GRANITE CITY, Ill. — After storming around the outside of Colten Cottle on the second circuit, Korey Weyant went the distance on Friday night at Tri-City Speedway to win the POWRi Lucas Oil WAR Sprint League debut at the three-eighths-mile track.
Fending off a hard-charging Riley Kreisel in the closing laps, Weyant held on for his 14th-career triumph, extending his record as the winningest driver in WAR history.
Drawing a six-car inversion as the LRB Inc. High Point Man after his eighth-to-first heat race bid, Zach Daum was relegated to the third row of the main event, while Weyant and Colten Cottle brought the field to the green flag.
Cottle, a WAR winner at Champaign (Ill.) Fairgrounds last July, assumed the initial lead after outlasting a three-wide battle into turn one with Weyant and Anthony Nicholson.
As Cottle crept around the bottom, Weyant wound up the outside and put his No. 99 against the cushion, driving around Cottle for the lead on the second lap.
While Weyant pulled away in command, attention turned to second as the battle for the runner-up spot was heating up between Cottle, Daum and Kreisel. Ripping around the top, Kreisel drove by both of his competitors and set his sights on Weyant at the halfway mark.
Throwing a line out and reeling Weyant in like a fish on the water, Kreisel quickly tracked down the No. 99 and was set to offer a thrilling fight for the lead.
As Kreisel elected to tread the cushion all the way around, Weyant was keen to the bottom of turns three and four. However, with lap traffic looming and Kreisel hot on his heels, Weyant made the move to the top all the way around, a potential race-saving move.
The final restart fired off with 10 laps to go and Weyant yanked Kreisel down the frontstretch to begin the short run with a strong advantage. The Warsaw, Mo., teenager threw it all out there in the closing laps as he put it against the fence and narrowed the gap between he and Weyant, but unfortunately it was not enough to make a move.
Weyant held on to find victory lane in the POWRi Lucas Oil WAR Sprint League debut at Tri-City Speedway with a commanding run, while defending POWRi Lucas Oil WAR Sprint League champion Kreisel brought the No. 90 home with a close second-place finish.
Rounding out the podium with an impressive 10th-to-third charge was Mitchell Davis. Mario Clouser romped from 17th to finish fourth, with Kory Schudy fifth.
Feature (25 Laps): 1. 99-Korey Weyant (1); 2. 90-Riley Kreisel (4); 3. 56-Mitchell Davis (10); 4. 6-Mario Clouser (17); 5. 28-Kory Schudy (14); 6. 12-Wesley Smith (18); 7. 16-Anthony Nicholson (3); 8. 29-Mitch Wissmiller (8); 9. 31M-Joe B. Miller (9); 10. 1M-Don Droud Jr. (19); 11. 5C-Colten Cottle (2); 12. 52F-Logan Faucon (16); 13. 77K-Katlynn Leer (5); 14. 77-Jack Wagner (7); 15. 54-Trey Gropp (15); 16. 5D-Zach Daum (6); 17. 8D-Justin Standridge (20); 18. 4X-Brad Greenup (12); 19. 11-James Lyerla (13); 20. 22S-Slater Helt (11).