Tyler Stevenson and Kyle Devendorf exchange lead three times, David Rogers lands third
Wednesday’s DIRTcar Sportsman Series matchup at Can-Am Speedway was a night to remember for Tyler Stevenson.
He captured his first career Series win after a hard-fought race that saw the lead exchange hands three times in the 30-lap matchup.
Stevenson lined up on the outside of the front row beside polesitter Kyle Devendorf, foreshadowing the battle that would take place between the two for the lead. When the green flag dropped, Devendorf powered out in front, followed closely behind by Stevenson.
The positions stayed the same for the first 14 laps before Stevenson found his first opportunity to strike. Riding the high line through Turns 3 and 4, he managed to edge around Devendorf and hit the halfway point as the new leader. He was able to open his lead over the rest of the pack, seemingly gaining more of a handle on the track as the race progressed.
Devendorf fought back after the second restart of the race on Lap 20, retaking the lead coming off Turn 4. But had to halt his pursuit for the win four laps later when a hard crash by Jaosn Bruno brought out a red flag.
Lined up in second, Stevenson fired strong on the restart and slid past Devendorf less than half a lap later, finding himself out in front once again with five laps remaining. The top two ran nose-to-tail for the last remaining laps, with Stevenson fending off Devendorf’s advances on the outside several times. The #FOX28 machine held steady until the end, taking home the win and the $1,000 payday.
“I knew I was going to have to get him (Devendorf) on one of the restarts, because that’s just how the track was tonight,” Stevenson said.
Runner-up Devendorf enjoyed the tight battle with the night’s winner, even with the challenges that came with it.
“It was great racing,” Devendorf said. “I just wish we wouldn’t have had so many yellows, then we probably could have had it covered. It was good fun racing. I had a blast our first time here all year, and I’m looking forward to coming back.”
David Rogers, the winner of last year’s matchup, crossed third, rounding out the podium.
“I really think we had the car to beat but I went into (Turn 1) on the first lap and the chain limiter broke and took out the break line, so I had no breaks,” Rogers said. “On the restarts, I was just trying to hold my own and not run these guys over, and I just gave some room.”
Nick Heywood crossed the finish line in fourth and Tyler Corcoran finished fifth.
Can-Am Speedway DIRTcar Sportsman track points leader Mike Fowler finished eighth.
DIRTcar Sportsman Feature (30 Laps): 1. FOX28-Tyler Stevenson; 2. 5-Kyle Devendorf; 3. 44-David Rogers; 4. 29-Nick Heywood; 5. 64-Tyler Corcoran; 6. 92B-Andrew Buff; 7. 63M-Franklin Mackin; 8. 410-Mike Fowler; 9. 22C-Cederic Gauvreau; 10. 03-Joshua Jock; 11. 38-Zach Sobotka; 12. 33-Richard Murtaugh; 13. 35B-Brennan Moore; 14. 0-Shane Pecore; 15. 30-Nick Root; 16. 34N-Eric Nier; 17. 10X-Cory Castell; 18. 17-Owen Nier; 19. 66B-Jason Bruno; 20. 31B-Ryan Dolbear; 21. 57H-Remington Hamm; 22. 621G-Trevor Gibbons; 23. 4-Emmett Waldron; 24. 83D-Dustin Bradley; 25. 52-Jessica Power; 26. 88-Fire Swamp; 27. 7O7-Greg Brinklow; 28. 32RS-Ryan Shanahan; 29. 92-Frank Sibley; 30. 18-Gavin Eisele