Ben Watkins wins Lavonia Speedway World of Outlaw Late Models event!

Photo by Jacy Norgaard

RED CLAY REDEMPTION: Watkins takes first career World of Outlaws victory at Lavonia

The Rock Hill, SC pilot survived multiple reboots and a challenge from Tyler Bruening to find Victory Lane

LAVONIA, GA – September 3, 2021 – In 2019, Ben Watkins had a flat tire while leading a World of Outlaws feature at Lancaster Speedway. It is grief that he thought he would never repair.

Watkins finally got his redemption Friday night at Lavonia Speedway, leading the 40 laps to win the Charlie Mize Memorial. He is the fifth pilot to win his first career feature film in the outlaw world in 2021.

Watkins started on the outside post alongside Rookie of the Year contender Tyler Bruening, chasing his first outlaw victory. When the green flag fell, the two thundered into Turns 1 and 2 side-by-side before Watkins continued his momentum around car 16, immediately climbing to first place in the back.

This wasn’t the last time Watkins saw Bruening, as the Decorah, IA pilot peeked under him, even shooting him into traffic on lap 19. A warning on lap 24 gave to Watkins a little respite, allowing him to take the run one. turn at a time.

“When we caught the traffic on the lap they were two wide and they were racing,” said Watkins. “With the dirty track, it upset my car a bit and it was difficult to cross them. The way the warnings played out, I wasn’t upset. “

Three warnings marked the second half of the 40-lap final, but they couldn’t have come at a better time for Watkins. He knew he had just enough turns to avoid facing the traffic and another potential battle with Bruening.

“We had this reboot with 11 [laps] come on, I believe it was, and I was hoping that was just enough time not to catch too much turn traffic, ”Watkins said. “Right at the end, we caught up with them and had just enough head start to settle in there, and it turned out perfectly for us.”

Bruening, the best Rookie in the race, finished second, his best result of the season. Pilot Decorah, IA knew he had his work cut out for him from the first start since he was downstairs.

“It was just a little gooey at the bottom, and you really wanted to be on that outside groove,” Bruening said. “We put a whole night together, just a short spot at the end. We have been very good all night and I am really proud of the effort to come back from [Thursday]. “

Three-time defending champion Brandon Sheppard crossed the finish line third, his 22nd podium in 2021. The driver from New Berlin, IL, thought he might have stood a chance if Watkins spent more time battling traffic .

“I felt like we had a solid car, and once we got in there it was difficult to overtake,” said Sheppard. “I was hoping to have more time in the lap traffic than we had, just to be able to break it up into small chunks, but overall we are happy with a top three.

One night after winning $ 40,000 at Cherokee Speedway, Brandon Overton finished fourth and Zack Mitchell completed the top five.

Ben Watkins got his redemption Friday at Lavonia Speedway. It’s an opportunity he thought he would never see again and will cherish for the rest of his career.

“I didn’t really think I would ever get another chance; these opportunities are rare, ”Watkins said.

FOLLOWING: The most powerful late models on the planet travel to Tennessee for the fourth time in 2021 for a stop at Volunteer Speedway in Bulls Gap, TN.

If you can’t make it to the track, you can watch all the action live on DIRTVision – online or via the DIRTVision app

Characteristic of Morton’s buildings (40 towers) –1.16W-Ben Watkins [2][$10,000]; 2.16-Tyler Bruening [1][$6,000]; 3.1-Brandon Sheppard [4][$3,500]; 4. 76-Brandon Overton [6][$2,800]; 5. 57-Zack Mitchell [5][$2,500]; 6.18D-Daulton Wilson [7][$2,300]; 7. 79-Ross Bailes [15][$2,200]; 8. 7-Ricky Weiss [10][$2,100]; 9. 28-Dennis Erb [14][$2,050]; 10. 44-Chris Madden [13][$2,000]; 11. 42-Cla Chevalier [3][$1,600]; 12. 88-Trent Ivey [17][$1,400]; 13. 19R-Ryan Gustin [16][$1,200]; 14. 4-Ryan Wilson [23][$1,100]; 15. F1-Payton Freeman [8][$1,050]; 16. 1C-Kenny Collins [9][$1,000]; 17. 99B-Boom Briggs [20][$1,000]; 18. 1D-Brent Dixon [18][$1,000]; 19. B1-Brent Larson [11][$1,000]; 20. 22S-Nick Schlager [21][$1,000]; 21. 24D-Michael Brown [12][$1,000]; 22. 21-Will Harris [22][$1,000]; 23. 18E-Ethan Wilson [19][$1,000]; 24. 87-Walker Arthur [24][$1,000] Hard charger: 4-Ryan Wilson[+9]

Qualification –1.57-Zack Mitchell, 15.378; 2.1-Brandon Sheppard, 15,527; 3.16W-Ben Watkins, 15,535; 4.16-Tyler Bruening, 15.566; 5. 76-Brandon Overton, 15.679; 6. 42-Cla Knight, 15,751; 7. 7-Ricky Weiss, 15,761; 8. B1-Brent Larson, 15,767; 9.1C-Kenny Collins, 15,769; 10. 18D-Daulton Wilson, 15,779; 11. F1-Payton Freeman, 15,804; 12. 24D-Michael Brown, 15,812; 13. 18E-Ethan Wilson, 15.825; 14. 88-Trent Ivey, 15.841; 15. 1D-Brent Dixon, 15.917; 16. 44-Chris Madden, 15.946; 17. 28-Dennis Erb, 15.97; 18. 79-Ross Bailes, 15.99; 19. 19R-Ryan Gustin, 15.999; 20. 99B-Boom Briggs, 16,031; 21. 87-Walker Arthur, 16,051; 22. 21-Will Harris, 16,119; 23. 4-Ryan Wilson, 16.201; 24. 22S-Nick Schlager, 16,248; 25. 22-Chris Ferguson, NT; DNS. O5-Corey Roulette, NT

Drydene Heat # 1 (10 laps) – Top 8 Transfer-1.16-Tyler Bruening [2]; 2. 57-Zack Mitchell [1]; 3.18D-Daulton Wilson [4]; 4. 7-Ricky Weiss [3]; 5.44-Chris Madden [6]; 6.19R-Ryan Gustin [7]; 7. 18E-Ethan Wilson [5]; 8. 21-Will Harris [8]; 9. 22-Chris Ferguson [9]

Drydene Heat # 2 (10 laps) – Top 8 Transfer-1. 76-Brandon Overton [2]; 2.1-Brandon Sheppard [1]; 3. F1-Payton Freeman [4]; 4. B1-Brent Larson [3]; 5.28-Dennis Erb [6]; 6. 88-Trent Ivey [5]; 7. 99B-Boom Briggs [7]; 8. 4-Ryan Wilson [8]; 9. Roulette O5 Corey [9]

Drydene Heat # 3 (10 laps) – Top 8 Transfer-1.16W-Ben Watkins [1]; 2. 42-Cla Chevalier [2]; 3.1C-Kenny Collins [3]; 4.24D-Michael Brown [4]; 5. 79-Ross Bailes [6]; 6.1D-Brent Dixon [5]; 7.22S-Nick Schlager [8]; 8. 87-Walker Arthur [7]

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