The MRD Pro Late Models rolled into the Oxford Plains Speedway last night, with 22 drivers looking to battle it out for the win in the 125-lap event. But by the end of the night, the season’s first championship would be locked up. Bill Martin entered the night with a 168 point lead, and would leave with the title.
Ty Majeski would pick up the pole for the race with a lap of 16.038 seconds, and would lead the field to the green flag from the outside lane. He would get the jump into the lead and was able to get down in front of Kevin Myers as they entered the first turn. Martin started in the 4th spot, and was also able to use the outside lane to move all the way up into 2nd by the time they completed lap 1. Myers would settle back into the 3rd spot, ahead of Jarrid Boiros and James Linkiewicz who ran in the top 5 early on. The front of the filed looked content to ride for a while in the opening laps, but a couple of cautions would come out further back in the pack.
This would bring the field to the lap 31 restart, where again Majeski would use the outside groove to jump into the lead over Martin. He would then begin to extend his lead and pulled out to over 1-second by lap 40. Martin ran in the 2nd spot, with Myers settled into 3rd. James Linkiewicz held the 4th position, but Cody Kelley was on the move and charging to the front. On lap 44, Kelley made the move under Linkiewicz for the spot, and Jarrid Boiros would follow him through into 5th. But as Linkieiwicz tried to duck back in line behind Boiros, the two would make contact and Boiros would end up over the outside of turn one and into the wall. The green flag would stay out though, as the run continued on to lap 63.
When the field reached lap 50, the top 5 remained the same, and just outside the top 5, Matt Rolfe, Jacob Linkiewicz, Brandon Simmons, Mike Belanger, and Darrell Hamlin rounded out the top 10. By lap 56, Majeski had pulled out to a 2.2 second lead and began to put cars at the back a lap down. Just a few laps later, the next caution would come out as Jacob Linkiewicz and Simmons were battling for the 7th spot when they got together and Linkiewicz would get turned around.
A few cars would head down pit road, but the top four stayed out and were quick to fall in line, with Rolfe moving into the top 5 on the lap 69 restart. As the next run went on, Majeski held onto the lead once again, but Martin wasn’t letting him get too far away as he stayed within a couple of car lengths. On lap 80, a battle would start for the 5th spot as Rolfe would begin to fall back some, allowing Hamlin to catch up to his bumper. Rolfe would get loose, forcing Hamlin to check up and he would get spun from behind, bringing out the caution on lap 81.
A couple cautions later, and the field would be set up for their final restart on lap 112. Majeski would get a big jump on the field to stay in the lead, and once again Martin would hang onto the 2nd spot ahead of James Linkiewicz and Myers. Belanger had moved up to the 5th spot on the restart, but Kelley would get by him to take the position, and would work his way to the back bumper of Myers to battle for the 4th spot as the laps winded down. Kelley would poke his nose to the inside a couple of times but couldn’t find the room, then he looked to the outside a couple of times too, but Myers wasn’t giving up his line for the spot. On lap 124, kelley decided to use his bumper and would get Myers to slide up the track, but in the following corner he would get the bumper right back as Myers retook the spot. This allowed Belanger to catch up and get to the inside of Kelley on the final lap. The two of them would make contact and got sideways, but were able to recover and keep their cars going, after Anthony Celentano was able to sneak by on the high side to pass them both.
Back out front though, Majeski would extend his lead to a half-second, and brought the field around to pick up his 22nd career SARA win. While Majeski led all 125 laps of the race, Martin was right there behind him every lap to finish in the 2nd spot. James Linkiewicz would finish 3rd, followed by Myers, and Celentano who rounded out the top.
Scott Dunlap – Retaliation – EOL in Results
Brandon Simmons – Retaliation – EOL in Results
Next time out, the Pro Late Models will head to the Lucas Oil Raceway for 100 laps.
With his 2nd place finish, Bill Martin earned enough points to not only hang onto the points lead, and extend it to 187 points, but he has mathematically clinched the championship with two races remaining in the season. Even with drop weeks coming into play starting in Week 11, Martin could sit out both races and still win the championship. Congrats to Bill Martin, your 2014 MRD Pro Late Model Series Fall Season Champion!
For full results and standings, click HERE.