BELLEVILLE, Ill. — C.J. Leary outlasted all competitors at Lake Ozark Speedway, claiming the season opening Lucas Oil POWRi Wingless Auto Racing Sprint League feature event.
Flying out of the gate with a 13.846-second group-qualifying lap would find Brady Bacon throwing down the top time as Leary, Alex Bright, Shane Cockrum, and Jack Wagner each would earn their heat race victory with Robert Ballou notching the semi-feature checkers.
Launching into a packed-house feature, C.J. Leary and Jack Wagner would pace the field as Leary would gain control of the front.
Intense green flag racing would find Brady Bacon running down and passing C.J. Leary just after the mid-way point by slinging a high-side move and using lap traffic as a pick on Leary with Mario Clouser in a close third.
Caution flags would fly just after the lead change with Bacon and Leary locked into a fierce battle for the front with Alex Bright, Robert Ballou, and Shane Cockrum battling for the preferred line inside the top-five.
With seven laps remaining, the leading Brady Bacon would misjudge the low-line while protecting the front from a high-side running Robert Ballou and spin to bring out the late-race caution.
Restarting strong, the hard-charging Robert Ballou would inherit the lead with C.J. Leary and Shane Cockrum starting inside the podium placings with Leary quickly gaining on the leading Ballou.
Slipping once would find Leary grabbing the lead from Ballou as both drivers would display their driving prowess.
Leading the final revolutions, C.J. Leary would earn the feature victory with Robert Ballou placing second and Shane Cockrum third.
“I felt like we were done after we lost the lead,” Leary said, “but the track was tricky and really came into its own late.”
Feature (30 Laps): 1. 77M-CJ Leary; 2. 12-Robert Ballou; 3. 66-Shane Cockrum; 4. 33M-Matt Westfall; 5. 67-Jason McDougal; 6. 44-Wesley Smith; 7. 77-Jack Wagner; 8. 28-Kory Schudy; 9. 21AZ-Jake Swanson; 10. 52-Isaac Chapple; 11. 31-Zach Daum; 12. 6-Mario Clouser; 13. 77K-Katlynn Leer; 14. 98-Brady Bacon; 15. 75-Dustin Clark; 16. 11W-Wyatt Burks; 17. 2B-Chad Boespflug; 18. 16-Anthony Nicholson; 19. 21H-Dallas Hewitt; 20. 28M-Brandon Mattox; 21. 17GP-Kyle Shipley; 22. 20-Alex Bright; 23. 21S-Carson Short; 24. 24-Landon Simon.