Cody Kelley Dominates In Irwindale Victory


The MRolfeDesigns Pro Late Model Series ran the second race of their season on Wednesday night at the Irwindale Speedway, with 36 cars attempting to qualify for the 100-lap feature event.

In Time Trials, Casey Kelley set the fast time with a lap of 18.082 seconds to pick up his 12th career SARA pole. The top ten cars from time trials advanced into the Qualifying Dash, and all ten cars were inverted sending Casey Kelley back in the pack, while Davey Riendeau was inverted to the front. Riendeau got the jump at the drop of the green and went on to lead every lap for the Dash victory. Only the top 25 cars from Time Trials made the field based on times, with a couple provisionals handed out to make a grid of just 30 cars, sending 6 cars home early.


Riendeau led the field to the green flag to start the feature race and jumped out into the early lead as the pack behind him began to settle in. Once the field spread out in the opening laps, it set up a 35 lap green flag run to start the race. As Riendeau paced the field out front, Cody Kelley was picking his way through the top five during the run, moving up into 2nd by lap 17 and then set his sights on the leader. By lap 24, Kelley had caught Riendeau out front and began peeking his nose the inside, and he completed the pass by lap 26 to take over the top stop.

A pair of cautions between lap 35 and 47, took out a few of the front runners as Joe Schaffer, Bill Martin and Tom Wetmore got caught up in one incident, then Casey Kelley and Tim Bills got caught up in a separate wreck. The two cautions were the other thing slowing up Cody Kelley however, as a lap 52 restart set up a 48-lap run to the finish where Kelley was able to set sail at the front of the field. Kelley went on to pull away out front by just over six seconds and came around to pick up the checkered flag and the victory. The win for Kelley was his 31st career SARA victory.

Behind Kelley, Riendeau was able to maintain his position towards the front of the field where he ran all night and held on to finish in 2nd. Michael German had a strong run after starting in 2nd and ran inside the top five for most of the race before settling into a 3rd place finish. Windell Stratton chose to start at the back of the field and quickly started picking his way towards the front and ended up finishing 4th. Wade Tschida rounded out the top five after starting back in 16th, but moved up towards the front during the second half of the race and picked up a 5th place finish.

Just outside the top five, Mickey Kudlicki had a similar run to Tschida as he made his way up into the top ten during the second half of the race and finished 6th. Dale Owen needed a provisional to make the field, but took advantage of it by climbing as high as 4th at one point before settling into a 7th place finish. Tyler Howell picked up an 8th place finish after running solidly inside the top ten all race long. Tommy Burns and Marc Gammack rounded out the top ten, with both drivers battling for a majority of the race as they too had to come from a provisional starting spot up into 9th and 10th place finishes respectively.

After two events on the season, Windell Stratton leaves Irwindale with the points lead by just 9 points as the division heads to Richmond next week for double features.

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