Larry Raines Wins The World Cup 300 at I-70 Speedway Odessa, MO (October 9, 2004) - After 300 laps, 162.9 miles, 2 hours and 18 minutes of racing, Larry Raines beat Chris Gabehart to the line by .096 of a second to win the World Cup 300 ...
Larry Raines Wins The World Cup 300 at I-70 Speedway
Odessa, MO (October 9, 2004) - After 300 laps, 162.9 miles, 2 hours and 18 minutes of racing, Larry Raines beat Chris Gabehart to the line by .096 of a second to win the World Cup 300 Saturday night at I-70 Speedway in Odessa, Missouri, the first ever World Cup 300 sanctioned by the Sunoco Super Series and the O'Reilly Southern All Star Racing Series. Raines, a veteran late model racer from Cumming, Georgia, used his tires very carefully through out the event, making sure he had plenty left at the end. He needed all the tires he could get, just beating a hard charging Gabehart to the line for the win.
"I ran as hard as I could without killing my tires." Raines stated, "They were starting to go there at the end, but we kept just enough. It is really awesome to win this great event, I want to thank the McDonald family for having us come race at their great racetrack!"
Gabehart, the current Rookie Of The Year points leader with the Sunoco Super Series, finished second, veteran Chicago area racer Biff George finished third after losing his brakes with 200 laps to go. Sunoco Super Series veteran racer Eddie Van Meter finished fourth, followed by Colorado's Jim Sykes Jr. in fifth.
The race was very competitive from the start with Corteco Fast Qualifier Ryan Mathews taking the early lead from his pole starting position, staying in front for the first 88 laps. Gabehart grabbed the lead for one lap when Mathews got caught up with lap traffic, only to be passed in a great move by Jeff Lane on the next lap. Mathews was forced from the contest on lap 120 with a broken wheel.
Lane lead until lap 149 when he and the rest of the leaders except Biff George pitted for fuel and tires during one of the eight yellow flags dropped during the 300 lap race. By staying on the track George took over the lead and held it for 8 laps.
Eddie Hoffman was the first of the leaders to get back on the track due to the quick work of his veteran pit crew, followed by Raines, Gabehart, Lane and Van Meter. Hoffman chased down George on his fresh tires and took the lead on lap 159.
On lap 170 a slow car on the track forced the leaders to check up, Lane was bumped and as he spun down into the infield he hit the safety barriers knocking his rear end out and forcing him to retire for the evening.
Hoffman held the lead on the restart, building it into a full straightaway lead when his right front a-frame broke going into the third turn throwing him up into the wall and ending his night. Gabehart inherited the lead, which he gave up by pitting on lap 206. He and Raines pitted, with Raines beating him back onto the track because of the great work of his crew, which earned Raines the Sweet Manufacturing Sweet Move of the Race Award.
Van Meter elected not to pit in order to take the lead. Van Meter took off on the restart, building a sizeable lead and running very well until he started to have problems with a low battery, which was causing the motor to miss badly. Raines and Gabehart both passed the wounded Van Meter racecar. Gabehart stayed close behind Raines, working his way through the lapped traffic to keep in sight of the race leader.
As the laps drew to a close, Gabehart made his move pulling up to the rear bumper of Raines's car, trying to make several moves to get by Raines both on the outside and the inside before finally getting a chance to get inside as they were coming out of turn four for the checkered flag. Gabehart finished with his front wheels even with Raines rear wheels in a very exciting finish.
The Lane Automotive/ISKY Racing Cams Hard Charger Award went to Sam Payne who moved up from his twenty-fourth starting position to finish seventh. The Holley Performance Award went to race winner Larry Raines. The Muller Motorsports/ARP Stock Car Bodies Performance Award went to local I-70 Speedway racer Ron Myers, whose named was pulled from the starting field of cars prior to the start of the World Cup 300.
The next Sunoco Super Series event is the Sunoco 125 Presented By Angola Motor Speedway on Sunday, October 17 at Baer Field Speedway in Fort Wayne, Indiana. For more information see www.sunocosuperseries.com.