The RB Performance Super Late Model Series headed out west to the Irwindale Speedway on Thursday night, for a 125 lap event and the 11th race of their season. Entering the night, the top two drivers in the standings were separated by just 3 points.
The night got started with Justin Brooks capturing his 34th career pole in time trials. Brooks took the top 8 cars into the Qualifying Dash and went on to pick up the Dash victory, but would be inverted back to 5th for the start of the race, while Windell Stratton was moved up to the front.
Stratton brought the field to the green flag, and the race went into a long green flag run in the early laps. Stratton paced the field until lap 47 when Justin Brooks made his move into the top spot. The first caution flew on lap 66, which allowed the field to close up on Brooks out front, and shortly after the restart, Cody Kelley began to make his move as he ducked to the inside of Brooks. The two would run side by side for a couple of laps before Kelley eventually cleared into the lead on lap 82. From there, it was all Kelley out front as he went on to lead the final 44 laps of the race to pick up his 3rd SLM win of the season, and his 24th career SARA victory.
Behind Kelley, Brooks remained in the 2nd position after leading the middle portion of the race. Ty Spearman dropped outside of the top five int he opening laps of the race but would slowly work his way back towards the front to round out the podium in 3rd. Davey Riendeau had a strong race, running right around the top five before picking up a 4th place finish, just ahead of the early race leader of Stratton who finished in 5th.
Just missing out on a top five, David Krikorian ended up finishing in the 6th spot which was a disappointment after entering the race just 3 points behind Kelley for the points lead. Todd Sipe ran right around the 10th spot for a majority of the race before benefitting from a late race incident to move up into a 7th place finish. Ian Layne was another driver who made up some spots late in the race after running near the back of the pack early, and moved up into 8th. One of those cars involved in that late wreck as Joe Schaffer, who rebounded to finish 9th, while Matt Eddy rounded out the top 10 after starting deep in the field.
After the victory, Cody Kelley expands his lead in the standings out to 22 points entering next week’s race during SoBo Championship Week, and can clinch the title, regardless of what anyone else does in the race, with a 4th place finish.