Willie Allen kept waiting for something bad to happen on Sunday night at Fairgrounds Speedway Nashville. The 34-year-old Driver from Bon Aqua, TN has been in the mix for so many races this season only to see problems end his day early.
From the Southern Super Series event in April to Pro Late Model shows at Nashville, Allen has been bit by the bad luck bug on the high banks in the Music City.
This time, however, Allen’s fears were put to rest. Even though he was nervous down the stretch in Sunday’s 100-lap Pro Late Model event in Nashville, Allen was able to take the win in the Stacy Crain-owned Miss Kelli’s Karaoke No. 11A.
“To tell you the truth I was just thinking how nice it would be to get through the race and finish,” said Allen. “In those final few laps I think my brain was tricking itself into smelling smoke or oil or hearing funny noises. It’s just been a crazy year so to put it all together and hit on all eight cylinders is amazing.
“We’ve led laps, had engine trouble, flat tires, trailing arm brackets break. It’s just been crazy.”
To make matters worse on his nerves, Allen was on his way to the win when a yellow flew with just two laps to go. It set up a green-white checkered finish with defending track champion Tucker Wingo.
“There are a lot of good drivers at Nashville and some you have to be worried about for a restart like that,” said Allen. “Wingo is not one of those guys you worry about. They only reason I was nervous was because I had not been able to complete the deal all year. On Sunday we got it done.”
Allen held off Wingo at the finish with Sterling Marlin in third, with Chris Whorton and Spencer Davis making up the rest of the top five.
Allen started out the night by setting fast time, but the redraw had him coming from outside the top five. It took about half the race before he took the lead in the race.
Pro Late Model point leader Josh Weston had trouble and finished 23rd. Cole Williams, who was second in points, also had trouble and Mark Day unofficially took the lead in the standings after finishing seventh. The October 4th race will be double points for the Pro Late Models.
The victory was the sixth for Allen in the last three seasons at Nashville. He is the only driver to win at least one race in each of the last three seasons.
From here Allen hopes to ride his McGunegill Engine Performance-powered ride to Gresham and perhaps Five Flags in a few weeks before coming back to Nashville in early October. After that it’s on to the All American 400 on November 1.
“We’ll be back in our car for the All American 400,” said Allen. “Now that we got this win behind us we can think about that race a little more. I have to commend Tony Formosa and Claire (Formosa-Belt) for giving us the opportunity to have the All American 400.
“We had 33 cars race on Sunday night and I think that just tells you what type of show the All American 400 is going to be. It’s going to have breaks so teams don’t have to have full crews. If we can keep our car together hopefully we can be there at the end and go for the win.”
-By Elgin Traylor, Speed51.com Operations Manager – Twitter: @ElginTraylor
Photo Dwight Sullivan