(DOVER, DE) The Sam Maxwell Customs Truck Series headed to Dover, Delaware for it’s annual visit to The Monster Mile. With high banked turns and a concrete surface, Dover is one of two tracks that features a concrete racing surface, which presents unique challenges to drivers as they navigate each corner at high speeds.
Forty drivers attempted to qualify for the Skeeber Flob’s Kettle Corn 100, John Kennedy, Steven Trombly, Lee Staples and Stephen Pearce would miss the 36 truck field.
Charlotte winner Mitch Brown, driving the JF2 Racing #48, led the field to the green with JFoose Motorsports’ Michael Atkins, Jr. along side for the green flag. Things got crazy on lap six as Kris Titus flipped wildly on the backstretch.
The race featured another caution, before a long green flag run created the need for green flag pit stops, a tricky task that some drivers struggled with as the high speed corners and the slippery asphalt apron create an interesting pit entry point. Michael Atkins navigated his #44 Chevrolet to the pits earlier than the field and gained an advantage by doing so, running on fresh tires as the remainder of the field struggled along on worn tires.
When the smoke settled, Atkins emerged the leader and survived through a couple late race cautions including one that ended the race under the caution flag. Brown was second followed by Ty Hester in third, Brad Cross fourth and last season’s championship runner-up Robby Baskins fifth.
Jim Foose continues to lead the championship point standings, but the competition in second has changed as Jonathan Holstein has moved into second just 17 points behind.
Next week the Sam Maxwell Customs Truck Series heads to Rockingham Speedway, before a week break to kick off June.
(MARTINSVILLE, VA) Michael Atkins, Jr. had a near perfect day at Martinsville Speedway, winning the pole and the race at the .526 Mile paperclip shaped speedway.
24 drivers entered the Martinsville 100 and put on a great race that showcased side by side racing and close racing on a true short track that usually see’s its share of cautions. The race was not without incident as eight cautions flew during the 100 laps.
Four drivers shared the lead, swapping four times. Atkins, Jr. led the most laps, but nearly lost the race to Devin Serra who had the dominate truck in the middle stage, before a restart violation and the subsequent penalty would put Serra one lap down until the final 10 laps. Serra simply did not have enough time to come up through the field and when the final caution flew with a handful of laps remaining, his fate was sealed.
At the checkered flag it was Michael Atkins, Jr. taking the win, even though he is not eligible for championship points. Tim Knott was second, followed by Travis Wright, Dominic Lee and Scott Smith who rounded out the top five.
John Kennedy continues to lead the championship, despite missing Martinsville and becoming ineligible for points in the series. Kennedy currently holds a five point lead over Kris Titus. Next up for the Sportsman Truck Series; Texas Motor Speedway on June 4th.
By Tom Giannini
(HAMPTON, VA) Last week when the ASRS Super Late Model Series left Lucas Oil Raceway, fans had thought Jared Mogard won the race. Post race inspections had deemed the #01 winning racecar as illegal. Mogard was later stripped of the win and the win going to second place finisher Jacob Cochran. Mogard has since appealed his two week suspension but it was upheld by the Race Team Alliance, the governing body of ASRS.
As the smoke cleared, it was time to go racing again; this time the series played host to a double header at the Langley Speedway. Justin Blackdeer, who was a no-show last week, showed up to the track and he was determined to add to the point lead that shrunk when his 51 car failed to make the trek to Indianapolis. Blackdeer got off a strong start, putting his foot on the neck of the field early with a pole run in qualifying. Jacob Cochran qualified on the outside pole followed by Jim Foose, Tim Knott and Matt Vaade. Blackdeer would take the pole and lead every single lap of the race.
Race 1 went caution-free the entire way until a spin with two to go ended the race prematurely. Following Blackdeer to the line was Allan Young. Matt Vaade went on the finish 3rd, Jim Foose finished 4th and Tim Knott rounded out the top 5.
Race 2 would be where the fans got their money’s worth. Blackdeer would once again lead the field to the green, his series-leading fourth pole of the season. Allan Young qualified 2nd, Zac Coyer in this Coldbeer Racing #31 started 3rd, eventual race-winner Cochran started 4th and Jim Foose rounded out the top 5. Blackdeer would not dominate this race.
In fact the 51 only paced the field for 9 laps. The bulk of the laps led would go to the 24 machine of Allan Young. Young who came into the event 21 points behind first place would need a good run to make up some ground.
A good run was what he had until the closing laps when Jacob Cochran would enter turn 3 a little too hot under Young. The contact would send Young for a spin in front of the field triggering a massive race-ending pileup. When the smoke cleared and the field was frozen, it was Cochran that cleared the chaos with the lead. Following him to a second place finish was Tim Knott. Justin Blackdeer would clear the wreck to finish 3rd, Tom Giannini finished 4th and Evan Osbourne would round out the top 5.
With only two weeks left, Blackdeer has all but locked up the championship. He now leads Jim Foose by 31 points. Allan Young is 32 markers back followed by Tim Knott (-52) and Matt Vaade (-61). The series rolls into Thompson Speedway for another double-header in the series’ penultimate week. Make sure to tune in!
(CONCORD, NC) Winning races int he ASRS Sam Maxwell Customs Truck Series isn’t easy, just ask Mitch Brown. Brown has been a part of the series for the better part of a year and many close finishes, but never closed the deal. That is until Charlotte.
Forty-five drivers attempted to qualify for the 36 truck starting field, among those who failed to qualify: Kris Titus, Brian Chrismon, Nick Coffman, Justin Brown, Michael Cunic and Jamie Moore. Michael Atkins, Jr. sped to the pole in the qualifying session and was joined by Tom Giannini on the front row for the start of the 100 mile race.
Five cautions slowed the pace of the race slightly, but green flag runs mid race set up green flag pit stops for some. A few late race cautions bunched the field as Mitch Brown had emerged the leader, even after contact with Allan Young swapped some paint between the two trucks. Brown had to hold off several charges in the late stages but was leading when the race’s final caution flew with two laps to go, completing the race under the control of the pace car.
When the dust settled and the checkered flag flew it was Mitch Brown picking up his first ASRS victory, Allan Young was second followed by Pete Baskins in third, Robby Baskins fourth and Sam Maxwell rounding out the top five.
The championship battle continues to see defending series champion Jim Foose expanding his lead to 21 points over Jason Stewart. Next week the Sam Maxwell Customs Truck Series heads to Dover.
By Tom Gianinni
(CLERMONT, IN) When team haulers rolled into Lucas Oil Raceway there was no story bigger than the points leader Justin Blackdeer’s team not rolling in with them. Blackdeer who came into the event leading Jim Foose by 26 points could only pray to maintain his points lead as the 51 machine remained idle in the garage. The rest of the top 5, Jared Mogard, Allan Young and Tim Knott, would all have a fire lit under them in this one as they would try to shrink the points gap between them and the lead. Jacob Cochran won the pole to start the event followed by last week’s winner Jake Douglas. Points contenders Allan Young and Tim Knott started 3rd and 4th. Matt Vaade would round out the top 5 on the starting grid. Sparks were flying early when contact between Jim Foose and Jordan Harnish led to a pileup on lap 1. The rest of the race would, for the most part, be clean and green. Fifth in points Tim Knott’s chances at slimming the points margin would suffer an early blow when his 41 car was sent for a spin into the inside wall.
After leading the first few laps, pole winner Jacob Cochran would surrender the lead to the class of the field, Jared Mogard, for the first and final time. The win was Mogard’s second on the season. Early leader Cochran followed Mogard to the line to finish 2nd, his fourth top 5 of the season. Allan Young would cash in a good points night finishing third. Matt Vaade finished 4th and Jim Foose rounded out the top 5 when the Toyota of Tom Giannini ran out of gas on the last lap while running in 5th.
The points landscape is much different following the 100 lap event. Justin Blackdeer was able to maintain his lead with the cushion he had built up over the first ten events. However, that lead is now slim now. Move over Jim Foose, there’s a new driver in second. Jared Mogard would leap frog Foose in points, 10 points behind first place. With his top 5, Foose only lost one spot to 3rd. Allan Young remained in fourth. With his struggles, Tim Knott is now tied for 5th with Tom Giannini, 47 points behind the lead.
The series rolls into Langley Speedway next week for twin races, a format loved by both teams and drivers. Catch the Ironman Challenge Twin 75s next Wednesday at 9 pm. Will the points leader show up? Will Jared Mogard continue his mid season surge? Tune in next week to find out!
Editors Note: Following post race penalties, Jared Mogard was disqualified from the race win and received no points for his appearance. Standings in the race review were before any penalties were issued.
(KANSAS CITY, KS) Forty-Three drivers made the trip to Kansas Speedway for the L.A. Simsport 125 as Race #6 of the SMC Truck Series was in action. Following qualifying it seen Devin Serra grab the pole with Jacob Cochran 2nd, Michel Atkins Jr. 3rd, John Kennedy 4th, and Pete Baskins rounded out the top 5. There were 5 yellow flag periods all involving solo car spins for the most part for twenty laps. The race seen thirteen lead changes between eight different drivers.
The race started a bit rough as the trend of the race started with roughly 7-10 lap runs before the first few yellow flags came out. As the race went on the field seen green flag racing with the last half of the race seeing one yellow flag. The last forty laps were split up into twenty or more lap green flag runs to the end. The last run to the checkers was a twenty-four lap green flag run which seen the leaders run all over the racing surface.
Off what was the final restart Kennedy brought them to green and led for a few laps. The gunner who has been dominating the Sportsman Truck Series appeared to possibly grab his first SMC Truck Series win on the 2017 season. But after about five laps Ty Hester would take over the lead and drive away from the field. Ty’s fast pace would prove to be costly as Justin Vaughn would run Ty down as his tires went away with roughly seven laps to go. Vaughn would in turn drive away from the field and not look back as he grabbed his first win on the Sam Maxwell Customs Truck Series in 2017. This was also Justin’s 2nd career ASRS win. Rounding out the top 5 was Ty Hester who fended off four drivers who were pressuring for 2nd at the end, Sam Maxwell came from his 21st starting spot to finish 3rd, Jared Mogard who continues to have qualifying issues came from his 30th starting spot to finish 4th, and continuing the hard charger trend Tim Knott came from his 26th starting spot to finish 5th.
The top 5 finishers proved that passing could be done at the Kansas Speedway. As for the Championship standings well they seen a shake up a bit again tonight. Remember the top eight in the standings after Race #18 head to the playoffs. Big headline regarding the standings was when Jason Stewart and his #1 ride did not show up tonight.
At the conclusion of tonight’s events it now sees Jim Foose pad his point lead from 4 to 18 points over Jason Stewart who is 2nd not a spot in the standings, Jonathan Holstein also holds his position in 3rd, Brad Cross gained a spot and moves to 4th, Zac Bozanich also gains a spot and moves to 5th, Danny Rodgers loses 2 spots and falls to 6th, while Sam Maxwell gains a spot to put him 7th, and Jared Mogard moves up 2 spots to the 8th and final spot in the current playoff picture.
Next week the Sam Maxwell Customs Truck Series heads “home” to the Charlotte Motor Speedway for the Sam Maxwell Customs 100 a sixty-seven lap event as drivers try to either pad their position in the playoffs while others try to creep into the hunt for the top eight. Tune in to Off Camber TV next week to see who takes advantage of the “Home Track” feel that next week should provide.
(JOLIET, IL) The ASRS Sportsman Truck Series headed to the midwest for a trip to Chicagoland Speedway. After two races, John Kennedy was the lone race winner in the Sportsman Truck Series but many looked to change that.
Michael Atkins, Jr. led the field of 23 to the green flag. Series Official Dan Mathews took the night off from working the series and brought his #38 Chevrolet to the track where he started second.
Chicagoland lends itself to great racing and long green flag runs, something that the Sportsman Truck Series hadn’t encountered this season after a rough race at Charlotte was followed by the rough and tumble action at Bristol two weeks ago. Green flag pit stops made their debut in the Sportsman Series as the middle run was so long that drivers were forced to pit road. Pete Baskins gambled by staying on track to take the lead during a late race caution but was gobbled by Atkins within a lap after the restart.
In the end it was JFoose Motorsports’ Michael Atkins, Jr. holding off John Kennedy for the win. Mathews was third followed by Scott Smith and Jacob Cochran in fourth and fifth.
Kennedy leads Kris Titus by 30 points in the championship battle Jacob Cochran, Justin Vaughn and Tim Knott round out the top five in the standings following race #3. The Sportsman Truck Series is back in action May 21st at Martinsvile Speedway.
(CLEVELAND, OH) The “Winged Warriors” are coming to the American Sim Racing Series this summer as the ASRS Dirt Racing Series moves to it’s new Wednesday night home. The winged sprint cars will join the dirt late models on alternating Wednesday nights with each car running five races during a 12 week stretch that includes two off weeks.
Kicking off June 14th as the opening act for the ASRS Dirt Racing Series, the sprints will head to Volusia Speedway Park for a 35 lap feature event, which will include heat races. From there the dirt late models will alternate weeks with the sprints, running at the same track as the sprints the week prior. The sprints will conclude their season on August 23rd at Eldora with a 35 lap main event.
Both the Sprints and Late Models will have separate championships, making for the possibility of two different champions over the course of the summer series.
“Heat races have been tested thoroughly and we like what we see, the Twitchy Race Reports Triple Crown races are the first real test of the system, but with all the testing we have run this format stays true to the grassroots dirt track atmosphere” said ASRS President Jim Foose. “The final specs of the dirt series will be announced later this month, we’re leaning towards running the super late model and the 360 sprints, but that’s still to be decided”.
Sponsorship is available for both championships and both packages are very affordable for small businesses wanting to become involved in e-sports and sim racing. Anyone interested in sponsorship is welcome to contact ASRS President Jim Foose via the ASRS website.