Drama Unfolds At Lanier, Martin Captures Late Race Win
SLM article provided by the Digital Forge Broadcasting Network.
In life, we know that death and taxes are the two things that seem certain. In the racing world, the age old phrase: “Anything that can happen, will happen” looms in the minds of drivers, team owners, and crew. On Thursday night this phrase rang out loud as the GM Parts XPerts Super Late Model Series took Lanier National Speedway by storm. The cyclone of roars echoed through the small Georgia town of Braselton, as the Super Late Models battled in Week 4 of their series in the Lanier National 150. This would be a night that would shake drivers from their comfort zones and offer up opportunity to those willing to reach for it.
T4X Racing’s Joe Schaffer Jr. would win the pole with a Qualifying Time of 12.827, but it was TPR’s driver James Curl that would be scheduled to start on the pole position after the 9 car invert, but elected to start at the rear of the field. Schaffer would have his sights set on picking up back to back wins to close the gap as he trailed Wheelin N Dealin Motorsport’s Casey Kelley by just 25 points. Kelley would not have a chance to defend his series points lead as scheduling issues kept him out of the Thursday night race.
As the pre-race tension heightened on the pace laps, drivers dropped the hammer as the green flag waved. One driver in particular, POSSE team member Bill Martin, would surge to the race lead in the matter of the first two turns. The first of only two cautions on the night would wave on lap 3 when Kyle Donahue would strike the left rear quarter panel of Ty Spearman’s car sending him for a spin out of turn two. This early race frustration would lead to an early night for the Week 2 winner. Martin was determined to capture his first victory in the series, especially after last week’s issues that prevented him from achieving that goal in Richmond. He would go on to lead 74 Laps before T4X Racing’s Derek Robinson would take the lead.
Robinson had the golden setup on his machine as he would pull away to over an 8 second lead, lapping most of the field. Miscommunication would plague the dominant car as Robinson would come down pit road seeking new tires after the second caution waving on the night. The only issue was that the caution flag flew with only 8 laps remaining, which would pull Robinson from the lead and Bill Martin would have his opportunity to see victory lane. Race Control would try and sort out the lineup issues by extending the yellow flag one more lap. While one lap shootouts may seem rare in the short track world, this series would see it for the 3rd week in a row. When the last green flag would drop on the night, Bill Martin would be ready as he jolted the #65 car to the lead and would not look back until he passed the checkered flag at the start/finish line.
“I’m usually really mediocre at best here, Spearman helped me out setup wise for the race, ended up being really good, but I don’t know what Derek was using, evidently an SK disguised as a Super Late, because he was freakin’ flying”Bill MartinMartin would lead a total of 79 Laps on the night, especially the one that got him to victory lane. A special note about Bill Martin, as he was drving a tribue paint scheme to honor a recent passing sportsman driver from his local track. Drivers Josh Dietz and Matthew Eddy would finish 2nd and 3rd respectively.
Next week, the GM Parts XPerts Super Late Model Series loads the wagons and head West to California, as they will take on the Los Angeles Basin track known as Irwindale Speedway. The half mile outer track will see the Super Late Models battling for every point they can next Thursday Night at 10pm est. If you haven’t seen this series yet, tune in to watch Race #5 as the drama will continue and the temperature won’t be the only thing heating up in this series.
Watch the full broadcast of the Lanier National 150: Click HERE
Kelley Makes it Four Straight, Schaffer Inherits Win in Irwindale Twin 50s
The GM Parts XPerts Pro Late Models traveled out west to the Irwindale Speedway on Wednesday night, for a pair of 50 lap feature events. The lineup for Race 1 would be set by straight up qualifying speeds, without any kind of invert which would see Bill Martin lay down the hot lap to pick up the pole over Cody Kelley who would join him on the front row.
A pair of quick yellows would slow the pace of the field, but after the lap 15 restart Martin lead in front of Kelley but the gap wouldn’t extend out front for Martin. Kelley stayed within a car length of the lead for a couple of laps before he would dive down to the low side and took over out front on lap 22, while Matt Rolfe and Tim Bills would follow him through, dropping Martin back to 4th.
After one more caution, Kelley would jump back out in front after the lap 33 restart and the race would go green to the finish. Kelley would pull out to .3 tenths of a second quickly, and then began to inch away out front over the final 15 laps of the race and went on to pick up his 4th consecutive win in the division. Rolfe, Joe Schaffer, Bills, and Trevor Edwards rounded out the top five in the first event of the night.
In the second feature of the night for the GM Parts XPerts Pro Late Models, the lineup would be set from a full invert of the cars that finished on the lead lap in Race 1. The 16-car invert sent Kelley and others deep into the field while John Fowler was brought up to the front.
Fowler led the first few laps of the race, but a trio of incidents on lap 3 would see a number of drivers involved in incidents. Cody Kelley would see his hopes of sweeping the night go away when a stack up in front of him sent him into the wall. Out in front of him, simultaneously some contact between Clay Snider and Trevor Edwards send them around, while some contact between Tyler Howell and Michael Baxter forced another incident. A number of drivers would be collected in the wrecks, ending some of their nights early.
Back out front on the restart, Fowler still held the lead, but Derek Kraus would quickly jump to the inside and took over out front. Hunter Combs and Darrell Hamlin joined him into the top three while others deeper in the field were still trying to work their way forward. A few cautions throughout the middle of the race would allow some of those drivers to move up into the top five.
Joe Schaffer would be the first of the Race 1 front runners to join Kraus at the front of the field, and would settle into the 2nd spot before making a late charge at the lead. Schaffer ducked to the inside of Kraus on the final lap, and the two would make contact as they crossed the line to the finish. Kraus crossed the line first, but after some post-race penalties, the win would be handed over to Schaffer as he would officially pick up the victory in Race 2. Combs and Hamlin were able to hang inside the top five all race and rounded out the podium in 2nd and 3rd respectively, while David Krikorian and Clay Snider would round out the top five.
Race 1 Results
Race 2 Results
Spearman Fends Off The Field In Five Flags Victory
Race 2 Results
On Monday night, the SK Shootout Series returned to the Five Flags Speedway to kick off Week 4 of the season with a 125-lap feature event. Ty Spearman picked up his 19th career SARA pole on the night, but would face a full 10-car invert which dropped him back to 10th on the start, while Sean Disbro was inverted to the front of the field.
Disbro jumped out ahead early but only for a handful of laps before Matt Rolfe took over the top spot on lap 6 just before the race’s first caution flag of the night. The race would see a trio of cautions within the first 40 laps, and on each one Rolfe was able to get the launch on the restarts to maintain the lead. After the lap 41 restart is when the field had their first long green flag run of the night which shook up the front of the field.
By lap 47 Spearman had made his way up into the runner-up spot and set his sights on Rolfe for the lead. Spearman closed the gaps slowly up until lap 60 when he made his move into the inside groove for the lead, but Rolfe wouldn’t give up the lead easy. Rolfe hung tough on the outside groove as the two cars ran side-by-side for the next 12 laps, and he would lead most of those laps before Spearman gained the advantage finally on lap 72, just before another caution flew to end the battle up front.
Over the final 50 laps of the race, Spearman was faced with a few more restarts in which he had to try and hold off the field. Joe Schaffer looked to have the best shot to take over leading up to lap 100 when he rode on the bumper of Spearman for a number of laps but never found the chance to make a move. One final restart with 5 laps to go saw Schaffer get shuffled back, which allowed Kyle Donahue to move up to 2nd to take his shot at the lead.
Spearman was too strong however, and never slipped up until he came out of the final turn of the race sideways but hung onto the lead as he cross the finish line sideways for the victory, and his 19th career SARA victory. Donahue would settle for 2nd after starting at the tail of the field. Schaffer would lose a spot on the late restart but held on to finish on the podium in 3rd. Wade Rookard ran in the top five all night and finished in the 4th spot, ahead of Dale Owen who finished in 5th after recovering from an early race incident.
Kelley Muscles His Way To Southern National Victory
Article by Darrell Hamlin.
Week 4 of the Callaway Investment Street Stocks brought us to Southern National Motorsports Park, the 4/10 of a mile, high banked oval which made for some exciting racing this past Tuesday night. Cody Kelley picked up the pole with a lap of 15.387, with Tim Bills right on his heels with a lap good enough for the outside pole at 15.404. However an invert of seven cars would put the 02 of Kyle Donahue on the pole.
Donahue looked stout early on and pulled away from the 23 car field to lead the first 56 laps. Four cautions would bunch the field back up and make for some exciting racing between the lead cars. On lap 57 Josh Dietz got a great run and passed his teammate for the lead, and the two seemed to battle between each other most of the night. A big pileup on lap 63 would take out or damage several contenders, including: Trevor Edwards, James Curl, Matt Rolfe, Bill Martin, Dale Owen, Chuck Smith, Jason Batis and Justin Sullivan.
After the track was cleared, Dietz took the green and continued to lead, while pole sitter Cody Kelley started to make his way to the front. By lap 73 Kelley was challenging Dietz for the lead. However a caution on lap 74 would slow the field back down one last time. When the field came back to green it would be Dietz and teammate Donahue on the bottom, with Cody Kelley and his teammate Tim Bills to the outside in 2nd and 4th. The inside lane would prevail catapulting Dietz to the lead and Donahue to 2nd. Kelley would fall to 3rd but he quickly started working on Donahue for the 2nd spot. Tim Bills got stuck on the outside and fell back behind Parker Traves and Bill Martin on the restart to settle into the 6th spot.
On lap 94, Kelley made a pass to get by Donahue for 2nd. In the next four laps he closed the gap by 3 tenths of a second to be right on Dietz back bumper. Dietz pushed up coming off the turn and opened the door slightly for Kelley. Contact would ensue between the leaders and Cody Kelly would prevail to take the lead and the win. Behind Kelley, there was a fierce three wide battle between Dietz, Donahue and Tim Bills for 2nd place. Contact left cars spinning across the line.
Josh Dietz finished 2nd. Tim Bills would spin across the line in 3rd. Bill Martin, who recovered from his lap 74 incident, finished 4th and Donahue would round out the top five with another strong run. 6th was Jeremy Adams. 7th belonged to Ty Spearman. James Curl finished the night in 8th. Trevor Edwards finished 9th after suffering heavy damage on lap 74 and rounding out the top ten was Ryan Beagle.