Traves Picks Up First Win at Charlotte



Last night the Sportsman Street Stock Series made their return trip to the Charlotte Motor Speedway as the track would once again serve as the division’s season opener. 24 cars rolled into the speedway for practice, and when the 10 minute open qualifying session began, it was Kenny Lindsley who would put his #26 at the top of the speed charts with a time of 36.597 seconds, with Kevin Myers joining him on the front row, just .024 seconds behind.

Lindsley would lead the field out of turn 4 to take the green flag, and quickly the action heated up as drivers would use the draft to try and freight train past the cars on the high side. James Linkiewicz quickly moved up into the 2nd spot, with TJ Graves and Huston Hamer following him up through into the 3rd and 4th spots, while Parker Traves was quick to move up into the top 5 as well before the first caution flew on lap 7. On the restart, Lindsley was able to get the jump and hung onto the lead, while another caution shortly after the restart would slow the field again.

On the second restart of the night, Lindsley got the jump again, but the pressure was on as Graves and Traves got their cars hooked up in the draft and they set their sights on the leader. The leaders would cross the line at the half way mark, and this is when the duo in 2nd and 3rd would make their moves, and they would draft past Lindsley on the high side to complete the pass, and Graves became the new leader on lap 21, with Traves following him up into the 2nd spot. While that battle was going on, Jacob and James Linkiewicz would settle into the top 5 behind the leaders, with Jesse Johnston, Todd Sipe, Jason Covington, Jesse Potter, and Zach Wroblewski all running within the top 10 at that time.

The top 5 would remain unchanged over the course of the next few laps and a restart in between, but the final restart would happen on lap 35 which would shake things up at the front of the field. Graves held the top spot on the inside, but it was Traves that got the momentum off the restart and was able to move down to the bottom in the lead. But behind him, drivers were battling it out and there would be some contact made behind the leader the resulted in two separate incidents in turn two. Lindsley was facing pressure from his outside from Potter, but the two drivers would get together and sent both of them into the wall with Lindsley getting up into the catch fence. But as that was happening, Jacob Linkiewicz had a run on Graves in turn two for the 2nd spot, but those two drivers would get together as well, with both drivers spinning into the infield and back into traffic as the rest of the field scattered to avoid them, but with many getting collected.

But as all that happened, and the yellow flag flew, it was Traves that was left clean in front of the field, and would bring them around under the checkered and yellow flags to pick up his first career SARA victory, leading just the final 6 laps. James Linkiewicz was able to avoid the late wreck to sneak up into 2nd, while Sipe was also able to get by to move up into the 3rd spot. Jacob Linkiewicz was scored in the 4th spot, while Potter was scored in the top 5.

1. Parker Traves
2. James Linkiewicz
3. Todd Sipe
4. Jacob Linkiewicz
5. Jesse Potter
6. Huston Hamer
7. Tim Bills
8. Anthony Celentano
9. Russell Berry
10. Jesse Johnston
11. Jeff Hoggard
12. TJ Graves
13. Jason Covington
14. Zach Wroblewski
15. Ken Belanger
16. Kenny Lindsley
17. Bill Martin
18. Kenny Smith
19. Mike Whited
20. Stan Bragg
21. Jason Miller
22. Joel Clancy
23. Kevin Myers
24. James Stone

Next week the series head to Cali to the Irwindale Speedway for a 75 lap event.

With the win, Parker Traves leaves Charlotte with the points lead. For the full points standings, click HERE.