Hayden Cardwell en route to victory at the virtual Fairbury American Legion Speedway. (World of Outlaws photo)

Cardwell Is Newest WoO iRacing Championship Winner

FAIRBURY, Ill. – Hayden Cardwell’s prowess on dirt ovals in iRacing World Championships had already been established prior to Monday night’s virtual World of Outlaws sprint car event at Fairbury American Legion Speedway.

The Tennessee native was already established on the late model side, having won his first career Morton Buildings Late Model World Championship start in 2019 and the series championship this summer.

But just three races into his iRacing World of Outlaws NOS Energy Sprint Car World Championship career, after having already taken the points lead last week at Knoxville, Cardwell scored his first World Championship win in a 410 at the virtual quarter-mile.

Top qualifier Cole Neuhalfen won the first heat, with Cardwell, Braden Eyler, and Logan Rumsey taking the other three heat wins.

Austen Semmelmann and Cole Cabre then took a pair of last chance races that would send top series veterans like James Edens, Rusty Kruger, and Adam Elby home early.

But when the field took the green flag for the 35-lap feature, Neuhalfen’s hopes of joining Dillon Semmelmann as drivers to score their first series win at Fairbury were dashed, as Cardwell immediately took the top spot and never looked back.

Eyler, last season’s breakout driver, was second, while two-time defending series champion Alex Bergeron completed the podium.

After coming in just one spot out of first, Bergeron managed to maintain a single-digit gap to Cardwell for the championship lead, but fellow former series champion Tim Ryan wasn’t so lucky.

Last week’s winner at Knoxville was a part of the third and final caution of the night, leaving him a disappointing 16th place, one lap down, and dropping him behind Nick Cooper to fourth in the standings.

The finish:

Hayden Cardwell, Braden Eyler, Alex Bergeron, Kendal Tucker, Colton Davis, Dillon Semmelmann, Tyler Ducharme, Nick Cooper, Tyler Schell, Austen Semmelmann, Logan Rumsey, JD Brown, Shae Paulo, Cole Neuhalfen, Mason Hannagan, Tim Ryan, Anthony Jobe, Alex Smolders, Cole Cabre, Cameron Merriman.

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