By Anddy Veltman
(Concord, NC) ASRS racing would return with the Sam Maxwell Customs Truck Series event at the Charlotte Motor Speedway this past Tuesday. The SMC 150 would be slated for 100 laps under the lights at the 1.5-mile D-shaped oval, located in the heart of NASCAR country. For the special event, many teams adorned the nation’s colors to salute the troops.
Main event qualifying would set the field prior to the event, with Ty Hester (36) and Evan Black (99) mutually recording the fastest lap of the session at 29.739s each. By tie-break ruling, Hester would receive the perch’n Pole Award, but would have to start from the back of the field to serve a driver penalty.
Inheriting the top-starting position from 3rd, Jordan Ashelin (27) would get the race under way, quickly accelerating to the lead as Mark Emerson (22) would follow through to the inside of Black for 2nd. Completing the first laps, the leaders would settle in single-file, with multiple battles opening up further back.
The first caution flag would wave early, ASRS officials noting Jordan Harnish (54) spinning through the front stretch grass after contact with Alex Giese (77). Notably, Mitch Brown (18), top-10 in the point standings, would pick-up damage from the incident, with multiple trucks driving through the grass to avoid on-track damage. Most of the field would utilize the yellow flag condition to pit, with Black acquiring the lead via pit strategy; changing only 2 tires.
Lap 7; Black would restart to the inside of Tom Giannini (44), hard to the gas as the pace car left the racing surface. Black would clear Giannini by Turn 1, with the remaining lead trucks falling in line behind them. By Lap 11, Emerson would catch the lead truck of Black, but would be unable to challenge for the lead spot and would eventually succumb to Ashelin.
Tyler Saville (63) and Sam Maxwell (98) would make contact on Lap 26, resulting with Saville making hard contact into wall at the end of the front stretch, triggering a multi-car stack-up behind them and bringing out the 2nd caution flag of the race. The leaders would once again pit, with Black retaining the top spot.
Black would restart to the inside of Ashelin on Lap 31, clearing without challenge. Emerson would follow, sliding through for 2nd position and then catching up to the rear bumper of Black over the next few laps, but would not be able to find the speed around Black. Emerson would then fall prey to the challenge of Ashelin, with Ashelin working in the slower inside lane below Jarred Haggerty (6) and Devin Serra (20) before sliding back to 5th.
Reigning through Lap 60, Black would opt to split the difference of the remaining race distance and pit on Lap 61. In doing so, the lead would be turned over to Brian Yaczik (55). Yaczik would continue to lead through Lap 65, when caution would wave for Pete Baskins (3); Baskins had missed pit road and while regrouping had missed a shift that would lock his rear axle and cause him to spin. The break in action would serve to shake-up the running order as the field was in the process of green flag pit stops.
Lap 70; following pit stops, Yaczik would remain up front to lead the field to green, clearing 2nd-place Jason Stewart (7) into Turn 1. Behind, Ronnie Osmer (53) would challenge Anddy Veltman (97) for 3rd, with John Kennedy (89) looking to defend 5th from the dominant Black. Kennedy would be unable to hold on, with Black passing and moving on to pick-off Veltman. Osmer would be the next victim, with Black passing him about 10 laps later to nab 3rd. 20 to go; the caution flag would wave for the 4th time. With 10 laps on their tires, the leaders would pit. Yaczik would hold the lead, with Black out 2nd.
Restarting with 17 to go, Yaczik would power out front, clearing Black by Turn 1. Black would clear the challenging truck of Stewart, quickly moving to work on Yaczik for the lead. With 10 laps to go, Black would pull alongside Yaczik, clearing him for the lead within the next lap. Coming to the line with 5 to go, the caution flag would wave for the 5th time, stemming from the truck of Brandon Boyd (60) getting into the wall off of Turn 2 and triggering a multi-car incident behind. Per ASRS rules, this would end the race and lock the field in position.
Evan Black would cross the line first, taking the checkered flag and his 1st career ASRS Sam Maxwell Customs Truck Series victory. Black would lead 65 laps after starting on the outside pole to earn the win. Brian Yaczik would hold on to finish 2nd, leading for 30 circuits throughout the night, and Devin Serra would finish 3rd after starting 10th. The official pole-sitter, Ty Hester, would end up in 22nd after starting at the tail-end of the field.
With Charlotte on the board, Brian Yaczik bumps Tom Giannini to take the series points lead. Devin Serra also moves up 2 positions into 2nd, just 22 points off of Yaczik. Jared Mogard holds steady in 3rd over Giannini and Jason Stewart, with Stewart gaining one spot from the previous week. Mark Emerson makes the largest gain, up 15 spots to 30th. Scott Haller falls 5th to the 25th spot.
Next week, the ASRS Sam Maxwell Customs Truck Series will take a breather, as the Twitchy Race Reports ASRS Premier Cup Series teams are scheduled to continue festivities with 134 laps of the Fred’s 200 at Charlotte Motor Speedway. Coverage is scheduled to begin at 9:00PM EST by way of ASRS partner Prime Time Racing TV.