Brooks Tackles The Martinsville Paperclip



On Thursday night, the RB Performance Super Late Model Series rolled into the Martinsville Speedway for one the longest races of the season as they tackled the half-mile paperclip for 200 laps. And a strong showing of cars would show up and attempt to qualify as 41 cars took times in qualifying. At the top of the speed charts it would be Justin Brooks that set the fast time, but that would be erased when the field headed into heat races to set the grid. The top 26 times would be locked into the show while the rest of the drivers had to battle it out in the LCQ.

When heat races got under way, it was Fred Moreau that drew lucky #1 and he would use that to lead all 10 laps of his heat, which would put him in the pole starting spot for the feature. Jacob Linkiewicz would do the same in his heat as he would hold on for the win, which would see him join Moreau on the front row for the race. In the LCQ, Cameron Hobbs started on the pole and escaped a first lap crash which collected many of the 13 cars in the LCQ, and he would run away and take the win. Joining him would be Mickey Kudlicki who would also advance to the feature after starting 13th in the heat to finish 2nd. Ian Layne and Clay Snider would also join the feature after receiving their points provisionals to make up the 30 car starting grid.

With a long race ahead of them, the field took the green flag with Moreau jumping out to the early lead for the first run of the race. He would stretch his lead to over 1 second in the opening laps over TJ Graves who had moved up into 2nd, while Brooks and Christian Pederson moved up into the top 5 as well behind the two leaders. The first caution of the race would come out on lap 8, and unfortunately this would bunch the field back up, and they would have hard time getting some green flag racing in for some of the following laps. Throughout the early part of the race, the top group of cars would remain the same with Moreau continuing to lead out front.

On a lap 34 restart, a small green flag run would develop, and Brooks would set his sights on the leader and grabbed the lead away from Moreau by lap 37. Moreau would slip back to 3rd on the next couple of restarts, with Graves moving up to 2nd again. Peterson ran in the 4th spot, while Ryan Borges made his way into the top 5. Things would again remain the same up front for a while, until a lap 80 restart set the field on their longest run of the night with 44 laps of green flag action.

Brooks powered away out front, growing his lead by each lap, but another driver had been fighting his way through the field during the race. Trey Jarrell had started mid pack and dropped to the back early, but he would eventually work his way up into the 2nd spot during the green flag run by lap 94 and he would look to see if he could chase down the leader. Graves dropped back to the 3rd spot, while Moreau looked content in the 4th spot until he was forced to pit under green on lap 110, ending his chances at a good run. This would moved Kenny Lindsley up into the 4th spot, with Cody Kelley inheriting a spot in the top 5. Over the course of the run, Brooks had been setting a torrid pace, and began lapping cars, leaving just 14 cars on the lead lap before the caution flag would come out on lap 124.

When the caution flew, nearly everyone headed down pit road for new tires, except for Casey Kelley who would stay out for the lead as well as James Linkiewicz. But it wouldn’t take long for Brooks and company to take those spots back as Brooks regained the lead within a lap of the restart. A couple of quick cautions would lead to another restart on lap 152 where the field would again see some more green flag racing when they put together a 20-lap run. But once again the top of the field looked content to stay up there. Brooks again jumped out to the lead, but Jarrell would stay right with him for much of the run, putting the pressure on Brooks to make some mistakes. Cody Kelly ran in the 3rd spot during the run, with Pederson and Lindsley still hanging on to top 5 spots. As the race began to wind down, the drivers began to run each other harder in the final laps, which would lead to a couple more cautions to see the race end under the caution flag.

When the field came around for the checkered flag, it was Brooks who had held onto the lead and took home his league leading 24th career SARA victory. Trey Jarrell ended his strong run, just one spot short of the lead, with a 2nd place finish on the night. Pederson would move up into the 3rd spot, after running amongst the top 5 for much of the night. Borges would pick off a couple cars near the end of the race to finish in the 4th spot, with Cody Kelly rounding out the top 5.

1. Justin Brooks
2. Trey Jarrell
3. Christian Pederson
4. Ryan Borges
5. Cody Kelley
6. Tyler Ducharme
7. TJ Graves
8. Tim Bills
9. Mike Belanger
10. Cameron Hobbs
11. Ray Farlow
12. Fred Moreau
13. James Linkiewicz
14. Ian Layne
15. Dale Owen
16. Daniel Dunham
17. Casey Kelley
18. Todd Sipe
19. Huston Hamer
20. Matt Rolfe
21. Dustin Riccioni
22. Clay Snider
23. Kenny Lindsley
24. Kevin Myers
25. Derek Robinson
26. Mickey Kudlicki
27. Ken Belanger
28. Pier-Luc Moreau
29. Preston Pardus
30. James Linkiewicz
31. Robert Matthews
32. Colin Allman
DNS: Trevor Perry
DNQ: Dante Curtis, Kyle Holzhausen, Seth DeMerchant, Brandon Simmons, Russell Berry, Gary Belling, Mike Whited, Nicolas Moreau

Next week the series will head to Iowa for a 100-lap feature event.

With his 2nd win of the season, Justin Brooks extends his points lead to 23 points over 2nd place. For full results and standings, click HERE.