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Wesley Smith (Richard Bales photo)

Smith Stars In Wheatland Sprint War

WHEATLAND, Mo. — Wesley Smith took over the lead with 10 laps remaining and went on to earn his second POWRi War Sprint feature victory of the season during Saturday night’s 10th annual Impact Signs, Awning and Wraps Open Wheel Showdown at Lucas Oil Speedway.

“Everybody says before you move up, you have to be the best where you’re at and I think that’s what we’re trying to do,” Smith said. “I think we’re on our way and ready to move onto bigger and better things and it starts here with the WAR Series at Lucas Oil Speedway.”

Xavier Doney took the lead at the drop of the green from his outside front-row staring position with pole-starting Smith and Colten Cottle trading second and third over the first 15 laps.

That’s when Dustin Clark slipped his car in turn two to bring the race to a halt. By that point, Mario Clouser had advanced into third behind Doney and Smith with Cottle falling back to fourth with 10 to go.

Cottle spun on the restart, taking himself out of contention for the win. Then, after another caution before a green-flag lap could be completed, Doney took a spin in turn two to eliminate himself from a possible first career win.

“Hats off to Xavier Doney. I hated to see him lose like that. He was definitely one of the cars to beat,” Smith said. “I’m not saying we didn’t have anything for him, but … I think me and him … it was going to be a helluva show.”

“We worked for this one. I feel bad for Doney,” Smith said. “I think we would have had a great race in the end with him as well as Clouser and (Quinton) Benson coming up on the bottom. We had a fast car all night, I can’t thank this team enough.”

That elevated Smith to the top spot. Benson moved past Clouser by lap 20 and was 2.2 seconds behind Smith when another caution flew on lap 22.

Smith held on for the win, crossing the line 3.1 seconds in front of Benson with Clouser third and Joe B. Miller fourth after starting back in 17th.

Ryan Timms (ASCS sprint cars) and Emerson Axsom (POWRi midgets) also won features.

The finish:

Feature (25 Laps): 1. 44-Wesley Smith[1]; 2. 15B-Quinton Benson[4]; 3. 6-Mario Clouser[5]; 4. 31-Joe B Miller[17]; 5. 11W-Wyatt Burks[10]; 6. 54-Trey Gropp[19]; 7. 16-Anthony Nicholson[8]; 8. 24C-Craig Carroll[7]; 9. 24H-Ty Hulsey[9]; 10. 91-Riley Kreisel[21]; 11. 56-Mitchell Davis[6]; 12. 9H-Mitchell Moore[11]; 13. 26-Zach Clark[14]; 14. 5D-Zach Daum[20]; 15. 53-Brett Wilson[13]; 16. 41-Brad Wyatt[16]; 17. 74-Xavier Doney[2]; 18. 5C-Colten Cottle[3]; 19. 28-Kory Schudy[18]; 20. 7R-JD Black[22]; 21. 93-Taylor Walton[12]; 22. 76-Dustin Clark[15]; 23. 18-Wyatt Siegel[23]

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