CANTON, Ill. – Despite starting 11th, Tennessee’s Anthony Nicholson methodically marched his way through the field to win Saturday night’s POWRi Lucas Oil WAR Sprint League event at Spoon River Speedway.
Nicholson charged into contention for the lead by halfway of the 25-lap main event, sneaking by Mario Clouser and Kory Schudy, to assume the lead on lap 13 and holding on for his second-career series victory.
A four-car inversion pulled by Mitchell Davis lined the feature field up with Mario Clouser and Joe B. Miller on the front row.
Clouser claimed the initial lead aboard his Yokahoma Tires No. 6, but his control was short-lived, as Kory Schudy made a wild four-wide move down the backstretch and slid underneath Clouser to take the lead on the second circuit.
Schudy started to run away, in firm command before a caution on lap 12 bunched the field up and changed the entire narrative.
On the ensuing restart, Clouser took a peek to the inside of Schudy into turn one, but slight contact created a bobble and Nicholson took advantage by slipping into second.
He didn’t stop there, however, as coming out of turn four Nicholson dipped inside of Schudy and drove by him down the frontstretch to assume the lead on lap 13.
Checking out as the laps wound down, Nicholson’s lead only grew until a lap-23 caution set up a nail-biting green-white-checkered restart to decide it all.
Determined to break through for his first Spoon River triumph, Clouser showed his nose and dove into turn one looking to squeeze by Nicholson for the lead. However, as Clouser caught Nicholson’s left rear, the No. 6 went spinning.
Clouser saved his car with a quick 360 recovery, but faltered to the tail of the field in heartbreaking fashion.
Keeping the DHR Suspension/Razor Edge Graphics No. 16 Maxim under control, Nicholson remained calm, cool and collected as he survived the final two laps to pick up the victory.
Miller brought the McGarry Motorsports No. 31B home with a second-place finish, while Riley Kreisel snuck his way on the podium with a sixth-to-third burst on the final restart.
Current point leader Schudy finished in fourth and Logan Faucon rounded out the top five.
Wesley Smith crossed the line in sixth, followed by Korey Weyant, Don Droud Jr., Jack Wagner and Trey Gropp.
Feature (25 laps): 1. 16-Anthony Nicholson (11); 2. 31B-Joe B. Miller (2); 3. 90-Riley Kreisel (5); 4. 28-Kory Schudy (3); 5. 52F-Logan Faucon (8); 6. 12-Wesley Smith (6); 7. 99-Korey Weyant (12); 8. 1M-Don Droud Jr. (15); 9. 77-Jack Wagner (9); 10. 54-Trey Gropp (13); 11. 6-Mario Clouser (1); 12. 2A-Austin Archdale (16); 13. 77K-Katlynn Leer (20); 14. 22S-Slater Helt (14); 15. 6B-Andy Baugh (10); 16. 4-Braydon Cromwell (7); 17. 7C-Craig Campton (18); 18. 20-Steve Thomas (19); 19. 56-Mitchell Davis (4); 20. 29-Mitch Wissmiller (17); 21. N2-Nic Harris (DNS).
Lap Leader(s): Clouser 1, Schudy 2-12, Nicholson 13-25.
Hard Charger: Nicholson (+10)