Flud Sweeps Over Southern Illinois Field
MARION, Ill. – There’s a reason race fans across the Midwest call Frank Flud “legendary”, and he proved why again on Friday night.
Flud stormed up the inside of a racy two-groove track at Southern Illinois Raceway during Friday night’s preliminary feature for the 2nd annual Sawyer Chassis Highbank Hustle for winged outlaw micro-sprints, passing polesitter Matt Howard on Lap 11 of the 30-lap, $500-to-win A-main event and going unchallenged the rest of the way to notch his 19th overall win of 2014.
“We had to go somewhere, make something happen tonight,” Flud said in Victory Lane following the event. “We weren’t gonna be able to win not trying something.
“I had to make something work, ’cause I couldn’t go where (Howard) was, and it stuck. Shout-out to all my guys tonight, and the sponsors who back us; it’s a good night to get Sawyer Chassis a win since they’re sponsoring this race. Real important and a fun battle tonight.”
With the win, Flud guaranteed himself a starting spot in Saturday night’s $5,000-to-win championship A-main. The driver of the No. 81 Sawyer says that takes a lot of the pressure off of him.
“Now, it’s all about winning,” Flud expressed. “Five grand is the ticket, and tomorrow all we have to do is show up and race.”
Matt Howard and defending POWRi Micro champion Nathan Benson led the field to the green flag, with Howard grabbing the early lead and pacing the field before a caution flag at Lap 6 slowed the action for the first time after the No. 22 of Scott Britton stalled coming down the backstretch
On the restart, Flud began his march from the third position, picking off the No. 23 of Jeremy Camp before sailing around the Howard machine in a three-car scramble for the top spot as Benson jumped the cushion and fell back to fourth. A second caution on lap 12, brought out when the No. 29K of Kyle Amerson slowed on the backstretch after blowing a fuse, bunched the field back up just before halfway.
Once the green flag flew again, the crossed flags were quickly displayed with Flud, Howard, the No. 94 of Andrew Peters and Benson the top four.
Flud pulled away despite charges by both the 94 of Peters on lap 18 and the No. 51B of Joe B. Miller on lap 20. Peters would ultimately finish in second with Miller completing the podium.
Nate Lauderbaugh came home in fourth, Jake Hagopian finished fifth and Howard hung on to round out the top six. Those six drivers will all have guaranteed starting spots in Saturday night’s championship A-main.
Howard, Benson, Flud and Peters all won qualifier features to transfer into the night’s $500-to-win A-main.