But with just two laps remaining in the 25-lap main event, Courtney saw his chances for a victory slip through his hands as his sprint car slid over the banking in turns No. 3 and 4, allowing
Mattox held on over the final two laps to claim the second annual Kickapoo Klash with
"We definitely had a winning car tonight,'' Courtney said. "But, I ran out of talent there in turns 3 and 4 with two laps to go and Brandon got by me.
"It's my first weekend with a new car owner. We won on first night out (at
But winning two of your first three races would have been even better.
For Mattox, it was a complete reversal from the inaugural Kickapoo Klash.
"Last year, we won our heat race and then, we got put in the fence during the main event,'' he said. "We actually brought the same car back this year. We ran second at
"That helped my confidence coming back to a track where we took a pretty nasty ride a year ago. When we got here, it was time to do business.''
Actually, it was the final caution of the main event that set up things for both Courtney and Mattox.
On the restart, Courtney blasted past both Mattox and
"I had a really good restart there, and got myself into the lead,'' said Courtney, who races out of
"It was a very fine line and I crossed it.''
During those caution laps, Mattox was able to see something that helped his car as well.
"We were really able to inspect the track and I found a grove down off the top,'' Mattox said. "You could see that the cushion was starting to roll over. My car was sticking really well. I could make the track shorter and still have the bite that the guys up top were searching for.''
Mattox said that Sunday's victory is another step in the right direction for
"But over the past six to eight races, we have been consistently finishing up front. We knew this was coming, but it's coming a little faster than even we expected.''
He said the key to their success has been continuity and simplicity.
"Everyone on this crew gets along really well and we are keeping things simple,'' Mattox said. "We all have a common goal and every one knows exactly what they need to do on any given night.
"Tonight, we ran the race that we wanted to run. We had a game plan and we hit our marks. Nothing is every perfect, but we ran 25 solid laps. We got the right breaks at the right times and we made the most of our opportunity.''
For Courtney, three straight top-five finishes this weekend is a good confidence booster.
"We went to three different tracks in two different states this weekend and we were competitive every night,'' he said. "That's a good place to build from starting on Wednesday at
Rounding out the top five in the main event was
In the modified division,
Gilpin, who had the fastest time and won the first heat race, finished ahead of
While Gilpin repeated his success from two weeks ago,
"I knew it was going to be tough with
But, how difficult was it to make the move to the outside?
"It was real difficult,'' Hufford said. "I was starting on the outside, and the first thing that goes through your mind, you have to get down to the inside. And I did, but it was congested down there, and there was no where to go.
"I felt that I was faster. I tried it on the outside and it worked.''
In the pure stock division,
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