WHEATLAND, Mo. — Mario Clouser, made it two feature wins in the two preliminary nights for the POWRi Lucas Oil WAR Sprints, driving away to win by a straightaway margin over runner-up Casey Shuman Friday at Lucas Oil Speedway.
Clouser took the lead on lap 14 and dominated the rest of the way. The success the first two nights nailed down the pole position for him for Saturday night’s $3,077-to-win finale.
Asked what has made his program so successful, Clouser said it was pretty simple.
“I’ve put a lot of work into it, I guess,” Clouser said, adding that the track was a lot different than a night earlier when it was extremely dry slick.
“Early on I was running the bottom and slowly those guys started to pull away,” Clouser said. “So I knew I had to do something different. I started to run (leader Colten Cottle) down and then the lapped car made it a little easier there to seal the deal.”
Cottle started outside of the front row and jumped to the lead, opening as much as a 2.1-second advantage by lap eight over Garrett Aitken.Clouser gradually closed in from his fifth starting position and moved into second by lap 11, whittling away at Cottle’s lead.
Clouser took over the point on lap 14, passing Cottle coming off turn two.
On lap later, the race’s first caution came out to bunch things up. Casey Shuman, Anthony Nicholson and Cottle followed the two leaders as the race went back to green.
Clouser made it a runaway from there, getting a clean restart and breezing to a second straight $1,500 triumph. Shuman was second with Aitken in third, Cottle fourth and Wyatt Burks in fifth.
Feature (25 Laps): 1. 6-Mario Clouser; 2. 24X-Casey Shuman; 3. 32-Garrett Aitken; 4. 5C-Colten Cottle; 5. 11W-Wyatt Burks; 6. 91-Riley Kreisel; 7. 28-Kory Schudy; 8. 31-Joe B Miller; 9. 16-Anthony Nicholson; 10. 8D-Terry Babb; 11. 33M-Matt Westfall; 12. 311-Quinton Benson; 13. 5D-Zach Daum; 14. 12-Wesley Smith; 15. 37-Brian Beebe; 16. 77M-RJ Johnson; 17. 77K-Katlynn Leer; 18. 74-Xavier Doney; 19. 22S-Slater Helt; 20. 73-Samuel Wagner; 21. 24-Landon Simon; 22. 77-Jack Wagner; 23. 9W-Justin Zimmerman