Jason Welshan overcomes mechanical gremlins to collect 32nd victory


Jason Welshan has been so unstoppable in Late Model racing this season around east Tennessee that even mechanical troubles couldn’t keep him out of Victory Lane at 411 Motor Speedway on Saturday night. As soon as his car rolled to a stop in the winner’s circle, the Maryville, Tenn. driver reported to his crew that either a shock or ball joint in the right front of his car had gone bad.

“Something happened about halfway through the race,” Welshan said with a sigh of relief. “I didn’t think it was going to make it to the end.”

Eddie King, Jr. led the way among 14 combined Limited and Crate Late Models in qualifying by turning a lap of 14.010 seconds around the 3/8 mile clay oval. Welshan, Rusty Ballenger, Jason Cardwell and Ryan King rounded out the top-5 on the starting grid.

There were no heat races for this class.

Welshan immediately went to the lead at the drop of the green flag in the 30-lap feature with Eddie King, Jr., Cardwell, Ballenger, Ryan King and Greg Martin in tow. Soon, however, the lead car began to pull away as those drivers closest behind engaged in a tight battle for other top-5 positions.

A lap 8 caution for the stalled car of Warren McMahan bunched the field back up briefly. On the ensuing restart, Ballenger lost spots to both Ryan King and Martin as Welshan again jumped out to a sizeable advantage over the pack.

The battle for 2nd continued to rage throughout the middle stages of the race as Eddie King, Jr. held back the advances of Cardwell, Ryan King and Martin.

On lap 26, Martin was able to pass by both Cardwell and Ryan King as those two cars tangled in turn two. That mishap brought out the race’s second and final yellow flag.

Jason Welshan would not be denied as he cruised to the checkered flag to capture his 32nd feature win of the season. He was followed to the finish line by Eddie King, Jr., Greg Martin, Brian Courtney and Rusty Ballenger.

The entire Welshan crew poses with the 411 feature winner.

The entire Welshan crew poses with the 411 feature winner.

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