Southern Pro Challenge PR
August was good to Kyle Benjamin at Lanier National Speedway, as he won all three events ran during the month, thus making it possible for him to catch current points leader, Brady Boswell, and win the South Region Championship. With the final regular season race coming up on September 12th, pressure is on Boswell to have a good finish.
Saturday night was, again, action filled at Lanier with Jacob Wallace starting on the pole for the 8-lap heat race and Anderson Bowen on the outside. The drop of the green had the inside line moving forward bringing Jesse Hoek and Benjamin ahead of Bowen. When they crossed the start/finish line it was Wallace, Hoek, Benjamin and Bowen fighting for positions. However, it was the 7 car of Hunter Kent and the 2 car of Brady Boswell that were on the move. While starting at the rear of the 10-car field, they worked their way through traffic and came to the front taking over the 3rd and 4th spots on lap 5 behind Wallace and Benjamin, but not before trading positions on the track themselves. Lap 7 had Benjamin getting underneath Wallace going into turn 3 and take the checkered flag, thus setting up the start for the 25-lap feature.
With Benjamin on the pole, Wallace outside and Boswell and Kent behind them, the start of the race made for a tight field going into turn one. Bowen and Hoek staying right on the leaders tail made it interesting going down the back straightaway, as side by side racing was taking place. However not knowing he was having mechanical issues, Bowen spun coming off turn four bringing out the caution sending him to the rear for the restart. The drop of the green again had Benjamin on the inside with Wallace holding tight on the outside. Running side by side for the lead gave fans something to cheer for as Wallace was determined not to give up his position and held Benjamin to the bottom with Boswell, Hoek and Kent on their tails.
Anderson Bowen, making a hard charge back to the front after his spin on lap one, showed his ability to drive this type of racecar. By lap 6 he had moved himself back into the 4th position. However, on lap 7 he broke a panhard bar coming off turn 4 sending him backwards hard into the inside retaining wall opening. Although exiting the car on his own and waving to the crowd letting them know he was okay, he was taken to a local hospital for observation. At which time he was diagnosed with a slight concussion and a strained ligament in his neck. His dad, David Bowen, said Sunday afternoon that he’ll be okay and looks forward to being back in the car in 2 weeks. This just goes to show the determination Anderson has and how he wants to be successful with his racing career.
Once racing resumed, it was hard charging again. However, Benjamin was able to pull ahead of Wallace taking the victory with Boswell coming in 3rd. Misfortune fell on points contender Hunter Kent as his night ended early with ignition problems.
Although September 12th ends the regular season and determines the South Region Champion, racing at Lanier continues for 3 consecutive weeks following this event for the special scale car only series. Of which has drawn much attention and should prove to be exciting for both racers and fans.