The RB Performance Super Late Model Series made their first ever trip to the Southern National Motorsports Park this past Thursday night, as the division would tackle the .40 mile track for 175 laps.
In Time Trials, the track record was set at 13.100 seconds and it was Ty Majeski that laid down that fast time, for his 62nd career SARA pole. A 6-car invert dropped Majeski back however for the Qualifying Dash, as David Krikorian was inverted to the front of the field, leading the top ten cars into the Dash. Krikorian jumped out into the lead and had no problems going on to pick up the Dash win and some extra bonus points, which he needed after having bad luck lately.
For the feature event, Krikorian led the field back to the green flag and pulled out to a couple car length gap out front. In the opening laps, it looked like perhaps the field had settled in, but a lap 20 caution slowed the pace and erased the .5 second gap that Krikorian had built. Over the next 50 laps, a number of cautions plagued the race, with the field unable to get much more than a 10 lap run in during that span.
On one of those early restarts on lap 38, Krikorian continued to lead but for the first time he had points leader Camaron Hamilton behind him and Hamilton started applying the pressure. It took Hamilton just four laps to close in on Krikorian’s bumper, and once he got there, Krikorian let him go, giving Hamilton the lead on lap 42.
Hamilton continued to lead at a lap 76 caution where the field was finally able to settle in for a while as they took off on a 60-lap green flag run. That long run really showed who had the long run speed for the first time, and it was Majeski and Ty Spearman who began to chase down Hamilton up front. Hamilton had built a half-second lead, but Majeski began to cut into that and finally got to his rear bumper by lap 100, and made his move to the inside just a couple laps later as the leaders began to catch lapped traffic.
Majeski ducked to the inside lane, but Hamilton hung tough on the outside and the two would battle side-by-side for the next four laps until they finally reached the first lapped car and Hamilton had to fall back in line, with Majeski taking over the top spot. From there, Majeski started to show his muscles as he built nearly a second lead over Spearman who had moved up into 2nd.
A caution on lap 137 however, would throw a wrench into some driver’s races as it finally allowed the field to head down pit road. Unfortunately for some, the small track didn’t allow much time for the leaders to get their service done before the pace car came back around to trap them on pit road. A few of the front runners such as Hamilton, Bill Martin, and Jim Caudill Jr were all stuck a lap down, while out front Tommy Burns tried a different strategy and stayed out on old tires.
The strategy out front for Burns didn’t quite work however as Majeski powered by on fresh tires. One last caution on lap 145 set up a 25-lap run to the finish, but no one had anything for Majeski as he showed he had the short run speed late, and pulled out to a 1.1 second gap out front as he went on to take the checkered flag for his 4th Super Late Model win of the season, and the 60th of his SARA career.
Behind Majeski, Spearman ended up with a 2nd place finish after riding inside the top five all race long before picking his way up into 2nd during the last couple of runs. Krikorian finally broke his bad luck and stayed up front all race long, leading 40 laps earlier in the race, and picked up a podium finish in 3rd. After staying out on old tires, Burns was able to take on fresh rubber on the final caution, and used that to charge up into a 4th place finish. Joe Schaffer had a quiet night, running in the back half of the top ten for most of it, before moving up late into a top five finish in 5th.
Just outside the top five, James Wenzel had another impressive outing as he too battled in the back half of the top ten before finishing in 6th. Hamilton had to use a lucky dog to get back on the lead lap after getting trapped a lap down, but had a strong race leading 63 laps and eventually made his way back up into a 7th place finish. Parker Traves struggled with the handling on his car for much of the race, going down a lap during one of the long runs, but got his lap back and ended up with an 8th place finish. Matt Eddy was another driver that struggled, running outside the top ten for the first 135 laps before the late cautions helped him get a wave-around and he used that to grab a 9th place finish. Despite running right around the 5th spot all race, Bill Martin was one of the few that got trapped a lap down during his pit stop, which forced him down into a 10th place finish to round out the top ten.
With another top ten finish for Camaron Hamilton, he extends his points lead out to a sizable margin for the first time as he’ll bring a 40 point lead into next week’s double features at Milwaukee.