On Tuesday night, the Callaway Investments Sportsman Street Stock Series returned to the Concord Speedway for the first time in nearly a year. The 75-lap race would be the 3rd event of the season and the first event of the “Tar Heel Swing.”
The night got started with Ty Spearman putting down the fast lap in Time Trials with a time of 16.976 seconds for a new track record. The top 10 cars advanced into the Qualifying Dash, and a full 10-car invert sent Spearman back in the pack while Mike Rhyno was inverted to the front. In the Dash, Rhyno swapped the lead with Cody Thompson a couple of times before Rhyno eventually pulled away for the Dash victory. All 26 cars that attempted to qualify for the race made the grid.
Rhyno led the field to the green flag for the feature event and again battled it out with Thompson in the early laps. Thompson took control of the lead by lap 2, but later on a caution on lap 24 allowed the field to bunch back up. After the restart, Tyler Howell made his move into the lead just to give it up a couple laps later to current points leader Hunter Combs.
While the front of the field battled for the lead, Ty Spearman was making his charge back to the front of the pack. After a restart on lap 39, Combs got the advantage into the lead but Spearman was looking for a way by, and made his move to the bottom of entering on turn three on lap 44 to take over the top spot. From there, it was all Spearman out front. He had to hold off a couple late charges on some restarts, but no one was able to get to him and one final late caution sealed the victory for Spearman as he led the field back to the checkered and yellow flags to pick up the win. It was Spearman’s 8th career SARA victory.
Behind Spearman, Tommy Burns made his way up into the 2nd place during the late stages of the race to finish in the runner-up spot. After leading laps during the middle portion of the race, both Combs and Howell were able to hang inside the top five for the rest of the race and settled in late to finish in 3rd and 4th respectively. Tom Wetmore rounded out the top five after recovering for an earlier incident and made his way back up to finish 5th.
Darrell Hamlin picked up a 6th place finish as he battled up-and-down the top ten before moving up to challenge for a top five spot late in the race. Dale Owen started back in the 14th spot and made steady progress up into the top ten to finish in 7th. Clay Snider started even deeper in the field back in 19th as he worked his way up into an 8th place finish. Rhyno ended up dropping back to finish in 9th despite having a strong run for a majority of the race. Michael German rounded out the top ten after running outside of it for most of the run before moving up late to finish in 10th.
After three events on the season, Hunter Combs maintains his points lead in the standings and extends it out to 14 points over 2nd place. Combs will lead the field into next week’s race at Southern National.