Mother Nature Halts Willard at I-44
Brennon Willard and the Willard Motorsports team will have to wait another week to try and go back to back at Lebanon I-44 Speedway. The heavy rains that have hit the Missouri Ozarks have cancelled the races for tonight at Lebanon I-44 Speedway.
Last weekend was a successful one, winning both the heat race and feature in the O’Reilly Auto Parts NASCAR Pro Late Models at Lebanon I-44 Speedway on Saturday night. “We finally put together what I thought our car and team were capable of all season ,” said Willard. “We needed a good points night, and we got maximum points to keep us alive in the Monster Energy Chase for the Cup.”
Willard will bring the Willard Asphalt, Royal Purple, Chevrolet back to Lebanon I-44 Speedway next Saturday night for the 5th race in the NASCAR Season. The Willard Motorsports team will also have the car on display next Saturday morning at the annual Breast Cancer Awareness Car Show at the Cowan Civic Center in Lebanon before the races. The team will head to the track in the afternoon, with practice starting at 5:00 and the racing starting at 7:00. All five weekly classes will be in action along with the second driver autograph session of the season at intermission.
For more information about Brennon please visit www.brennonwillard.com, like him on Facebook at Brennon Willard Racing or on Twitter @brennonwillard.
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Willard Wins First Feature of 2014
Brennon Willard took advantage of a late race yellow flag and then took the lead on a lap 26 restart from point leader Kaleb Allison to become the 4th different O'Reilly Auto Parts Pro Late Model feature winner in 4 events in the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series action at the Lebanon I-44 Speedway Saturday night on Caddy Shack Golf Car Night At The Races.
The Late Model feature saw points runner-up Kyle Donahue jump to the opening lap lead from his outside from row starting spot with current track point leader Kaleb Allison following closely as the field remained tight in the opening laps.
A major crash on lap 12 involving front runners Steve Holt who was running 4th and Jimmy Vanzandt who at the time was in 7th place along with 6th place Kevin Donahue bunched the already tight field together as Holt and Vanzandt were done for the night with extensive damage to their cars.
On the restart, Kyle Donahue and Kaleb Allison had current NASCAR Missouri State point leader Austin Fullerton and 10th starter Willard applying pressure to the front runners. On lap 16, Willard moved into 3rd spot with Jake Griffin following him through after starting the night in the 15th spot. On lap 17, Allison moved around Donahue to take the lead as Willard followed. A tight 4 car battle for the lead kept the fans guessing to the winner for as dark skies hung over the speedway. The red flag flew on lap 22 for another major wreck involving Fullerton, Josh Woody and J.C. Newell with both Fullerton and Woody walking away but extensive damage to the cars.
On the restart, Allison was keeping Willard at bay with Donahue and Griffin dicing for 3rd spot right behind the leaders. The field slowed for a lap 26 caution as Griffin and Donahue touched while battling for 3rd while Willard and Allison were staging the race for the lead. Donahue went for a spin in turn 2 as Terry Smith and Peyton Lucas slightly touched behind the lead pack. Both Donahue and Griffin were sent to the rear as Smith went to the pits and Lucas was able to continue after a quick pit stop for front bumper damage.
Willard shot to the low side of leader Allison on the restart as they were side by side with veteran Terry Limberopoulos having a clean run holding off Kevin Donahue and JC Newell. Willard was able to execute the pass and record a 3 car length victory over Allison with a wild scramble for 3rd that had Limberopoulos grabbing the spot followed by Newell and Kevin Donahue.
For Willard, the win was very emotional as it marked the anniversary of his Grand-Father and track builder Bill Willard passing away. "I wanted this win tonight because of the date as Grandpa passed away in 2002, the last season the track was pavement. I learned a lot from grandpa and some of his vision was the reason we decided to take the track back to pavement in 2009. The car was fastest in practice and we won the fast heat, so I felt we had the car to beat tonight. Kaleb was really quick and gave me plenty of racing room when we were side by side racing for the lead. I guess I broke the teenage winning streak in Late Models tonight as the first 3 winners this season are under 20 years old." For Willard it was his second career Pro Late Model win at the High-Banks. Willard and Kevin Donahue captured the qualifying heat race victories.