Buhala Stretches Fuel to Last Drop, Wins Michigan Sportsman Race
Published On: July 20th, 2017
By Tom Giannini
(BROOKLYN, MI) Sunday was a beautiful 78 degree in Brooklyn, Michigan. For the competitors of the ASRS Sportsman Series, the competition would prove to be a lot hotter. Tim Knott paced the series coming into the event with Scott Smith hot on his heels only 2 points back. Kris Titus was in 3rd only 12 points behind, Jeremy Banning was 4th behind 13 points, and John Kennedy rounded out the top 5 with a 20 point deficit.
Tim Knott would look to extend his points lead and things looked good for him early when he blew the field away for his second consecutive pole. Kris Titus started 2nd followed by Scott Smith, Travis Wright and Andrew Hoeft.
The race got off on the wrong foot when the #18 of Dominic Lee turned points contender Scott Smith on lap 1. Both competitors would save their racecars and continue on with minimal damage. The ensuing restart would see phenomenal side-by-side racing between Tim Knott and Kris Titus. Tim Knott would lurch out ahead of Titus and would hold the lead for several laps until another caution came out when the #05 of Pat Rusha sandwiched the #29 of Gary LaViolette into the wall. Under that caution, Tim Knott would pit but Kris Titus and several others would remain on track. From that point forward it would seem as if Kris Titus would not be denied.
The worst wreck of the day took place when the #39 of Josh Siddon was turned up the track in front of the #10 of Travis Wright. The heavy impact would send Siddon’s truck into the air.
On the ensuing restart, Kris Titus was still leading in his #25 Toyota. He would lead a race high 25 laps on the day. His lead would come to an end when green flag pit stops began. Several cars including Dominic Lee and Steve Buhala would remain out on the track as long as possible in an effort to catch a caution since neither driver could make it to the end. That effort would pay off as the #06 of Brandon Boyd would bring out a yellow with 5 to go when he spun exiting pit road following his green flag stop. The race would not go green following the spin but the race was far from over. With 5 to go, the leaders would have to stretch their fuel in order to complete the remaining laps. Coming to the white flag, Dominic Lee ran his #18 out of fuel. Steve Buhala would assume the lead on the last lap and would continue to clutch the car to victory. That would be the only lap led for the #43 en route to victory, his first in ASRS competition since 2012!
Scott Smith snatched the points lead from Kris Titus. Jeremy Banning, Tim Knott and John Kennedy fill out the rest of the top 5 as the series travels to Eldora to slide on some dirt. That race will take place on the night of July 30th, tune in!