The Callaway Investments Sportsman Street Stock Series returned to Richmond to complete their season-opening 75-lap event. After server issues prematurely ended the race a few weeks ago, the race was restarted as it was on the last restarted green flag lap, and the race would continue as just a 50-lap feature.
Brian Tedeschi would lead the field to the green, but he would not be able to hold the top spot as Austin Yarbrough found his way to the race lead on the first lap. Cody Kelley would follow through to 2nd place. Kelley would follow Yarbrough through the first few laps, before getting around him for the race lead on lap 6. Kelley would continue to lead with Yarbrough staying in touch of the leader, with Darrell Hamlin and Tim Bills following closely behind.
The first caution would slow the field at lap 16, but just a lap prior, Yarbrough had overtaken Kelley for the race lead once more. On the ensuing restart, Yarbrough lead the field back to green with Tim Bills now following through to 2nd place. Bills would make his move around Yarbrough at the halfway point for the race lead, just prior to the race’s second caution.
Bills would lead the field to the next green flag, with Yarbrough in 2nd, Kelley in 3rd, and Ty Spearman trying to join the battle for the race lead in the 4th spot. Yarbrough was able to regain the lead after the restart, but Bills stayed glued to the race leader’s rear bumper for the next couple laps. Bills would retake the lead at lap 36, at this point the top five consisted of Bills, Yarbrough, Hamlin, Kelley and Spearman. The top five before this yellow were within a second of each other, with Ian Layne charging hard in 6th catching the lead pack as the yellow waved again on lap 38.
The ensuing restart would change the outcome of the race. Two separate incidents took place at the front of the field, as the top cars all made contact. Bills, the race leader would get sent around in front of the field, and the incident also took out Cody Kelley, Darrell Hamlin, Ty Spearman and Ian Layne, who were all running in the top six. With chaos at the front, this opened the door for Austin Yarbrough to come back around to the stripe as the race leader being the only car in the top 6 to make it through the incident cleanly.
With most of the race’s front runners out of contention, Yarbrough led the field back to the green for a two-lap dash to the checkers, which saw Yarbrough cross the line first to score the victory at Richmond.
Behind Yarbrough, Tyler Howell started shotgun on the field, and was able to move forward all night and almost went worst-to-first, but finished in 2nd. Russell Berry kept his nose clean all night for a strong 3rd place run. Travis Warling ran in the top ten most of the race, but missing the late incident allowed him to finish 4th. Scott Dunlap, like Howell in front him, started at the very back and made consistent progress forward all night to round out the top five.
Tim Bills was leading late before being involved in the late crash, but was able to rebound to 6th. Michael Baxter made his first league start this season and kept his car clean all night to finish 7th. Cody Kelley was up front all night, but in two laps made it back to 8th after being involved in the last yellow. Sean Disbro started at the rear of the field and moved into the top ten late and finished 9th. Ian Layne was involved in two incidents and had to restart at the back both times and recovered to round out the top ten.
Despite not getting the finish he wanted, Ty Spearman holds a 21-point lead over Tim Bills as the series heads to Gateway for the first time next week.
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