Darren Yates Cruises To Enduro Victory

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Story and Photos by Ken Keating

Twenty-two hardy drivers braved the elements and took the green flag for two hours or two-hundred laps of racing in Round 2 of the Steve Copp Construction sponsored Enduro race event held at Western Speedway Sunday afternoon.

A couple more chicanes were added throughout the track adding yet another challenge to drivers to negotiate along with very wet conditions early on. Phil Lagan and Cody Aumen shared the front row with Lagan getting the edge early taking the lead followed quickly by Alex Atkinson and Rory Smith for the first three laps as the yellow came out for the first time. On the restart, Lagan again went into the lead with Smith moving to second and Howie Mace, the winner of the last event, moving into third with Steve Copp and Darren Yates running in the top five postions. On lap fourteen, Yates moved up to run third but it was short lived as he spun out losing several positions. On lap twenty-three, Lagan surrendered the lead to Steve Copp for four laps until Aumen passed him on lap twenty-seven to take over the lead. On lap thirty-one Copp entered the pits with his day finished. By lap forty-seven Aumen still led the charge with Lagan, Mace, Yates, and Brad Aumen running the top five positions. On lap fifty-two, Lagan entered the pits and did not return for further racing.

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Darren Yates took the third spot as Heath Cooper moved up to fourth with Jay Young running fifth in his first Enduro. On lap sixty-eight, Mace took over the lead with Yates taking the second spot dropping Cody Aumen back to third. The second yellow came out two laps later for a couple of stalled cars but on the restart, Mace still led and Aumen grabbed the second spot only to have Yates reclaim that position two laps later. On lap eighty-two, Yates grabbed the lead as Mace entered the pits with a flat tire leaving the second spot to Cody, followed by Cooper, Young, and Brenda Leslie rounding out the top five positions. On lap ninety-four the yellow came out again and on the restart, Yates was still in the lead followed by the same group. By lap one hundred and one, Mace found his way back into contention now running in the fifth position then passing Young for fourth two laps later. On lap one nineteen, Aumen entered the pits as his day came to an end leaving Cooper to run second followed by Mace, Young, and Leslie. On lap one twenty-six, Young took over the third spot dropping Mace back to fourth. Mace again entered the pits but didn’t lose any positions as he was in for quick repairs.

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Over the next several laps Yates began to pull away from the field and looked like he had his car set on cruise control although he had his moments just missing a collision coming out of the chicane on the backstretch and colliding with a big tire on the front chicane but still maintained the lead. Over the remaining laps Yates continued to pad his lead and when the chequered flag dropped, after one hundred and sixty-four laps, Yates, looking for the rainbow, came home with the win followed by Cooper, Mace, Young, and Leslie rounding out the top five. Yates was the only driver to run the full laps with all other drivers three laps down. Yates is no stranger to Western Speedway as he is the WilRoc Sprint Car Champion for 2011 and has many titles under his belt, and placed second in the first Enduro this winter season. This race ran mostly in the rain but the sun did come out for several laps making for a very decent afternoon of racing. Willow Webb was on hand and presented the trophies to the top three drivers at Victory Square. The next scheduled race in this winter series is scheduled for December 11th.

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