Tonight, the Sam Maxwell Customs Truck Series was back in action from the Texas Motor Speedway for the 2nd race of the 2nd round of the Playoffs. The evening had 35 drives make the trip for the 36-truck starting field. Following qualifying it was Devin Serra grabbing the pole for the event with Mitchell Brown sitting to his outside, Justin Brown was 3rd, Michael Atkins Jr. 4th, and Sam Maxwell rounded out the top 5. The race had 8 different leaders with Mitchell Brown leading the most laps at 35, Justin Brown, Devin Serra, Allan Young, Jim Foose, Richard Fletcher, Jeremey Banning, and Sam Maxwell all led at least 1 lap during the race.
The race was dominated by Mitchel Brown early on leading the first 35 laps before giving way to Justin Brown. Brown would take control of the race. The mid part of the race seen a long green flag run in which saw green flag pit stops. This is where things would get shook up. Roughly through half way through the green flag pit stops the yellow flag would come out trapping a lot of fast runners down a lap.
With the leaders having to pit they would get the wave around but would not have as fresh of tires as the guys who stayed out. This would be a break for some guys such as Foose, John Kennedy, Steve Buhala and a few others who normally don’t run up front would find themselves in a good spot late in the race with a chance to not only win but have very strong showings for their respective teams.
The race would end under yellows as there was a wreck up toward the front of the pack that led to multiple cars being involved in the wreck. When the yellow flew it was Justin Brown up front leading who appeared to be on his way to victory. However, for whatever reason Brown would go down pit road which would hand the lead and victory to Jim Foose. This win at the time advanced Foose and his #42 team into the Final 4 at Homestead as he is in the championship playoffs. The rest of the top 5 were as followed Steve Buhala went from his 27th starting spot to finish 2nd, Scott Smith 3rd, John Kennedy went from 18th to finish 4th, and Jared Mogard went from 20th to finish in the 5th spot.
This is Jim’s first SMC Truck Series Win in 2017 and his 108th Career ASRS Victory. However as mentioned following post-race review Jim’s Win will NOT advance him to homestead as a result of Brown pitting mysteriously. The officials also deemed Justin Brown to have affected the outcome of the event and have since Suspended and Banned Justin Brown from ASRS sanctioned events.
As for the Playoff drivers Jim Foose led the way Winning, Michael Atkins finished 7th, Brad Cross finished 11th after having to serve a black flag under green flag conditions, Allan Young ended up 14th, Devin Serra finished 17th, and Jason Stewart was in a late race wreck in which put him in a 20th place finishing position.
The point standings heading into next week’s elimination race at Phoenix International Raceway look like this, Michael Atkins Jr. holds the point lead tied with Allan Young, Jim Foose who as mentioned CAN’T use his win to automatically advance to the Final 4 sits 3rd just 1 point out of the lead, Devin Serra sits in the 4th spot and has a 3-point lead over Brad Cross who is 5th in the standings, and Jason Stewart rounds out the top 6 and is just 9 points out of the 4th spot.
Who will be the final 4 drivers racing for the SMC Truck Championship at the Homestead Miami Speedway in 2 weeks? Who is going to take advantage of the short track next week to advance or even win? These are the questions to be answered next week. So be sure to check back to americansimracing.com to find out those answers….