WHEATLAND, Mo. — Wesley Smith used a late-race pass to win the POWRi WAR non-winged sprint car portion of the 11th annual Jesse Hockett/Daniel McMillin Memorial Saturday night at Lucas Oil Speedway.
Smith took over the lead on lap 28 and held on the final two circuits to claim the $3,077 victory.
Smith, who also won on Friday night, finished about three car lengths in front of runner-up Xavier Doney.
“This is our Chili Bowl right here,” an excited Smith said in victory lane, following his sixth WAR feature win of 2021. “This car was on rails tonight.”
Smith and his crew had to install a new engine after his power plant barely held together to win Friday night’s feature. That helped set him up with a third-starting position in Saturday’s main event.
Doney started on the pole and the early pace with Clouser and Smith battling it out for second through six laps, when the race ground to a half as Paul White rolled his car on the front straightaway to bring out the red flag.
On the restart, Clouser vaulted past Doney and into the lead. A lap later, Smith moved into second with Jack Wagner third as Doney slipped back to fourth place as a caution flew following a four-car incident on lap nine.
Doney rallied back into second by the time the race hit the midpoint, on lap 15, trailing Clouser by 1.5 seconds. Clouser caught lapped traffic by lap 22, holding a 1.8-second lead over Doney with Smith in third and Wagner fourth.
Smith passed Doney for second and closed in on Clouser on lap 26, pulling right behind the leader. Then Smith was able to make the decisive pass on the high side of turn two on lap 28 with Doney also getting past Clouser on the white-flag lap.
Smith held on from there to win by eight-tenths of a second over Doney, a 15-year-old from Odessa. Wagner finished third with Clouser fading to fourth and Kory Schudy coming home in fifth.
“Man, I”m no good at running the bottom,” Smith said. “I knew if I wanted to pass, I wasn’t going to do it on the bottom, so I might as well try the top.
“That was a crazy race. That track was very intimidating. I love it when it’s on the wall and whoever is fearless enough and tear it up if that’s what it takes.”
Feature (30 laps): 1. 44-Wesley Smith; 2. 74-Xavier Doney; 3. 77-Jack Wagner; 4. 6-Mario Clouser; 5. 28-Kory Schudy; 6. 1#-Justin Zimmerman; 7. 20G-Noah Gass; 8. 5D-Zach Daum; 9. 24X-Casey Shuman; 10. 5C-Colten Cottle; 11. 15B-Quinton Benson; 12. 24-Landon Simon; 13. 91-Riley Kreisel; 14. 21-Caleb Stelzig; 15. 73-Samuel Wagner; 16. 36-Tyler Edwards; 17. 51B-Joe B Miller; 18. 44H-Jason Howell; 19. 16-Anthony Nicholson; 20. 41-Brad Wyatt; 21. 79X-Keith Martin; 22. 29T-Ryan Timmons; 23. 11W-Wyatt Burks; 24. 89-Todd McVay; 25. 1-Paul White