Schaffer Finds The Right Line On His Way To Victory
While the future of the Irwindale Speedway is in doubt, the GM Parts Xperts Super Late Model Series rolled into the speedway with a 125-lap feature event on tap. Bill Martin picked up his 48th career SARA pole, which moved him into sole possession of 2nd all-time on the career poles list. A 7-car invert dropped Martin back, while David Krikorian was moved to the front of the field.
Krikorian led the opening 14 laps of the race before Derek Holzhausen charged to the lead after chasing down from Krikorian from over a half-second back. When Holzhausen moved up, he also brought Ty Majeski with him to the front of the field and Majeski would take a look to the inside of Holzhausen on lap 18. As the two ran side-by-side, a little bit of contact between the two would send the #87 machine up the track, as Majeski was able to get by to take over out front.
The green flag run would continue all the way through lap 72. The run allowed a lot of movers throughout the field, and also opened up a number of different lanes that drivers would begin to run. Joe Schaffer and Matt Rolfe worked their way up into the top three running lower lines on the track, while Holzhausen and Martin ran in the top five while running a more traditional line. Others throughout the field were using the outside up against the wall before the first caution would come out.
The yellow flag opened up pit road for everyone to come and take tires. The race off of pit road would be key as Rolfe and Schaffer came out ahead of Majeski who slipped to third for the restart. Rolfe would lead the field back to the green but it was Schaffer who carried the momentum up high to take over the top spot. A couple more cautions would come out leading up to one last restart on lap 101.
“We had a great setup that could run the bottom, and if you’re gonna win one of these races you got to be able to do something that everybody else can’t and we were great running the bottom outside of the preferred groove and I think that’s what paid off.”Joe SchafferSchaffer continued to lead after getting the jump, while behind him Rolfe and Majeski were battling it out. Rolfe would go down to the grass to make the track shorter while Majeski ran higher to carry more momentum. Neither driver was able to make up much ground however as Schaffer wouldn’t allow them to close in and he would come around to pick up the victory, for his 2nd win of the season and his 18th career SARA victory. Rolfe and Majeski would join him on the podium, while Bill Martin would finish in 4th, and Holzhausen rounded out the top five.
With the victory, Schaffer moves into the points lead by a slim margin. Next Week the Series travels back to the Midwest, as they look to take on The Milwaukee Mile for the Area 52 Designs Twin 52s. It will be Two 52 Laps races, a wild shake up to keep the drivers and their racecraft on edge. After the flurry of changes coming out of the Irwindale race, next week will be a race that could make or break a driver’s hope to be in the hunt for the Championship. Tune in next Thursday night at 10pm est for Race #6 in the GM Parts Xperts Super Late Model Series.
Watch the full broadcast of the Irwindale Outlet Mall 125: Click HERE
Kelley Steals Win Late At Phoenix, His 5th Of The Season
Article by Darrell Hamlin.
Wednesday night’s GM Parts XPerts Pro Late Model event took us to the deserts of the southwest. On a hot afternoon, 24 drivers turned a qualifying lap at Phoenix and it would be Ty Majeski that set the pole with a lap of 28.950 seconds. A random invert of seven put Derek Robinson at the front of the field and shuffled the rest of top seven.
Robinson would lead only one lap before his teammate, Matt Rolfe, passed him for the lead. Rolfe led the next 22 laps before a caution bunched the field back up. On the ensuing restart Rolfe and Majeski made contact out front. That caused Majeski to lose control, tag the outside wall and come back down in front of a herd of cars collecting several front runners and ending their nights early.
From that point on it would be a battle between Rolfe and Cody Kelley out front. Rolfe had the high line rolling and Kelley was able to rotate the bottom but couldn’t quite get the run he needed to grab the lead. They battled up until lap 65 when a caution would bring the field in for a pit stop and four fresh tires. Rolfe was first out of the pits and restarted on the bottom. Kelley restarted on the outside for a final five lap dash.
On the restart Kelley got a great jump and was able to take away Rolfe’s preferred lane on the high side. Kelley then inched ahead of Rolfe to take the lead and victory. Rolfe ended up finishing 2nd after leading the majority of the race. Windell Stratton came from the back of the pack to finished 3rd. Bill Martin ended up 4th and Ty Spearman 5th. Newcomers Scott Naslund and Andre Rogers finished 6th and 7th. Wes Graham had a career best night to finish 8th. John Fowler finished in 9th and Cameron Hobbs rounded out the top ten.
With Cody Kelley picking up his 5th win of the season, he extends his points lead out to 72 points and looks to have the standings in control heading into the second half of the season.
Martin Escapes With Win After Leaders Face Issues At Southern National
On Monday night, the SK Shootout Series took their turn battling it out at the Southern National Motorsports Park for 150 laps. Bill Martin would score the pole for the race, before a 6 car invert dropped him back into the pack and brought Keith Jeffery to the front of the field for the green flag.
Jeffery led early on in the race throughout the first couple of cautions in the opening 25 laps. Matt Rolfe and Trevor Edwards each took shots at the lead as they ran in the runner-up spot, but it was Tim Bills that moved up into 2nd as the race neared lap 50 and he was the first to make a move into the lead. That move however would result in contact as the two would hit nerf bars in the corner which would send Jeffery around and out of the lead.
The mishap for the leaders was just the first of a handful of issues for the the drivers up front on the night. Bills would continue on in the lead but as he faced pressure from Matt Rolfe for the lead, he would make contact with the outside wall on the exit of turn four, and Rolfe would get into the back of him on lap 98. Both drivers continued but had enough damage to take them out of contention and Bills would eventually clip the wall once more to bring out a caution.
This handed the lead over to Trevor Edwards out front. After a restart with 25 laps to go, Edward looked to be well on his way to victory as he pulled away from Bill Martin by a few car lengths. Martin could gain some time on some laps but couldn’t close the gap. Edwards took the white flag and came out of turn four expecting to see the checkered flag, but instead saw a car was spun in front of him, leaving him no where to go. Edwards would see his hopes of winning gone in an instant, and it allowed Martin to sneak by around the outside to take the checkered flag for his 44th SARA victory.
Leaving Southern National, Matt Rolfe would take over the points lead by a narrow margin over Joe Schaffer by 3 points, as the division will head to Bristol next for a 125-lap feature.
Bills Dominates, Rolfe Charges Late For Oxford Twin 50 Victories
The Callaway Investments Sportsman Street Stock Series rolled into the Oxford Plains Speedway this past Tuesday night for a pair of 50 lap features at the Maine short track. With just 50 laps to get the job done in both races, and with only one lane to run in, track position would be key.
In Race 1, Tim Bills had the best track position when he picked up his 16th career SARA pole. Bills would jump out ahead early on but would face some pressure from behind as Matt Rolfe moved up into the runner-up spot and closed the gap up to Bills’ rear bumper. On lap 18, Rolfe would slip up after hitting the curb and it allowed Josh Dietz to move into 2nd as he looked to chase down the leader.
Bills continued to lead with Dietz now on his bumper, literally, as the two would make contact a couple of times. That contact however would bring out the first caution of the race on lap 32 as contact between the two leaders would stack them up leaving no where to go when Rolfe, Dale Owen, and Ty Spearman would all make contact as well, and Dietz would get turned around.
After the restart, Bills jumped back out ahead, and this time Owen would move up into the 2nd spot and he too would close in on the rear bumper of Bills, but couldn’t get a run to make a move. Bills would go on to hold off the field, leading all 50 laps in Race 1 to pick up his 10th career SARA victory. Owen, James Curl, Trevor Edwards, and Clay Snider rounded out the top five.
In the second feature of the night, an invert of all lead lap cars would bring Darek Gress to the front of the field while the Race 1 winner Bills would start back in 14th. Gress pulled out to the early lead but after a few laps it was Bill Martin that started reeling him in and worked his way by for the lead on lap 11.
As the race kept rolling off green flag laps, Martin looked to be in control as Dietz and Rolfe had worked their way back up into the top three but couldn’t close the gap out front as the laps wound down. But that would all change when a caution flew on lap 35.
After the restart, Martin was able to maintain the lead as Dietz would fall back on the outside groove, allowing Rolfe to move up into 2nd. Martin would slip up once leaving Rolfe enough room to peek a nose inside before Martin closed the door. But the door would open back up with 5 laps to go as Rolfe got to Martin’s inside as he would take over the lead. The two would run side by side for a couple laps before Rolfe would pull ahead coming to the finish, and came around to pick up his 17th career SARA victory. Dietz, Curl, Martin, and Owen rounded out the top five.
After 6 races on the season, rookie Trevor Edwards hangs onto his points lead by 31 points and will look to continue to lead heading into next week’s race at Five Flags.
Race 1 Results
Race 2 Results
Race 2 Results