BOONE, Iowa (Sept. 9) – He got the first place check and he got the biggest share of the lap money.
If there was a hard charger prize, Chris Abelson would have gone home from Boone Speedway with that, too.
Abelson flew all the way from the 18th starting spot to win Friday’s Fast Shafts All-Star Modified Invitational at the IMCA Speedway Motors Super Nationals fueled by Cenex. The 20-lap victory paid him $1,000 plus another $350 in lap money.
“I haven’t had a lot of luck here this week but I think this makes up for it,” Abelson said. “There were a lot of great drivers in this race. I went out and tried to do my best, and everything worked out for us.”
Fourteen states were represented in this year’s event. J.D. Auringer, qualified for the middle of the front row in Saturday’s main event, Michael Smith and Shawn Kilgore followed Abelson across the stripe.
Scott Bennett, who made the trip from New York with Smith, started on the pole and led the first six circuits to earn $150 in lap money.
Auringer passed Jason Noll for second following a lap two restart. Abelson was already in fifth by lap five and was behind only Bennett and Auringer when the race was red-flagged after Keith White went end-over-end at the end of the front stretch on lap seven.
While his Modified sustained considerable damage, White was uninjured and even answered the call for the Stock Car qualifier after the All-Star race.
Abelson caught Bennett when racing resumed and Auringer did the same on lap 11. Smith passed his travel partner on lap 14 and Kilgore cracked the top four with three laps left.
Nobody had anything at the end for Abelson, the winner in his career-first All-Star feature.
The field for the eighth annual All-Star race was expanded to 20 starters, 18 of whom were elected through balloting conducted this summer via the IMCA website. All-Star candidates included winners of sanctioned events paying $1,000 or more, and 2010 regional and state champions.
Smith and seventh place finisher Zane DeVilbiss were added as the top drivers in the number of feature wins and in national point standings as of Sept. 7, the day Modified qualifying began at Boone.
Abelson’s Friday night victory puts him on the ballot for the 2012 All-Star race.
Feature results – 1. Chris Abelson, Sioux City; 2. J.D. Auringer, Waterloo; 3. Michael Smith, Arkport, N.Y.; 4. Shawn Kilgore, New Franken, Wis.; 5. Scott Bennett, Waverly, N.Y.; 6. Jason Noll, El Mirage, Ariz.; 7. Zane DeVilbiss, Farmington, N.M.; 8. Will Brack, Mead, Colo.; 9. Dylan Smith, Osceola, Neb.; 10. Sam Cox, Flower Mound, Texas; 11. Brad Pounds, Bakersfield, Calif.; 12. Josh Borton, Crystal, Mich.; 13. Hank Berry, Sidney, Mont.; 14. J.J. Wise, Manley; 15. Jeff Waterman, Quincy, Ill.; 16. Brendon Gemmill, Ponca City, Okla.; 17. Joren Boyce, Minot, N.D.; 18. Tim Ward, Gilbert, Ariz.; 19. Keith White, Little River Academy, Texas; 20. Drew Armstrong, Alexander, Ark.
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