The Callaway Investments Sportsman Street Stock Series visited the lone road course on the schedule between all divisions as they invaded Lime Rock Park last Tuesday night for a 30-lap feature event. A field of 27 drivers would try their best to navigate the 7-turn, 1.53 mile road course and hope to find victory lane.
To kick off the night’s events, road course favorite David Krikorian put down the fast lap in Time Trials with a 57.070-second pole winning time as Travis Warling would be close behind in 2nd on the speed charts, but the top ten would be spread out by 1.4 seconds. With this being a road course event, there was no Qualifying Dash. However, there would still be a random seven-car invert, which would mix the front of the field and placed Kevin J Myers to the front of the field for the race.
Kevin J Myers led the field down the hill and down the front straight into turn 1 as the green flag flew. Myers run at the front of the field would be short lived as Davey Riendeau, making his first SARA start of the season, powered past Myers when he made a mistake on lap 2 and put car 70 at the top of the scoring pylon on lap 2. Much like Myers before him, Riendeau’s time at the front didn’t last long either. Travis Warling had navigated from sixth and took the race lead at lap 5. Warling would lead with Riendeau in 2nd, Windell Stratton in 3rd, David Krikorian in 4th, and Joe Schaffer Jr. in 5th.
This would be the top five, unchanged, for the next ten circuits. With limited fuel and a set of tires available, the pit window opened after lap 10, and a variety of strategies started. Lime Rock’s pit road entry is a tricky one, with an additional lane that opens up on the front stretch, then a quick bend into the 45mph pit road. Windell Stratton was the first to pit from the lead group, but showed the field and example of what not to do and spun on pit road entry, scoring a 15 second penalty from race officials, taking him out of contention for the win unless the other contenders made the same mistakes.
Travis Warling, still scored as the race leader, pitted on lap 17, along with Riendeau in 2nd. Their gap on track prior to pit stops was 4.4 seconds for the race lead. With those two pitting, this passed the lead to David Krikorian, who led for 2 laps, and pitted on lap 19 and passed the lead to Kevin J Myers. Myers picked up his 2nd led lap of the race before surrendering the lead on lap 20 when he made his pit stop.
After the leaders’ pit cycle completed, Travis Warling held a 4.5 second lead but it was now over David Krikorian, with Riendeau finding himself nearly 8 seconds back in 3rd. Joe Schaffer was 17 seconds back in 4th, just ahead of Matt Rolfe who rounded out the top five after pit stops. Krikorian’s gap to Warling surprisingly didn’t close through the next few laps, but connections issues for Krikorian would drop him out of the race, which gave the 2nd spot to Davey Riendeau, however he was more than 12 seconds off the lead when this change took place on lap 26.
Warling would put it on cruise control for the next 5 laps as he would win with a 13.486-second margin of victory as he would lead 23 of the race’s 30 laps on his way to victory.
Behind him, Davey Riendeau had a solid car all night and mirrored the strategy of Warling, but in his first start of the season finished 2nd. Joe Schaffer ran in the top five all night and wound up moving to 3rd late in the running. Matt Rolfe was in 8th place when he chose to pit much earlier than most of the field, and his strategy seemed to work as he wound up with a 4th place finish. Kevin J Myers led twice during the race, and was the last lead lap car to make his pit stop, and had a solid night for a 5th place run.
Windell Stratton was in 3rd when he made a huge mistake on pit road entry, which knocked him back to 15th after pitting, but he charged to a 6th place recovery. Derek Robinson had an early race spin after starting in the top five, and managed to finish in 7th. James Linkiewicz had a quiet evening as he hovered around the back half of the top ten all night and wound up in 8th. Ian Layne started outside the top ten, but ran in the back half of it for most of the night and finished 9th. Clay Snider also started outside the top ten, and moved up a few spots late in the final third of the race to round out the top ten.
With another top ten run, James Linkiewicz continues to lead the standings by 20 points over second place.. Next week the division will head to Lanier for a pair of 50-lap features.