Kelley Goes Back-To-Back At Thompson



Last night the MRD Pro Late Model Series returned to Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park for the first time in over a year for the 4th race of their season. When cars rolled out onto the track, nearly 30 cars took times as they prepared for qualifying. When time trials began, it was Bill Martin that took the fast time with a lap of 19.821 seconds, but with an invert of 6, that would send Martin back to 6th to start the race and brought Cody Kelley and Matt Rolfe up to the front row.

As the race got underway, Kelley shot out to the lead while the rest of the field looked to take it easy in the opening laps. Rolfe dropped into 2nd, but Kelley would begin to pull away and the pressure was on for the 2nd spot. Martin was quickly working his way towards the front and moved up into the 2nd spot by lap  8 which shuffled Rolfe back to 5th by the time he fell in line, but Kelley’s lead was already up over two seconds by that time. But Martin was on the move and looked to close the gap over the next few laps before the caution would fly on lap 16 ending the good run to start the race.

On the restart, Kelley once again jumped out front, which left Martin and Kenny Lindsley to battle for 2nd, but they would enter the corner and hit doors which sent Lindsley around and on his roof to bring out a quick caution. The next restart came out on lap 28 where Kelley remained untouched at the front, with James Linkiewicz following him up into 2nd, and Martin dropping back to 3rd. But Martin would put the pressure back on Linkiewicz for the spot and would dive down to the inside to take it before they would make contact, sending Linkiewicz around and Martin to the tail end of the field on lap 34.

Despite some good runs at the start of the race, Thompson showed it’s colors and made it tough for the drivers and tough to get any lengthy runs in during the 2nd half of the event. Kelley did everything he needed to do on each restart, and Jared Fountain was right there with him after moving up to 2nd on a mid race restart. A number of drivers would find their way up into the top 5 throughout the 2nd half of the race, which included Cody Thompson, Rolfe, Jarrett Lawrence, Dale Owen, Stan Bragg, Parker Traves, and Mike Belanger. But with the restarts, those drivers would often get shuffled back out of those spots, without getting any runs in later in the race.

This would allow Kelley to stay out front all night, and he would hang onto the lead on each restart and would lead every lap of the 100-lap event to pick up his 2nd career SARA victory, and his 2nd straight in the Pro Late Model division. Fountain remained in the 2nd spot for a good finish, with Tyler Ducharme, Belanger, and Owen rounding out the top 5 after moving up in the late stages of the race.

1. Cody Kelley
2. Jared Fountain
3. Tyler Ducharme
4. Mike Belanger
5. Dale Owen
6. Jarrett Lawrence
7. Matt Rolfe
8. Ken Belanger
9. Jeffrey Nichols
10. Todd Sipe
11. Jeff Kendrick
12. Jeff Hoggard
13. Sam Clarke
14. Darren Daves
15. Stan Bragg
16. Todd Cousins
17. Mike Whited
18. Parker Traves
19. Scott Dunlap
20. Michael German
21. Bill Martin
22. Kevin Berg
23. Cody Thompson
24. James Linkiewicz
25. Russell Berry
26. Ryan Borges
27. Ian Layne
28. Kenny Lindsley (DQ)

Kenny Lindsley – Actions Detrimental to the League – Banned
Stan Bragg – Retaliation – 50 point penalty + 2 Week Suspension (through week 6 races)
Bill Martin – Aggressive Driving – Warning

Next week the series will make up their week #2 event that got cancelled and will revisit the New Hampshire Motor Speedway for a 75-lap feature.

Despite a 21st place finish, Bill Martin extends his points lead to 16 points as other drivers near the top would have problems as well. For full results and standings, click HERE.