On Monday, the Grassroots Vintage SK Shootout Series headed south to New Smyrna Speedway for the a pair of feature events, as the division would run a pair of 50 lap races. Billy Martin would kick off the pair of Twin-50’s with yet another fast lap in Time Trials to pick up his 43rd SARA career pole.
As the field took the green flag for the first 50 laps, Billy Martin would charge ahead in the early laps with cars jockeying for position behind him. Trouble would come early on lap four in the form of net code when Eric Block would find himself on the wrong end of iRacing’s limitations bringing out the first caution.
The tightly wrung field bumped and rubbed on the restart just as the green flag fell with Ty Spearman sliding high after contact in turn four, but with a brilliant save would keep the green out. Dylan Schriner was not as lucky off of the treacherous turn four as a bumper saw the #15 machine loop bringing out the second yellow of the evening on lap 11.
As the green flag flew it saw several drivers move their way through the pack. Clay Snider, John Michael-Shenette, and Matthew Eddy all picked up several spots early with consistent runs throughout the race. However, as the green flag run stretched on, Cody Kelley was a real hard charger coming from the tail to move into the top ten.
The caution wouldn’t strike again until lap 36 when Alex O’Bryan would go around with help backing hard into the outside wall where Russell Berry’s consistent race streak would come to an end as the #84 Berry machine would have nowhere to go. It would set up an intense finish with the top five under a blanket to hunt down the dominant Billy Martin.
However as the sun began to set in the Florida sky, the fun wasn’t over yet. Hard on the brakes into turn three, Charlie Kuzma avoided slowing traffic but couldn’t avoid the marbles as the car slid low involving hard charging Snider as well as Eddy, Tom Wetmore, and the Evan Sorensen machine. The race stayed green, but the rustled field found the caution into the next lap where Schriner would go around from contact for one final time involving Ian Layne and others.
As the race ended under caution, Billy Martin would bring home a dominant victory in race one, just to be granted the privilege of starting dead last in race two. The Posse drivers would take the top three with James Linkiewicz taking 2nd and Kevin J Myers rounding out the podium. Conner Blaise and Chris Alcares would have outstanding finishes to start the night rounding out the top five. Cody Kelley would charge hard for a 6th place finish with Matt Rolfe taking a consistent 7th place. Matthew Eddy, Tom Wetmore, and Clay Snider would round out the top ten. However the real winner would be the #113 of Charlie Kuzma who would finish last on the lead lap in race one, and would benefit from an overt to lead the field to the green in race two.
As the field took the green flag for the second 50 lap feature, it would be Kuzma who would repair his SK Modified and pull out to an early lead, but back in the pack is where the fireworks would start as drivers tried to make their way to the front. With only 50 laps to get up there, drivers pushed their cars to the limit to move to the front.
Chris Alcares would be the first to test the limits of the outside wall and with the help of traffic behind him would look skyward and then into the inside wall with several cars behind him including Billy Martin, Ty Spearman, and the bad luck would also continue for the Skittles car of Ian Layne.
Holding the same theme as the first race, the cautions would breed early and the Kyle Odaynik machine would also find the inside catch fence after contact off of turn two.
As drivers moved to the front, the outside line proved to be a deathwish for some and a saving grace for others. While the Linkiewicz and Kelley machines found themselves using the outside line as a saving grace, Clay Snider didn’t find the same savior as he and Conner Blaise would get together off 4 while both trying to move to the front around the outside of Shriner. The lifespan of the #39 of Billy Martin was shrunk yet again just laps later under the next caution.
While the calamity happened out back it was the Wetmore and Rolfe machines that were moving to the front on the outside line. As both pulled through the top five, they looked to be the cars to beat in traffic when contact sent Wetmore spinning. However it wasn’t over for the fast cars in the field when soon after the Wetmore, Eddy, and Rob Roberts cars saw contact land them all in the outside catch fence where they watched the Linkewicz machine come through rolling end over end.
However, when the race went green for its first long run it was Rolfe who smelled blood in the water battling the Kuzma machine for the lead biding his time. With a heated battle that lasted several laps, the Turn4Racing machine would prevail when Kuzma became one of many to snag a nerf bar on the wall on the high side allowing several cars by.
The long green flag run allowed for guys to battle their way from the back with Kevin Myers, Bill Martin, and Cody Kelley all battling into the top ten. However it would all end under caution when a large checkup caught Kuzma, Kelley, and Martin in one final melee allowing Matt Rolfe to catch a breath as he crossed the finish line for his 15th career victory.
Evan Sorenson would drive a consistent and safe race to bring home the runner-up position with Kevin J Myers bringing home an awesome points evening with another top three finish. Kyle Odaynik would recover from being involved in several incidents to finish 4th, and the battle hardened AMC of Billy Martin would round out the top five. Tim Bills, John-Michael Shenette, Eric Block, Dylan Schriner, and Rob Roberts would round out the top ten.
Race 1 Results
Race 2 Results
Race 2 Results