Last Thursday night, the RB Performance Super Late Model Series returned to The Milwaukee Mile for their 3rd edition of the Howie Lettow Memorial 150. 28 different drivers brought their Super Late Models out for the longest event of the season. At the end of qualifying, it was David Krikorian who put his #66 car on the pole for the race, as he was the only one to break the 30-second barrier with a lap of 29.960 seconds. The pole was Krikorian’s 7th career SARA pole.
As the race got underway, Krikorian led the field to the green flag and quickly jumped out into the lead. But behind him, Justin Brooks had settled in behind him and was already looking to put the pressure on for the lead. Brooks made his move on lap 4, and would take over the top spot as they came back around the next lap. This would shuffle Krikorian back to the 4th spot as Ty Spearman and Fred Moreau were right there waiting and they moved up into 2nd and 3rd. Jacob Linkiewicz was able to move into the top 5 early on, ahead of James Linkiewicz who dropped back to 6th. Just a few laps later though, the first caution flag of the event would fly on lap 8.
After the lap 11 restart, things up front remained relatively the same as Brooks powered out to the lead, but Spearman wasn’t letting him get too far away as he stayed within a couple of car lengths over the next run. Moreau, who had entered the night as the points leader, also wasn’t letting the leaders get away, as the top three cars were separated by less than half a second for the next 15 laps before the next caution would come out on lap 27.
Most of the field would head down pit road to put on some fresh tires, but Ray Farlow would stay out on track to pick up some bonus points. On the restart though, the new tires would be too much for Farlow as Brooks retook the lead by turn two, and Farlow would get shuffled back into the pack. Moreau took advantage of the restart to move up into the 2nd spot ahead of Spearman, but this time Krikorian would also lose a few spots to fall back into 6th, which brough Jacob Linkiewicz into 4th, and Cody Kelley into the top 5.
A couple of quick cautions from laps 36-46 would bunch the field back up, which allowed Ty Spearman use the lap 46 restart to grab the lead from Brooks. But as another caution would come out just a couple of laps later, most of the field decided it was time to head back down pit road, leaving Spearman out on track with old tires. On the lap 55 restart, Spearman got a great jump and pulled ahead into the lead, but further back inside the top 10, a few drivers would all get caught up in a big wreck heading down into turn 1. James Linkiewicz would enter the corner low, and caught a piece of the wall at the exit of pit road, which sent him around as well as Ryan Borges, Steven Burnett, and Jeffery Nichols, essentially ending all of their runs. With the caution coming back out, Spearman headed down pit road to catch back up on tire strategy, handing the lead back over to Brooks.
With the lap 60 restart, the field would settle in for their longest green flag run of the night. Brooks would get the jump out into the lead, and this time he would begin to pull away from the field without any pressure behind him. Jacob Linkiewicz was running in the 2nd spot for a number of laps after the restart until Moreau would make his move to take over that spot. But this would shuffle Linkiewicz back to the 5th spot, as Kelley was right there to go by as well. Spearman also got by Linkiewicz to take over the 4th spot, after restarting in 12th just 16 laps earlier. Spearman wasn’t done there though as he moved up into 3rd a couple of laps later, and then set his sights on the 2nd spot. He caught Moreau for the 2nd spot on lap 83 and briefly took the position for a lap the next time around, but Moreau made the move to get by and hung onto that spot. Another driver moving up over the course of the run, was Krikorian as he moved back up into the top 5 by lap 88, just before the next caution would come out just a few laps later.
Another round of pit stops allowed Spearman to use some strategy to take over the top spot after winning the race off pit road. He would lead the field to the green flag on the lap 97 restart as the field would get another 10-lap green flag run in. Brooks was in the 2nd spot and again was putting pressure on the leader, not letting him get away and he would make his move for the lead, and took the spot as they came around on lap 105, before the next caution came out on lap 107. The field followed Brooks down pit road again on the caution, but this time Matt Eddy would take two tires to come out with the lead. But like we had seen before, the newer tires would be too much, and Brooks took over the lead quickly on the restart, shuffling Eddy back into the field.
As Brooks led after the lap 111 restart, Moreau had moved back up into the 2nd spot, ahead of Krikorian who moved into the top 3. Kelley settled into the 4th spot, at Matt Rolfe had moved into 5th. One driver not in the mix on the restart was Spearman, as he pitted on the previous caution before pit road had opened, and he had to restart back in the 17th spot. But he was on the move once again and had run all the way up into the 6th position and was chasing down the top 5. Brooks had pulled out to over 1 second before the caution would come out once again on lap 129.
This caution would lead to the biggest shake up of the night. The field headed down pit road, and some drivers who had run further back in the field, looked to make some late race moves by just taking 2 tires to get track position. Moreau won the race off pit road, ahead of Dustin Riccioni who made his first appearance in the top 5, Krikoian in 3rd, and Yves Pelland who also was also in the top 5 for the first time, with Brooks and Spearman in the 3rd row. As Moreau led them to the green, the other drivers were trying to get a good jump for the start, which led to some contact as they got on the gas. This would move Krikorian’s car up the track into Riccioni, which would turn him right in front of Brooks, sending both cars into the inside wall before they even got to the start finish line. A number of other cars also go involved which included Rolfe, Clay Snider, Ian Layne, Mike Testa, Steve Rosner, Matt Eddy, and James Linkiewicz, all ending their runs up until that point.
All of that lead to the final restart of the race. Moreau continued to hang onto the lead, and elected to take the outside lane on the restart. But as he took off for the green flag, Krikorian also got a good jump on the inside lane as they drag raced into turn one. The inside lane was too fast though as Moreau wasn’t able to clear him, which allowed Krikorian to take over the top spot with 10 laps to go. By the time they exited turn two, Moreau had fallen back to 4th place, as Spearman and Kelley got by into the top 3.
As the laps wound down, Krikorian had everything in check behind him as he pulled away in the clean air, and brought the field around for the final time to pick up the victory after leading just the first 3, and the final 10 laps of the race. His win would be his 7th career SARA victory. Spearman would end up finishing in the 2nd spot after rebounding from his pit road penalty, followed by Kelley in 3rd after running inside the top 10 and top 5 all night long. Moreau would come home with a solid 4th place finish, with Ray Farlow moving up late t0 finish in the 5th position to round out the top 5.
Next time out, the Super Late Models will head up north to the Oxford Plains Speedway for a 150-lap feature event.
With his 4th place finish, Fred Moreau hangs onto the points lead and extends it out to 67 points with just four weeks remaining in the season. For full results and standings, click HERE.