randy Besser and Austin Johnson. Reeves exited to the pits under yellow due to mechanical issues allowing Newell to inherit the lead with just four laps remaining. On the restart, Newell slipped away from Douglas and drove his way into victory lane for the first time in a couple years as the fans roared their approval for the 'Gentle Giant.'
    The Coca-Cola NASCAR Chargers got off to a swift start as the small, but tight field went four-wide on the second lap. Ben White worked his way through the chaos and emerged with the top spot after shooting down from the high side of the high-banked oval on lap three. Jimmy Poindexter pushed the pace, peeking to the inside of White for the top spot before the leader slammed the door shut at the halfway mark. Poindexter continued to pressure White, working both sides of the track, but the veteran was unable to get around the leader as White held on for his second victory of the season.
    Page 3 of 3 - Jacob Blair broke away for the early lead in the 12-lap Compliance Fire and Safety Pro National Baby Grand's feature. After a caution for a near-disaster, racing resumed with Blair back up front. Austin Johnson challenged Blair for the lead and worked his way around him at the halfway mark, snaring the top spot and building up a three car length cushion up front. That would be all the young gun would need en route to his second straight win in the series at Lebanon I-44 Speedway.
    Racing returns to Missouri's only asphalt oval this Saturday night, June 29, as NASCAR Whelen All-American Series weekly action returns for Budweiser & Military Appreciation Night at the Races, week five of the 2013 Monster Energy Chase for the Cup. All active, retired or dependent family with a Military Photo ID will be honored and admitted free for the event. The O'Reilly Auto Parts NASCAR Pro Late Models headline the action with the Budweiser NASCAR Modifieds, Monster Energy Sportsman, and Hoosier Tire Road Warriors in action to round out the evening's jam-packed slate of racing. Gates open at 5 p.m. with the first green flag waving at 7 p.m. sharp. For more information on Lebanon I-44 Speedway , including a full 2013 schedule and more, visit the track website at www.i44speedway.net or visit the track's Facebook and Twitter pages online.
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