Roger Austin Jr. Picks Up First Ever Feature Win; Hendershott Grabs ODS Track Title ......
Roger Austin Jr. from Nokesville Va. picked up
his first ever feature win in the INEX Legends division, holding off challenges from
several drivers in the $1000.00 to win 40 lap feature for the motorcycle engine powered
machines. Austin took over the lead after polesitter and early leader Brian Curry broke
the rear end in his Tony Stewart look-a-like coupe on a restart. Austin then had to hold
off Kevin Yeatts, a 4 time feature winner in 2001, but Yeatts broke a muffler with just 5
laps to go, which prompted officials to park the all-time Legends feature winner.That was
costly, as Yeatts had an 18 point lead going into the final race of the 2001 season at
ODS, and only had to finish no worse than 9 spots behind young Kyle Hendershott from
Fairfax Va. to secure the championship. Hendershott at the time was running 5th. As Yeatts
pulled into his pit stall, Hendershott needed only to finish the final few laps of the
event to grab the championship. Meanwhile, the race up front was a battle, as Austin now
had to deal with Nick Carlson for the win. Carlson tried on the high side, and the low
side, but was unable to complete the pass. Austin Jr. crossed the stripe less than a car
length ahead of Carlson on the final lap.
For Yeatts, it was the second year in a row that the championship had slipped away. In 2000, he had a slim point lead over Marty Armin Jr., but fell out early after he had his first engine failure ever at ODS. "Was it the right call? Absolutely not as far as I am concerned. Was it a FAIR call? Yes it was," said Yeatts.
Ironically, the story here goes much deeper than what will be shown in the final rundown. On Friday, the day before the race, Hendershott, who races with his father in the Legends division, had a bolt break on the front end of his car, sending him into the fence, bending the frame beyond repair by Saturday night. Hendershott then was left without a ride for Saturday. But Dad came to the rescue and gave his car to the 17 year old. Now Dad was without a ride, and as he himself was in the top 10 in points, desperately needed to make the race. And who's car does the elder Hendershott wind up in? Kevin Yeatts's backup car.