John Carney II on Victory Lane at Belleville High Banks. (TWC photo)
BELLEVILLE, Kan. – John Carney II wrote his name in the history books as a feature winner on the famous half-mile Belleville High Banks Clay Oval by leading the 20 laps of the fifth annual Belleville 305 Sprint Car Nationals preliminary game on Friday night.
Carney took the lead on the high side of the track on lap 12, keeping the rolling trio of Luke Cranston, Zach Blurton and Steven Richardson at bay the rest of the way for the winner’s share of $2,500 aboard the Coyote Candle Company No. 74b sprint car.
Carney held third position on a lap ten restart triggered by a red flag for Boyd Peterson’s drive down and then over the guardrail at turns three and four.
Carney made quick work of the leading duo as the action resumed and secured the United Rebel Sprint Series-sanctioned win.
“We made no adjustments under the red flag,” Carney explained. “I felt like we were just starting to get really good, just before the red. The track hasn’t really changed, the car got better and better as the race progressed, we were just a bit too narrow at the beginning.”
Defending Belleville 305 Sprint Car Nationals champion Cranston led the field with Carney at his side at the green flag. But it was third starter Richardson who took the lead in the opening corners and set the pace ahead of Cranston and Carney in the early stages.
Cranston started the challenge after a handful of laps, slipping past Richardson at turn two to take the point on lap 10, with Richardson making a countermove only to see the red flag appear.
Richardson led just two more laps before Carney sped past him and Cranston en route to the winning lane.
Cranston settled for second place, stating: “I don’t think we had anything for him (Carney), he found the top in front of me and then it was too late.”
Blurton moved up two positions after the red flag stop to fill third on the podium, while Richardson settled for fourth and Stu Snyder moved up a handful of positions to round out the top five.
After Jeff Stasa set the fastest overall lap of 17.584 seconds in qualifying.
Feature (20 rounds): 1st 74b-John Carney (2), 2nd 20-Luke Cranston (1), 3rd 2J-Zach Blurton (5), 4th 8J-Steven Richardson (3), 5th 5- Stu Snyder (10), 6th 911-Ty Williams (14), 7th 88J-Jeremy Huish (8), 8th 17p-Todd Plemons (4), 9th 12-Tyler Drueke (17), 10th 10- Jordan Knight (9), 11. 50 – Jed Werner (15), 12. 91 – Jeff Stasa (6), 13. 81 – Jon Freeman (18), 14. 23 – Brandon Bosma (20), 15. 2d – Dusty Ballenger (11), 16. 25 – Chase Brewer (16), 17. 9 – Chad Cook (12), 18. 22 – Justin Lasiter (24), 19. 11k – Tyler Knight (13), 20. 1ha – Caleb Saiz (23), 21st 11-Toby Chapman (22), 22nd 17-Connor Atkinson (19), 23rd 2b Brett Becker (7), 24th 57b Boyd Peterson (21).