Fountain Picks Up First Win at Irwindale



Last night the NEO Racing News made the trip to the Irwindale Speedway where they would take on the inner configuration of the track for their 60-lap feature event. 21 drivers would take the green flag for the event, which was led to the green by Parker Traves who ran a lap at 16.243 to grab the pole.

As Traves took the green, he would pull out to a small lead, while Kevin Myers was already on the move from the 4th starting spot to move up into 2nd, and he wouldn’t let the leader get away too far. TJ Graves moved up into 3rd, while positions from 4th on back would shuffle often in the early laps as drivers battled it out. Ray Farlow, Matt Rolfe, Travis Warling, Dale Owen, and Jared Fountain would each run inside the top 5 during the opening laps, before the first auction of the race flew on lap 10.

On the restart, Traves would slide up just enough for Graves to see a hole in the inside lane going into turn 1, and the two would make contact, but both drivers continued on. Myers was forced out 3-wide from his 2nd spot and was stuck on the high groove for a few laps, and would get shuffled back to 6th when the next caution flew. One driver on the move was Fountain, who was able to work his way up into the 2nd spot for the lap 24 restart.

The next restart once again saw Graves look to the inside and this time Traves would slide up and allowed Graves to grab the lead. But Traves wouldn’t give up as he hung his car on the outside for a few laps, with Fountain right there in the mix as well. Eventually Traves would slide back into the 3rd spot, giving Graves the lead to himself on lap 28. Warning, Rolfe, and Snider would join them as the top 6 broke away from the field, while everyone else was battling, 2, 3 and 4 wide further back in the pack.

On lap 32, Traves, who was still in the 3rd spot, would get loose out of turn 4 and spun up into the wall, ending his strong run. But things would get dicey as he would rejoin the field just in front of the leaders. On lap 38 as the leaders approached Traves, he would get loose, causing Graves to react quickly and moved up the track which allowed Fountain to slide by and grab the top spot. The rest of the front runners would stack up a little, and as a result Rolfe and Bill Martin would make contact, sending Rolfe around from his 3rd spot and bringing out the caution.

Two more restarts later, the field would take the final green flag on lap 54, setting up a small run to the finish. Fountain continued to lead and he would take the green with Graves right to his outside for the first lap before Graves would settle into 2nd. But Graves wasn’t done as he would dive his car to the bottom on lap 57 and Fountain would give him the room, and then powered back on the outside. Graves would get loose out of turn 2, and down into turn 3, allowing Fountain to regain the lead out of turn 4. Graves would slide up, allowing Martin to move up through the middle as he had been running on the outside, but as they went into turn 1 on lap 58, Martin and Snider would make contact, sending Snider around as the rest of the field stacked up behind them as well.

But out front, ahead of the final incident, it would be Fountain that would bring the field around under the checkered and yellow flags to take home his 1st career SARA victory after starting from the 11th spot on the field. Dale Owen had an up and down night but marched through the field to finish 2nd, while Bill Martin would take the 3rd spot. Todd Cousins would sneak by the final wreck to grab the 4th spot, and Snider would continue on to finish in the top 5.

1. Jared Fountain
2. Dale Owen
3. Bill Martin
4. Todd Cousins
5. Clay Snider
6. Travis Warling
7. Patrick Hahe
8. Dave Coursel
9. Jacob Beauchesne
10. Ken Belanger
11. Zach Wroblewski
12. Stan Bragg
13. Todd Sipe
14. Mike Rhyno
15. Willy Howells
16. Ray Farlow
17. Matt Rolfe
18. Kevin Myers
19. TJ Graves
20. Parker Traves
21. JayJay Day
(Note: We reviewed the final incident of the race and changed the scoring of a couple drivers based on where they came out of the final incident, so a couple positions have been changed in the finishing order of the results.)

Next week the division heads to Lime Rock and Stafford for the Connecticut Cup Double Header.

Mike Rhyno hangs onto the points lead after a 14th place finish, but Warling was able to close the gap to just 9 points. For the full results and standings, click HERE.