Speed and Luck Run in the Family
by Randy Chenowth
iRACING — July 2, 2108 — The fourth round of the World Of Outlaws Craftsman Late Model Championship Series paid a visit to the Sprint Car Capitol of the World. While being renowned for sprint car racing, the Late Model drivers were really excited about this upcoming race with several saying it could be one of the most exciting races of the season; and it didn’t disappoint.
The night began standard enough with names like Drew Herchko, Alex Bergeron, Howard Weaver, and Austen Semmelmann topping the qualifying charts. The heats were entertaining as the track slowly started to wear in.
The Last Chance Showdown is where fireworks started. With 12 drivers fighting for 4 transfer spots things will always get crazy, but Knoxville stepped up the drama. On Lap 3 the leaders came together and spun in front of the field. That lost them all sorts of track position and promoted Adam Elby, who started the race dead last in 12th and into the race lead. James Edens transferring from third, Garrett Niebruegge transferring from 8th, and Randall Carter transferring from 11th. A huge shock to the likes of Charles Cosper, Joshua Laughton, and Justin Thomas who all started in the top 4.
With the field set and 50 laps on the board it was Drew Herchko who would be the early performer running away from the field in the early stages. Howard Weaver made some good moves as well to hold the second with the likes of Bergeron, Semmellmann, and Leonhardi scrapping for the rest of the top 5.
A caution about 20 laps in, after Weaver and Fields tangled, we0 saw a 5-car pileup that ended a couple of nights. A number of fast names being sent into the depths of the field. The big beneficiary of this reset was the 2 of Dylan Houser, who was able to get up near the front and start fighting with Drew. It seemed to be his best competition all night. They dueled up until 15 to go when a spin brought out a yellow. This time though, on the restart, Herchko and Houser would make contact before ever making it to the S/F line and immediately bring out another caution. Herchko would end up in the fence at the back of the field and Houser would find himself 8th on the restart.
Coming back to green inside 10 to go, Matthew McKinney commanded the field and simply checked out. The fight for second would heat up though between Zach Leonhardi and Mike McKinney. They would throw a couple sliders on each other and trade the position a few times, but Mike would be able to sneak out a slight advantage which allowed the 25 of Tyler Ducharme to keep Leonhardi busy. After 50 laps of racing Matthew McKinney would end up with the victory and his brother Mike would hold onto the second spot, becoming the first family pair to claim the top 2 positions in a World Championship on iRacing.
|Fin Pos||Name||Start Pos||Car #||Interval||Laps Led||Fast Time||Fast Lap||Pts|
|5||Dylan R. Houser||6||2||-2.411||0||18.428||24||58|
|12||Austin M Carr||10||1||-5.333||0||18.425||6||39|
|17||Alex A Bergeron||2||12||-15.387||0||18.415||6||29|
|18||Austen Semmelmann||4||18||-1 L||0||18.47||6||27|
|19||Adam Elby||17||74||-4 L||0||18.599||14||25|
|20||Jacob Fields||5||7||-34 L||0||18.401||11||23|
|Position||Name||Points||Wins||Top 5||Starts||Laps Led||Poles|
|3||Alex A Bergeron||246||2||2||4||79||1|
|4||Dylan R. Houser||245||0||2||4||8||0|
|10||Austin M Carr||179||0||0||4||0||0|