Cody Kelley Powers To Desert Victory



The RB Performance Super Late Model Series headed into the desert on Thursday night for their Week 6 event at Phoenix International Raceway, which saw 26 cars show up for the 100-lap feature.

Cody Kelley started the night off by setting the fast lap in time trials for his 15th career SARA pole. Kelley led the top 8 cars into the Qualifying Dash, and he would jump out in front and never looked back to pick up the Dash win. A new invert format saw only  the top 6 cars after the Dash get inverted, which sent Kelley back to 6th, and Joe Schaffer Jr. was inverted to the front of the field.

The feature event saw Schaffer Jr. lead the field to the green flag and he led the race early on. The large track provided plenty of passing on the night, and the lead would be exchanged a few times as well with Schaffer, Kelley, Blake Brown, and Ty Makeski each leading laps throughout the race. But the race for the win would come down to a final restart on lap 92 as Majeski led the field to the green with Kelley to his outside.

Majeski got the jump on the final restart, but Kelley was able to hold pace in the outside lane as the two continued to run door-to-door as the laps winded down. Kelley led the next few laps from the outside groove, and was finally able to power around the outside, and clear into the lead with just a couple laps remaining. Majeski would give it one last charge, but a caution would fly with just three laps to go, ending the race under yellow. Kelley would come around to take the checkered flag which was his first of the SLM season, and his 22nd career SARA victory.

Coming up just short was Majeski with a 2nd place finish, after starting dead last on the grid, charging up to the front, and leading  23 laps on the night. Early in the race, Ty Spearman fell back to the tail end of the top ten but was able to work his way back towards the front for a 3rd place finish. After leading the first 28 laps, Schaffer Jr. hung inside the top five for the rest of the race to take the 4th spot, while Windell Stratton finished in 5th, picking up his first career SARA top five.

Just outside the top five, newcomer Blake Brown led through the mid point of the race, pitted under green, went a lap down, and then got his lap back to recover for a 6th place finish. David Krikorian ran in the top three for most of the race but would drop back after his pit stop and would finish 7th. James Linkiewicz fell back to 15th at one point but would work his way back up to into an 8th place finish. Cody Thompson started deep in the field, gaining 15 spots throughout the race, and worked his way into 9th, and Davey Riendeau would round out the top ten.

With Joe Schaffer Jr. finishing 4th, and David Krikorian finishing 7th, the two drivers would leave Phoenix tied atop the points standings at the midpoint of the season.