From Heartbreak to Hero: Dylonn Fox finds redemption in 2019 Spring Fling
Knoxville, IA (April 10, 2019) – One year ago, Dylonn Fox made his first Schaeffer’s Oil Spring Fling start. That event started eerily similar to the 2019 edition of the Spring Fling, with Fox winning the pole. Where things changed drastically was on lap one of the heat race in each year. On lap one of Fox’s 2018 heat race, he was sent hard into the wall on lap one and unable to finish.
Fox, a soft-spoken driver from the Midwest, did not give up in 2018 when his night seemed over after one bad heat race. He then went on to run the alphabet soup. First, he made it through the D Main after starting deep in the field. Fox then made a stirring rally to win the C Main after starting 13th. Fox wasn’t done yet. He then powered from 14th to secure a transfer from the B Main into the Qualifying feature.
This is where the 2018 Cinderella story of Fox ended. He made it all the way from last to finish 13th in the Qualifying feature, one spot out from making the A Main. Even though Fox wasn’t able to finish the job, he made many new fans after an impressive rally from the crash in his heat race. Still, this wasn’t enough for Fox. He wanted to show he belonged with the top drivers in iRacing, but would have to wait until 2019 for the ultimate redemption.
While both years started the same with Fox qualifying on the pole, the 2019 Spring Fling almost immediately started better. Fox started on the pole of his heat race and went on to win, and then easily won the 35 lap qualifying feature to lock himself into a front row start for the 12th Annual Schaeffer’s Oil Spring Fling on Night 2.
Fox quickly jumped out to an early lead over pole sitter Shad Prescott in the 100 Lap Spring Fling A Main, but eventually the top side of the track became too much as Camarillo, California driver Trevor Fitz raced to the lead ahead of Fox. Over the next 15 laps, the teammates raced out to nearly a straightaway advantage over the rest of the pack, before the first caution slowed the field.
With the laps winding down, the chances for Fox to win looked smaller and smaller as he seemed to be fading a bit while other driver began charging forward. On lap 52, leader Trevor Fitz was involved in a violent wreck with Zach Leonhardi that sent Fitz for a wild ride up the Armco barrier and then on his roof, and led Leonhardi to be penalized. The misfortune for Fitz seemed to be of benefit to Fox, but Zero6 Motorsports drivers Kendal Tucker and Blake Matjoulis were making a charge for the lead. Eventually Tucker and Matjoulis would move into first and second while coasting along the bottom of the track, at the same time Fox was powering on the high side.
By lap 62, Fox had built up enough momentum to get past Mount Airy, North Carolina’s Kendal Tucker to take over the race lead.
The final caution of the night two laps later on lap 64 bunched the field up one final time. From there, Fox would use the clean air to run his preferred line and distance himself from the pack. At one point, he had nearly a four second lead over Tucker and third place runner Blake Cannon. The lead would quickly shrink in the final five laps all the way down to two seconds, but Fox was able to hang on to edge Tucker for a $3,000 pay day.
“It killed me last year having to watch the race after setting fast time in practice and in qualifying,” said Fox in victory lane, reflecting on his misfortune in the 2018 Spring Fling. “It’s crazy to think (winning $3,000 for a sim race), because a lot of local tracks around here don’t even come close to that kind of payout. It’s such a sigh of relief for this to finally be over and to come out of here with a win. It’s a crazy feeling, definitely a big relief. I never really expected to be in this situation.
“Thanks to D1RT for everything they do working together on setups and VLR and Schaeffer’s Oil for putting these events on for us.”
Fox earned $3,000 for his efforts, and was followed home by Kendal Tucker in second, who earned $1,500, and Blake Cannon in third, earning $800. Knoxville, Tennessee driver Hayden Cardwell came home fourth, while Quebec’s Alex Bergeron brought home the Allstar Performance Hard Charger Award after winning the LCQ from 13th place and then rallying from 25th to 5th in the Spring Fling A Main.
Official A Main Results // Earnings:
1. Dylonn Fox // $3,050 + KWDRE $899 Value + $250 ButtKicker Value + ButtKicker T Shirt & Hat + Capron Cup Handmade Trophy + Diatte Racing Innovations Lap Leader Award
2. Kendal Tucker // $1,586 + ButtKicker T Shirt & Hat + HRT Sim Racing Plaque + Allstar Performance Highest Performer + Race On Texas Cleanest Passer Award + Diatte Racing Innovations Lap Leader Award
3. Blake Cannon // $800
4. Hayden Cardwell // $600
5. Alex Bergeron // $600 + Allstar Performance Hard Charger
6. Blake Matjoulis // $400
7. Drew Herchko // $465 + Elite7 Racing 7th on lap 77 Award
8. Austin Carr // $300
9. Kevin Dedmon // $275
10. Randall Carter // $250
11. Zach Leonhardi // $225
12. Evan Seay // $200
13. Jordan Casey // $180
14. Shane James // $170
15. James Edens // $150
16. Dylan Wilson // $140
17. Howard Weaver // $125
18. Tyler Ducharme // $120
19. JD Brown // $110
20. Virgil Graham // $105
21. Nick Cooper // $100
22. Shad Prescott // $100
23. Thomas Coggins // $100
24. Jacob Fields // $100
25. Trevor Fitz // $239 + Team Friday Hard Luck Award + Race On Texas Fast Lap Award + Diatte Racing Innovations Lap Leader Award
Kenny Wallace Dirt Racing Experience Free Drive – Dylonn Fox
The ButtKicker – 1st place – Dylonn Fox
ButtKicker T-Shirt & Hat to 2nd place – Kendal Tucker
ButtKicker Hat to 3rd place – Blake Cannon
Capron Cup Winner Trophy – Dylonn Fox
HRT Sim Racing Plaque to 2nd and 3rd place – Kendal Tucker and Blake Cannon
Allstar Performance Hard Charger Award – $100 – Alex Bergeron
Allstar Performance highest finishing Allstar decal – $25 – Kendal Tucker
Race On Texas Cleanest Passer Award – $50 – Kendal Tucker
Race On Texas Fast Lap Award (A Main) – $50 – Trevor Fitz
Team Friday Hard Luck Award – $100 – Trevor Fitz, Justin Thomas
Elite7Racing 7th place on lap 77 – $115 – Drew Herchko
Diatte Racing Innovations Lap Leader Award – $100 – Dylonn Fox, Kendal Tucker, Trevor Fitz
1. Alex Bergeron
2. David Heileman
3. Blake Brown
4. Chase Cabre
5. Baily Cardwell
6. Brandon Bolton
7. Jeremy Capron
8. Spencer Swafford
9. Troy Dow
10. Mike Molnar
11. Garrett Robinson
12. Ryan Diatte
13. Hunter Stiffler
14. Adam Elby
15. Garrett Niebruegge
16. Shane DeVolder
17. Tim Christianson
18. Jacob Leverstein
19. Drew Hopkins
20. Austin Matthews
21. Dylan Houser
22. Greg Thompson
23. DJ Kilanowski
24. Austen Semmelmann