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Claborn Takes Tailgunner Challenge
May 21, 2008 - Kevin Claborn led only one lap of the Motion Motors Late Model feature last Saturday night at the Mt. Lawn Speedway, but it was the lap that counted. Claborn set fast time in qualifications, equaling the track record time of 16.511 set by Eric Evans just one week earlier.
Claborn rolled a five on the dice to determine the first Tail Gunner participant, which was Dean Baker. Baker turned down his opportunity to start at the rear and a chance to win the jackpot, giving Claborn the next chance, which he quickly took. Seventeen late models started the 30-lap event, with Johnny Fugate leading the first three laps. Miles Sexton led the next two until Jeff Marcum of Morristown took over on lap six, with Greensboro’s Scott Knepley in hot pursuit.
Claborn got around Knepley on lap 13 and took dead aim on Marcum, who had built a sizable lead. While the Claborn story was unfolding, there was plenty of other action on the track. Terry Cater got together with Evans on lap six, sending both to the pits. Evans made it back in time for the green flag, but Cater was done for the evening.
Tom Latham dropped out on lap six, as did Knightstown’s Randy Anderson on lap 11 and Tom Nixon on lap 15. Knepley and Evans mixed it up on lap 26, sending Knepley out of the race.
On the single file restart, Claborn started directly behind Marcum and it took the four final laps for Claborn to finally take the lead. Marcum finished second, followed by Evans, David McConnell of Shirley, Brandon Mefford of Knightstown, David Fox II of Markleville, Sexton, Eddie Claborn of Cambridge City, Baker and Chad White of Greenfield. Knepley and Nixon won the heats.
Claborn also started at the rear of the 15-car Dependable Drywall Thunder Car feature, once again pulling off the win. Mike Vaccaro jumped out on top at the drop of the green flag and led the first three laps. Shirley’s Pam McConnell took over on lap four and led the next 15 circuits.
On lap 19, Claborn got under McConnell coming out of the short turn and the two got together coming down the front stretch. That sent McConnell into the grass in the infield. Kyle Evans moved to second while McConnell was getting her mount under control. Claborn, Evans and McConnell finished 1-2-3, followed by Bill Clark of Rushville, Vaccaro, Chris Bolyard of Rushville, Matt Nelson of Greenwood, Paul Starks of Fortville, Jim Walker of Cambridge City and Michael Starks of Greenfield. Claborn set fast time at 18.526 and won the first heat, with Vaccaro winning the second.
In the Collins Auto Service Hornets, Nick Warner made it two features in a row, leading the final seven laps for the win. Joe Smith, of Carthage, led the first two laps when Kim Lawrence of Greenfield took over and led the next 11. Warner was followed by Chris Jennings of Richmond, Lee Lowe of New Castle, Jerry Small of Arcadia, Lawrence, Aaron Gray of New Castle, Keith Morris of Mt Summit, Joyce Dyer of Greenfield, Todd Yarberry of Anderson and Brian Lewis of Lawrence. Warner set fast time fast time at 19.651with Jessie Holiday of Indianapolis, Lawrence and Smith winning the heats.
Three- and four-year-old winners in the big wheel races were Noah Bowen, Mattie Coons and Andrew Evans. The five- and six-year-old group saw Trevor Cook, Shelby Page and Tyler Holmes take home the hardware, with Jared Crabtree, Austin Forshee and Justis Edwards winning in the seven- and eight-year-old group.
Next week, Central Indiana Mini Cups will be back in action to join the Late Models, Thunders and Hornets.
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