From the depths of the southern countryside to the Delaware promise-land, many attempt to rebuild their season after ten races of strife. Tim McDonnell is one, searching for his first top-10 of the season and coming off of his sixth finish of 30th or worse last week at Talladega. He will start 10th today, with seasonal lap-led leader Rick Jackson on the pole looking to add to his total.
The green flag came out with a very conventional top-10 starting grid. Towards the back, Philip Parker lost a battery, getting slammed from behind by Aaron Cummings. Tony Long and Cristian Torres clipped each other trying to avoid the accident, sending the #26 for a half-spin before getting back up to speed.
It didn't take much time for a four-car breakaway to dominate the event up front. Rick Jackson, Dave Miller, Ryan Heuser and Johnny Reed Foley meandered by a couple of lapped cars quickly and took hold of the top-4 positions in grand style.
Rick Jackson led the first 71 laps of the event before Dave Miller made his charge for the first lead change of the race. He would remain there through thick and thin, seeing Geno Sphere, Logan Sheets and Champion Ken Pettit all fall out of the event early with engine trouble. This would push Geno outside of the top-35 in points, while our 2021 Champion slid to 26th in the standings.
Pettit's engine failure would bring out the first caution of the race on lap-180. Ryan Heuser nabbed the lead away from Miller during their pit stop, but lost it wholesale after getting loose entering turn-3, handing the spot back to the #90. Unfortunately, Miller suffered a loose lug-nut and came back in to pit, losing a lap and giving the lead Rick Jackson for the second time.
The Crown Royal machine kept his position for 10 laps before Zakk Miller took it over on lap 202. He came from 25th to 1st to lead the field on a racetrack that's proven very difficult to pass, earning his stripes as possibly the fastest car in the event. A Matt Raboin spin halted his progress as the field entered their second caution flag.
A few lapped cars were trapped behind the pace car on the ensuing restart, forcing the Bepis mobile to meander through traffic on the get-go. Craig Lee took advantage of the hindrance and made it past Miller just a couple of laps after green. He would lead through lap 235.
Adam Crapser once again found his way to the lead for the fifth-straight event. He would go on to lead the next 20 laps before deciding to short-pit and make it a full 1-stop race to the finish. Miller and Lee would continue their battle for supremacy while Crapser awaited his fate.
Craig Lee took the top-spot away from Miller after leading the field for 41-straight laps. This part of the event saw another four-car breakaway including Ben Geer and Matthew Dominique, with Geer searching for his first top-5 finish since Las Vegas of 2021. Donald Stewart was mowing the leaders down little-by-little in 5th position.
Mowing the leaders down turn into mowing the concrete wall, bringing the final caution out while Adam Crapser's strategy fell to the wayside. Stewart slammed into the outside barrier, spinning down the backstretch canyon and into the inside wall as well. Ironically, it was Adam's brother Alex that was also involved, leaving both to limp home to 24th and 25th. Fortunately, Stewart was able to stay on the lead lap and earn a respectable 13th.
It was a 100-lap stretch to the finish between the same four cars from the previous run dominating the event. With Geer, Miller and Dominique all swapping positions several times during the stretch, Lee was able to pull away from the field by four seconds. Unfortunately, he wore out his tires as the remaining three caught
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