By Tom Giannini
#Brown was trending on Twitter last night when the driver of the #18 Toyota Cares Super Late Model pulled his car into Victory Lane for the second week in a row. Mitch Brown, or Hashbrown as his newly found Twitter fame implies, dominated the field last week to score a win at the Richmond Raceway, a performance the young driver out of Rhode Island hoped to repeat when the field rolled into Southern National Motorsports Park.
Uncertainty of a repeat performance lingered when short track ace Travis Wright dominated practice and qualifying. Wright won the pole by a healthy margin over second place Jim Foose. Foose has quietly had a terrific season in the Kirkwood Transportation Home Track Super Late Model Series, posting a top 5 in seven of the twelve events. The seven top 5s helped Foose hold onto his second place points position for most of the season. Starting third on the night was Mitch Brown followed by Tim Knott and Brad Cross.
The night would share much in common with the previous week’s event in that the race would be run under the green flag for a vast majority of the race. There was only one caution on the night and that made for a total of only one caution across two weeks of short track racing, a remarkable statistic.
A big story on the night would be pit strategy. Many lead lap cars were pinned a lap down when they would pit for tires and fuel on the only caution. Miscommunications on pit road led to many cars still being serviced when the pace car rounded turn 4, a monumental mishap that would trap half of the field a lap down. Mitch Brown would capitalize on that mishap and use the others’ misfortune to his advantage.
Although Mitch Brown would win again Wednesday night, the win did not come as easy as he had to fend off Travis Wright and Jared Mogard for the win. Wright would lead 36 laps to Brown’s 60 laps. The remaining four laps would be covered by Jason Stewart and Steve Buhala.
Following Brown to the finish line was Travis Wright. Champion Jared Mogard finished 3rd followed by Allan Young and Jason Stewart. Jared Mogard would finish his quest for the championship with a whopping 39 point lead over second place Jim Foose. His 3 wins, 11 top 5s, 12 top 10s and 555 miles run would lead the entire field by a large margin in all categories. Second place Foose’s teammate Tom Giannini (-53) would ride a late season surge to finish the points race in the third position. Tim Knott (-53) would lose the tiebreaker with Giannini and finish fourth on the season. Allan Young (-63) impressively rounded out the top five after missing a race late in the season. The American Sim Racing Series will enjoy an off week before the series will again take to the dirt for another 12 weeks!