Richmond International Raceway played host to the Callaway Investments Sportsman Street Stock Series on Tuesday Night for a 75 lap feature event. The feature at Richmond was the first of the Old Dominion Swing, which will complete out the season for the Street Stocks. This was the division’s first time at Richmond in nearly a year, visiting there last in May of 2015.
In the twilight of the Virginia sky, James Linkiewicz picked up the pole with a lap time of 24.340 seconds, beating out Tim Bills by 0.023 seconds for the top spot. An eight-car invert would shake up the top of the field, as it sent Hunter Combs to the front for the Dash and the race. In the Qualifying Dash, there was plenty of beating and banging, including a last lap bump and run by Austin Yarbrough on Tim Bills for the lead, but the Dash win would be credited to Bills.
At the start of the race, Hunter Combs and Derek Kraus led the field to the green. Combs would lead the field through its first caution about 10 laps in, and would hold the lead until lap 18 when Austin Yarbrough took the top spot. Yarbrough’s number at the top of the scoring pylon only lasted for a lap as James Linkiewicz, the pole winner had moved from his 8th place starting spot after the invert and took the lead one lap later on lap 19. Linkiewicz would lead the field through a green flag stretch, with Tommy Burns and Austin Yarbrough battling for second, a battle Yarbrough would eventually win. Also cracking the top five just before halfway in 4th was Ty Spearman who had charged from a 25th place starting spot, and Jacob Linkiewicz rounded out the top five.
That would be the top five when the yellow flag flew at lap 41. With a set of tires available, most of the lead lap cars came to pit road. Two cars chose to stay on the race track as the lead was handed to Derek Kraus, and also choosing to stay out was Marc Gammack. That would be the front row for the next restart, but a pivotal pass had happened on pit road. Yarbrough won the race off pit road and got to restart 3rd behind the two cars on older tires with Linkiewicz having to now restart 4th after entering the pits as the race leader.
Yarbrough didn’t waste any time getting around Kraus on old tires for the race lead on the lap 46 restart, having the top spot at the stripe the next time by. The bad news on the restart came for former race leader James Linkiewicz who got stuck behind cars with old tires, and had to settle in fourth position a couple laps into the run. On the flip side, another driver who benefitted from restart positioning was Tommy Burns, who restarted 5th but found himself in 2nd just a couple laps after the restart. A couple of cautions slowed the pace to set up a 4 lap dash to the end with Yarbrough still out front, Burns in 2nd, Jacob Linkiewicz in 3rd, James Linkiewicz in 4th and Ty Spearman in 5th.
Yarbrough led the field to green with Burns able to hold in 2nd, but Yarbrough held a 2-3 tenths lead for the final four laps on and came around to take the checkered flag. The win for Yarbrough was his first career SARA victory.
In the second spot, Tommy Burns benefitted from the inside line after pit stops and then managed his 2nd place position for the remainder of the race. Ty Spearman came home in 3rd on the night, after starting in the back, Spearman worked into the top five, then came out of the pits in 10th before working his way into a 3rd place finish. Jacob Linkiewicz started just outside the top five in 6th, and spent the entire race near the front, and wound up 4th. Hunter Combs led the first 18 laps of the race before getting shuffled back a bit but finished off the night with a 5th place run.
Outside the top five, Matt Rolfe started outside the top ten, but steadily moved forward all night, but could never crack the top five and finished in 6th. James Linkiewicz led 23 laps before pit stops, but being stuck in the outside lane on crucial restarts seemed to shuffle him out of contention and back to a 7th place finish. Conner Blaise started near the rear of the field, and didn’t crack the top ten until lap 50, and wound up 8th. Michael German started in the top five, but seemed to be caught on the outside on the majority of the restarts losing track position, however, German picked up four spots in the final three laps to come home in 9th. Jackson Lewis started near the back, and only was in the top ten for one lap, but it was the one that counted the most to round out the top ten.
With a runner up finish, Tommy Burns extends his points lead out to 17 points in the standings. Next week, the division continues the Old Dominion Swing for a late afternoon race at Langley Speedway where the Callaway Investments Street Stock series will run a 100 lap feature.