Coming into South Boston, Justin Blackdeer was labeled as the clear favorite. When the team trailers rolled in Blackdeer was the points leader by 6 over second place Rex Hoyle. The top 5 was a tightly packed bunch with only 24 points separating Blackdeer and 5th place Ty Hester. We would see the points get a major shakeup in the next 125 laps at the small Virginia track.
Blackdeer started the night living up to expectations when he led practice. Eyes were also on Tim Knott in this event as he posted the second fastest speed in practice. However, Blackdeer would not back up his practice time in qualifying as Jacob Cochran won the pole with a lap that was over a tenth faster than second place Jim Foose. Allan Young would start third, Scott Smith fourth and points contender Rex Hoyle would round out the top 5. Third in points Tom Giannini would start 16th and fourth in points Jonathan Holstein started 13th. The biggest surprise of the night was when fifth in points Ty Hester’s team did not attempt to qualify for the event.
Cochran started on the pole but it was Jim Foose that rode the high side momentum to an early lead. Foose would lead the first 35 laps of the event. Things were running smoothly for Foose and he established himself as an early contender. It was Foose’s race to lose when he would duck down pit road for tires and adjustments under a caution. That strategy call would prove to be his undoing on the night. Allan Young would assume the lead when Foose hit pit road and he would not look back. Young led the next 90 laps en route to his victory. Rex Hoyle finished second on the night, Jared Mogard third and Tim Knott showed speed in his fourth place performance. Early leader Jim Foose would round out the top 5.
When the smoke cleared , Justin Blackeer was still atop the points standings. He leads Rex Hoyle by the slimmest of margins, just one point. Tom Giannini and Jonathan Holstein were involved in a terrible lap one incident and both were relegated to poor finishes. They kept their respective third and fourth place positions in the standings but the gap would widen to 30 and 31 points respectively. Ty Hester would fall out of the top 5 and was replaced by Jim Foose after his strong run.
Next week the series invades Las Vegas for some gambling and racing. The famous Las Vegas Bullring will play host to the Las Vegas Ironman Challenge Twin 60s. It is there that Justin Blackdeer will look to continue his early season surge. Can Foose continue his climb? Will Giannini and Holstein stop the bleeding? Find out next week!