Worst To First, Two In A Row For Martin



The MRolfeDesigns Pro Late Model Series made the trip out west to the Irwindale Speedway, and 39 cars would show up to attempt to qualify for the 100-lap main event. In qualifying, it was Justin Brooks who once again would set the fast time to grab the pole spot with a time of 18.393 seconds, his 4th pole in 5 starts this season. Joining him on the front row was Kenny Lindsley, but both drivers knew they wouldn’t be starting the race there due to a random invert at the front of the field. 28 cars would qualify on time for the event, with Mike Whited and Bill Martin taking the two provisionals based on points to make up the 30 car field, while nine drivers were sent home early.

An invert of 9, would send Brooks back to the 9th starting spot, and it brought up Stan Bragg to the front row along side of Parker Traves for the start of the race. Bragg would lead the field to the green, with Traves falling in behind him, as the field began a 17-lap green flag run. Bragg began to pull away, while the rest of the field began to sort things out. It didn’t take Brooks long to work his way up into the top 3, as he would move from 9th to 3rd in 12 laps. Cody Kelley followed him up to 4th before his engine would expire early, allowing Lindsley to move up into the 4th spot, while Anthony Celentano settled into 5th during the run. The first caution would fly on lap 17, and most of the field would head down pit road.

Bragg would stay out though, while the rest of the field got some fresh rubber, with some guys taking two tires and many others taking all four. Brooks would restart in the 2nd spot, and quickly grabbed the lead away from Bragg before the next caution flew. On that caution, Bragg headed down pit road to get his tires, leaving Brooks out front fending off Lindsley who moved up into 2nd. Brooks would pull away by about a half-second on the next run, before Lindsley would slowly begin to reel him in. Celentano found himself up in the 3rd spot with a strong run early, while Jared Fountain worked his way up to 4th, and Mason White was 5th.

On the next caution on lap 39, many of the leaders pitted once again, with Jarrett Lawrence staying out this time to gain some track position, as well as Martin who had been charging from his last place starting spot. On the restart, Martin made a strong move to grab the lead, and led the race at half-way. But Brooks was once again on newer tires and was able to grab the top spot on the lap 52 restart, while Martin slipped a little back to the 6th spot. Brooks would lead the field ahead of Lindsley once again, and after a couple quick cautions, they would get in another decent green flag run, before the leader headed down pit road for the last time on the lap 71 caution.

This time it was Celentano who stayed out, and would look to hold off the field, while behind him Martin was poised to make a run, and Brooks would have to work his way up from the 6th spot after pitting. Celentano would lead for 10 laps, before Martin was able to grab it back from him on lap 84. And with the help of a couple cautions, Martin was able to stay out front without the guys behind him having much of a chance to make up any ground. The final restart would happen with just 5 laps to go, but contact within the top 10 would send Bragg around, ending his good run, and forcing the race to finish under the yellow flag.

Martin would bring the field around, and he would take the win, completing his charge from a provisional last place starting spot, all the way to the top of the leaderboard when it mattered. Martin’s win was his 2nd in a row in the division as he won the season opener as well (week 2’s race was cancelled), and his 3rd career SARA victory. Fountain finished off his solid run all night with a 2nd place finish, while Brooks was held back to finish in the 3rd spot. Celentano would use some pit strategy to get him a 4th place finish, and Traves would rebound after pitting a few times to grab a top 5 finish.

1. Bill Martin
2. Jared Fountain
3. Justin Brooks
4. Anthony Celentano
5. Parker Traves
6. Cameron Hobbs
7. Darren Daves
8. Jeff Hoggard
9. Dale Owen
10. Kenny Lindsley
11. Jarrett Lawrence
12. Trent Brown
13. James Linkiewicz
14. Ian Layne
15. Mike Whited
16. Scott Dunlap
17. Jeffrey Nichols
18. Michael German
19. Matt Rolfe
20. Stan Bragg
21. Cody Leland
22. Mason White
23. Clay Snider
24. Matt Eddy
25. Derek Robinson
26. Todd Sipe
27. Cody Kelley
28. Kyle Wood
29. Colin Allman
30. Max Handley (DQ)
DNQ: TJ Graves, Brandon Simmons, Devan Rittall, Mike Belanger, Todd Cousins, Ken Belanger, Forrest Gregg, Justin Mullikin, Casey Kuntz

Penalties: – Trent Brown – Negative Chatter on drivers channel – Warning given in-race (no further penalty)
– Stan Bragg – Negative Voice Chatter – Warning given after race (no further penalty)
– Max Handley – Intentional Contact – Suspension (not first offense in this league)

Next week the series heads to Florida to take on the New Smyrna Speedway for another 100-lap event.

With two wins in two official races, Martin extends his points lead to 32 points heading into the next race. For full results and standings, click HERE.