VINTON, Iowa — Cayden Carter held off a succession of heavy-hitting veterans in winning Tuesday’s Karl Performance Hawkeye Dirt Tour presented by XSAN opener at Benton County Speedway.
A week and a half shy of his 18th birthday, the second-year IMCA Xtreme Motor Sports Modified speedster started outside pole and was scored first on all but one of 30 circuits in the $1,000 to win main event.
J.D. Auringer was inches ahead at the end of lap 19, but Carter was back in front for good the next time around.
Scott Hogan caught Auringer for second following the final restart of the race, with seven laps to go. But neither had anything for Carter, who took the checkers nearly half the straightaway ahead of Hogan.
Colt Mather and Mark Schulte completed the top five.
Auringer improved a dozen places from his original starting spot. Schulte was a plus 13 on the night.
His series career first victory puts Carter on the ballot for this fall’s Fast Shafts All-Star Invitational. He’d withstood early race challenges from Patrick Flannagan and Richie Gustin.
Nick Roberts started 10th, took the lead on the 12th of 15 laps and led to the checkers in the Karl Chevrolet Northern SportMod feature.
Benji Irvine won the caution-free 15-lapper for IMCA Sunoco Hobby Stocks despite a brief excursion off the track on the second set of turns with two laps to go.
Tyler Whalen earned the Mach-1 Sport Compact feature win.