First-timer Wells nips Keltner in Bardstown
By Michael DespainO'Reilly Battle of the Bluegrass DirtCar Series
BARDSTOWN, Ky. (June 14) — Outdueling Jason Keltner over the final seven laps, eighth-starting Eric Wells of Hazard, Ky., edged ahead exiting the final corner at Bluegrass Speedway to grab his first career O'Reilly Battle of the Bluegrass DirtCar Series victory. Wells earned $3,000 in winning the seventh annual June Jam, denying Campbellsville, Ky.'s Keltner his first series victory in a 30-lapper slowed by just two cautions. David Webb of Nicholasville, Ky., rallied from 15th to finish third while Victor Lee's unprecedented four-race win streak on the win series ended.
Initially the race set up as a showdown between Lee and front-row starter Brad Neat of Dunnville, Ky. Neat took the early lead, but Lee closed in just past the halfway point and began pressuring the leader amid traffic. Racing side-by-side down the frontstretch on lap 24, the frontrunners got together entering turn one. Both cars spun; Neat pulled to the pits with damage and Lee had to restart on the tail.
That put Wells on the point at lap 24, but Keltner's high-side charge moved him ahead on lap 26. Wells battled back and pulled within a car length as they took the white flag. Exiting turn two on the final lap, Wells got alongside Keltner on the backstretch, stuck the winning move in turns three and four and won the race to the checkered flag by just a few feet.
Notes: Eric Wells's winning Rocket Chassis has a Custom Race Engine and sponsorship from Blackstar Resources, B&W Resources, Wells Logging, Expressions Floral and Gifts, Convenient Lube and Virginia Drilling. ... Wells is the 50th winner all time on the series. ... Brad Neat, who ended up 22nd, was gunning for his second straight victory after a Thursday night triumph in the UMP DIRTcar Summernationals opener at Kentucky Lake Motor Speedway in Calvert City, Ky. ... David Webb (starting 15th, finishing third) was the PPM Racing Products Hard Charger. ... With the closing of Clinton County Speedway in Alpha, Ky., the series heads to Brownstown (Ind.) Speedway on June 28 for the 10th annual Lee Fleetwood Memorial, a $3,000-to-win event.
O'Reilly BoB @ Bluegrass: (1) Eric Wells, (2) Jason Keltner, (3) David Webb, (4) Tim Tungate, (5) Johnny Wheeler, (6) Victor Lee, (7) Mike Jewell, (8) Rocky Hodges, (9) Tyrel Todd, (10) Aaron Hatton, (11) Jesse Lay, (12) Cody Mahoney, (13) Scotty Earl, (14) Zach Carney, (15) Whitney McQueary, (16) Arnie Fields, (17) Larry Gray, (18) Bryant Woodcock, (19) Derek Fisher, (20) Rob Starkey, (21) Royce McGowan, (22) Brad Neat, (23) Dustin Neat, (24) Chris Combs. Fast qualifier (among 34 cars): Wheeler, 15.783 seconds. Heat race winners: Wheeler, B. Neat, Tungate, Lee. Consolation winners: Lay, Gray. Provisional starters: Fields, McGowan, D. Neat, Woodcock.