After a year filled with pure consistency but only 13 laps led on the season, Scott Jackson looks to earn a victory at a track he has dominated in the past. We will never forget the 2009 spring event, blowing up at the flag and wrecking across the finish line in first place. He comes in 6th in points, with points leaders Tony Pizzaro and Zach Michael starting 12th and 28th on the grid.
Pole-sitter Craig Lee takes off for the green with his teammate Ryan Heuser on the outside front-row. The Crapser brothers started directly behind, with Alex making the first lead change of the night. Tony Pizzaro, Johnny Reed Foley, Matt Raboin and John Tharp all took their turns at the front early.
Tim McDonnell took the lead on lap 17 and remained there for 45 laps. This was an enormous boon for his team, switching crew chiefs during the week and capitalizing by leading their first laps since Daytona. Ryan Heuser would find his way to the front on lap 63 after dropping back early.
Lap 67 saw the first caution flag of the event. Dakota Wilkins decimated his engine entering turn 1, leaving a pathway of oil all over the racetrack. David Baldinger and Mark Heron hit the trail and spun into the outside wall, finishing the event 34th and 33rd respectively with Wilkins the first to fall out.
The restart saw Tony Pizzaro, Johnny Reed Foley and Dave Miller all finding their way to the front. Rick Jackson took the top-spot on lap 84 and remained there for a whopping 48 laps. Unfortunately, Rick would blow a right-rear tire on lap 134, falling two laps and never regaining the track position.
Michael Henson acquired the lead after another Rick Jackson misfortune in 2022. John Tharp and Johnny Reed Foley were able to find their way to the front after meandering through the lapped traffic ahead. Foley would lead the Half-way Bacon Bonus, giving way to David Butterworth, Ken Pettit, Zach Michael, Matt Raboin, Matthew Dominique, Ryan Heuser and Tim McDonnell for the top-spot.
Within a 10-lap period nearing the half-way point, there were five drivers that suffered severe misfortune. Alan Nesfeder broke an axle. Dalton Lucas endured a fuel pick-up problem. Adam Crapser obliterated his engine. Logan Sheets busted a header. Leader Rick Jackson blew a tire. At the current rate of attrition and Aaron Cummings still inside the top-10, we may see an ultimate upset in the making.
Things dimmed to a normal pace once again as we meandered past the lap-200 mark. Bill Werkheiser took the lead away from McDonnell, looking to repeat his dominant performance last season and cap it off with a victory for the ageless wonder. Unfortunately it would not hold, losing the lead to David Butterworth with Matthew Dominique and Zakk Miller leading the field through lap 244.
Jimmie Stevens, Dave Miller and Ken Pettit pulled through the field late to take their turns up front, hoping to pull away from the rest of the pack nearing the 30-to-go mark. A couple of seconds back, Tim McDonnell and Matthew Dominique were mired behind lapped traffic entering the frontstretch. The two cars touched, sending McDonnell's Caterpillar machine hard into the inside wall. He would lurch back onto oncoming traffic, nailing Geno Sphere with the turbulence of a dreidel. Both cars were out, with McDonnell finishing 36th for the fourth time this season after leading the most laps. Geno Sphere would remain 36th in owners points finishing one spot behind.
Miraculously, Jimmie Stevens was still up front after leading only one lap all season. He and Markell Murphy pulled away from the field, leading the pack through 16-to-go before scraping the outside wall and handing it to Murphy. Alex Crapser took the top-spot five laps later. He would hope to hold on for the 10-lap shootout while meandering through the lapped traffic ahead. Johnny Reed Foley, Zakk Miller and Zach Michael were on the prowl from behind.
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