BEN TAKES 3RD AT CURTIS BURNS MEMORIAL
Ben returned to action Friday night at Hattiesburg Speedway for the rain-delayed memorial raced that pays tribute to a former local racer and friend of many. As a former winner of this annual event, Ben prepared his #34 Elite Chassis modified that had received significant nose damage from his last race.
Ben timed in 4th fast but discovered a misfire in his ignition system that he later diagnosed as moisture in his distributor. With the problem solved, Ben lined up for his heat race and took the checkers in second place. Back in the pits Ben made minor chassis adjustments, freshened his tires and added some fuel.
When the field of modifieds was called to the grid for introductions, Ben lined up inside the second row with a stout field of competitors. After a special parade lap honoring Curtis, the field tightened up in preparation for taking the green flag. The first two start attempts resulted in spinning cars and yellow flags. Once the field got sorted out, Ben settled into third place as the top three pulled away from the rest of the field. Although the 30-lap race was slowed numerous times for additional caution flags, Ben was able to fend off any challenges while making several charges on the front-runners. In the closing laps Ben noticed a slight miss in his motor and wondered if his ignition problems had returned. He made it to the checkers in third and felt fortunate he was able to hold on for a podium finish in a race that means so much to so many in the local racing community.
Ben will continue to run selected local races and special events throughout the remainder of the 2017 season as he juggles work, construction of a new home and a soon-to-be three year old. Schedule updates will be provided at BenStephensRacing.com.
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