Tom Wetmore Breaks Through For First SARA Victory


The Callaway Investments Sportsman Street Stock Series returned to the track on Tuesday night for their first Triple Crown race of the season, with a 60 lap feature event at Iowa.

In qualifying, it was Tom Wetmore that put his car at the top of the speed charts for his first career pole. The top ten cars from time trials would advance into the Qualifying Dash, and a 6-car invert would drop Wetmore back while James Babb was inverted to the front. Babb would jump ahead early but Wetmore made quick work back to the front and took over the lead and went on to pick up the Dash victory.

In the feature event, Babb led the field to the green flag once again as the rest of the pack began the race-long battle. Babb was able to hang onto the lead for the opening 8 laps while a group of cars directly behind him were running side by side. A battle for the lead began to heat up before a couple cars at the front of the pack got together, and it was Babb that got the worst end of it as he went around for the caution. The lead was transferred back to Dale Owen who led for the next 11 laps before Matt Rolfe worked his way around Owen on the outside to take the lead by lap 20.

Rolfe would hold the lead as he ran the middle groove of the track, forcing Wetmore and Joe Schaffer to try and find a way but the bottom grove proved to be too slick to allow either driver to get a good run. Eventually Wetmore would make the bottom work and grabbed the lead by lap 39. From there, Wetmore was tough out front, holding off multiple attempts by Schaffer and Rolfe, meanwhile Ian Layne chased down the front three from a ways back. In the closing laps, Wetmore would hold off the pack, and came across the line in the lead to pick up his first career victory, leading 22 laps in a wild battle for the top spot.

Behind Wetmore, Rolfe would end up finishing in the 2nd spot after leading 19 laps earlier in the event. Schaffer would finish 3rd after he would have to come from the back of the field after not getting a qualifying lap, but wore the tires out as he picked his way through the field. Layne would end up finishing 4th after running in the top five all race before making a late charge towards the leaders. Owen would round out the top five after also leading earlier in the race before dropping back and settling into 5th.

Just outside the top five, Russell Berry had a quietly strong run, battling inside the top ten before moving up a couple spots late in the run to take 6th. Clay Snider ended up finishing 7th after running just on the outside of that top five for a majority of the race. Chuck Smith would finish 8th after he started at the tail end of the field, but was able to quickly get inside the top ten in the early part of the race. Mike Belanger received some damage from the early caution and after pitting was never able to get back to the front but worked his way back to a 9th place finish. Ken Belanger joined him in the top ten after running outside of it for most of the race before jumping into a 10th place finish.

With his 3rd place finish, Joe Schaffer hangs on to his points lead in the standings by 50 points as the division will head to Langley in Week 9.