BOONE, Iowa (April 30) — Sometimes it’s better to be lucky than good, but it’s almost always better to be both. That’s exactly what Shannon Babb was in Friday’s second of two Hawkeye 100 preliminary night features at Boone Speedway.
Taking advantage of a 12-car invert that put him on the pole of Friday’s second World of Outlaws Morton Buildings Late Model Series feature at Boone, Babb of Moweaqua, Ill., cruised to a $3,000 victory in the 25-lapper. The victory didn’t count for WoO championship points, but that didn’t matter to Babb, who was still awarded an official feature win by the series, the 13th of his career on the tour.
“We were a little bit behind there in the first race,” said Babb, who started 10th and finished 12th in Friday’s first 25-lap prelim feature that was won by Cade Dillard. “We kind of missed it, but in this business you have to have a lot of luck. When we finished 12th (in the first feature) I thought there’s no way they’re going to roll a 12 (for the invert that determined the second feature’s starting lineup). Sure enough they rolled a 12 and it put us on the pole. Starting up front helped us a whole bunch, but that’s part of it.”
After slipping behind second-starting Logan Martin of West Plains, Mo., on the race’s initial start, Babb quickly recovered to move out front on lap four. He cruised through most of the race and maintained a safe lead through traffic before a pair of late cautions gave second-running Frank Heckenast Jr. a chance to challenge him in the closing laps.
But Babb pulled away on each of the two restarts and ran unheeded to the victory. He took the checkers 1.323 seconds ahead of Heckenast, who advanced form the sixth starting spot to finish second. Fifth-starting Tyler Burening of Decorah, Iowa picked up a couple of spots late in the race to finish third, while Spencer Diercks of Davenport, Iowa, finished where he started in the fourth spot and Martin slid back to fifth at the finish.
Friday’s action featured a pair of 25-lap, $3,000-to-win preliminary features; originally the field was to be split for the two races, but with 24 cars signed in WoO officials decided to have all entrants run both events. The first 25-lapper was aligned from time trials and offered full WoO points; the nightcap had a 12-car inversion from the first race's finish and was a non-point WoO A-main. Drivers' accumulated event points from Friday's time trials and twin features to be used to set up the heat races for Saturday's $30,000-to-win Hawkeye 100.
Billy Moyer (21), Batesville, Ark., 14.577
Brandon Sheppard (1), New Berlin, Ill., 14.608
Cade Dillard (97), Robeline, La., 14.629
Bobby Pierce (32), Oakwood, Ill., 14.639
Frank Heckenast Jr. (99jr), Frankfort, Ill., 14.648
Chris Madden (44), Gray Court, S.C., 14.698
Ryan Gustin (19), Marshalltown, Iowa, 14.793
Tyler Bruening (16), Decorah, Iowa, 14.843
Boom Briggs (99B), Bear Lake, Pa., 14.919
Shannon Babb (18), Moweaqua, Ill., 14.982
Dennis Erb Jr. (28), Carpentersville, Ill., 15.033
Spencer Diercks (29D), Davenport, Iowa, 15.035
Gordy Gundaker (11), St. Charles, Mo., 15.095
Chris Simpson (32), Oxford, Iowa, 15.117
Chad Mahder (33C), Eau Claire, Wis., 15.232
Daniel Hilsabeck (22H), Adel, Iowa, 15.390
Logan Martin (36), West Plains, Mo., 15.455
Richie Gustin Jr. (19G), Marshalltown, Iowa, 15.471
Ricky Weiss (7W), Headingley, Manitoba, 15.488
Kyle Strickler (8), Mooresville, N.C., 15.510
Jeremy Grady (43), Story City, Iowa, 15.514
Brent Larson (B1), Lake Elmo, Minn., 15.812
Chase Junghans (18), Manhattan, Kan., 15.915
Brennon Willard (3W), Lebanon, Mo., 15.972