Schaffer Strong In Late Restarts For Richmond Victory
Week number three of the GMPartsXPerts.com Super Late Model Series saw the division head to the Richmond International Raceway for 116 laps in the Old Dominion 116. Darrell Hamlin would start at the front of the field after a 6-car invert moved him up, and dropped pole-winner Derek Holzhausen back to the 6th start spot.
At the drop of the green, Hamlin pulled out in front, but it took just a couple of laps for Bill Martin to work his way under Hamlin for the race lead. Martin would lead a total of 35 laps before Cody Kelley took his turn at the front of the field shortly after the lap 38 restart. Casey Kelley would follow Cody up into the second spot where they would continue to run up until a caution just past halfway, where pit strategy would come into play.
During the lap 61 caution, a majority of the field headed down pit road for new tires, while the Kelley brothers and a couple of other drivers stayed out a bit longer. After a short green flag run, the opportunity opened up for Cody and Casey Kelley to make their way down pit road, but with many cars still on the lead lap they would restart outside of the top 15. When they pitted, it handed the lead over to Joe Schaffer who would lead the field to the green on the lap 79 restart.
“I think I might have got a little bit lucky, I think the Kelley brothers were quite a bit faster on the long runs, so even though those restarts were pretty tense, they were workin’ out in my favor.”Joe SchafferOver the course of the final 35 laps, a trio of cautions would slow the pace, but each restart allowed Schaffer to get a jump out ahead while the rest of the field battled it out behind him. However, the cautions also allowed Cody and Casey Kelley to catch back up to the pack, and it allowed them to continue picking their way back to the front. By lap 100, they both had cracked into the top five, and would have two more shots to keep charging.
One last caution set up a 1-lap shootout to the finish. Schaffer took off on the restart, but Cody Kelley was able to quickly moved into 2nd, but the gap out front was too large. Schaffer would come around to pick up the checkered flag for his 16th career SARA victory. Cody Kelley would come up a spot short in his charge back to the front while Casey Kelley was able to follow him through to finish in 3rd. Josh Dietz recovered from an early mishap that dropped him to the tail of the field and finishing the 4th spot. Newcomer Kyle Donahue impressed in his first start in the series, working up from an 18th place starting spot to challenge late before falling back to to finish 5th after the final restart. Derek Robinson, Trevor Edwards, Evan Sorensen, James Wenzel, and Darrell Hamlin rounded out the top ten.
Watch the full broadcast of the Old Dominion 116: Click HERE
Cody Kelley Makes It Three-For-Three In PLM Division
The GM Parts XPerts Pro Late Models took on the Southern National Motorsports Park on Wednesday night for a 150-lap feature race. Ty Majeski picked up his 84th career SARA pole, but would be dropped back after the 8-car invert, which brought Hunter Combs and Trevor Edwards up to the front row to start the feature.
Combs would bring the field around to the green flag and led the opening two laps by just inches, but Edwards was able to hang tough in the outside groove and would nose ahead the next two laps before getting clear into the lead on lap 5. Cautions would plague the event early and often throughout the race, making each restart key for picking up positions. Edwards jumped out ahead on some of the early restarts, but each caution bunched the field back up and allowed cars such as Majeski, and Cody and Casey Kelley to work their way up towards the front.
Majeski would be the first car to pry the lead away from Edwards, taking over on lap 51, but he would drop out of the race a couple laps later during the next caution. This handed the lead over to Casey Kelley who led the field back to green on lap 60 with Cody Kelley moving up with him into the 2nd spot. With Casey Kelley now in the lead, he was able to pull ahead on the next couple of restarts, with Cody hanging back within a couple tenths of the lead but the two drivers would remain equal during the short runs.
The race would see one of it’s longest green flag runs after the lap 95 restart, and again Casey would jump out into the lead over Cody Kelley. But with more laps to settle in, Cody began reeling Casey in and closed in on the rear bumper of the lead by lap 102, and then Cody made his move into the lead on lap 106 as Casey dropped in behind. Two more cautions would slow the pace of the race, but the drivers would set out on one final run with 17 laps to go, and Cody Kelley would go on to pull away by a half-second and came around to pick up the checkered flag for his 44th career SARA victory.
Casey Kelley would hang on to finish in 2nd after leading through the middle portion of the race. Trevor Edwards was also able to hang tough in the top five after giving up the lead earlier and rounded out the podium in 3rd. Parker Traves recovered from being down a lap early in the race and worked his way through the field to finish in 4th. Ian Layne rounded out the top five after being involved in an early incident and then hung outside the top ten until moving up late to take 5th. Devon Rogers, Russell Berry, Wes Graham, Matt Eddy and Mike Testa rounded out the top ten.
Kelley Drives Around Schaffer for Martinsville Win
The SK Shootout Series began Week 3 of the Fall Season with a 100-lap feature at Martinsville. Cody Kelley edged out Darrell Hamlin for the pole, but a 9-car invert sent both of them deeper into the field while Anthony Celentano was inverted to the front.
Celentano grabbed the early lead, but Joe Schaffer was able to settle into the 2nd spot right away and quickly began putting pressure on for the lead. As Schaffer closed up on the rear bumper of the leader, Celentano slid up allowing Schaffer to get the run into the lead. After a trio of cautions between laps 22 and 35, the field set off on a long green flag run to the finish.
Schaffer jumped back out in front, but on this restart Kelley was able to stay to the inside of Matt Rolfe and would take over the 2nd spot, setting his sights on the lead. Kelley closed the gap out front and closed in on the back of Schaffer, and all it took was one mistake from Schaffer as he got loose, to give Kelley the opportunity he needed. Kelley looked to the outside and made it stick, powering around the high side to take over the lead.
With Kelley now in the lead, Schaffer wouldn’t give up the fight as he stuck within a couple car lengths of the top spot and even had a couple looks to retake the lead. But Kelley wouldn’t make any mistakes and held off the charge, and then pulled away out front. A caution with three laps to go would see the race end under the checkered and yellow flags, and Kelley would lead the field around to pick up his 43rd career SARA victory.
Behind Kelley, Schaffer would hang on to finish in 2nd after leading earlier in the race. Sean Disbro picked up his first career SARA top five when he picked up a couple of spots late to take a 3rd place finish. Conner Blaise charged through the field after a mistake in qualify forced him to start at the back, and ended up finishing in 4th. Rolfe ran in the top three for most of the race before getting loose during the late stages of the race but held on to finish 5th. Dave Bodio, Dale Owen, Christopher Alcares, Darrell Hamlin, and Scott Naslund rounded out the top ten.
Majeski Picks Up 75th Win With Late Charge At Stafford
On Tuesday night, the Callaway Investments Sportsman Street Stocks took on the Stafford Motor Speedway for 75 laps. Trevor Edwards would lead the field to green after the invert, while Ty Majeski was dropped back to 7th after picking up the pole.
Edwards led the first 19 laps of the race through a couple of early cautions, but the cautions also allowed other drivers to make up some ground. Cody Kelley was the first car to break through and challenge for the lead, and took over out front on lap 20. Kelley would begin to pull away a bit out front throughout the next couple runs of the race, while other drivers were swapping the 2nd spot behind him.
After giving up the lead, Edwards fell into the 2nd spot for a number of laps before Jeremy Adams retook the position that he held in the opening laps. Josh Dietz took his turn in the runner-up spot for a while before Majeski took over after he had been shuffled up and down the top five a couple of times before working his way back up.
The race would see a 25-lap green flag run after the lap 40 restart, and the long run allowed Majeski to chase down Kelley out front who had continued to lead. At lap 50 the lead was out over a full second out front for Kelley, but by lap 60 the gap had shrunk as Majeski closed within a couple car lengths. On lap 64, Majeski gave Kelley a slight nudge to move him up the track, and then Majeski snuck by into the lead. Kelley gave it one last attempt to return the favor, but a pair of yellows in the closing laps allowed Majeski to bring the field around to take the checkered flag, for his impressive 75th career SARA victory.
Kelley would have to settle for a 2nd place finish, ahead of rookies Adams, and Kyle Donahue who finished 3rd and 4th respectively, while Bill Martin finished in 5th. Tyler Price, Hunter Combs, Ryan Beagle, Trevor Edwards and Matt Rolfe rounded out the top ten.