Another season came to a close on Thursday night when the RB Performance Super Late Model Series finished off SoBo Championship Week with a 175 lap event. After 11 weeks of racing, the championship would come down to the final night of racing as Fred Moreau held the points lead by 70 points, but with drop weeks coming into effect, his points lead would be just 1 point over Justin Brooks. However, Moreau wouldn’t be seen at the track, which left Brooks in control as long as he didn’t run into any trouble over the course of the race.
When group qualifying got underway, 29 drivers would hit the track as they tried to get their best lap in. By the end of qualifying, it was Cody Kelley who put his car on the pole when he set the fast lap with a time of 14.456 second. The pole would be his 2nd career pole.
Kelley would lead the field to the green flag and would quickly pull into the lead ahead of Trey Jarrell. In the opening laps, the top 5 would all remain the same as Brooks, Ty Spearman, and Derek Holzhausen all ran near the front of the field until the first caution would come out on lap 5 for an incident just outside of the top 10, which collected a number of drivers further back in the pack.
On the restart, Kelley jumped back into the lead, and would slowly start to pull away from Jarrell as a 10-lap run would get started. In 3rd, Brooks would run a few car lengths behind the leaders, but he would soon face pressure from behind and would drop back a couple of spots as Spearman, and Bill Martin who had moved up, would get by to drop Brooks back to the 5th spot. A couple of laps later, the next caution would come out on lap 19.
Over the next portion of the race, a couple more cautions would come out, including one where most of the field would have connection issues. A couple cars would be effected by this as they received damage from other cars they couldn’t see due to bad connections, but once that was sorted out, the field would get back to green flag racing.
On a lap 48 restart, the field would set out on one of the longest green flag runs of the season as nearly 100 laps of racing would tick off. Kelley pulled back into the lead, but Jarrell wouldn’t let him go too easily as he would follow within a couple of car lengths over the first portion of the run. After about 20 laps, Kelley extended the lead some as Jarrell fell back, even extending it out to over a half second, but eventually the leaders would catch lapped traffic which allowed Jarrell to close the gap some.
Back in the 3rd spot, Martin had moved up into the position on the restart, but he and Spearman would battle back and forth for the spot. Each time one of them made the pass, the other would put the pressure back on and would take the spot back away. They would trade the position a handful of times before Spearman would eventually take the spot on lap 80, but by that time, the leaders were well out in front by over 2 seconds in the lead. Brooks would run in the 5th spot over the course of the green flag stretch, after getting some damage in one of the previous cautions that would find him off the pace a little. Just outside the top 5 during the run, was Holzhausen, Trent Brown, Anthony Celentano, James Linkiewicz, and Ian Layne all ran inside the top 10.
Out front, Kelley was setting a torrid pace, putting most of the field a lap down. Some cars would end up having to pit under green as they found themselves running out of gas, one of those being Martin who would fall out of his 4th spot to head down pit road. By the time the next caution came out on lap 144, ending the 96-lap green flag run, only 5 cars remained on the lead lap.
On the lap 149 restart, the field would set out on another green flag run for 18 laps, as Kelley led them back around. Jarrell was able to fall in line behind him and would run within just a couple of car lengths behind Kelley. As Jarrell looked for a way by, the two leaders would pull away from the cars behind them as Spearman ran in the 3rd spot. Brown took over the 4th spot on the restart, before Brooks was able to get by a few laps later during the run. Out front, Kelley began to put a little bit of space between himself and Jarrell, before the next caution flew on lap 166.
Kelley would lead the field back around for what would be the final restart on lap 171, but Jarrell would give it one last shot as the two battled for the lead. The two would run side-by-side all the way through turns one and two, but coming off the corner Jarrell’s car would push up and he would get into the outside wall, allowing Kelley to gain the advantage. As Jarrell got into the wall, Brown would look to avoid him which ended up with Brown and Spearman getting together, and Brown would go around to bring out the final caution.
After gaining the advantage, Kelley would hang onto the lead and would bring the field around to the checkered and yellow flags to pick up the victory. The win for Kelley would be his first Super Late Model win, and his 4th career SARA victory. Jarrell would hang on to finish in the 2nd spot, ahead of Spearman who was also able to recover after the late contact to finish 3rd. Brooks would end up finishing 4th, with Brown falling back to a 5th place finish.
Brooks would end up finishing in the 4th spot, and with Moreau missing the race, this would give Brooks enough points to take over the lead to pick up his first career SARA title. Brooks’ championship is even more impressive due to the fact that he had to overcome a suspension which didn’t allow him to have any drop weeks, and a 100 point penalty, to rebound and gain enough points to overcome it all. His championship season consisted of 10 starts, 4 poles (Phoenix, Iowa, Oxford, Irwindale) with an average starting position of 3rd, 5 wins (Phoenix, Martinsville, Iowa, Oxford, Irwindale) with an average finish of 3.7, 9 top 5 finishes, 9 top 10 finishes, 1,334 laps complete and 742 laps led. Congrats to Justin Brooks, your 2014 RB Performance Super Late Model Series Fall Season champion!
For full results and points, click HERE.