Robert Ballou Stuns POWRi Sprint Car Foes

Robert Ballou is now officially entered into the Budweiser Oval Nationals. (Mark Funderburk photo)

FAIRBURY, Ill. — Robert Ballou made his POWRi Lucas Oil WAR East Sprint League debut in stunning fashion coming out victorious at the league’s season finale at Fairbury American Legion Speedway.

Sprint Mania gathered a wide variety of drivers for the inaugural event with nine different states represented among the field of 31 cars. Ballou bested the group over Dave Darland, Joe B. Miller, Landon Simon and champion Korey Weyant rounded out the top five.

The feature event was full of big sliders, close calls, and drama. Mario Clouser and Joe B. Miller led the 22-car starting field to green flag racing Saturday night with Miller leading lap one while Ballou sat third, but he didn’t waste any time before throwing a slide job in turns three and four to take over second.

The yellow flag flew early on in the race for Mitch Wissmiller and Kevin Thomas Jr., who tangled and came to a stop in turns three and four.

When the green flag came back out, a fierce battle within the top five continued to heat up. Joe B. Miller remained in the lead while Tyler Courtney challenged Ballou for second and then Dave Darland showed his nose to challenge Courtney for third. Courtney found enough momentum coming off of turn two and threw the slider at Ballou in turns three and four to make the pass for second leaving Ballou now in third.

As Miller began to catch lapped traffic, the red flag would wave for Terry Babb who got above the cushion in turns three and four and upside down.

The green flag waved and Courtney was hot on Miller’s trail as he followed him down the backstretch. Courtney threw the slide job for the lead, Miller crossed over and they drag raced down the front straightaway to the crowd’s delight. Courtney was the new race leader.

Courtney remained in a comfortable lead while Ballou and Darland worked their way past Joe B. Miller. Ballou began reeling Courtney in as he caught lapped traffic. Ballou pressured Courtney in turns three and four, but Courtney remained in the lead until he made contact with lap car Kevin Thomas Jr. in turns one and two and flipped with four laps to go.

With an open race track and four laps left ahead of him, Ballou would go on to snag his first POWRi Lucas Oil WAR East win of his career and a stellar $4,000 payday over Darland.

Korey Weyant was crowned the 2017 POWRi Lucas Oil WAR East champion Saturday night after wrapping up the title season over Terry Babb by 107 points.

The finish:

Robert Ballou, Dave Darland, Joe B. Miller, Landon Simon, Korey Weyant, Mario Clouser, Mitchell Davis, Josh Hodges, Anthony Nicholson, Logan Faucon, Chad Wilson, Allen Hafford, Patrick Haynes, James Lyerla, Steve Thomas, Buddy Lowther, George Gaertner III, Tyler Courtney, Kevin Thomas Jr., Katlynn Leer, Terry Babb, Mitch Wissmiller.