Nine weeks in and the Chevy Performance Street Stock League has another first-time Feature winner.
Andrew Clark, of Dundee, NY, took advantage of a collision with leaders Charles Barnes and Alex Holbert late in the race, inheriting the lead and holding off Kyle Householder and points leader Tyler Jackson for his first career DIRTcar eSports victory. Jackson finished third, while rival championship contenders Jim Reavis and Brett Rowles struggled, sealing the deal on Jackson’s second League championship before the finale at Charlotte next Wednesday.
Donning a Taco-themed design across his 358 Modified, Former iRacing World Champion Hayden Cardwell took advantage of a starting grid mishap ahead of him and made it count, leading all 40 laps en route to his fourth career DIRTcar eSports Tour victory Wednesday night.
Cardwell was originally scheduled to start third on the grid, but was permitted to fill the spot when polesitter Blake Matjoulis’ internet connection failed before the start of the race. He took off with the lead at the drop of the green and ran away with the race, crossing the finish line over four seconds ahead of second-place to win the VP Racing Fuels 358 Modified challenge at Cedar Lake Speedway.
Make it six weeks in-a-row that Kendal Tucker has finished no worse than second aboard the DIRTcar eSports Tour.
The defending Tour champion bagged his second Feature win of Season 3 Wednesday night with the Hoosier Racing Tire Big Block Modifieds in impressive fashion, winning a very close battle with Blake Matjoulis, of Ashville, NY, after a restart to grab the lead for good and pocket another $250 check.
In short, Tucker had a perfect night – setting quick time in Qualifying, winning his Heat Race and eventually the 50-lap Feature from the pole with a hard-charging cast of virtual racers behind him.
Tucker, of Mt. Airy, NC, led Lap 1 but gave it up on the next circuit to outside polesitter Matjoulis. He and his 127 Industries machine fended off his rivals out front for the next 26 laps before the caution flag was displayed, resetting the field.
The green dropped once again and Tucker got a great run on the top side to challenge Matjoulis for the lead. Using that high-side momentum out of Turn 2, Tucker pulled ahead of Matjoulis as they slid into Turn 3 and took the line away to seal the spot.
“Once we got a couple of restarts in, I started being pretty aggressive and wanted to make some moves,” Tucker said. “That last restart there – we got a really good start on [Matjoulis] and was able to wheel around the top in [Turns] 1 and 2 on him.”
From there on out, it was all Tucker and his #00 Swindell SpeedLab entry. He had opened a two-second advantage over the rest of the field by the time he crossed the finish line, fully displaying his fixed-setup prowess on iRacing.
It comes in as another great points night for Tucker, as he extends his advantage over runner-up Tyler Schell, despite having entered one less race than each of his closest competitors. Still, he seeks his second Tour championship as Season 3 begins to wind down to the final three races.
“I definitely didn’t think we had a shot at the points this season at all. Luckily, these six races we’ve ran so far, we’ve been able to have some pretty good speed in all the different cars we’ve ran so far,” Tucker said.
The DIRTcar eSports Tour is back in action with the NOS Energy Drink 360 Sprint Cars at Kokomo Speedway next Wednesday night for Round #8 of Season 3. Catch all the action live on DIRTVision presented by Drydene.
Former Extreme Savage duo jumps to Team No Love after Week 4 incident
After their unfortunate falling out in last week’s showing at Fairbury Speedway, Carl Kilgore and Keith Hackney have reunited as teammates on a new team and worked their magic Wednesday night at Cedar Lake Speedway to get Kilgore his second Chevy Performance Street Stock League Feature win of the season.
“We’re feeling good, especially after what happened last week,” Kilgore told Chase Raudman in the DIRTVision post-race interview. “Glad to be back on teams with Hackney – he’s a good dude. We had some trouble last week, but without all of our teammates and us being together, I can’t do this right here.”
Hackney, of Calhoun, GA, was penalized to the tail of the lead lap after the checkered in last week’s Feature due to contact with Kilgore wile racing for the lead on the final lap. Kilgore spun and was left with a 16th-place result, Hackney in 21st, while Tyler Jackson ran off with the win and a nice lead in the point standings.
But that’s all behind them now. The two put their differences aside over the week and straight-up dominated Wednesday night, starting on the front row after back-to-back Heat Race wins.
At the drop of the green, Kilgore, of Greenville, MS, immediately took off and never looked back, leading all 25 laps en route to his $100 victory.
“We’ve got a little bit of a gap to make up, but I feel like as long as we keep doing what we’re doing, we’ll be there,” Kilgore said.
Hackey did a solid job for his teammate in fending off the pressure from the rest of the field behind him, crossing the stripe in second for another good points race.
While he was able to nurse the hurt car home to a third-place finish, Jackson, of Rockford, IL, almost found himself in deep trouble about halfway through the race.
A slower car had gone over the outside wall in Turns 1-2 and proceeded to re-enter the track right in front of the leaders under green, causing a multi-car crash down the backstretch that tagged Jackson. He was able to drive out of the situation with control, but the damage had already been done to his right-front wheel well.
With the right-front pushed in, Jackson switched to the high line for the remainder of the race and fought back to a third-place result, likely saving his points lead.
The Chevy Performance Street Stock League is back in action next Tuesday night, April 27, with race #6 and a visit to Lernerville Speedway. Check out the entire race broadcast livestream for FREE on DIRTVision presented by Drydene or on the DIRTcar Facebook page at 6:50pm ET.