Spearman Puts Himself In Position For Lakeland 125 Victory
Article provided by the Digital Forge Broadcast Network
Week 2 of the GM Parts XPerts Super Late Model Series took Lakeland, Florida by storm Thursday Night. With Hurricane Matthew approaching and the anticipation for turmoil and chaos, USA International Speedway would deliver early. This would be a night that would shake the series points lineup when the fireworks flew and the checkered fell.
The Lakeland 125 started off slow with nearly 100% humidity and a track temperature nearly cresting 80 Degrees. The drivers were eager to race and would see three cautions in the first 20 Laps of the race, making the race start easy for Derek Robinson who started up front after the invert. However, caution #4 on the night would pretty much end the race for Robinson when in turn one after the lap 23 restart, contact within the top three between Robinson, Josh Dietz, and Darrell Hamlin, would send Robinson in to the outside wall and in to oncoming traffic, collecting other cars. Dietz and Hamlin would escape with minimal damage, while Robinson, David Krikorian, and Joe Schaffer would see their night end early.
A few more cautions would claim more of the week one top five finishers such a Tim Bills who, on Lap 75 would be the victim of a turn three incident caused by a collision between Dietz and Derek Holzhausen as they were battling for the race lead. Bills, running 5th at the time, would sail from the outside lane down to the inner wall and collide head on, dealing a terrible blow to his engine and night. Holzhausen would see minor damage to his car, but would finish 14th.
“Honestly, I never pushed the car all night long, the hardest I pushed it was on the very last lap racing there against Casey…”Ty SpearmanA few of the drivers able to breach through the incident and move into the top few positions: Ty Spearman, Casey Kelley, Matt Rolfe, and Hunter Combs. If the night wasn’t dramatic enough, the final caution on the night would fly with 7 laps remaining, forcing the cars to bunch up for a one Lap shootout. Spearman’s restart would seal the deal as he would surge to the lead ahead of Kelley claiming victory in Race #2. Spearman lead 53 Laps in total, holding Kelley to a P2 finish, while Combs would finish P3. Logan Runyon and Jeremy Adams rounded out the top five.
Watch the full broadcast of the Lakeland 125: Click HERE
Cody Kelley Wins In Family Feud At Stafford
The GM Parts XPerts Pro Late Models traveled up to New England on Wednesday night for the Stafford 125 at the Stafford Motor Speedway. For the second straight week, Casey Kelley would pick up the pole in the division, but a 7-car invert dropped him back and moved David Krikorian up for the start of the feature.
After a quick yellow to start the race, after the restart Krikorian would jump out in front with Tyler Price hanging behind him within a couple of car lengths. As this green flag run continued through lap 54, it allowed the field to sort itself out front. Price took over the lead on lap 21, but Casey Kelley followed him up through and made his move into the lead on lap 32. Prior to the race’s next caution on lap 56, Cody Kelley also worked his way forward and moved up into the runner up spot.
After a second quick yellow around halfway, Casey Kelley would lead the field back to the green with brother Cody falling in behind him in 2nd. From here, the race would go green all the way to the finish, and over the early part of the run, the Kelley brothers began separating themselves from the rest of the field. Casey continued to lead up until lap 94 when Cody looked to the inside, and Cody would take over lead with 30 laps to go. Cody Kelley would then set sail out front for the remainder of the race, pulling out to a 3-second gap out front on his way to crossing the checkered flag for back-to-back wins and his 42nd career win.
Casey Kelley came up a spot short to his brother and finish 2nd, while Ty Spearman ran inside the top five all night to finish on the podium in 3rd. Tim Bills also ran in the top five all night but never got higher than 4th where he finished, and Hunter Combs had a solid night to finish in 5th. Ian Layne, David Krikorian, Russell Berry, Matt Eddy and Dale Owen rounded out the top ten.
Edwards Sneaks By Late For First Win At Irwindale
The Grassroots Vintage SK Shootout Series kicked off week number two for the Irwindale 100 at Irwindale Speedway. The 100-lap feature event night kicked off with Time Trials, with Cody Kelley laying down the fast time. However, a 9-car invert would send Kelley deeper in the field and moved Ian Layne to the front of the grid for the race.
Layne would get a good jump on the initial start of the race, but could only hold onto the lead for the opening 7 laps as Trevor Edwards took the lead on lap 8. The race’s first yellow fell shortly after the lead change. It would be Edwards who would lead the field back to green, but a crash involving cars running inside the top five took out some frontrunners early on the ensuing restart. This shakeup allowed Cody Kelley to be right on Edwards’ bumper on the next restart.
Edwards would hold the top spot until lap 37 when Kelley would make his move around and Joe Schaffer would follow through to be the new second place car. Edwards would fight with David Krikorian to keep the third spot but the top two would start to put about a second on the rest of the field. Schaffer would stay right with Kelley all run and business started to pick up inside the final ten laps. Schaffer tried to make his move on lap 95, but instead nearly sent both cars spinning. With some great saves, they kept going, but this allowed Trevor Edwards to sneak by on the outside to retake the race lead with five to go.
Schaffer and Kelley would continue to battle and then next lap they got together again and brought out a caution this time with Edwards safely out in front. Edwards would go on to pick up the victory under yellow, for his first career SARA win in just his third start. David Krikorian, who was fifth prior to the late accident, was able to dodge it to finish in 2nd. Clay Snider, who started in 18th, moved forward all race to finish 3rd. Conner Blaise recovered from being involved in the early crash up at the front, and finished 4th. Matt Rolfe also started at the back and was near the top 10 all night before a late push to finish 5th. Christopher Alcares, Ty Spearman, Jerrad Daniels, Jason Stewart and Michael Baxter rounded out the top ten.
Dietz Bests Fellow Rookies For First Win At Lanier
On Tuesday night, the Callaway Investments Sportsman Street Stocks visited the Lanier National Speedway for a 100-lap feature event. Ty Spearman picked up the pole for the event but would be dropped back after a 7-car invert, moving newcomer Wade Rookard to the front of the field.
Rookard led the opening few laps before the race’s first caution, but after the restart he would jump back out in front as the field diced it up being him. The early mover during the next green flag run was Josh Dietz who moved up through the top five and then closed in on the back off Rookard by lap 15. Just a few laps later, Dietz would use a slight bump and run to get to the bottom and made his way into the lead. The run continued up until lap 37 when the next caution flew.
Dietz led the field back to the restart with Rookard falling in behind him. Things remained the same near the front of the pack until another caution flew on lap 57, and from that point on a number of cautions plagued the second half of the race, making restarts valuable to gaining positions. A number of drivers who had top ten runs going and could have potentially challenged for spots up front, ran into trouble throughout final few restarts, leaving a handful of rookies to battle it out up front.
Dietz would hold off the field on the restarts and would end up taking the checkered flag for his first career SARA victory. He would be followed to the line by three more rookies including Rookard, Trevor Edwards, and James Curl, while last season’s co-rookie of the season in the SK Modified division, Conner Blaise rounded out the top five.