(JOLIET, IL) The Chase is on for the Camping World Truck Series and Tuesday’s race showed that even the drivers outside of the Chase field are racing hard for wins.
Michael Atkins, Jr. is one of those drivers that missed the Chase, but you wouldn’t have known that Tuesday as he put on a driving clinic for all 32 drivers who took the green flag. Atkins would set the fast time and start on the pole for the 113 mile race. Two drivers; Danny Rodgers and Mitch Brown failed to qualify for the 32 truck field.
Atkins led the field to the green with Jake Douglas joining him on the front row. The first caution flew early as Cody Leland and David Morin were caught up in a lap one incident, both drivers finished single digit laps.
The race’s most interesting moment came on lap 32 when the first and second place drivers; Jake Douglas and Zac Bozanich, made contact on the backstretch. Kris Titus was collected in the incident as well. Atkins took the lead as the two drivers crashed and the caution flew. Another caution would fly on lap 40, setting up a 32 lap dash to the checkered flag.
The race went green to the end, Atkins dropped to the end of the lead lap drivers, as he made a late pit stop to top off the fuel in his #44 Silverado. It was a gamble, and it paid off on lap 62 when Atkins passed leader Tom Giannini and held on for the final 13 laps.
The win was Atkins’ first ASRS victory. Atkins was followed across the finish line by Giannini in second, Jamie Vaughn third, Robby Baskins fourth and Jason Stewart fifth.
Robby Baskins leads Jim Foose, who finished sixth, by 11 points as the Camping World Truck Series heads to New Hampshire Motor Speedway next week!