Daniel Breaks Through In Sprint Invaders

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Mason Daniel, shown earlier this season, won Thursday's Sprint Invaders feature at Lee County Speedway. (Paul Arch photo)
Mason Daniel, shown earlier this season, won Thursday's Sprint Invaders feature at Lee County Speedway. (Paul Arch photo)

DONNELLSON, Iowa — Mason Daniel claimed his first Sprint Invaders victory Thursday night at Lee County Speedway.

The win was worth $1,500 to the Springville, Calif., native and came aboard the Mason Daniel Racing No. 33m.

Ayrton Gennetten, who had dominated the Golden Eagle Distributors Shake-up Dash, took the early lead from outside row on in the 20-lap main event.  Sixteen-year-old Riley Goodno, who was making his first Sprint Invaders appearance, trailed him from the pole, followed by Daniel, Kaley Gharst and Josh Higday.

Colton Fisher spun with a lap in the books, bringing the first of two cautions. The second came on the restart.  Gharst shot from fourth to second on the dry surface, before something went awry in turn three for him, and he spun to the infield and out of the race.

Gennetten led Goodno, Daniel, Higday and Jamie Ball back to green. Daniel quickly ducked under Goodno into second and pursued the leader, while Ball garnered fourth. 2016 series champion, Chris Martin, was on the move as well, having worked from his 14th starting spot to fifth by lap four.

Gennetten entered lapped traffic on the ninth circuit. Two laps later, a lapped car got sideways in front of him. The third-generation driver from Missouri checked up, and Daniel seized the opportunity, exploding into the lead. About the same time, Ball worked his way by Goodno into third.

Daniel pulled away to the checkers ahead of Gennetten, Ball, hard-charger Martin and Goodno.

“Early in the race, I was able to get third, and get to second after a couple yellows,” said Daniel. “It was mainly about saving your tires. Once the rubber came in, I knew if I could stay within somewhat of a distance to him…when we got in lapped traffic, it would be harder for him.  That’s what happened, and once we got the lead, we never looked back. I first came here last year and ran fifth. I came here earlier this year in a 410 and got second. Now, I finally got to get a win here. It’s pretty cool. It’s a very fun race track. It’s up there in my favorites.”

“Both times I’ve been here, the same thing happened,” said Gennetten.  “The last time, (Josh) Schneiderman and I were racing for the lead and a lapped car spun out in front of us and took us out. This time, a lapped car just got shoved up in the loose stuff and came down the track. I thought he was going to the infield, so I sort of checked up. That’s all Mason needed to get by me.  We were fast all night. I can’t say enough about the help we had tonight. It was great to have Jeff (Mitrisin) helping us. We were fast. Sometimes it just doesn’t go that way. We’ll see what’s in store for us Saturday at Knoxville.”

The finish:

Mason Daniel, Ayrton Gennetten, Jamie Ball, Chris Martin, Riley Goodno, Josh Higday, John Schulz, Carson McCarl, Parker Price-Miller, Harold Pohren, Cody Wehrle, Josh Schneiderman, Tanner Gebhardt, Daniel Bergquist, Dustin Selvage, Dustin Clark, Justin Buchholz, Colton Fisher, Kaley Gharst, Jon Agan.