(FONTANA, CA) The ASRS officials and drivers were back in action tonight after a week off. The Xfinity was the series in action after a month off. They made the trip out west to the Auto Club Speedway for a 75 lap/150 mile event which seen the place fill up as all 43 of the available pit stalls would be used. The forty-three drivers would take their shots at the 32 car starting field. After qualifying was done it seen the series point leader going into this race Ty Hester put his #36 on the pole to bring the field to green. The rest of the top 5 was followed up with Michael Atkins Jr. 2nd, Sam Maxwell 3rd, Robby Baskins 4th, and Jake Douglas 5th. The quick race stats were as followed 3 yellow flags flew during the 75 lap event for 11 laps. The race seen 8 different leaders with Ty Hester leading the most laps with 38.
The race started out a bit rough as a short run of two laps would happen before the first yellow flew. There was a wreck coming out of turn 4 which started with the #64 of Lee Staples, the #11 of Nathaniel Cherry, and the #77 of Alex Giese running 3-wide. Cherry would come down a bit too much getting into Giese’s right rear quarter which sent him head on into the front stretch wall. This collected several drivers as it started mid pack of the field. Under the yellow it would see most of the front runners stay out while everyone from roughly 10th on back decided to pit for tires early on.
The race would go back to green on lap 6 and would stay that way for 6 laps as the 2nd yellow would fly on lap 12. This wreck again would happen off turn 4 as the #48 of Mitch Brown appeared to have blinked out in the server and lagged into the #12 of Shawn Musick which sent him spinning up toward the front stretch wall. The #25 of Kris Titus would save Musick from hitting the wall as Shawn would be sent spinning into Titus and they spun down the front stretch. Titus would be the lucky one out of the whole incident as he received little to minimal damage and would be able to stay on the lead lap and continue in the event. Musick and Brown however would have to fix damage and go laps down to the leaders. During this yellow flag period the field decided to come down pit road to get tires and fuel.
The race went back green on lap 17 and seen one of the longest runs of the evening going 21 laps. During the green flag run it was all Ty Hester in his #36 Camry dominating the race building over a 3 second lead over the rest of the field. The 3rd and final yellow flew on lap 38 for a wreck that involved the #49 of Jake Douglas and the #89 of John Kennedy. The yellow came at a very interesting time as green flag pit stops were in the process of being made. The big break came for the #01 of Jared Mogard as he was able to get onto pit road just before the yellow came out. Mogard was able to get tires and fuel and beat the leads out of pit road. This proved to be a smart move by Mogard as after everything cycled through during the yellow flag it would give Mogard and his #01 team the lead.
The race went back green on lap 42 leaving a 33 lap shootout to the end and provide it stayed green would set up for strategy to play into things as everyone would have to make 1 more pit stop for fuel at the very lease. The race did just that going green to the end. The field would begin their green flag pit stops on lap 56 with just 20 laps left in the race. As the field began to cycle through the final stops it appeared that it was going to be a good finish with friendly rivals Ty Hester and Jared Mogard dueling for the Checkered flag as it appeared to look as if they were going to be first and 2nd after everything cycled through. The hopes of that finish playing out came to an end as Robby Baskins left pit road and was on the apron of turns one and two getting back up to speed would get loose and hit Ty Hester shooting Ty straight up the track and into the wall. Mogard was somehow just barely able to miss that and make it through that without any contact. This incident would shuffle Ty way back as arguably the fastest car all night seen his shot at winning come to an end late in the event. One man’s misfortune is another man’s fortune as Jared Mogard would go on to cruise to his first win on the 2017 ASRS Xfinity Series and his 14th career win at ASRS. This would also be Mogard’s 2nd straight win as he won the Pro Series finale before the Break. We caught up with Mogard following the win and he has this to say “We were able to go from our 19th starting spot to cruise through the field. We had a top 5 car I felt like and were able to catch some good breaks for a change and things just happened to work out. It’s unfortunate what happened to Ty as he was the fastest car and I felt he probably would have gotten passed us. Was looking forward to racing him though for the win. I need to thank my sponsors Twitchy Race Reports, Captain Morgan/Pepsi, Mountain Dew, and to my team Maxxed Out Motorsports. I need to give team owner Kris Titus a shout out for keeping me calm the last month or so as things just haven’t gone the way this #01 team has expected. It feels as if things have turned around and we look to keep it rolling.”
The top 5 finishing spots looked like this Jared Mogard with the Win, Brandon Smith 2nd, Justin Brown 3rd, Devin Serra 4th, and Zac Bozanich 5th. The points took a big shake up after the event due to the late race incidents. The current top 8 drivers that are locked into the Playoffs after Race #8 are Ty Hester maintaining the point lead, Sam Maxwell 2nd, Justin Brown 3rd, Zac Bozanich 4th, Jared Mogard 5th (jumping up 6 spots), Jonathan Holstein 6th, Jim Foose 7th, and tied for 8th are Brad Cross and Allan Young. The next ASRS Xfinity race is scheduled for April 4th as they will take on the tricky triangle at the Pocono Speedway for a 40 lap/100 mile Pocono 100.
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