The Callaway Investments Sportsman Street Stock Series visited the half-mile Five Flags Speedway this past Tuesday night for a 100-lap Triple Crown feature event, for their third race of the young season. A field of 30 drivers would try find victory lane in Pensacola.
To start off the event, Ty Majeski put down the fast lap in Time Trials with a 18.555-second pole winning time as the top seven would be separated by less than a tenth of a second. A eight-car invert, however, would shake up the front of the field and brought Brian Tedeschi to the head of the pack for the Dash and the race. In the Qualifying Dash, it would be James Linkiewicz who raced up from mid-pack to score the win for some extra bonus points.
At the drop of the green flag for the feature event, Tedeschi led the field through the opening laps and through the race’s first yellow flag on lap 6. Shortly after the race restarted, James Linkiewicz went by for the top spot on lap 13 as Tedeschi would lose 2nd to Austin Yarbrough and start to slide through the field.
A quick-charging Ty Majeski would move around Yarbrough on lap 19 and look to get around Linwiewicz next. It wouldn’t take long for Majeski to pass Linkiewicz for the race lead on lap 26. Linkiewicz would now be tasked with holding off 2nd place from Tim Bills, as Yarbrough and Mickey Kudlicki, who had started in the 15th spot rounded out the top 5 a quarter of the way through the race.
Majeski would continue to lead through the race’s next caution but Linkiewicz would surrender 2nd place to Austin Yarbrough and Tim Bills followed through for 3rd place a couple laps later around the halfway mark. A couple mid-race cautions continued to bunch up the field but it was the 91 car of Majeski who continued to control the race.
Tim Bills would pass Yarbrough for 2nd on lap 60, and set his sights on Majeski. Bills could not close the constant three tenth to half a second gap through a green flag stretch until a late caution with under 20 to go bunched the field up again. Majeski was out front here on lap 83, with Bills in 2nd, Yarbrough in 3rd, Cody Kelley, who started 23rd and had battled up to 4th and Linkiewicz rounded out the top five.
The race would have a couple cautions down the stretch, but no one was able to make a move on Majeski in the closing laps. Majeski would hold off the field, and led the field under yellow to the checkered flag after leading 75 of the race’s 100 laps. The win for Majeski was his first Street Stock win in over a year, and his 67th career SARA victory.
Behind Majeski, Tim Bills ran in 2nd for the majority of the second half of the race, but it seemed he could just not get to Majeski’s bumper to make a move. Austin Yarbrough was a solid top five car all night and with some restart shuffling, he ran as high as 2nd, and finished in the 3rd spot. James Linkiewicz charged to the lead in the Dash and the race, and hung around the top five for the whole race after losing the lead and came home in 4th. Cody Kelley started in the rear of the field and moved into the top five after halfway but stalled out there to a 5th place finish.
Tyler Howell started inside the top ten and only ran as high as 6th all race, which is where he finished. Tommy Burns started at the rear, and then restarted the race at the rear near the halfway mark and surged late to a 7th place finish. Bill Martin also started the race at the back of the pack, and made a steady increase all night to finish 8th. Derek Robinson started just outside the top 10, and like Burns, found himself restarting in the rear near halfway before rebounding to a 9th place run gaining many spots late. Derek Kraus started outside the top 10, and almost cracked the top 5 midway before slipping back late to finish in the 10th spot.
After three events on the season, James Linkiewicz leaves Five Flags as the points leader by 16 points in the standings, and will lead the division into next week’s race at Lime Rock Park, the season’s only road course event.