By Anddy Veltman
(Bristol, TN) Racing’s Thunder Valley would be the venue for the 8th race of the season for the ASRS Twitchy Race Reports Premier Cup Series. Opened in 1961, the 0.533 mile Bristol Motor Speedway would play host to the Coffman Racing Graphics 200. The race would consist of 200 laps around the high-banked concrete oval.
For the 5th time this season, the fastest qualifier would be series points-leader Jeff Ward (90). Ward would best the field with a lap time of 15.321s, just 0.037s over Brian Yaczik (55). Yaczik would start alongside Ward in the 2nd position, his best starting position of the 2018 season.
Kicking things off, Ward would take off to a quick lead from the wave of the green, however, Yaczik would be quick to answer, snaking past Ward on the high-side to steal the lead on Lap 2. Ward would fall in line, with the following leaders to follow suit.
The early impressions of racing would suggest the high line to be preferred, with most drivers utilizing the momentum to increase their turn exit speeds. Throughout, Yaczik would continue to lead Ward, with Drew Carroll (85), Jared Mogard (00), and Evan Black (99) comprising the Top-5.
Lap 14; the first caution flag would wave as Allan Young (24) appeared to get loose on corner-exit, making contact with Nick Kerling (62) and triggering a multi-car incident. Despite only 14 laps on tires, Brian Yaczik would lead the top runners down pit road for service. Tom Giannini (44) would remain on the track to lead a lap, but would eventually pit to cycle Yaczik back to the lead.
Back to green on Lap 20, Yaczik would clear the field by Turn 1. Behind, Jeff Ward would shake off the challenge from Drew Carroll to hold 2nd. Carroll would settle in line, with no big changes to the top performers.
Yaczik would continue to click off laps lead, as there would be a change in the Top-5 with Jared Mogard moving under Evan Black for the 4th position on Lap 36. At the same time, the lead cars would begin encountering slower lap traffic, forcing them to utilize different paths around the speedway.
Punctuating the danger of working through slower cars, caution would wave again on Lap 48 as Nick Kerling (62) and David Howard Jr. (14) would get together on the exit of Turn 4 while battling, triggering an incident just ahead of the leaders.
After pitting, Drew Carroll would lead the field to the 54 restart, clearing 2nd-place Jared Mogard to set sail. Evan Black would follow in 3rd, while Sam Maxwell (98) would hold off Steve Ritter (16) for 4th, as Ritter would try to utilize the lower lane without success.
Carroll would continue to lead, catching the tail-end of the field by Lap 63. With the added rubber to the top lane, Mitch Brown (18) would also begin to find speed in the lower line, working his way up to 4th at this point of the race.
Lap 86; Evan Black would make it to Mogard’s rear bumper and begin pressuring for 2nd. As Black searched for a lane around Mogard, Mitch Brown would slide into the picture, passing Black and then continuing on below Mogard for 2nd. Steve Ritter would follow Brown on the inside line, moving into 3rd by Lap 103. Black would eventually make his way around Mogard on Lap 107.
By Lap 108, Mitch Brown would catch leader Drew Carroll, looking to the inside to make a pass as both drivers would find themselves working with lap traffic. Brown would make multiple attempts without incident, but at Lap 122, Brown would make contact with Carroll, moving him out of the lane to pick-up the lead.
Next, Carroll would fall prey to Steve Ritter, losing the 3rd position and spinning after close-quarter racing between both drivers. Caution would wave again, bringing the leaders in to pit.
Brian Yaczik would lead the next restart on Lap 134, clearing Evan Black by Turn 2. Quickly, the caution would wave again for the Jack Wells (80) car in a spin after contact with Shawn Musick (1) on the exit of Turn 2. With fresh rubber already installed, the leaders would remain off of pit lane.
Lap 140’s green flag would again see Yaczik and Black take off for P1 and P2. Mitch Brown would follow in 3rd with Jarred Haggerty (6) 4th. Jeff Ward would also return to the Top-5, a few laps after the restart.
Raymond Casteel (84) would make contact with the inside wall after getting together with Kris Titus (25) on Lap 153, calling for a restack of the field again.
Lap 159; Brian Yaczik would take-off again, pulling a large lead over Evan Black. Jarred Haggerty and Jeff Ward would battle for 4th, eventually holding position as the 6th caution would fly after Mark Emerson (22) would make contact with Tom Giannini, spinning Giannini and triggering a multi-car crash.
Brian Yaczik would bring the field to green on Lap 166, facing no immediate challenge from Evan Black for 2nd. The battle again would take shape for 3rd, with Jeff Ward and Jared Mogard looking to get around Jarred Haggerty. Slight contact between Ward and Mogard would send Ward to the apron, with Ward saving his vehicle to remain in the Top-6.
Up front, Yaczik would continue to extend his lead. Evan Black would maintain 2nd, but would be unable to catch the leader as Yaczik would increase his lead to over 2 seconds with just 20 laps to go.
At the wave of the checkers, it would be Michigan’s Brian Yaczik leading 117 laps and picking up his 1st ASRS Twitchy Race Reports Premier Cup Series victory of 2018, 2nd of his ASRS Cup career. Evan Black would hold on for 2nd, with Jared Mogard making a pass on Lap 178 to seal the 3rd position. The pole-sitter, Jeff Ward, would take home 4th, leading only the first lap of the race. Mitch Brown, Drew Carroll, Tom Giannini, and Steve Ritter would also receive bonus points for leading laps.
Following Bristol, Jeff Ward remains atop the points, with Jared Mogard in 2nd. Brian Yaczik gains a position over Jordan Ashelin (27) with his victory, to move into 3rd, with Jason Stewart (11) moving up one spot into 5th. The biggest mover of the week would be Jack Wells, up 27 spots to 53rd. Allan Young and Michael Chrobok (72) would both lose 6.
Next week, the ASRS TRRPCS drivers will sit out as the ASRS Sam Maxwell Customs Truck Series takes center stage under the lights in Richmond, VA for the STH Graphics 125. Racing coverage will be provided by league partner Prime Time Racing TV and will begin at 9:00PM EST.
Race feed: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ntP5A-cojgw