EAGLE, NE (September 9, 2018) - In arguably the most impressive feature run of the 2018 POWRi Lucas Oil WAR Sprints League season, Jason Martin fed off the hometown crowd and stormed from the inside of the ninth row to take his first-career WAR Sprints victory in thrilling fashion. After Slater Helt, Dylan Kadous and Quinton Benson waged war in what was a knockdown, drag out fight for the top spot in the opening half, Martin, who resides in nearby Lincoln, Nebraska, stole the show in the second half with his dangerous, yet methodical moves on the treacherous cushion which worked right against the outside wall of the 1/3rd mile surface at Eagle Raceway.

Making the second-ever appearance in league history in the "Cornhusker State," the POWRi Lucas Oil WAR Sprints attracted a count of 22 entries in the Sunday night showdown at Eagle, Nebraska's Eagle Raceway. Don Droud Jr. won the opening Hinchman Racewear heat one, Riley Kreisel took Bell Racing USA heat two and Quinton Benson claimed Schure Built Suspension heat three. Topping the passing points department with his third-to-first bid, Kreisel of Warsaw, Missouri was the LRB, Inc. #HighPointMan and redrew a six for the feature inversion.

Catching the inversion just right, the front row of the 25-lap feature would include Harrisonville, Missouri's Slater Helt in the Helt's Turf Farms No. 22S and Topeka, Kansas' Dylan Kadous in the Skoch Enterprises No. 31. Making his debut with the POWRi Lucas Oil WAR Sprints League, young 14-year old Trey Gropp of Lincoln, Nebraska made his presence felt quickly as he snuck underneath Helt into turns three on the opening lap and challenged for the lead. Helt fired a crossover move right back at him, however, and led the opening circuit before chaos ensued on lap two.

Working the low line in turns one and two, Helt caught an infield tire which created a chain-reaction of events behind him. As Gropp and Droud Jr. became hooked on the bottom, TJ Artz's No. 57 launched off the right rear of Droud and sent him for a wild and wicked series of flips down the backstretch. Meanwhile, the same occurred with Wyatt Burks further back in the pack as his No. 11W went sky high and for a vicious flip. Both cars received significant damage and would be done for the night, but thankfully both drivers climbed out of their cars under their own power.

Going back to green, Kadous ripped the top around Helt and stormed into the lead on lap two. Bringing Quinton Benson with him into the second spot, Helt fell back and slipped into the grasps of Chris Parkinson while Benson closed on Kadous to challenge for the early lead. From rolling the bottom in turns one and two to up top blasting the cushion in turns three and four, Kadous was in full defense mode as Benson and Helt attacked him from all angles.

The trio would provide an incredible and thrilling bout for the lead as Kadous last led on the tenth circuit before Helt reclaimed the lead on lap 11, and then Benson took over command on lap 12. Swapping the lead corner-after-corner and lap-after lap, the racey, two-groove surface at Eagle Raceway was on full display.

Heartbreak struck on the twelfth circuit, however, as Helt who was a firm contender for the win and in the thick of things for the lead, suffered a flat tire and slowed to a stop before heading to the work area. The final restart of the race brought to light two locals who were hard charging with everything they had, as with just 12 laps completed, Terry Richards had gone from 15th-to-3rd and Jason Martin had advanced from 17th-to-5th.

On the restart, Martin immediately continued his march forward as he put the No. 1B on the fence and powered into the second spot. While Benson was out front as the sitting duck, Richards was rolling the bottom and Martin was banging the boards with both drivers focused on the top spot. Richards and Martin went wheel-to-wheel and exchanged the runner-up spot a few times before a ridiculous run off the turn two cushion rocketed Martin around both Richards and Benson and sent him into the lead.

From there, Jason Martin was untouchable in winning his first-career feature with the POWRi Lucas Oil WAR Sprints League, leading the final eight laps. The Lincoln, Nebraska native not only won the show, but he WAS the show, delivering fans at the Eagle Raceway a thrilling display for 25 laps that was worth more than the price of admission. Taking the long way around on the treacherous cushion, Martin flirted with the outside wall on several occasions, even slapping the right rear off the fence a handful of times in his bid for an exciting first-career victory.

Following Martin to the line and claiming a second-place finish was Terry Richards of Denton, Nebraska, who marched all the way from 15th-to-2nd and scored his second-straight runner-up result with the WAR Sprints at Eagle Raceway. Rounding out the podium with a third-place finish was Missouri's Riley Kreisel in the No. 90 entry, a run that padded his points lead in pursuit of the 2018 POWRi Lucas Oil WAR Sprints League championship. Finishing fourth after leading six laps in the second half, Quinton Benson of Emma, Missouri turned in another consistent finish. Closing out the top five after starting from 12th was Chris Parkinson of Gladstone, Missouri.

On tap next for the POWRi Lucas Oil WAR Sprints League is the premier and headlining event on the schedule, the annual Jesse Hockett / Daniel McMillin Memorial at Lucas Oil Speedway in Wheatland, Missouri from September 20th-22nd. An announcement on the special event format and purse structure will be released soon as the hype continues to build for what is the biggest WAR Sprints race of the year.

Hinchman Racewear Heat One (8 Laps):

  1. 1M-Don Droud Jr., Lincoln, NE (2); 2. 31-Dylan Kadous, Topeka, KS (1); 3. 57-TJ Artz, Lincoln, NE (3); 4. 65-Chris Parkinson, Gladstone, MO (4); 5. 18-Terry Richards, David City, NE (5); 6. 11W-Wyatt Burks, Topeka, KS (8); 7. 24H-Ty Hulsey, Owasso, OK (7); 8. 77-John Klabunde, Omaha, NE (6).

Bell Racing USA Heat Two (8 Laps):

  1. 90-Riley Kreisel, Warsaw, MO (3); 2. 22S-Slater Helt, Harrisonville, MO (1); 3. 35L-Cody Ledger, Omaha, NE (2); 4. 21-Ryan Kitchen, Lincoln, NE (5); 5. 41-Brad Wyatt, Kearney, MO (4); 6. 1B-Jason Martin, Lincoln, NE (7); 7. 30-Ryan Kent, Lone Jack, MO (6).

Schure Built Suspension Heat Three (8 Laps):

  1. 15B-Quinton Benson, Emma, MO (1); 2. 54-Trey Gropp, Lincoln, NE (3); 3. 24C-Craig Carroll, Collinsville, OK (2); 4. 82-Vinny Ward, Warrenton, MO (5); 5. 4-Braydon Cromwell, Lee's Summit, MO (6); 6. 67-Jonathan Hughes, Knoxville, IA (7); 7. 12-Wesley Smith, Nixa, MO (4).

POWRi Lucas Oil WAR Sprints League Main Event (25 Laps):

  1. 1B-Jason Martin (17); 2. 18-Terry Richards (15); 3. 90-Riley Kreisel (6); 4. 15B-Quinton Benson (4); 5. 65-Chris Parkinson (12); 6. 24H-Ty Hulsey (19); 7. 31-Dylan Kadous (2); 8. 21-Ryan Kitchen (10); 9. 54-Trey Gropp (3); 10. 12-Wesley Smith (21); 11. 24C-Craig Carroll (9); 12. 35L-Cody Ledger (8); 13. 1M-Don Droud Jr. (5); 14. 22S-Slater Helt (1); 15. 41-Brad Wyatt (16); 16. 30-Ryan Kent (18); 17. 4-Braydon Cromwell (13); 18. 77-John Klabunde (20); 19. 82-Vinny Ward (11); 20. 57-TJ Artz (7); 21. 11W-Wyatt Burks (14); 22. 67-Jonathan Hughes (DNS).
    Lap Leader(s): Helt 1, Kadous 2-10, Helt 11, Benson 12-17, Martin 18-25.
    Hard Charger(s): Martin +16.
Article Credit: Brian Walker


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