BEN CLOSES 2016 WITH TOP-4 AT FALL CLASSIC
(Hattiesburg, MS) Ben entered this weekend’s 22nd Annual Fall Classic with plenty of family and friends in full support. Ben’s sister Michelle, nephew & niece, Kamden & Karly, the McLain, MS contingent and Jarrod Imler from Nashville were all present for moral support and to lend a hand.
Twenty-eight modifieds were on hand to battle for the $2,000 to win 25-lap main event. Friday’s group qualifying and heat races were run under beautiful blue skies and cool temperatures. Ben qualified 5th quick, which put him on the outside front row of the second heat. At the drop of the green flag Ben and pole-sitter, Tennessee’s Ashley Newman, had a fierce door-to-door battle, Ben on the high side and Newman on the hub. The first caution came at lap six and the field re-grouped for a double-file restart. When the field fired, the battle resumed. Ben would eventually jump the cushion, graze the turn 4 wall but recover to finish second. Minor repairs to the right-rear quarter panel and re-setting the frontend tow put Ben’s ride back in competitive form.
Saturday’s schedule of events had the modifieds listed as the first feature after the B-main races. Track owner, Rodney Wing threw everyone a “set up surprise” when he climbed aboard his tractor and reworked the racing surface prior to the feature events. With his race car still on the lift, Ben made a quick decision to change rearend gears to better handle the new track conditions. Ben was strapping into his racer as the field was rolling onto the track. He made it!
Ben lined up 5th for the 25-lap A-feature, inside 3rd row and was set for battle. When the green flag flew, the thundering modifieds made good use of a multi-grooved track. Ben’s #34 appeared to be working well on the bottom, but after a few laps he made a move to the top for his patented run on the cushion. The lead four cars set a blistering pace but Ben was close in trail. The first caution came at lap twelve and the field was reset for a double-file restart. Ben continued to work the high side and had moved into 4th with approximately five laps remaining. With three laps to go, Ben was closing fast on the 3rd place car. With two laps remaining, Ben set up a pass for third but a lap-down car got in his way and spoiled his plan. Ben finished 4th in a very competitive, spectator-friendly race.
Ben had 7 wins and 12 top-five finishes for 2016 that included two title wins, the Battle of the States at Whynot Motorsports Park and Summer Sizzler at Jackson Speedway. We are privileged to have such tremendous sponsors and partners who are instrumental in Ben’s on-track success. We look forward to taking our industry-leading sponsors to Victory Lane in 2017. Thank you so much!
We truly appreciate all the help and contributions from our loyal sponsors.