ABILENE, Texas (May 19, 2012) – Current ASCS 305-ci Sprint Car points leader John Carney II snared his third series win of the year by taking the $1,200 winner’s share in Saturday night’s 25-lap main event at Abilene Speedway.
But, the triumph for the El Paso, TX, native didn’t come without a last-lap bid from Alamogordo, New Mexico’s Kyle McCutcheon, with the pair wheel-to-wheel exiting turn four with the checkered flag in sight.
“He whizzed right alongside up high in one and two, so I knew I had to bonzai three and four to beat him,” Carney II explained. “But he bonzaied it with me, I gave him just enough room to not go off the track and that was all.”
Carney II edged McCutcheon at the line, denying a victory drive from the 15th starting position for the New Mexico shoe.
With Carney II gridding the feature field outside the second row, Preston Peebles II and Brandon Williams led the way to the green flag. Peebles II gunned into the early lead, with Brandon Black and Carney II moving in to put on the heat in short order.
With Peebles II and Black working the low side, Carney II worked the middle of the track and surged to the front on the tenth round. Carney II began to slip away, leaving Peebles II, Black, Derek Drown and Rickey Hood to battle for position. Hood’s run came to an end after 16 laps when he slowed in turn four with front end damage after contact with Drown.
While Carney II cruised out front, McCutcheon began marching forward at the midway point and was among the top five with just five laps to go. And, after picking off both Drown and Peebles II, McCutcheon was third behind Carney II and Black when the final caution flew for a Billy Briley spin in turn four with just four laps remaining.
McCutcheon worked his way past Black for second within a lap and began reeling in Carney II. When Carney II missed his mark in turn four with the white flag in sight, McCutcheon took advantage and pulled even through turns one and two on the final circuit to set up the dramatic duel through the final two corners for the win.
Black claimed the show position behind Carney II and McCutcheon, with Peebles II and Drown rounding out the top five. David Burns was sixth, with Brandon Williams, John Carney, Don Grable and Brandon Schure completing the top ten.
Drown, Carney II and Hood topped Saturday night’s heat races.
Abilene Speedway ASCS 305-ci Sprint Car Results:
First Heat (8 Laps): 1. 74b-Derek Drown, 2. 77-Colt Treharn, 3. 52nm-David Burns, 4. 186-Don Grable, 5. 0c-Leighton Crouch, 6. 16-Cory Riley.
Second Heat (8 Laps): 1. 224-John Carney II, 2. 2x-Brandon Williams, 3. 11p-Preston Peebles II, 4. 05-Billy Briley, 5. 12m-Kyle McCutcheon, 6. 4-Jerril Higginbotham.
Third Heat (8 Laps): 1. 1x-Rickey Hood, 2. 777-Brandon Black, 3. 58-Gary Floyd, 4. 7c-John Carney, 5. 24-Scott Pace, 6. 21tx-Brandon Schure.
"A" Feature (25 Laps): 1. 224-John Carney II, 2. 12m-Kyle McCutcheon, 3. 777-Brandon Black, 4. 11p-Preston Peebles II, 5. 74b-Derek Drown, 6. 52nm-David Burns, 7. 2x-Brandon Williams, 8. 7c-John Carney, 9. 186-Don Grable, 10. 21tx-Brandon Schure, 11. 0c-Leighton Crouch, 12. 24-Scott Pace, 13. 05-Billy Briley, 14. 4-Jerril Higginbotham, 15. 1x-Rickey Hood, 16. 58-Gary Floyd, 17. 77-Colt Treharn, 18. 16-Cory Riley.
Photo Credit: Lynn Thurman