By Anddy Veltman
(Loudon, NH) Tuesday would serve to round out the first leg of the ASRS Sam Maxwell Customs Truck Series, with teams journeying to New England for the Fanatec 100. Hosted by the 1.058-mile New Hampshire Motor Speedway, the race would incorporate 100 laps.
Qualifying would take place prior to the main event, with 18 drivers utilizing the Open Qualifier session. Jordan Ashelin (27), after transferring in, would lay down the fastest lap time; his 30.313s would be quick enough to secure the pole award. Jared Mogard (00) would record a 30.371s lap to grid alongside in the 2nd position.
From the start, Ashelin would get the jump, clearing Mogard by Turn 1. Ashelin would be unable to find his rhythm, however, as a quick caution would wave as points leader Randy McCanney (17) lost control of his truck entering Turn 3. Multiple vehicles would stack-up behind him with most cars only receiving minor damage.
After a quick re-group of the field Ashelin would restart the field, but this time Mogard would stay close and mount a challenge for position from the inside line. Mogard would edge Ashelin briefly, just enough to take the lead. Moments later, Jordan Harnish (54) would find his truck on its roof by way of contact with Mark Emerson (22) during a 3-wide battle, locking Mogard into the top spot.
Lap 12; it would be Mogard’s turn to lead the field to the green and he would clear Ashelin by Turn 1, bringing Mitch Brown (81) with him. Mogard would distance himself from the field, as Brown and Ashelin would battle for the 2nd position. Behind the lead pack, there would be multiple side-by-side battles, as cars with fresher tires would begin to work up through the field.
John Kennedy (89) would bring out the caution on Lap 29, spinning to the inside wall after getting into the back of Jamie Moore (82). Leaders would use the opportunity to pit, while Shawn Musick (18) would earn bonus points by remaining on the track and leading laps.
Musick would restart the field on older tires, almost immediately feeling the pressure from Jordan Ashelin, passing Musick on the outside as Jared Mogard looked to his inside. Stuck in the middle while 3-wide, Musick would get tagged in the rear by Jarred Haggerty (6), spinning him in front of the field and bringing the yellow back out on Lap 34.
With the leaders staying out, Ashelin would lead the restart. Ashelin would clear the field by Turn 1, as Mogard would make a move to the inside of 2nd-place Mitch Brown. Working side-by-side for a handful of laps, Mogard would be able to clear Brown and begin chipping away at Ashelin’s lead.
Leading at halfway, Ashelin would begin to notice the front bumper of the 00 truck as Mogard slowly decreased the distance from himself to the leader. By Lap 54, Mogard would retake the lead on the inside of Ashelin.
Lap 61; caution would display again as Brad Cross (30) would make hard contact with the inside retaining wall after contact with Nicholas Kerling (62), collecting Anddy Veltman (97).
Mogard would hold the lead, restarting from the point on Lap 64 and holding a 2-car length advantage by Turn 1. Jarred Haggerty would challenge Ashelin on the inside for 2nd, but racing would be cut short as Brandon Boyd (60) would make hard contact with the Turn 1 wall after getting loose on entry and over-correcting.
The leaders would remain on the track, with Mogard getting another flawless restart. Ashelin would fall into 2nd with Brown and Haggerty battling for 3rd. Brown would hold the position, with Haggerty falling backward into the sights of Pete Baskins (3) and Brian Yaczik (55).
Lap 73; Sam Maxwell (98) would dive deep into Turn 3, making contact with Zack Calloway (2), sending both trucks spinning for a multi-car stack up and bringing out the yellow.
After a quick restart, another yellow would wave for 2 unrelated incidents; Brian Yaczik would get turned into the outside wall after making contact with Pete Baskins, while Chase Bonser (83) would spin, collecting multiple cars after contact from close-quarter racing with Danny Rodgers (02) in the corner.
Despite pit road remaining open, the leaders would remain out. Mogard would again lead the field to the green, with another quick caution as Jarred Haggerty would get loose and collect some of the other drivers on Lap 83.
Mogard would restart the field on Lap 87, without challenge. Ashelin would feel the heat from Mitch Brown and Steve Ritter (16). Brown would find his way around Ashelin, but contact on the next lap as Ashelin and Brown got together off of Turn 2 would send both trucks around for the 10th caution of the race.
With 6 to go, Mogard would take the green flag, clearing Steve Ritter and setting sail. Tom Giannini (44) would follow in 3rd, pressuring Ritter for 2nd with 2 laps to go. Ritter would fend Giannini off, but would be able to mount no challenge for Jared Mogard.
In a dominating performance, Mogard would lead on his way to victory. Steve Ritter would pick-up 2nd place, with Tom Giannini holding on for 3rd. Randy McCanney, the entering points leader, would retire early due to excessive damage, finishing 26th. Pole-sitter Jordan Ashelin would score 7th, leading 27 laps in the process. Shawn Musick would also be credited with leading lap, tallying an additional bonus point.
After 3 races, Tom Giannini moves up to the points lead. Mogard gains 10 spots to 2nd, trailing Giannini by 14 points. Randy McCanney would slip to 3rd, just one point behind Mogard. Steve Ritter makes the largest gain, up 34 positions to 27th, while Alex Bates would lose the most positions, down 14 to 24th.
Following New Hampshire, the Sam Maxwell Customs Truck Series will break for 3 weeks. Action will pick-up March 20th at Martinsville Speedway for short track racing in the Sam Maxwell Customs Martinsville 150. In the interim, fans can also check out Prime Time Racing TV to see the ‘double-duty’ drivers competing in the ASRS Twitchy Race Reports Premier Cup Series; the series’ next event, the Auto Club 200, will be held on March 13th.
Prime Time Racing TV race feed: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MC-_CzYSeK8