PETERSEN MEDIA: After a tough nine days in Pennsylvania, Robert Ballou reunited with USAC over the weekend and earned Hard Charger honors during the second annual Corn Belt Nationals at Knoxville Raceway.
“Friday night was a challenge,” Robert Ballou said. “I had to shake off some winged habits and it cost us. Saturday night, we were really good despite an engine issue after our qualifier and it was fun to come forward like we did.”
Friday night’s Corn Belt Nationals opener saw the Rocklin, CA driver time in eighth fastest in his qualifying flight aboard the Abreu Vineyards/Deaton’s Waterfront Service/Rossie Feed and Grain backed No. 12 machine.
Pocketing a third-place finish in his heat race, ‘The Mad Man’ moved into the feature event where he would roll off the starting grid from the 11th position.
Battling inside the Top-10 early, Ballou would slowly start to fade through the field. Continuing to fall back, Ballou opted to call it a night as he pulled back to his trailer and set his focus on Saturday night’s finale.
Lining up on the pole of his qualifier, Ballou came out rocket fast. Leading flag to flag, Ballou would establish a new 10-lap track record at the famed speedway.
Following the heat, Ballou made the call to swap power plants as his developed a leak during the qualifier.
Narrowly making the call for the semi, Ballou took his starting position on the front row and continued to flex his muscle. After establishing a 10-lap track record, Ballou kept the speed up and set a 12-lap track record in the semi as he picked up the win and moved forward into the Corn Belt Nationals feature.
Taking the green flag from the 19th starting position for the 30-lap feature event, Ballou was possessed. Putting his machine where there was open real estate on the ½ mile, Ballou capped a hard charger performance as he took the checkered flag with an eighth-place finish.
“Track records are cool, but we wanted be in a better position to fight for the win,” Ballou said. “We were extremely fast, and I am feeling really good as he get ready for Sprint Week.”
Robert Ballou would like to thank Abreu Vineyards, Deaton’s Waterfront Service, Rossie Feed and Grain, Berks Western Telecom, Inc., MPHG Promotion, Suburban Subaru, Jamie Davidson Scrap Metal, Twister-X, Hinchman Indy, Don Ott Racing Engines, Manvel Motorsports, Blakesley Auto, Olson Custom Design, Konnected Clothing, Hooker Harness, Indy Race Parts, Hoosier Tire, Schoenfeld Headers, ISC Racers Tape, Chalk Racing Products, Keizer Aluminum Wheels, Saldana Racing Products, Moose Blocks, Inc., JE Pistons, AO Designs, and Arai Helmets for their support.
ON TAP: Ballou will now sit idle as he prepares for Indiana Sprint Week.
BY THE NUMBERS: Starts-18, Wins- 0 Top 5’s- 2, Top-10’s- 4
STAY CONNECTED: Stay up to speed with ‘The Mad Man’ by following him on Twitter @RoberBallou81, liking https://www.facebook.com/robertballoumotorsports/, or by clicking over to www.balloumotorsports.com.
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