Ben Watkins Wins Lavonia Speedway World of Outlaw Late Models Event!

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Photo by Jacy Norgaard

RED CLAY REDEMPTION: Watkins takes first World of Outlaws win of his career in Lavonia

The Rock Hill, SC driver survived multiple restarts and a challenge from Tyler Bruening to find Victory Lane

LAVONIA, GA – September 3, 2021 – In 2019, Ben Watkins burst a tire while directing a World of Outlaws feature at Lancaster Speedway. It’s the heartbreak that he thought he would never fix.

Watkins finally received his redemption Friday night at Lavonia Speedway, leading all 40 laps to win the Charlie Mize Memorial. He is the fifth driver to win his first World of Outlaws feature of his career in 2021.

Watkins started on the outside pole alongside Rookie of the Year contender Tyler Bruening, looking for his first World of Outlaws win. As the green flag fell, the two thundered side-by-side into turns 1 and 2 before Watkins carried his momentum around the 16-inch car and instantly shot to the top of the stern.

This wasn’t the last time Watkins saw Bruening when the Decorah, IA driver peeked under him and pulled him on lap 19 on lap traffic. A warning on lap 24 gave Watkins some breathing space so he could win the first race lap at a time.

“When we got the lap traffic, they were two wide and they were racing,” said Watkins. “The dirty track messed up my car a bit and it was difficult to maneuver through it. The way the warnings went out, I wasn’t upset. “

Three warnings plagued the second half of the 40-round feature, but they couldn’t have come at a better time for Watkins. He knew he had just enough laps to avoid the traffic and another possible fight with Brüning.

“We had this restart when we were 11 [laps] I think it was, and I was hoping this would be just enough not to hit the lap traffic, ”said Watkins. “We caught them at the very end and had just enough head start to settle in there and it worked out perfectly for us.”

Brüning, the best rookie of the race, finished second, his best result of the season. Decorah, IA driver knew he had a lot of work to do on first start since he was down.

“It was just a little slimy on the bottom and you really just wanted to be on that outer groove,” said Brüning. “We put a whole night together, in the end just one place too short. We’ve been really good all night and I’m really proud of the effort to come back [Thursday]. “

Three-time defending champion Brandon Sheppard crossed the finish line in third, his 22nd podium in 2021. The New Berlin driver, IL, thought he might have had a chance if Watkins had spent more time facing the traffic.

“I felt we had a strong car and once we were out there it was hard to overtake,” said Sheppard. “I was hoping for more time in lap traffic than we had, just to get things straight to the point, but all in all we’re happy with a top three.”

One night after winning the $ 40,000 Cherokee Speedway, Brandon Overton finished fourth and Zack Mitchell rounded out the top five.

Ben Watkins earned his redemption on Friday at Lavonia Speedway. It’s an opportunity he thought would never happen again and one he will cherish for the rest of his career.

“I didn’t really think I’d ever get another chance; these opportunities are rare, ”said Watkins.

NEXT: The world’s most powerful late models Travel to Tennessee for the fourth time in 2021 for a stop at Volunteer Speedway in Bulls Gap, TN.

If you can’t make it onto the track, you can watch all the action live DIRTVision – either online or via the DIRTVision app

Morton Buildings feature (40 laps) –1. 16W-Ben Watkins [2][$10,000]; 2. 16-Tyler Brüning [1][$6,000]; 3.1-Brandon Sheppard [4][$3,500]; 4. 76 Brandon overtone [6][$2,800]; 5. 57-point Mitchell [5][$2,500]; 6. 18D-Daulton Wilson [7][$2,300]; 7. 79 – Ross Bailes [15][$2,200]; 8. 7-Ricky Weiss [10][$2,100]; 9. 28-Dennis Erb [14][$2,050]; 10. 44-Chris Madden [13][$2,000]; 11. 42 Cla Knights [3][$1,600]; 12. 88-Trent Ivey [17][$1,400]; 13. 19R-Ryan Gustin [16][$1,200]; 14. 4-Ryan Wilson [23][$1,100]; 15. F1-Payton Freeman [8][$1,050]; 16. 1C-Kenny Collins [9][$1,000]; 17. 99B-Boom Briggs [20][$1,000]; 18. 1D Brent Dixon [18][$1,000]; 19. B1-Brent Larson [11][$1,000]; 20. 22S-Nick Schlager [21][$1,000]; 21. 24D-Michael Brown [12][$1,000]; 22. 21-Will Harris [22][$1,000]; 23. 18E-Ethan Wilson [19][$1,000]; 24. 87-Wanderer Arthur [24][$1,000] Hard charger: 4-Ryan Wilson[+9]

Qualification –1. 57-point Mitchell, 15,378; 2. 1-Brandon Sheppard, 15,527; 3. 16W-Ben Watkins, 15,535; 4. 16-Tyler Brüning, 15,566; 5. 76-Brandon Overton, 15,679; 6. 42 Cla Knights, 15,751; 7. 7-Ricky Weiss, 15,761; 8. B1-Brent Larson, 15,767; 9. 1C-Kenny Collins, 15,769; 10. 18D-Daulton Wilson, 15,779; 11. F1-Payton Freeman, 15,804; 12. 24D Michael Brown, 15,812; 13. 18E-Ethane Wilson, 15,825; 14. 88-Trent Ivey, 15.841; 15. 1D-Brent Dixon, 15.917; 16. 44- Chris Madden, 15,946; 17. 28-Dennis Erb, 15.97; 18. 79-Ross Bailes, 15.99; 19. 19R-Ryan Gustin, 15,999; 20. 99B-Boom Briggs, 16,031; 21. 87-Wanderer Arthur, 16.051; 22. 21-Will Harris, 16,119; 23. 4-Ryan Wilson, 16,201; 24. 22S-Nick Schlager, 16,248; 25. 22-Chris Ferguson, NT; DNS. O5 Corey Roulette, NT

Drydene Heat # 1 (10 Rounds) – Top 8 Transfer-1. 16-Tyler Brüning [2]; 2. 57-point Mitchell [1]; 3. 18D-Daulton Wilson [4]; 4. 7-Ricky Weiss [3]; 5. 44-Chris Madden [6]; 6. 19R-Ryan Gustin [7]; 7. 18E-Ethan Wilson [5]; 8. 21-Will Harris [8]; 9. 22-Chris Ferguson [9]

Drydene Heat # 2 (10 Rounds) – Top 8 Transfer-1. 76 Brandon overtone [2]; 2.1-Brandon Sheppard [1]; 3. F1-Payton Freeman [4]; 4. B1-Brent Larson [3]; 5. 28-Dennis Erb [6]; 6. 88-Trent Ivey [5]; 7. 99B-Boom Briggs [7]; 8. 4-Ryan Wilson [8]; 9. O5 Corey Roulette [9]

Drydene Heat # 3 (10 laps) – Top 8 Transfer-1. 16W-Ben Watkins [1]; 2. 42 Cla knights [2]; 3.1C-Kenny Collins [3]; 4. 24D-Michael Brown [4]; 5. 79 – Ross Bailes [6]; 6. 1D Brent Dixon [5]; 7. 22S-Nick Schlager [8]; 8. 87-Wanderer Arthur [7]

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