The Callaway Investments Sportsman Series wrapped up their 2017 Spring Season on Tuesday night, with a 200-lap season finale. The race was the longest ever for our Street Stock division as drivers battled it out in the Callaway Investments Championship 200.
Title Fight – Heading into the night, Matt Rolfe led Trevor Edwards by just 9 points at the top of the standings. The race would go all 200 laps caution free, which meant both drivers were going to need a strong long-run setup to determine the champion. Rolfe started up in the top five and ran there all night, but was never able to challenge for the lead, which left the door open for Edwards to gain points if he could finish up front. However after being handicapped back to 10th after his Oxford win, Edwards climbed as high as 6th but couldn’t make up any more ground. Rolfe would finish in the 5th spot which was enough to secure the championship by 13 points over Edwards.
Congrats to Matt Rolfe, the 2017 Spring Season Callaway Investments Sportsman Series champion. Matt’s title run consisted of 12 starts, 3 wins, 10 top tens, 10 top fives, 165 laps led, and an average finish of 5.75. This is Rolfe’s 7th career SARA championship, which puts him 2nd all-time behind Bill Martin.
The season finale also included an $85 prize purse. Below are the drivers that walked away in the money (payouts will be sent out within a week after the SLM finale):
Joe Schaffer Jr. – 1st – $25
Tim Bills – 2nd -$15
Matt Kocher – 3rd – $10
Jeremy Adams – 4th – $5
Matt Rolfe – 5th – $5
Tim Bills – Pole Award – $5
Jeremy Adams and Darrell Hamlin – Random Clean Drivers – $5 each
Matt Eddy and Christian Pedersen – Random Starters – $5 each
Race Winner – The battle up front started early as Darrell Hamlin led the opening 29 laps before Matt Kocher and Joe Schaffer Jr got by. Kocher and Schaffer battled for the next 15 laps before Schaffer eventually gained the advantage, and then it was clear sailing from there for Schaffer. With the race going all 200 laps caution free, Schaffer built out a 10.5 second lead by the end of the race as he picked up the dominating victory, his 4th of the season, and 29th career SARA win.
Pole Award – Tim Bills set a new track record at Lanier with a lap of 14.496 seconds for his 6th pole of the season
Hard Charger – 11th to 8th (+3) – David Krikorian made a rare start in the Sportsman Series, starting outside the top ten before moving up into an 8th place finish.
Biggest Loser – 2nd to 11th (-9) – Ian Layne had a strong qualifying effort to earn a 2nd place starting spot, but after the invert he dropped to the back of the top ten and ended the night finishing 11th.
Rookie of the Race – 3rd Place – Matt Kocher made his 2nd start of the season, and was able to lead laps early before battling within the top five the rest of the night before finishing 3rd. Brian Chambliss missed the night, but had scored enough Rookie points during the season to earn himself the 2017 Sprint Season Rookie of the Season for the Sportsman Series.