Courtesy of Jim Short, Lucas Oil Modified Series
WEST VALLEY CITY – Maybe next year Scott Winters will have a routine night at Rocky Mountain Raceways. It hasn’t happened the past two years, but Winters probably didn’t mind too much last Saturday night.
The Tracy, Calif., resident had been a contender from the start of the 4 Wheel Parts 75 presented by GEICO – the Lucas Modified portion of RMR’s Horsepower Heaven event – and with 13 laps remaining he suddenly found himself in the lead after a little game of tit-for-tat took both race-long leader Kyle Tellstrom and race-long pursuer Dylan Cappello out of contention.
A few minutes later Winters found himself in the Lucas Oil Modified Series winner’s circle for the fifth time and unofficially on top of the Hoosier Tire West point standings after six of the 10 championship races.
It was poetic justice, in a sense, because last year Winters had gone into the series’ annual stop at the racy 3/8-mile oval as the points leader after six races and was running third with seven laps to go when he was caught up in an accident that left his Ferrari Farms STR Chevrolet badly damaged against the backstretch wall and pretty much ruined the second half of his season.
That race concluded with the closest and perhaps most dramatic finish in series history when Cappello and Austin Barnes slid across the finish line and Cappello got the win while the large crowd roared.
This time, before a gathering of about 8,000 that was the biggest crowd ever to see an event in the Lucas Oil Modified Series presented by LoanMart, Winters once again was running third as the race neared a conclusion. That gave him the best seat in the house when Tellstrom and Cappello had their tete-a-tete.
Cappello got in the first punch with bump-and-run pass of Tellstrom in Turn 1 on a yellow-flag restart. Then Tellstrom got under Cappello in Turn 4, Cappello went spinning into the infield and both drivers went to the rear of the field, as the rules mandate.
That gave Winters the lead and the engineer showed his appreciation for the charitable donation by holding off a determined Doug Hamm to win by 0.312 seconds. Taylor Miinch was third, local favorite Eric Rhead of nearby West Jordan, Utah, was fourth and pole-sitter Linny White was fifth, just ahead of Hicks.
It was a fitting end to a high-competitive event that started with 31 of the 33 entries separated by just half a second in qualifying. Cappello was the quickest, with a lap in 15.260 seconds. He pulled a 4 for the inversion, however, which put White and Tellstrom on the first row and Miinch and Cappello in the second row.
Tellstrom quickly took the lead from White on the opening lap and Cappello took second from White the next time around. The two leaders ran in that order while Winters, White, Miinch and Hamm battled for the next four spots.
Cappello made a strong bid for the lead at the halfway point, but Tellstrom seemed to be pulling away from the field when the night’s third yellow caution flag waved on lap 62. When the green flag was shown for lap 63 Cappello performed his bump-and-run. Then Tellstrom bumped Cappello enough to spin him, and when the yellow was show again you could almost hear Winters saying “Hey, look what I just found.”
In other action Saturday on the America First Credit Union Super Oval, Dillion Lawrence won the 25-lap K-1 Speed Super Stock race, going wire-to-wire to take the checkered flag. Lawrence finished ahead of Jayden Park Joe Bowen and Tim Richter.
Abbie Coburn won the 15-lap Jr. Stinger race, besting Parker Jones and James Jette for the victory.
Up next for the AFCU Super Oval will be an RMR Oval Racing Series competition on July 30. Racing that day will feature University Federal Credit Union Super Oval Sprints as well as Midgets, 4-Bangers, Sommers Auto Wrecking Hornets and Brandon Park Roofing F-8 Trains.