On Monday night, 32 drivers attempted to qualify for the DonutsDesigns.com Open Wheel Series UMP Modified 60-lap race at Lanier, with just 24 drivers making the starting grid.
Race Winner – Dillon Raffurty waited patiently for the front pack to settle in before he charged to the lead on lap 8, and went on to pick up the win. His 5 wins in 5 SARA starts makes him just the 6th SARA driver in league history to win five straight races, joining Ty Majeski (3 times), Justin Brooks (holds record of 12 straight), Cody Kelley, Trey Jarrell, and Jeff Bye Jr.
Race Summary – Tim Bills benefitted from the Pole Shuffle to start on the pole, but it was Dante Curtis that led the opening 8 laps of the race from the outside while the two ran side-by-side. Once the leaders settled in and got single file, it allowed Dillon Raffurty to make his charge up the inside to take the lead on lap 9, and he never looked back. A handful of drivers battled it out among the top five all race long, which eventually resulted in Chris Watkins and Mike King on the podium, with Trevor Edwards and Dante Curtis rounding out the top five.
Heat Winners – Jared Turnbull, Chris Watkins, and Tyler Gray each won their heat races from the pole, while Trevor Edwards won the 20-car B-Main to make the feature.
Hard Charger – Derek Robinson barely edged out Bruce Perry in the B-Main for the final transfer spot, and then ended the night in 9th, gaining 13 spots from his starting spot.
UMP Modified Title Fight – With two wins to start the UMP Modified season, Dillon Raffurty already has a comfortable lead atop the standings.
Combined Points Title Fight – A top five finish for Dante Curtis moves him to the top of the overall combined Open Wheel standings by just one point.
Up Next – The series is off next week before the 360 Non-Wing Sprints return to Lanier in two weeks for their first visit to the track.