The NEO Racing News SK Shootout Series was at the paperclip of Martinsville on Monday night for the 7th race of their season. The 125-lap race was also the 2nd event in the SK Triple Crown Series, and 27 SK Modifieds would come out for the race.
In time trials, Ty Spearman set the fast time with a lap of 19.846 seconds to pick up his 3rd career pole. Spearman led the top 8 cars into the Qualifying Dash, and he had no problem leading every lap to pick up the Dash win. After the Dash, a random invert of 6 would send Spearman back to 6th to start the race, and Ian Layne was inverted to the front.
Layne brought the field to the green flag and jumped into the lead early. A couple quick cautions however allowed Cody Kelley to close in on the leader and when Layne slipped up on lap 20, Kelley was there to sneak by on the inside. Kelley went on to lead until lap 61 when he would get collected with a lapped car as he tried to work his way through traffic, taking him out of the top spot. This allowed Blake Brown to roll by on the outside as the Kelley faced the inside wall, and Brown would take over the lead. The race would go green the rest of the way after the lap 66 restart, and Brown had no problem taking control from there as he went on to lead the final 64 laps on his way to his first career SARA victory. The win for Brown was in just his 3rd career start.
James Linkiewicz would end up finishing in the 2nd spot, after keeping pace with Brown for most of the run before falling back late. Kelley would recover from the earlier incident, and was able to work his way back up into a podium finish in 3rd. Ryan Borges pitted during the early stages of the race, but found his way back up into the top five for a 4th place finish. Cody Thompson rounded out the top five after starting deep in the field as he worked his way towards the front early and was able to keep it up there for a 5th place finish.
Just outside the top five, Anthony Celentano had a strong run to finish 6th after starting at the tail end of the top ten. Todd Sipe also started deep in the field, and passed the most cars on the night from his 21st starting spot to finish 7th. Michael German ran inside the top ten all night long and ended up finishing 8th, while Clay Snider and Matt Rolfe battled for the 9th spot during the second half of the race, with Snider taking 9th and Rolfe rounding out the top ten.
Despite missing a race, Cody Kelley’s 3rd place finish was enough to jump him back into the points lead and now leads by 6 points over 2nd place. After the second event of the Triple Crown Series, Ryan Borges leads those standings with 12 points, after 8th and 4th place finishes in the first two races.