The Callaway Investments Sportsman Street Stock Series visited the Martinsville Speedway this past Tuesday night for a 75-lap feature event. It was the penultimate race of the 2016 Spring Season, and the third of four races in the Old Dominion Swing. Tommy Burns entered as the points leader, but it was last week’s winner in Ty Spearman who continued to close the points gap into the final race of the season.
After being fastest in both pre-Qualifying and pre-Race practice, Spearman was edged out in Time Trials by Tim Bills for the pole, and crossed the Qualifying Dash finish line in 4th after coming to the line in a three wide battle for 2nd with Matt Rolfe and James Linkiewicz.
A six car invert dropped Spearman back to a fifth place starting spot, and it took him just 13 laps to take the race lead away from Stephen Shore, and he would never look back leading 62 of the 75 laps on his way to his sixth win of the Street Stock season.
Once out in front of the race, Spearman set sail, getting out to 1+ second gaps over the field in each early green flag run. Shore ran hard in 2nd for most of the race, but faded as the race went on before falling spots in the closing laps.
Tommy Burns, the points leader heading into the night had to start at the back of the field after missing Time Trials, and with Spearman running up front, it could have been a huge points night for Spearman. Burns however, made a steady push to the front all night long, eventually cracking the top five in the second half of the race.
With Spearman out front by a second at this point, the race for 2nd place on the track heated up in the closing stages. Shore had held onto that spot so far, while James Linkiewicz, Tommy Burns, Tim Bills and Darek Gress had all moved into a battle for 2nd place, with the five cars separated by less than 7 tenths of a second. James Linkiewicz made his move on Shore for 2nd place with 20 to go, and Burns followed to 3rd. Two laps later, Burns got around Linkiewicz for the runner up spot prior to a lap 58 caution that erased Spearman’s growing near 2-second lead.
After a pair of late cautions, the field was set up with another restart on lap 71. However, some technical issues forced an incident towards the front of the field from the second row on the restart. With cars spinning before the leaders taking off, this jumbled the running order behind the front row and seemed to alter the finish order besides Spearman and Burns. However, after the race officials reverted the results to how the cars lined up prior to the restart. Still up front, Spearman led the field to the checkered flag under yellow for win number six on the year with one race left in the season.
Behind Spearman, Tommy Burns started in the 18th position and was able to move into the second spot, but never got a good shot to race Spearman for the win. James Linkiewicz came home in 3rd after running in the top five for the majority of the night. Darek Gress started shotgun on the field and maneuvered his way forward all night, finishing in the 4th position. Brian Tedeschi started outside the top ten, and ran around the 10th position for most of the night before surging late to round out the top five.
Russell Berry overcame an early race accident, and picked his way back through the field to finish 6th. Ian Layne was involved in an accident that didn’t bring out a caution, but rallied from being scored as the last car on track in the mid-stages to a 7th place finish. Andy Shuck started at the back of the field, and made steady progress all race to a 8th place finish. Cody Erdmann ran in the top five at points in the race, but mid-race problems sent him to back before returning to the top 10 late to finish in 9th. Clay Snider hovered around the back half of the top ten for most of the race, and rounded out the top ten in the 10th position.
With Spearman’s victory, he closed the gap atop the points standings down to 26 points over Tommy Burns with a single race remaining. To close the season and the Old Dominion Swing, the Callaway Investments Sportsman Street Stock series will finish with a 125-lap feature under the lights at South Boston.
***Due to a major netcode/glitch incident coming to the final restart of the race on lap 71, we have reverted the finishing order of the race back to the running order prior to that final restart. Coming to the green flag, a netcode/warping incident happened, before the leaders even began to take off for the restart. By the time the rest of the field accelerated, a car had been turned in front of the field leaving the rest of the pack with no where to go. Due to this, we felt it was out of the drivers hands at that point since no one was able to get a fair restart, and we have reverted the results back to the running order prior to that final restart.