This past Wednesday night, the MRolfeDesigns Pro Late Model Series took a trip back south to the Lanier National Speedway, for a 125 lap feature event under the lights. Veteran Russell Berry led the field into the race as the points leader.
In Time Trials, Ty Majeski picked up his 3rd pole of the season, and the 61st of his career with a lap of 13.436 seconds. The top ten cars advanced into the Qualifying Dash, and a 9-car invert dropped Majeski back into the pack while Windell Stratton was inverted to the front. Stratton took full advantage and went on to pick up the Dash win and gained some extra bonus points. Both Jarrid Boiros and Tommy Burns made some moves in the Dash to pick up some additional bonus points for passing the most cars as well.
For the feature event, Stratton would elect to start from the tail placing Matt Rolfe in control for the start. Rolfe led the field to the green flag and put some distance between himself and the top five before an early caution slowed the pace. After the restart, Rolfe began to get loose however which would plague him al night long, and it allowed Tom Wetmore to close the gap and made his move into the lead on lap 19.
On lap 36, the wall at Lanier earned a new stripe causing a multi-car incident involving several cars. An unlucky recipient, Burns, was sent careening end over end down the front stretch with cars scrambling to avoid the #81. With just under 100 laps to go, everyone pulled their belts tight and settled in for what was already looking to be a wild race.
As fast cars moved their way to the front and the handling fell off for others throughout the early laps, it meant some very scary moments for some drivers of loose race cars. This shuffled the field more than once and led to white knuckle side-by-side racing throughout the pack all night long. Drivers such as Stratton and Hunter Combs who started from the tail began picking off cars one by one slowly carving through the field.
However, Wetmore continued to pull away from the field while they battled behind him. Spearman after running in 2nd place subsided to Majeski who planned a mid-race charge. Behind the top three it was a scramble for position with drivers like Marc Gammack, Jarrid Boiros, and Josh Hart battling hard for position. It was nearly at the halfway point at lap 64 when the field would catch a breath under caution at the expense of another pair of top-15 drivers who were collected.
As the laps wound down, the racing heated up within the top ten. Drivers battled side by side, banged doors, and leapt forward off the corner trying to gain a fenders’ margin. A final restart was set up with just 15 laps to go, and Wetmore jumped out ahead once more. Majeski was able to work back up to the 2nd spot ahead of Stratton to try and post one more run at the lead but as they battled in the closing laps, Wetmore pulled away. Wetmore came off of turn four and collected his 2nd Pro Late Model win after leading 107 laps. The win was also his 6th career SARA victory.
Ty Majeski was able to hang onto the 2nd spot, finishing just ahead of Ty Spearman who would finish 3rd, and Stratton who would cross the line 4th, in a heated side-by-side finish where all three cars were separated by a tenth of a second. Hunter Combs would battle back from the tail to round out the top five. Marc Gammack, Bill Martin, Russell Berry, Jarrid Boiros, and Dale Owen rounded out the top ten.
With yet another solid top 10 finish, Russell Berry leads the point standings in the MRolfeDesign Pro Late Model Series, extending the margin between himself and 2nd place Dale Owen up to 28 points. With just one more week of racing before drop weeks come into effect, drivers will be battling for crucial points before the points battle could be flipped upside down.
Next week the haulers roll north to Hampton, VA to take on Langley Speedway for another 125 lap feature event.