After a very good top-35 season for the old man, the longtime-veteran Walt Flowers will officially retire after 31 N.O.R.L. Extravaganza Series seasons. Still in high hopes for career victory #10 this season, it has been more of the same story, despite some decent runs in the last couple of weeks. NSRA Racing has two up-and-coming stars in the Busch Series and Guthrie was already expecting to lose his ride before the announcement. "Walt, Scoop and I have been in talks for some weeks now" referring to Old Farts Racing owner Scoop Driscol. "It's been a pleasure racing for a competitive team like NSRA, but it's time to go back to the roots and put some fun back into it". Walt Flowers will take part ownership of the third Old Farts ride that is expected to be announced by the end of 2019, and will remain at the racetrack. "I wish I could've won the Daytona 500, but other than that it's been the best career anyone could have asked for". Struggling teammate Dale Rosendaul will continue on in the #11, and has high spirits for the oncoming season.
When it comes to success at the Bristol Motor Speedway, the Quantum Racing and Quicksilver Motorsports drivers have it down as well as the rest of the field. The race proved to be as such, but with too many twists and turns that left it a race for the ages, despite the calamity.
Pole sitter Ryan Heuser went on to lead the first 10 laps before lapped traffic had Rick Jackson catch up and pass on the inside lane. Rick led the next 33 with Ryan in distance by less than a second the entire time, meandering through more lapped cars.
On lap 40, Adam Crapser spun out off of turn 4 and clipped Cristian Torres, spinning him and sending Adam into Kevin Corbat. Corbat flipped the #4 Pennzoil machine once and on top of Torres, doomly damaging all three cars. Corbat would finish 39th, Torres 42nd, and Adam 32nd.
Ryan took the lead back after the yellow flag and led through lap 84. Matt Raboin, coming in 37 points behind his teammate who was 10th in points, was only leading his 127th lap of the season. In this race, he went on to lead 167, all in a row except for 1. Ryan was directly behind the entire time, and made several attempts to pass back by.
Johnny Reed Foley's chase hopes blew up entirely on lap 72, where the header blew up and sent smoke into the teary eyes of his country fans. Tony Pizzaro blew up on lap 192 after breaking the ignition, sending him back to 12th in points and a 40th place finish. On top of it all, leader Matt Raboin blew up on lap 253 and spun in his own oil entering turn one, finishing 39th after an incredible performance.
Oil was all over the race track, sending Kevin Corbat for a spin directly in front of Rick Jackson and John Tharp, who were in 3rd and 4th place. Both drivers would fall out of the lead lap, finishing 33rd and 20th after a very good day. After hitting debris from the #87, Ryan also lost a lap in the pits repairing the front nose of the car. The top-4 were now scattered in the standings, giving Matthew Dominique the lead.
Points leader Tim McDonnell got spun after contact with John Tharp. After a checkup for the wreck, Zach Michael, who drove from last to second after 292 laps, at one point a lap down, got flipped over once on the backstretch and fell out of the race. After a 37th place finish, he would fall from 7th to 10th in the standings.
Matthew Dominique led 35 laps before that caution, but relinquished it to John Battista after he beat him out of the pits. He led the next 109 laps, and looked to be the strongest car in the field. With less than 100 laps to go, the two were side-by-side for three straight laps before Battista got caught on the outside line behind lapped traffic. Matthew, Alan Nesfeder and Scott Jackson all took advantage, dropping the #39 back to fourth.
Dominique was the sole leader again. Nesfeder took a peak to the inside for the lead on lap 410, but couldn't complete the pass. Several laps later, Scott Jackson passed both on the same lap and flew away. 32 laps later, Nesfeder and Dominique made contact battling for second. Dominique spun and hit the inside wall hard, flying back up the race track into Jimmie Stevens and Adam Crapser. Surprisingly, Dominique would continue on to finish 7th and crawl up to 9th in the points standings.
With a new spring of life, Nesfeder was able to take advantage. With 20 laps to go, he made a 3-wide move underneath 2-lapped cars while Jackson was stuck behind. Between lap 488 and 490, the two were again side-by-side. Jackson had the preferred line and picked the #78 behind the Steven Spears machine. Nesfeder made an amazing three-wide move in the middle and somehow kept the lead.... Read more »
For the first time in Extravaganza Series history, the best of the best go to Lime Rock Park. After the Forrest Grove death, it would appear that most drivers would play it safe. For the most part, it remained true.
For the first 12 laps, it was Johnny Reed Foley and Tim McDonnell battling for the lead in the early going. They passed each other four times before the first caution flew out.
Steven Spears and William Perry tagged coming into the chicane, sending the #65 straight into the tire wall and gasping for air. Despite the oncoming crowd, the debris barely missed the people.
Brodrick Wittmann and Aaron Cummings made contact in the same area as the last wreck. The Subway machine barely missing the crowd and went flipping violently into the forest. Brodrick would come out okay, with nothing but a head full of anxiety.
Matthew Dominique, Johnny Reed Foley, Ryan Heuser and Tim McDonnell were giving it their all to take the top spot, battling hard between laps 19 and 51. Foley and Dominique passed each other ten times during the green flag run.
Ryan and Foley also battled hard, passing each other five times during the same stint. The #18 would short pit on lap 52, taking a full load of fuel while Ryan came in 10 laps later with a half-tank and a five second lead. It's only halfway and pit strategy would start to look significant.
After a Mark Guthrie engine failure, a Cristian Torres crash and a Rick Jackson motor failure, it was a two-way race for sixth between Zach Michael and Tony Pizzaro. As Johnny Reed Foley pulled ahead and four slower cars stayed out, the rest were trapped behind lapped traffic. Ryan Heuser and Matthew Dominique re-pitted and was working their way through heavier traffic towards the back, while Tim McDonnell and John Battista were waiting in the wings behind chase contender Donald Stewart, who went a lap down early. For him, this was likely the final nail in the coffin.
It was looking even more dominant for the #18 than Watkins Glen. With nobody in sight, a green flag run to the end probably would have meant victory again. The reality was a 15th place finish after pitting under the next caution, but he did lead the most laps and continues to be a force to be reckoned with three races remaining in the regular season. He'll have to gain 40 points a race on 10th place for the final three races to make it in.
Glenn Kaufmann had a tire go down entering turn one on lap 106. Chaos ensued behind, as Alex Crapser and John Tharp made every last attempt to crash while trying to pass him. They did not, but the chicane proved a different story for Matthew Dominique and Dalton Lucas. They were three-wide on corner exit, as the #25 hit the #54 on the right side and flew into the bushes, flipping and sending the #88 along as a spectator of the massive barrell-rolls. Both drivers were uninjured, but it sent Matthew all the way to 10th in the standings after leading for most of the season.
The waning laps were a show between Zach Michael, Tim McDonnell and Tony Pizzaro. John Battista, Alex Crapser and Jimmie Stevens lurked behind during the run, but after McDonnell passed Michael on turn one on lap 121, the Caterpillar machine was gone and nobody had a chance. They would need a caution to even the field back out.
The yellow flag never flew. Jimmie Stevens would have to pit for fuel with a couple laps to go, wondering if the rest of the field could make it. They did. McDonnell would ea
... Read more »
Today, at approximately 3:37 PM Eastern time, ARCA driver Forrest Grove was killed after exiting turn 6 in his #14 Stanley Dodge. He made contact with another car, sending him past the concrete bridge and over the hill. After being an estimated 7 stories above the racing surface, Forrest's car landed, the shear impact killing him instantly, and tumbled through a series of barrel-rolls until his car stopped near the pit road entrance. Few of the ARCA competitors who saw the incident were so horrified that they parked their cars in shear terror. "It was one of the worst incidents in modern stock car history" says ARCA chairman Dexter Holmes. "We are currently in thought and prayer for the Grove family." Forrest was the second-nephew of long-time Extravaganza Series driver Jason Grove, who was looking to fall into his footsteps. Today, the dream, as well as his life, has ended.
It was a wonderful day for the drivers who were farthest out of contention for the chase. While they reeled themselves back in, it was the opportunity for them and the rest of the field to beat the road course Big 3: Battista, McDonnell, and Pizzaro.
Tony Pizzaro qualified a miserable 24th, but worked his way up the field immediately. On his way up, he spun out Jimmie Stevens and kept the train chuggin'. Speedy was understandably upset.
Averaging over two positions a lap, Pizzaro took the lead away from pole sitter Rick Jackson on lap 11. He continued to lead until the lap 22 caution, when Ben Geer and Dale Rosendaul wrecked coming off of turn 5.
What was already deemed the fastest car in the history of the Extravaganza Series since the "Rapid Riker" in the 1983 World 600, blew up on the same lap 22. Some have already speculated that it was a test motor prepared for the chase.
Scott Jackson led the next 20 laps of the race before pitting. The rest of the field came in several laps later, handing the lead to the short-pitting John Battista, still recovering from the whiplash from last week.
It would be a loss for Battista, as Scott Deutsch flipped coming out of the pit lane with Bill Werkhesier. Ironically that wasn't the caution, as teammates Dave Butterworth and Ken Pettit blew up a few laps a part, with the latter bringing out the caution and forcing the #39 to pit virtually alone. Teammates Matt Raboin and Matthew Dominique grabbed the #1 and #2 spots.
A lot of confusion stems as to why the Race 2 Win Lombardi-Justice duo would decide to take a big risk this close to the chase. Perhaps it is only coincidence, but seeing Rick Jackson with arguably the fastest car in a road course race made some think otherwise. It could be dire straits for the field if this program hits it's stride. For now, Quantum Racing looks like the brains, as R2W engines go up in flames.
On lap 58, Dominique had a left-front tire going down and was forced to pit. Raboin came in after the next caution, giving the lead to Tim McDonnell. He had Rick Jackson, Johnny Reed Foley and Craig Lee up his tail before a three-wide incident into the inner-loop settled the race back down. Zakk Miller, Alan Nesfeder and Adam Crapser all have different opinions about who caused the wreck. The #4 says Miller dove down too late. The #28 says Adam was a lap down and should have let them go. The #78 made a remark about a sandwich, and how it's tastier when you don't crash.
It became a four-way battle for the lead in the waning laps. McDonnell suffered the same pressure from the #44 and #18 as the last run, but kept his cool as the two raced side-by-side for second. Foley would grab the spot.
Tim and Foley raced side-by-side for a half-lap before the AC Delco machine cleared the CAT car for the lead on lap 68. Rick tried to take advantage of the lost momentum, but came up short. Behind them, Battista was able to pass Craig Lee for fourth.
After a Cristian Torres spin on lap 82, it became a six-way battle for the win. Foley was able to pull away from the field after an incredible battle for second place. Battista was able to scoot by McDonnell after a lap-and-a-half. He was ready to run Foley down.