Frank Flud Wins the Highbanks Hustle!
Frank Flud Breaks Through for First Career High Banks Hustle Triumph!
Story by Brian Walker – Maximum Dirt
Marion, IL | June 19, 2016 – After several years of trying and several years of frustration, Pryor, Oklahoma’s Frank Flud led the final half of Saturday’s 40-lap main event to score his first career victory at the $7,500 to win High Banks Hustle! Piloting his Driven Midwest #81F around Friday’s preliminary winner, Joe B. Miller, just after the halfway mark, Flud fought off a relentless effort from Miller as he held on to become the fourth different winner in Hustle history.
Opening Saturday night’s finale with heat races, it was Slater Helt, Josh Toho, Matt Howard, Jase Randolph, James Morris, Chris Andrews, Austin Stewart, Frank Galusha, Nathan Benson, Logan Wennesheimer, Cooper Smith and Noah Burlison taking wins. In qualifier action, James Morris, Nathan Benson, Chris Andrews, Jake Hagopian, Travis Harris and Andrew Peters scored victories.
In the six-lap dash, it was all Joe B. Miller out front with the win, but all eyes were on Kokomo, Indiana’s Nate Lauderbaugh. Starting in the sixth spot, Lauderbaugh shot his Farrell Frameworks #29L to the top of the track and ripped the SIR cushion all the way to an incredible second place run.
Moving onto the 15-lap LCQ, Nick Howard started from the pole and dominated the race, scoring the win with a near half-track advantage. Also transferring along with Howard was Ayrton Gennetten, Gabe Veradi, Jase Randolph, Jerrod Wilson and Jacob Patton.
Rolling out on the pole of the 40-lap main event, Joe B. Miller quickly took his Hyper Racing #51B to the top spot. While Miller started to walk away with the lead, Flud was working on Lauderbaugh for the second spot. A caution would bunch the field up and allow Flud a chance at challenging for the lead following his move into second.
Chasing Miller into lap traffic, Flud stalked him on the high side as the duo worked above the back markers. Finding clean air, Flud found a strong run down the backstretch and tossed a slider for the lead in turn three. Miller would cross him right back over and chunk another slidejob back at the #81. A caution would quickly end the torrid battle and transponders at the line would hand Frank Flud the lead.
Flud seemed to walk away with a comfortable lead as Miller fought wing troubles while Michael Faccinto pressured him for second. With Flud on the top and Miller making a move to the bottom, Miller slowly began to close back in for the lead. With just nearly five to go, Miller would come storming off the bottom of turn four with the lead and what looked to be a surefire win. However, Flud found a huge break as the caution would fly and send him back to the lead.
The final few laps would be much more calm for the #81 as he was able to hang onto his lead and earn his first career victory at the $7,500 to win High Banks Hustle! Flud, an Oklahoman, became the fourth different winner from four different states in four years of competition with SIR’s premier winged event.
Joe B. Miller finished a heartbreaking second following his preliminary win on Friday night. Hanford, California’s Michael Faccinto drove the CS9 Chassis #5R to a solid third place run. Three-time POWRi Micro champion Nathan Benson would wheel his BOSS Chassis #2B to a fourth place outing. Rounding out the top five in the Sawyer Chassis #21H, Dylan Kadous capped off an impressive weekend in fifth. Nick Howard, Josh Toho, Chris Andrews, Travis Harris and James Morris closes out the top ten.
A-Main (40 laps): 1. Frank Flud (6), 2. Joe B. Miller (1), 3. Michael Faccinto (3), 4. Nathan Benson (8), 5. Dylan Kadous (5), 6. Nick Howard (19), 7. Josh Toho (16), 8. Chris Andrews (9), 9. Travis Harris (11), 10. James Morris (7), 11. Delaney Jost (15), 12. Ayrton Gennetten (20), 13. Logan Wennesheimer (17), 14. Gabe Veradi (21), 15. Jerrod Wilson (23), 16. Andrew Felker (18), 17. Jake Hagopian (10), 18. Jacob Patton (24), 19. Nate Lauderbaugh (2), 20. Slater Helt (13), 21. Jase Randolph (22), 22. Andrew Peters (12), 23. Andy Bishop (4), 24. Matt Howard (14).
Lap Leader(s): Miller 1-22, Flud 23-40.
Hard Charger(s): Howard +13.