The second night of the 3rd Annual H&H Sign Supply Fall Brawl Spectacular saw the Late Models on track at the Five Flags Speedway for their qualifying and 200-lap feature event, as a precursor to the Super Late Model race on Thursday.
In the 2015 Fall Brawl, Joe Schaffer Jr. led the race late before an incident on the final lap knocked him out of the race. Fast forward to Tuesday night and Schaffer found his way to victory lane after 200 laps, getting redemption from the race two years ago.
Time Trials kicked off the event for the Late Models, with cars getting released on track one at a time to lay down their best lap time for the night. Bill Martin was one of the earlier cars to go out and set a lap of 16.341 seconds for the pole award.
When the Late Models returned to the track for the feature event, the sun had set and an 8-car invert at the front of the field brought Drew Kreibich to the lead as he led the field to the green flag. Kreibich led the first 6 laps of the race before dropping back, as Trevor Edwards worked his way by into the lead with Joe Schaffer Jr. in tow.
Edwards and Schaffer continued to pace the field through a lap 60 restart, as the field would set out on a 90-lap green flag run through the middle portion of the race. The top three cars which included Kyle Souza, began pulling away from the field a bit early in the run, and on lap 83 Schaffer would make his move under Edwards for the lead. Schaffer would extend the gap from there, pulling out to a 2.1 second gap out front before the caution flew on lap 150.
With such a long green flag run prior to the caution, much of the tire strategy for the race was thrown out the window as a majority of the field would use the caution to come down pit road for tires, putting everyone back on an even playing field for the final 50 laps. Schaffer won the race off pit road ahead of Edwards and Souza, which was key to final stretch of the race.
The top three cars ran nose-to-tail for much of the final 50 laps, with each driver waiting for the others to make a mistake. Souza moved up into 2nd and took a peek under Schaffer for the lead a couple times but the door would close each time.
One last restart with 7 laps remaining set up a dash to the finish, and the battle continued once again between the top three. Edwards was able to gain the advantage over Souza for 2nd, and then set his sights to try to get Schaffer for the lead as well. But the story was much of the same as Edwards looked to the inside a couple of times, but Schaffer would slam the door shut, holding off the field as they came to the checkered flag.
Joe Schaffer Jr. picked up the victory on the night, earning himself the Late Model Fall Brawl championship, after leading 117 laps total during the night after starting 5th from the invert. Edwards, Souza, Tim Bills, and Bill Martin rounded out the top five.
Next up tonight, the Super Late Models will be on track as drivers will attempt to lock themselves in to Thursday’s 250-lap feature event.