FIKE FLIES TO SECOND-STRAIGHT “TONY BETTENHAUSEN 100”
Springfield, Illinois…….Galesburg native A.J. Fike made his home state proud as he backed up his “Tony Bettenhausen 100” win from 2012 by going back-to-back in Saturday’s 100-miler for the Traxxas Silver Crown Series at the Illinois State Fairgrounds.
Fike, who set Fast Time earlier in the day, led the field early in the race before a quick yellow for Kenny Gentry. On the restart, Fike’s original attempt was called back for picking up the pace too early. On the next attempt, Chris Windom timed it just right to jump alongside Fike into turn-one and take the lead.
From there, Windom led as his teammate Jerry Coons, Jr. moved by Fike for second and the lead trio moved away from the field. Near the mid-point of the race, they encountered traffic that proved challenging for all three, as Windom fought to hold off both challengers as he moved by them. Fike snuck past Coons in traffic along the way.
The final restart came with 19 laps to go, as Windom led Fike and Coons to the green. After getting out to a comfortable advantage, Windom saw his lead dwindle until lap 93 when Fike made his winning move down the backstretch and into turn-three, finishing unchallenged for the win in the RFMS Racing – Liberty Village #3 Beast/Foxco.
“We fought to earn this one, and it honestly feels even better than the win last year. Winning here is so special to me. I consider this my home track, and to do it in front of a lot of friends and family means a lot. I have a lot of great memories here growing up, coming here with my family, so this place is just special to me. We had a car that was good from the time we unloaded. We lost the lead to Windom when he timed that restart just right, and we just weren’t as good back in traffic. I threw a lot at our Factory Kahne shocks on that last restart, and the car really came on over that last run,” Fike said.
Windom turned in his strongest Silver Crown performance to date, just missing a win in the Rotondo Weirich – Curb Records #17 Beast/Wallace Toyota. Coons joined his teammate on the podium in the Rotondo Weirich – Curb Records #27 Beast/Wallace Toyota.
Series point-leader Tracy Hines closed strong to come home fourth in the Lightfoot Racing #16 Beast/Stanton Mopar, while Shane Cockrum took home a top-five in the Hardy Boys Racing #15 Beast/Foxco.
TRAXXAS USAC SILVER CROWN CHAMPIONSHIP SERIES RACE RESULTS: August 17, 2013 – Springfield, Illinois – Illinois State Fairgrounds – “Tony Bettenhausen 100”
QUALIFICATIONS: 1. A.J. Fike, 3, RFMS-32.125; 2. Brian Tyler, 21, Six-R-32.298; 3. Shane Cockrum, 15, Hardy-NT; 32.414; 4. Russ Gamester, 51, Gamester-32.544; 5. Todd Kane, 78, Kane-32.798; 6. Chris WIndom, 17, RW/Curb-Agajanian-32.817; 7. Kody Swanson, 25, Sachs-32.887; 8. Jerry Coons Jr., 27, RW/Curb-Agajanian-32.888; 9. Tracy Hines, 16, Lightfoot-33.011; 10. Chris Urish, 77, Urish-33.069; 11. Bobby East, 10, Stewart/Curb-Agajanian-33.074; 12. Jarett Andretti, 141, McQuinn-33.494; 13. Miranda Throckmorton, 33, Six-R-33.513; 14. Robert Ballou, 63, DePalma-33.605; 15. Patrick Lawson, 2, Lawson-34.739; 16. Taylor Ferns, 35, Ferns-35.316; 17. Kenny Gentry, 18, Gentry-35.470; 18. Dave Darland, 14, McQuinn-37.693; 19. Randy Bateman, 55, Bateman-NT; 20. Kellen Conover, 76, Conover-NT.
FEATURE: (100 Laps) 1. A.J. Fike, 2. Chris Windom, 3. Jerry Coons Jr., 4. Tracy Hines, 5. Shane Cockrum, 6. Brian Tyler, 7. Kody Swanson, 8. Bobby East, 9. Robert Ballou, 10. Taylor Ferns, 11. Chris Urish, 12. Jarett Andretti, 13. Dave Darland, 14. Patrick Lawson, 15. Todd Kane, 16. Miranda Throckmorton, 17. Kenny Gentry, 18. Russ Gamester. NT
FEATURE LAP LEADERS: Laps 1- 7 Fike, Laps 8-92 Windom, Laps 93-100 Fike.
NEW TRAXXAS SILVER CROWN SERIES POINT STANDINGS: 1-Hines-298, 2-Coons-289, 3-East-282, 4-Swanson-281, 5-Windom-273, 6-Tyler-249, 7-Fike-218, 8-Shane Hollingsworth-182, 9-David Byrne-127, 10-Andretti-118.
NEXT TRAXXAS SILVER CROWN RACE: September 1 – DuQuoin (IL) State Fairgrounds – “Ted Horn 100”