Sometimes penalties work out for drivers. Other times they don’t.
On a hot Labor Day weekend in Winchester, Indiana, Danny Trent came out on the right side of a penalty.
Trent drove through a wreck involving first and second-place drivers Shawn Amor and Jon Beach to claim the Vore’s Welding 40-Lap CRA Sportsman feature at Winchester Speedway, the first of four features on the day as part of the track’s World Stock Car Festival.
Trent inherited the victory when Beach, who crossed the line in first, was disqualified for avoidable contact with Amor.
Coming to the white flag, the race appeared to be Amor’s to lose. Following a penalty for early leader Billy VanMeter, Amor worked his way around Trent to take the top spot, holding it for much of the final 20 laps. Beach ran just behind Amor in second.
Coming through Turns 3 and 4, Beach closed in on Amor, and appeared to turn the series regular around before leading the field to the checkered flag.
The two drivers had conflicting opinions about the incident following the race.
“It just wouldn’t turn,” said Amor of his No. 28 CRA Late Model Sportsman. “If I got up by the fence it was faster, but I was afraid of getting into the fence, not being able to steer be car.
“There at the end, I knew (Beach) was behind me, but I didn’t know he was going to drive in like that on the bottom. I would’ve been fine with a door slam and a drag race to the finish line, but instead he decided to turn me around. It sucks for all my guys because I’ve always wanted to win here. This would’ve been a big win for us.”
“With a lap to go (Amor) really started pushing his car,” said Beach. “He got really free the last five laps or so. Here coming to the checkered flag he was just sideways and came across the nose.
“I didn’t really back down a whole lot. I backed out just enough for him to let it straight, but he was already going across. We ended up getting DQ’d coming to the checkered flag for the win.”
When the leaders took themselves out, Trent was able to strike to claim his first victory at the World’s Fastest Half-Mile.
“This sounds crazy, but I seen the smoke and I just went high, did some ‘Days of Thunder’ crap,” said Trent. “I just hoped I made it through.”
“It’s awesome,” Trent continued. “I’ve been here so many times, and it’s the only track in Indiana I haven’t won on in pavement. I’ve run second here twice, and I really wanted to get this one.
Jason Atkinson worked his way through the field to finish in second. Atkinson would go on to win the day’s CRA Street Stock Series feature. VanMeter would overcome an early penalty to finish third.
“We weren’t a lot faster than Danny Trent, but we were definitely fast enough to stay in front of him,” said VanMeter. “The lapped traffic didn’t help, especially when they didn’t know what they were doing. After all, I race with the best cars in the series, so I’m used to them making mistakes. I make mistakes. It happens.
“We got sent to the tail, which I thought was unfair, but that’s okay. When I get mad over things like that, I come back to the front in a hurry.”
Brett Miles and Amor would round out the top five, with Steve Stacy, Tony Brutti, JP Crabtree, Cory Setser and Beach finishing out the top 10.
The CRA Late Model Sportsman will return on September 26-27, when the field heads to Lucas Oil Raceway for a 40-lap feature as part of the track’s “Fall Brawl.”
-By Aaron Bearden, Speed51.com Midwest Correspondent – Twitter: @AaronBearden93
-Photo credit: Speed51.com