On Monday night, the SK Shootout Series hit the track at South Boston for 100 laps, shortly after the Legends wrapped up their season. Entering the night, Kevin Myers held a small advantage in the point standings, over Stan Bragg, as the two would look to battle up front to see who could pick up their first SARA championship.
Bill Martin picked up his 14th career pole with a lap time of 14.410 seconds, and would lead the field to the green flag. Myers qualified in the 2nd spot, but Bragg would have to start in the rear of the field and would have his work cut out for him to get to the front. The field came around to take the green flag but a quick caution would come out, after some contact on the backstretch would see Matt Rolfe in 3rd and Kevin Berg in 4th get turned around in front of the field, leaving the rest of the field behind them with no where to go. Many cars would limp to the pits to fix their damage to get back out on the track for the first restart of the race.
On the lap 7 restart, Martin would lead the field back to the green flag, but Myers would hang tough on the outside. The two would run side-by-side before Myers would get the run off the corner on the next lap, and was clear in the lead by lap 9 to pick up some valuable bonus points. Behind the two leaders, TJ Graves would run in the 3rd spot ahead of Bobby Timmons and Mike Belanger who were running in the top 5 early on before the next caution on lap 14.
This would lead to the lap 19 restart where Myers and Martin would battle it out once more, and this time it was Martin would got the edge on the outside groove and powered back to the lead on lap 22. Myers would fall in behind him, but on lap 24, Myers would get loose coming out of turn two just ahead of Graves who didn’t have enough time to check up. Contact between the two of them would send both drivers around in front of the field, collecting both drivers and a number of others in the pack. Myers headed down pit road to fix his damage and would come back on track still on the lead lap as he looked to work his way back through the field.
After a couple of early wrecks in the race, this would allow Bragg to work his way through the field and would come from last on the grid up to the 2nd spot on the lap 29 restart.
Martin would lead the field back to the green, but another quick caution would come out, leading to the lap 36 restart and a nice green flag run. Martin brought the field to the green, but Bragg was fighting on the outside and would poke a nose into the lead by a hair on lap 38, but Martin would get the run on the bottom to get back into the lead. Bragg would fall back slightly, allowing Patrick Hahe to get to his inside, and the two would battle it out next to each other for a number of laps before Bragg was able to gain the advantage and settled into the 2nd spot. During the run, Ryan Borges would work his way up into the 4th position as he looked to track down the lead group of cars, with Timmons not too far behind in the 5th spot. Martin and Bragg would begin to pull away a bit, leaving Hahe behind to try and hold off Borges who was looking to get by, and Borges would get that spot just before the next caution came out on lap 52.
During the previous green flag run, Myers had received some additional contact as he was trying to come back through the field. He worked his way back up 9th position, but a couple of cars would get together out in front of him, and Myers would get collected in the wreck. He would be forced to use the tow truck to return to the pits, resulting in him losing 3 laps on the track which ultimately ended his race and his chance at the championship.
On the lap 57 restart, Martin would bring the field to the green flag as they started a 25-lap run, but once again he would have his hands full as Bragg was looking to get by on the outside. Bragg got a good jump at the green, which allowed him to work his way past Martin and cleared him to grab the lead on lap 59. Martin wouldn’t give up though as he would stay within a couple of car lengths for most of the run until falling off in the later laps. Hahe remained in the 3rd spot but once again found himself trying to hold off Borges for the spot. Borges would look to get by around lap 70 before a little contact between the two would see Borges slip back some. Anthony Celentano had worked his way to the top 5, but when the cars in front of him got together, he would also slip up, allowing Ian Layne to get by to take over the 5th spot. Out front, Bragg would extend his lead out to over a half second before the next caution would come out on lap 83.
With the laps winding down, the late race restarts would lead to more caution which never allowed the field to battle it out to the end. This would work to Bragg’s advantage though as he was able to work his way from last on the starting grid, all the way to the top spot to take the victory when he led the field to the checkered and yellow flags. Bragg’s win would be his 2nd career win. Martin would hang onto the 2nd spot, ahead of Hahe and Borges who held onto their spots in the top 4, and Cameron Hobbs would benefit from the late cautions to move up into a top 5 finish.
With the victory, and Myers running into trouble, Bragg’s victory would propel him into the points to take home his first career SARA championship. In the five race mini series, Bragg picked up 1 pole (Irwindale) with an average starting position of 5.4, 2 wins (Irwindale and South Boston) with an average finishing position of 5th, 4 top 5 finishes, 4 top 10 finishes, 442 laps completed and 161 laps led. Congrats to Stan Bragg, your 2014 Sk Shootout Series Fall Season champion!
For the full results and standings, click HERE.