OAKWOOD — Tyler Courtney was in a perfect position to win his second race with his new car owner on Sunday night at the Vermilion County Speedway.
But with just two laps remaining in the 25-lap main event, Courtney saw his chances for a victory slip through his hands as his sprint car slid over the banking in turns No. 3 and 4, allowing Brandon Mattox to get past him.
Mattox held on over the final two laps to claim the second annual Kickapoo Klash with Nick Bilbee finishing second and Courtney settled for third.
“We definitely had a winning car tonight,’’ Courtney said. “But, I ran out of talent there in turns 3 and 4 with two laps to go and Brandon got by me.
“It’s my first weekend with a new car owner. We won on first night out (at Farmer City), we were fourth last night and third tonight. So, I guess it was pretty good opening weekend.’’
But winning two of your first three races would have been even better.
For Mattox, it was a complete reversal from the inaugural Kickapoo Klash.
“Last year, we won our heat race and then, we got put in the fence during the main event,’’ he said. “We actually brought the same car back this year. We ran second at Farmer City on Friday night, so we really feel like we got this thing rolling pretty good.
“That helped my confidence coming back to a track where we took a pretty nasty ride a year ago. When we got here, it was time to do business.’’
Mattox, of Cory, Ind., admitted that he felt bad for Courtney.
“Tyler Courtney is a good friend,’’ he said. “He had a little bobble and we were right there to take advantage of it.’’
Actually, it was the final caution of the main event that set up things for both Courtney and Mattox.