The Callaway Investments Sportsman Street Stock Series visited Thompson Speedway on Tuesday Night for a 75 lap feature event. This was the division’s first race at Thompson since March of 2015.
To kick off the event, after being 19th quick in the opening practice, Scott Dunlap took home the pole with 21.616 second lap time, edging out Tommy Burns by 0.003 seconds for the pole in Time Trials. This was Scott Dunlap’s second career pole, which was his first since October 22, 2013. However, a seven-car invert would send Dunlap towards the rear of the Qualifying Dash. This invert sent Matt Rolfe to the front of the Dash, and he held on to win the Qualifying Dash holding off Travis Warling for the extra bonus points.
After his dash win, Rolfe led the field to the green and then to an almost immediate caution as top five starters Travis Warling and Windell Stratton tangled for the race’s first caution on lap 1. After the quick yellow, Rolfe was able to maintain the top spot on the ensuing restart and until the race’s second caution at lap 19. Cautions breed cautions, as the there was a big wreck on lap 25 that started near the front of the field and collected pole winner Scott Dunlap and many others, and even sent one car flipping down the back stretch.
Rolfe would continue to lead through a run of early yellows and through the halfway point. Rolfe led until lap 45, when some contact sent Hunter Combs to the race lead with 30 to go. Combs led new second place car Tommy Burns and Derek Kraus now, as Rolfe slipped to fourth at this point. Once Combs was out front, there were two more quick cautions to set up a 15 lap green flag run to the end.
In the closing stages, Combs led Burns and Kraus by just a few car lengths, and those three up front put about one second on 4th place Tom Wetmore. Combs paced the top three by about two or three car lengths for most of the final laps. However, with three laps to go, Combs slipped up the track and there was slight contact from second-place Tommy Burns as Burns made his move around Combs on lap 73 to take the race lead. Combs slipped back to third behind Derek Kraus and Burns was able to hold on in the final three circuits to take home the victory at Thompson. The win for Burns was his 2nd win of the season.
Behind Burns, in 2nd was Derek Kraus, who did not take a qualifying time and moved from 20th place starting position to finish in the runner-up spot. Hunter Combs, after leading 27 laps, slipped back to third in the final laps. Tom Wetmore started 4th after the invert and ran around in the top five all night, but finished right where he started in 4th place. Ty Spearman started towards the front of the field, was involved in an early caution and drove back through the field for a 5th place run.
Outside the top five, James Wenzel ran in the back half of the top ten all night before finishing in 6th. Michael German chose to start at the rear, and ran outside the top ten for the majority of the race before climbing up to 7th in the second half of the race. Mike Belanger was involved in the big crash on lap 25, and restarted at the back of the field after that crash, and moved forward the rest of the night to finish 8th. Russell Berry had climbed to 7th spot before halfway before being involved in one of the race’s cautions, and much like those around him, he was able to recover for a 9th place finish. Jackson Lewis was involved in the same caution as Berry, and the two seemingly moved up through the field together as Lewis rounded out the top ten.
With the win, Tommy Burns hangs onto the points lead and extends it out to 13 points after 9 events on the season. After a couple off weeks, the Street Stock division will return on April 26th with a 75-lap feature at Richmond.