Rodney Sanders looked up at the scoreboard while leading with 10 laps to go in the Wild West Shootout Late Model A-Main feature on Wednesday night and knew it was go time.  He put the medal to the pedal when it mattered most and held off a hard-charging Darrell Lanigan to score his first career Wild West Shootout victory at USA Raceway in Tucson, Arizona.

 

“I looked up at the board and saw the five up there and I figured that had to be Darrell,” Sanders said on the live DirtonDirt.com pay-per-view broadcast.  “I was just running scared.  I have to thank everyone who helps me.  It’s just really cool.”

 

Sanders started towards the front of the field and made his way to the lead near the halfway point of the event.  He battled heavy lap traffic throughout the later stages of the race, which allowed Lanigan to close back in after an early mishap in turn four that set him back just outside the top-five.

 

As the laps ticked down and only 10 laps remained, Lanigan made his move to take away the second spot from Don Shaw and quickly began chasing down Sanders.  That charge became even more apparent with five laps to go when Lanigan split a pair of slower cars to close the gap substantially.

 

Unfortunately for Lanigan, he would have a right rear tire begin to go down in the closing laps that halted his progress towards the top spot.  That would allow Sanders to pull away and score the win.

 

“We had a flat right rear going down there at the end and we got tight,” said Lanigan.  “That right rear just got us tight in the center and we couldn’t turn.  We had an awesome piece there, we just fell back there a little bit in the beginning when we hit the slime up there in (turn) four and just lost a couple spots but all and all it’s a good night.”

 

Jason Papich, early leader Don Shaw and Tony Toste completed the top-five during the third night of racing at the Wild West Showdown.

 

Earlier in the night, Jason Krohn picked up the win in the Modified A-Main feature.  Krohn is the father of Sanders’ girlfriend Samantha.

 

“I saw that he won and I was happy for him,” Sanders said in victory lane.  “That’s really cool that we both won tonight.”

 

To witness all of the racing action from Wednesday night, visit DirtonDirt.com for an archived replay of the event.

 

-By Brandon Paul, Speed51.com Editor – Twitter: @Brandon_Paul51

-Photo credit: Mike Reufer

 

Wild West Showdown Unofficial Finish

1. Rodney Sanders

2. Darrell Lanigan

3. Jason Papich

4. Don Shaw

5. Tony Toste

6. Jimmy Mars

7. Jimmy Owens

8. RC Whitwell

9. Adam Hensel

10. Stormy Scott

11. Billy Moyer, Jr.

12. Chase Junghans

13. Donny Schatz

14. Joey Moriarty

15. Pat Doar

16. Ricky Weiss

17. Tyler Erb

18. Jake O’Neil

19. Traver Glaser

20. Robert Sanders

21. Tyson Turnbull

22. Kyle Beard

23. Ryan Gustin

24. A.J. Diemel

Sanders Runs Away from Lanigan at Wild West Shootout