Last week the top-4 finishers were outside of the top-10 in points at The Rock. Expect it to be different this time, with the Quick-Silver bunch in dominant form at one of their favorite racetracks. Dave Miller comes in only 37 points behind Rick Jackson for the Championship lead. Jackson will take the green in 3rd with Miller mired in 15th.
Pole-sitter Zach Michael led the first couple of laps. Championship leader Rick Jackson earned his five bonus points early with the first lead change of the day. He and Tim McDonnell would swap the lead multiple times in shades of their 2019 Championship battle.
The top-spot was held by McDonnell through lap 41 before Ryan Heuser took the advantage on the frontstretch. John Battista made his bid on lap 53, taking the position away and matching Rick Jackson's bonus points with 5 of his own. Battista came in 98 points behind in the Championship lead, needing to dominate the final two events to ensure his chances at the title.
Battsta and Heuser swapped the lead several times during the first green flag run. The side-by-side racing at the front kept Jackson, Johnny Reed Foley and Craig Lee within the mix. Alan Nesfeder, Randy Dobbins and Adam Crapser came in for early pit stops during this time, putting them behind the 8-ball the rest of the day.
A crash on lap-84 brought out the first yellow flag of the race. Contact between Donald Stewart and Jonathan Skrabacz in turn-2 sent the #48 rear-first into the outside barrier. He would limp the rest of the day to a 34th place finish.
John Battista led the field to the green, pulling ahead and dominating the event. He would lead through lap 178 before Tony Pizzaro intervened. John would enjoy another halfway bacon bonus, the second-straight for the Lucas Racing bunch. He would also lead the most laps on the day with 108.
Disaster struck for the Championship leaders! Rick Jackson and John Tharp made contact battling for the second position, sending Jackson hard into the inside frontstretch wall. Miraculously he would keep on trucking! The left-side was pancaked, but Rick toughed it out and continued on with an askewed racecar. His team fixed the damage and stayed inside the top-20, miraculously limping to 10th place by the finish and keeping his points lead! Horrible luck also befell Battista, overshooting his pit and locking his transmission! By the time he was able to backup and complete his service, he was a full lap down. He would never get it back, finishing 28th despite having the dominant car of the race. This would eliminate him from the Championship completely.
The lead was inhereted to Ryan Heuser after the cycle, staying up front for 30 laps and a 9-second advantage. A Jimmie Stevens engine failure bunched the field back up, giving rookie Logan Sheets the opportunity to make his move for the win. He is currently leading the Rookie of the Year points and would tie Bink Lucas in wins if he could pull off the victory today.
A late crash between Ken Joynt and Tony Long set up the finish. The field would bunch back together, giving Rick Jackson the opportunity to battle his way back into the top-10. There would be less than 50 laps remaining, with 10+ drivers fast enough to steal the victory away.
Second-in-points Dave Miller battled through the attrition to sneak his way into the lead late! Johnny Reed Foley and a hard-charging Ryan Heuser were the only two in contention by the end, with Sheets and Craig Lee drifting back. Heuser made his move with six laps to go, clearing Miller with ease off the exit of turn-2. Johnny Reed Foley would follow, losing Miller the points lead to Rick Jackson in the process.
Dave Miller pulled off a miraculous run, coming out of nowhere to finish third and climb only six points behind Rick Jackson for the Championship coming into Homestead! His teammate Ryan Heuser ea
Read more »