Pit Strategy Helps Spearman Pick Up Lucas Oil Win


The MRolfeDesigns Pro Late Model Series visited the Lucas Oil Raceway this past Monday night, for the second event of their Triple Crown Series with a 115-lap feature event.

Bill Martin started the night off by picking up the fast lap in Time Trials for his 38th career SARA pole. The top ten cars from Time Trials advanced into the Qualifying Dash where a 7-car invert dropped Martin back, and Mickey Kudlicki was inverted to the front of the field. Kudlicki led the pack to the green, but it was Trey Jarrell that got by to pick up the Dash win for some extra bonus points.


Kudlicki led the field back to the green flag for the feature event and this time was able to jump into the lead keeping the rest of the field behind him. Jarrell and others were not letting him get away however, as they were breathing down his neck during the opening 38-lap green flag run.

During a second caution on lap 50, a couple of the front runners, including pole sitter Martin, decided to come down pit road early for tires. That gamble wouldn’t work however as “the big one” occurred on the following restart that collected much of the back-half of the field, including Martin, ending his chances. After the next restart, the field set off on another long green flag run of 45 laps, which shook up much of the running order.

Kudlicki continued to lead out front while the pack behind him were still looking for a way by. As the top five battled it out, one driver making his way to the front was Ty Spearman, who decided to take his tires just prior to halfway, and he was making a charge through the field. Spearman had restarted 12th on lap 64, and was picking his way through the field easily on new rubber and challenged Kudlicki for the lead by lap 77, and completed the pass a lap later in the bottom lane.

Spearman set sail at the front of the field, building a three second lead as the laps wound down, until a caution with just eight laps to go set up a final restart. With only a couple laps left on the restart, some of the leaders who hadn’t pit for tires yet decided to take a shot and pitted, while others tried a different gamble by staying out. On the restart, Spearman jumped out ahead, and behind him one final incident sealed the deal for him, bringing out the caution and allowing Spearman to pace the field around to the checkered flag for the win. The win was his second of the season, and his 11th career SARA victory.

Behind Spearman, Joshua Hart made his way up into a 2nd place finish after pitting earlier in the race and slowly made his way towards the front of the field. Jeff Bye Jr and Ian Layne also both pitted prior to halfway and made their way up into the top ten, then gained spots while others pitted late in the race and moved up into 3rd and 4th place finishes respectively. Russell Berry chose not to pit at all and it paid off for him late as he moved up into the top five for a 5th place finish.

Just outside the top five, Michael German ended up finishing 6th after he battled in the back half of the top ten for most of the race. Cody Kelley and Tom Wetmore ran inside the top five all race long until their late pit stops, but had to settle for 7th and 8th place finishes respectively, when the final caution came out. Scott Bell was one of the cars caught up in the big wreck prior to halfway and made his way back up to finish in 9th. Mark Royer picked up his second top ten finish of the season, benefitting from the late caution to move up and finish in the 10th position.

After an 8th place finish, Tom Wetmore continues to lead in the points standings, but the lead shrunk down to just 12 points as the division will head into next week’s road course event at New Hampshire Motor Speedway.

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