On Wednesday, the Late Model Series returned to the Volusia Speedway Park for the third and final time this season with a Mudsummer Meltdown starting spot on the line. The winner of the 100-lap event would lock themselves into our big dirt event at the end of next month.
Race Winner – For the first 75 laps, it was an epic battle out front between Adam Benefiel and Travis McKinney, as the two ran side by side for nearly the entire first half of the race. As those two enjoyed their battle out front, the track slicked off and the groove moved up for most, but Matt Rolfe was making a charge using the bottom groove to join the fight. After a restart on lap 80, Rolfe would use the inside groove to take the lead away from Benefiel, and would pull away down low and went on to lead the final 20 laps for his first Dirt victory, and his 26th career SARA win.
Heat Winners – Bruce Perry and Travis McKinney both took full advantage of drawing lucky #1 for their Heat Races and both went on to take the wins.
Hard Charger – After a Heat Race incident, Joe Schaffer Jr. started shotgun on the field in 16th, and worked his way forward all night into a runner-up finish, gaining a total of 14 spots.
Title Fight – Despite missing the event, drop weeks helped Ty Spearman hang onto the points lead after 7 races over Joe Schaffer Jr. and Travis McKinney, with four races left on the schedule.
Up Next – Next week the series will make it’s second trip to the Williams Grove Speedway, where last time Joe Schaffer Jr. beat out Ty Spearman for the win. Similar results next week will help narrow the points gap at the top of the standings.
Other Notables – Travis McKinney ran side-by-side with Adam Benefiel for the lead during a majority of the race, but never led a single lap despite being less than one-tenth of a second behind at the stripe 6 times. Scott Dunlap picked up his first career dirt top five finish in 5th. Can-Am invaders Bruce Perry and Mike King ran in the top five most of the night before finishing 6th and 7th, respectively.