The week before the GM Parts XPerts Super Late Model Series prepared for their Summer Heat Big 3 event, they took on The Milwaukee Mile for a pair of 50-lap feature events with a strong field of 31 cars.
With double features on tap for the night, the first feature’s lineup would be set directly from Time Trials and it was Derek Holzhausen who set the fast time with a lap of 28.501 seconds for his 4th career SARA pole. Holzhausen got the jump at the drop of the green flag and led the field into turn one as Cody Kelley and Trey Jarrell settled in behind him on the opening lap.
While the front of the field settled in single file, an incident on lap two that started inside the top fifteen would collect a few cars in a wreck early on, dropping a few cars out of the race early. While in seasons past, the double features at Milwaukee have been relatively clean, cautions would be a theme of the night as cars battled hard for positions all night long in both races.
On the ensuing restart, Holzhausen led the field back around but after nearly tagging the wall, he would have to lift on the exit of turn four allowing Jarrell to get the run down into turn one to take over the lead on lap 8. He would pull out to a five car length lead over Holzhausen over the next few laps while Kelley and Austin Yarbrough joined them in pulling away from the rest of the pack before the next yellow on lap 11.
Jarrell got the jump back out in front of the field, allowing the inside line behind him to move up as Kelley, Joe Schaffer and David Krikorian moved up inside the top five while Holzhausen would get freight trained back on the outside. After a couple more cautions and some laps later, Jarrell led the field to the restart on lap 30 but it was Kelley that got the run out of turn two and pulled up alongside of Jarrell and took over the lead entering turn three.
By lap 35, the roles were reversed as Jarrell made his move out of turn two to retake the lead, but Kelley would fight back and got to his inside entering turn one on lap 36 and the two would run side-by-side for the next lap before Kelley gained the advantage to hold onto the top spot. Kelley would hold off Jarrell for the next few laps before the caution flew once again on lap 41.
With the laps winding down in the first feature, a final caution on lap 46 would bring the field to the checkered and yellow flags, as Kelley would come around to pick up the victory in race one of the night. The win would be his second in a row on the season, and his 38th career SARA victory.
Schaffer would pick up a few spots in the late restarts to finish 2nd after running in the top five for most of the race. Casey Kelley would move up to finish in 3rd after battling around the 5th spot all race long. Jarrell would drop back on the last couple of restarts to finish 4th after he led 24 laps during the race. Krikorian rounded out the top five after he moved up and down the top ten most of the race before settling into the top five late.
For the second feature of the night, everyone who finished on the lead lap of race one would be inverted to set the grid for race two, sending the leaders deep into the pack. Cody Kelley would have to start shotgun on the field after winning his second race in a row. The invert would bring Derek Robinson and Scott Dunlap to the front row as they led the field to the green for the second feature.
Robinson got a big jump out front while Dunlap got down into second early, while the field scrambled behind them in the opening laps. Once again, cautions would continue to the be the theme of the night and the first one would fly on lap 3 as cars got together mid-pack for the first yellow. A couple quick cautions would slow down the pace early some more, which allowed some of the faster cars to creep their way forward.
A lap 19 restart set up the first decent green flag run in race two, and Robinson continued to lead the way out front, while Joe Schaffer was the first car to work his way forward from the back of the pack. Robinson would slip up on the exit of turn four on lap 19 and it allowed Schaffer to get the run down the front stretch to his inside. Tom Wetmore joined the party and moved up into 2nd with Tyler Price and Clay Snider joining them as Robinson began to slip back on the outside.
Schaffer would lead the next few laps until Wetmore got a run into turn three and got to the inside of the leader to take over on lap 24. Price would slide up to 2nd but Schaffer would fight back and the top three would battle it out for the lead. Price started putting pressure on Wetmore for the lead and after some slight contact, Wetmore would get loose out of four on lap 26 and opened up some room for Price to get a run, but when Price tried to cut back in line, he would make contact with Schaffer sending Price around in front of the field, collected a few other cars in the process.
Wetmore led the field back to the next restart ahead of Schaffer, and while they had been battling for the lead during the previous run, it allowed Kelley and Jarrell to work their way up into the top five to join the battle up front. The top four began to break away from the pack, up until the fight for the lead heated up on lap 35. Schaffer closed in on the rear bumper of the leader in turns one and two, but some slight contact between himself and Wetmore, sent the 71 car around into the wall while the rest of the pack drove by on the inside.
Schaffer would lead up until the next caution on lap 44, which set up a one lap dash to the finish. On the restart Schaffer jumped out into the lead, and it was enough to hold off the pack while they all battled behind him. Schaffer would lead the field around to pick up the checkered flag, for his second win of the season, and his 13th career SARA victory.
Windell Stratton moved up into the 2nd spot late in the race and would finish there after moving up into the top five a couple of times and moved forward in the late stages. Cody Kelley had to come from the back of the pack and ran out of time on his charge for a sweep of the night and ran as high as 2nd in the final laps before dropping to finish 3rd on the final restart. Matt Rolfe ran in the back half of the top ten for most of the race and picked up spots late to take the 4th position. Snider rounded out the top five after starting in the 5th spot, and hanging around up front all race long to pick up a 5th place finish.
After the double features, and after drop races were factored into the points during the off-week, Joe Schaffer Jr. leaves Milwaukee as the points leader and will carry a 41 point lead into the rescheduled Richmond event.
Race 1 Results
Race 2 Results
Race 2 Results