The track was different and the state was different, but the story of the second FUEL Racing Series was the same as the first. Ben Watkins dominated the feature, leading all 40 laps en route to his second straight victory to open the season.
Watkins set fast time in qualifying on Saturday night at North Carolina’s Fayetteville Motor Speedway. He then won his heat race and started from the pole position.
The “Rock Hill Bad Boy,” as he is known, quickly jumped out ahead of Willie Milliken and Shaun Harrell. Then he had to do it again on a restart just two laps later. And then he had to do it again. And then he had to do it again another few laps later.
The 40-lap feature had a rash of cautions and a red flag before the race was seven laps old, making it difficult to get into a rhythm in the beginning, but after that the race went clean and green from the seventh lap to the end.
“We had a bunch of cautions there at the beginning,” Watkins said. “It made it hard, but I knew I just needed a few laps and then I could get in a rhythm. Every lap counts and it definitely helped me here tonight.”
As the laps started to wind down it appeared as though Harrell was making a charge for the lead on Watkins. He got within three car lengths, but that’s where his charge stalled out.
Watkins was able to hold on and take his second straight win to start off the 2018 FUEL Racing Series season.
“It really feels good,” said Watkins. “I can’t thank my guys enough. This is kind of a testament to how hard they work and how many hours they put in. I appreciate the FUEL guys for putting this on. It feels awesome. Hopefully we can keep riding on this high.”
The third event for the FUEL Racing Series takes place on Saturday, May 4 at North Carolina’s Friendship Motor Speedway.
Speed51.com will have more from the second FUEL Racing Series event of 2018, including video highlights and interviews, still to come on the Speed51 Video Network.
-By Rob Blount, Speed51.com Associate Editor – Twitter: @RobBlount
-Photo Credit: Speed51.com
FUEL Racing Series
Fayetteville Motor Speedway, Fayetteville, North Carolina