Tom Wetmore Scores Win In Wild Finale At South Boston


The Callaway Investments Sportsman Street Stock Series put on a show last night at South Boston, as they wrapped up their season with a 125-lap feature event on night number two of SoBo Championship Week.

In Time Trials, Joe Schaffer put down a lap equal to Tim Bills atop the charts, as both drivers recorded a lap of 16.091 seconds, but Schaffer was be scored ahead and given official credit for the pole and the new track record. The top ten cars from Time Trials advanced into the Qualifying Dash, where a 9-car invert dropped Schaffer back in the field while Ian Layne was inverted to the front. Layne was able to get the jump ahead, and went on to score the Dash victory.

In the feature event, Layne led the field to the green flag once again, but it was Tom Wetmore that made the quick move and took over the lead on lap 1. In the early stages of the race, the field settled in and the green flag laps began to tick off as Wetmore extended his lead out to about two seconds. Just after lap 50, that lead began shrinking however as Matt Rolfe, Tim Bills, and Dale Owen were all starting to reel in the leader. Rolfe closed in on Wetmore by lap 79, and made his move to the high side to take over the lead, with Bills following him through. From there, the action picked up as the top four cars ran nose-to-tail and side-by-side for the next 40 laps of the race.

Once Rolfe moved into the lead, he kept his car in the high lane forcing Bills to try to get by on the bottom. Bills made a couple attempts to get by, but fell back as Wetmore took advantage of the high side to move back into 2nd, and Wetmore then took his turn trying to get the lead back. Neither driver could make it work though, but the first caution of the race finally came out on lap 116 as Bills got loose under a lapped car and looped it, and the late caution threw a wrench into the late stages of the race.

With it looking like a restart would happen with just a couple laps left, a decision had to be made and a few of the leaders ducked onto pit road for tires on the late race shootout, including Rolfe and Bills. Wetmore decided to stay out though along with Owen, and Marc Gammack, and the top three cars would be the only ones on old tires, while others behind them had fresh rubber. The restart came with just three laps to go and Wetmore jumped into the lead on the outside with Owen hanging tough on his inside. Rolfe restarted in 4th with his fresh tires, and quickly closed in on the back bumper of Wetmore. With two to go, Wetmore made his car wide as Rolfe attempted to make his move three wide to the outside. The leaders remained three wide coming out of turn two, but ran out of room on the exit of the turn resulting in contact. Wetmore escaped the contact and was able to hold onto the lead, as a pack of cars behind them got together, bringing out a final caution as the field came around to take the white flag, sealing the victory for Wetmore. Wetmore led a total of 85 laps on the night and picked up his 2nd win of the season, and the 2nd of his career.

Finishing in 2nd was Owen, who had a top five car all night and moved up late by staying out on older tires and hanging on. Darrell Hamlin ended up moving up onto the podium in 3rd after sneaking by the late wreck, but had been running right around the 5th spot for most of the night. Bills, who arguably had the fastest car despite leading 0 laps, made his way back up to a 4th place finish as he recovered from his late spin, making his way by the final wreck. Rolfe rounded out the top five after nearly made his new tires work late in the race, but the late contact dropped him back to a 5th place finish.

Despite a 16th place finish, Joe Schaffer scored enough points by starting the race to officially clinch the championship. The finish dropped Schaffer from the Triple Crown lead however, and Dale Owen took advantage and scored the Triple Crown championship with finishes of 5th, 6th, and 2nd.

Congratulations to Joe Schaffer, the 2015 Fall Season Callaway Investments Sportsman Street Stock Series champion. Schaffer also secured the Qualifying Dash championship by picking up a total of 28 bonus points via the Dash. Schaffer’s championship season consisted of 5 wins, 2 poles, 8 top fives, 9 top tens, and 241 laps led. The title is his 2nd career SARA championship.