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Trouille Loses 602 Late Model World Short Track Championship to Mullis on Post-Race Inspection

by Timothy Zackery

Fourteen-year-old Colton Trouille raced his heart out in the Chevrolet Performance 602 Late Model Feature Saturday night at the Dirt Track at Charlotte, making it through the checkers and all the way to Victory Lane for the first time ever, only to have his Drydene World Short Track Championship trophy taken away from him and handed to second-place finisher Bryan Mullis after post-race technical inspection.

With the line up set for the Chevy Performance 602 Late Models the 26 drivers who made the field finally reached the moment they had been waiting for all weekend. After the redraw, the number 18 of Austin Mintz would start from the pole and 14-year-old Colton Trouille would lead the field to the green from the outside of the front row.

From the green flag it was apparent to everyone that the number 615 of Trouille was the car to beat. With big runs off out of Turn 2 he set the pace throughout the race.

The first caution of the race was a spin by the number 12 of Michael Smith on lap 3 setting off a series of cautions. On the restart the number 14 of Jeff Robinson and the number 54 of Justin Mintz made contact on the front stretch bringing out another caution.

With only two more laps in under green after the restart, drivers enacted the short track version of “The Big One” with multiple cars involved on the front stretch including Last Chance Showdown winner Tanner Fortune who lost most of the passenger side sheet metal but was able to continue.

After the big one on lap 7 the wrecks settled down, and it was time to decide a winner. By the halfway point of the race Trouille had a six car length lead. By the 10-to-go mark he had put even more distance between himself and the second place car, the number 67 of Bryan Mullis. On lap 17 the number 24 of Seth Wimpey added himself to the mix, taking the third position from Mintz and moving up to challenge Mullis.

With the laps winding down and Trouille still leading, Mullis found a little more speed and Trouille’s car started to fade. Mullis closed the gap to within a car length as they approached lap traffic, but Trouille was able to hold on and take the win. Rounding out the top five were Mullis in second, Wimpey in third, Mintz fourth, and the number 83 of Rod Tucker made a late race charge to get into the top five.

Usually this would be the end of the story. Not in this case. After the young driver celebrated his first-ever win in Victory Lane, it was time for post-race tech. Upon inspection it was discovered that the motor was fitted with bolts that were not legal for the class, and he was disqualified, giving the win to Bryan Mullis and moving everyone else up one spot.

Last Chance to Make the Show

Saturday afternoon was the last chance for many of the participants at The World Short Track Championships to punch their tickets for the Championship Feature event. The Chevy Performance 602 Late Models started the weekend with 58 cars but only 26 could start the Feature leaving us with 3 Last Chance races. Each of the Last Chance races would only see 2 cars transfer to the Feature Event so we all knew before it started it could get a little crazy out there.

The first LCR had drivers from different sides of the racing spectrum trying to take one of the two transfer spots. Veteran Cup Driver Jeremy Mayfield would start from 11th after missing his heat race yesterday and 13 year old rookie Carson Ruark would start from the outside pole.

The number 104 of Chris Cape would battle his way to the front early and secure his spot in the feature followed by the number 71 of Lee Cooper who would also transfer. The number 14 of jeff Robinson would finish 3rd but would go on to run in the main as he received one of the two provisional starting spots. The number 19 of Mayfield was hit early from behind tearing off half of his spoiler and ending his chances of making the feature. The number 13 of Ruark would find himself on the outside looking in as well. He was in position to transfer but on a late restart the veterans shuffled him back and his weekend of racing came to an end.

In the second LCR was filled with 3 wide battles and more heartache for drivers falling short of making the feature. The number 21 of Javan Merck would lead flag to flag in this one but it was what happened behind him that would break hearts. The number 37 of Michael Barnett broke while running a strong second and would have transferred. The misfortune of Barnett became the good fortune of the number 21 of Chris McKeeham who would go on to finish 2nd and transfer to the feature. The biggest mover of the race was the number 6, Mark Wilbanks who came from 12th to 3rd but it was to little to late and he missed the feature by one spot.

The third and final LCR was much less eventful than the first two races. The number 92 of Tanner Fortune was the class of the field leading flag to flag. The number 27 spun on lap one, bringing out a caution but drove it back to 2nd and found himself heading to the feature. The T2 of Travis Sharpe was in place to transfer but on the only restart of the race he was shuffled back and was only able to manage a third place finish ending his weekend of racing.

CHEVY PERFORMANCE 602 LATE MODEL RESULTS:

Chevrolet Performance Feature (25 Laps) – 1. 67-Bryan Mullis [5]; 2. 18-Austin Mintz [1]; 3. 83-Rod Tucker [9]; 4. O7-Dale Timms [6]; 5. 121-Blake Craft [12]; 6. 44-John Ruggiero [4]; 7. 104-Chris Cape [19]; 8. 12D-Devon Morgan [3]; 9. 22B-Chase McCormick [15]; 10. 71C-Lee Cooper [22]; 11. 21B-Royce Bray [17]; 12. OO-Brandon Dockery [18]; 13. 14R-Jeff Robinson [26]; 14. P4-John Price [10]; 15. 35-Dillon Daves [25]; 16. 16-Colby Cannon [14]; 17. 54-Justin Mintz [13]; 18. 92-Tanner Fortune [21]; 19. C1-Chuckie Duncan [11]; 20. 21C-Chris McKeeham [23]; 21. 21M-Javan Merck [20]; 22. 4-Kyle Beck [16]; 23. 27-Mike Davidson [24]; 24. 12-Michael Smith [7]; 25. 615-Colton Trouille [2]; 26. 24-Seth Wimpey [8]; Drydene/Fox Racing Shox Hard Charger Award: 14R-Jeff Robinson[+13]

Qualifying Flight-A  – 1. 44-John Ruggiero, 16.937; 2. 67-Bryan Mullis, 17.124; 3. 12-Michael Smith, 17.133; 4. 22B-Chase McCormick, 17.151; 5. 19-Jeremy Mayfield, 17.152; 6. O5-Carson Ruark, 17.189; 7. 14R-Jeff Robinson, 17.245; 8. 83-Rod Tucker, 17.293; 9. 54-Justin Mintz, 17.303; 10. 17-Chris Joyce, 17.386; 11. 77-Blake Dill, 17.4; 12. 45-Colt Smith, 17.438; 13. 16W-Nathan Walker, 17.486; 14. 35-Dillon Daves, 17.594; 15. 71C-Lee Cooper, 17.744; 16. 727-Baillie Lowe, 17.797; 17. 104-Chris Cape, 17.943; 18. 22-Randy Pfaff, 18.982; 19. 149-Seth Speed, 26.721; DQ. 21S-JD Strader, 18.165

Qualifying Flight-B – 1. 1-Goose Calvert, 17.014; 2. 18-Austin Mintz, 17.102; 3. 21B-Royce Bray, 17.211; 4. 24-Seth Wimpey, 17.25; 5. 615-Colton Trouille, 17.295; 6. 6W-Mark Wilbanks, 17.392; 7. 5-Robbie Gibson, 17.42; 8. 37-Michael Barnett, 17.469; 9. 12T-Justin Taylor, 17.522; 10. K7-Keaton Smith, 17.525; 11. 21M-Javan Merck, 17.583; 12. 16-Colby Cannon, 17.615; 13. 711-Morgan Alexender, 17.621; 14. 10-Mario Gresham, 17.643; 15. 300-Bill Tesh, 17.903; 16. 71-Bobby Hunter, 18.339; 17. 18D-Riley Dunford, 33.201; 18. 21C-Chris McKeeham, NT; DQ. C1-Chuckie Duncan, 17.241

Qualifying Flight-C – 1. 12D-Devon Morgan, 16.999; 2. O7-Dale Timms, 17.052; 3. 148-Booger Brooks, 17.134; 4. 121-Blake Craft, 17.175; 5. 27-Mike Davidson, 17.223; 6. 17S-Brandon Stroud, 17.231; 7. P4-John Price, 17.258; 8. OO-Brandon Dockery, 17.283; 9. 6J-Jacob Brown, 17.351; 10. 92-Tanner Fortune, 17.368; 11. 4-Kyle Beck, 17.446; 12. 7J-Dalton Jacobs, 17.454; 13. 42-BooMan Galloway, 17.589; 14. 14-Baron McDowell, 17.595; 15. T2-Travis Sharpe, 17.822; 16. 10E-Patrick Evatt, 18.461; 17. 15-Bron Rutledge, NT; DQ. 114-Jordan Koechler, 17.065; DQ. 17K-Kale Steele, 19.031

Drydene Heat #1 – Flight (A) (6 Laps) – Top 3 Transfer – 1. 44-John Ruggiero [1]; 2. 12-Michael Smith [2]; 3. 54-Justin Mintz [5]; 4. 71C-Lee Cooper [8]; 5. 14R-Jeff Robinson [4]; 6. 104-Chris Cape [9]; 7. 77-Blake Dill [6]; 8. 16W-Nathan Walker [7]; 9. 19-Jeremy Mayfield [3]; 10. 149-Seth Speed [10]

Drydene Heat #2 – Flight (A) (6 Laps) – Top 3 Transfer – 1. 67-Bryan Mullis [1]; 2. 83-Rod Tucker [4]; 3. 22B-Chase McCormick [2]; 4. O5-Carson Ruark [3]; 5. 21S-JD Strader [10]; 6. 727-Baillie Lowe [8]; 7. 45-Colt Smith [6]; 8. 35-Dillon Daves [7]; 9. 22-Randy Pfaff [9]; 10. 17-Chris Joyce [5]

Drydene Heat #3 – Flight (B) (6 Laps) – Top 3 Transfer – 1. 615-Colton Trouille [3]; 2. C1-Chuckie Duncan [10]; 3. 21B-Royce Bray [2]; 4. 21M-Javan Merck [6]; 5. 711-Morgan Alexender [7]; 6. 5-Robbie Gibson [4]; 7. 1-Goose Calvert [1]; 8. 12T-Justin Taylor [5]; 9. 18D-Riley Dunford [9]; 10. 300-Bill Tesh [8]

Drydene Heat #4 – Flight (B) (6 Laps) – Top 3 Transfer – 1. 18-Austin Mintz [1]; 2. 24-Seth Wimpey [2]; 3. 16-Colby Cannon [6]; 4. 37-Michael Barnett [4]; 5. 10-Mario Gresham [7]; 6. 21C-Chris McKeeham [9]; 7. 71-Bobby Hunter [8]; 8. K7-Keaton Smith [5]; 9. 6W-Mark Wilbanks [3]

Drydene Heat #5 – Flight (C) (6 Laps) – Top 3 Transfer – 1. 12D-Devon Morgan [1]; 2. P4-John Price [4]; 3. 4-Kyle Beck [6]; 4. T2-Travis Sharpe [8]; 5. 27-Mike Davidson [3]; 6. 17K-Kale Steele [10]; 7. 6J-Jacob Brown [5]; 8. 148-Booger Brooks [2]; 9. 15-Bron Rutledge [9]; 10. 42-BooMan Galloway [7]

Drydene Heat #6 – Flight (C) (6 Laps) – Top 3 Transfer – 1. O7-Dale Timms [1]; 2. 121-Blake Craft [2]; 3. OO-Brandon Dockery [4]; 4. 92-Tanner Fortune [5]; 5. 14-Baron McDowell [7]; 6. 114-Jordan Koechler [9]; 7. 17S-Brandon Stroud [3]; 8. 7J-Dalton Jacobs [6]; 9. 10E-Patrick Evatt [8]

Last Chance Showdown 1 (8 Laps) – Top 2 Transfer – 1. 104-Chris Cape [5]; 2. 71C-Lee Cooper [1]; 3. 14R-Jeff Robinson [3]; 4. O5-Carson Ruark [2]; 5. 19-Jeremy Mayfield [11]; 6. 17-Chris Joyce [14]; 7. 77-Blake Dill [7]; 8. 45-Colt Smith [8]; 9. 16W-Nathan Walker [9]; 10. 22-Randy Pfaff [12]; 11. 35-Dillon Daves [10]; 12. 21S-JD Strader [4]; 13. 727-Baillie Lowe [6]; 14. 149-Seth Speed [13]

Last Chance Showdown 2 ( Laps) – 1. 21M-Javan Merck [1]; 2. 21C-Chris McKeeham [6]; 3. 37-Michael Barnett [2]; 4. 6W-Mark Wilbanks [12]; 5. 1-Goose Calvert [7]; 6. K7-Keaton Smith [10]; 7. 18D-Riley Dunford [11]; 8. 5-Robbie Gibson [5]; 9. 711-Morgan Alexender [3]; 10. 71-Bobby Hunter [8]; 11. 10-Mario Gresham [4]; 12. 12T-Justin Taylor [9]; 13. 300-Bill Tesh [13]

Last Chance Showdown 3 ( Laps) – 1. 92-Tanner Fortune [2]; 2. 27-Mike Davidson [3]; 3. T2-Travis Sharpe [1]; 4. 42-BooMan Galloway [13]; 5. 114-Jordan Koechler [6]; 6. 7J-Dalton Jacobs [10]; 7. 14-Baron McDowell [4]; 8. 10E-Patrick Evatt [12]; 9. 17K-Kale Steele [5]; 10. 6J-Jacob Brown [7]; 11. 17S-Brandon Stroud [8]; 12. 148-Booger Brooks [9]; 13. 15-Bron Rutledge [11]