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Daily Dirt 09/30/2023 10:33:35

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April 14
Cherokee Speedway,
Gaffney, SC
Sanction: Fast Unified Engine Late Model Series - $2,500
Information provided by: Series and track reports (last updated April 15, 11:55 pm)
Watkins wins shortened Cherokee feature
  1. Ben Watkins
  2. Steve Banal
  3. Adam Yarbrough
  4. Robbie Emory
  5. Derrick Ramey
  6. Anthony Sanders
  7. Ricky Weeks
  8. Shaun Harrell
  9. Jay Sessoms
  10. Mark Dysart
  11. Michael Batten
  12. Brandon White
  13. Brandon Haley
  14. Travis Stoner
  15. Chuck Smith
  16. Brian Ledbetter
  17. Daulton Wilson
  18. Josh Richeson
  19. Willie Milliken
  20. Lance Moss
  21. Jeff Cooke
  22. Doug Sanders
presented by
Zack Kloosterman/ZSK Photography
Ben Watkins visits victory lane at Cherokee Speedway.
What won the race: Ben Watkins of Rock Hill, S.C., swept Saturday’s Fast Unified Engine Late Model Series action at Cherokee, setting fast time, winning his heat and leading flag-to-flag for his second career FUEL triumph. Watkins topped Steve Banal and Adam Yarbrough in earning $2,500 in a race with a serious lap-21 accident that injured pitside observers.
Key notes: Watkins, the polesitter, finished 1.400 seconds ahead of Banal. … Watkins’ previous FUEL victory came June 3, 2017 at Lavonia (Ga.) Speedway. … The race was red-flagged on lap 21 for a grinding crash involving multiple cars. Brian Ledbetter struck the inside wall destroying a large section of the fence atop the concrete barrier separating the track from the infield. Ledbetter’s car flipped over and came to rest on the track. He walked away from the incident under his own power. … Two spectators were taken to a local hospital with non-life threatening injuries after being struck by debris, according to a Speed51.com report. ... The feature, scheduled for 35 laps, was shortened to 30 laps. ... Fifteen cars completed all 30 laps.
On the move: Shaun Harrell of Raeford, N.C., improved seven spots after starting 15th.
Winner's sponsors: Watkins drives a Rocket Chassis with a Clements Racing Engine that is sponsored by Craig Industries, Baird Transport, Cartersville Country Winery, Heintz Bros Performance, Indocil Art, Sandwood Company, Inc., and A-Mobile Storage.
Points chase: It was FUEL’s season opener.
Car count: 26
Fast qualifier: Ben Watkins
Time: 15.554 seconds
Polesitter: Ben Watkins
Heat race winners: Ben Watkins, Steve Banal, Anthony Sanders
Next series race: April 21, Fayetteville Motor Speedway (Fayetteville, NC) $3,000
Editor's note: Results and race details are unofficial.

Feature lineup

Row 1: Watkins, Banal
Row 2: A. Sanders, Yarbrough
Row 3: Weeks, Haley
Row 4: Ramey, Sessoms
Row 5: Emory, Batten
Row 6: Moss, Milliken
Row 7: Dysart, Ledbetter
Row 8: Harrell, White
Row 9: Wilson, D. Sanders
Row 10: Cooke, Stoner
Row 11: Richerson, Smith

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