Race Notebooke: Lucas Oil 150 @ Petty Raceway
Dylan Gosbee is a first time winner on the Parts for Trucks Pro Stock Tour!
In just his 20th start on the series, he adds his name into the books as the 30th driver in series history to win a feature. The way he did it though was pretty impressive. After a caution in the final five laps, he would capitalize on the final restart with three laps to go when Shawn Tucker drifted up the race track and left the bottom open for Gosbee.
I’ve had the honor of being involved in some pretty electric victory lane celebrations but this one is right up there as one of the coolest. It’s always awesome to see a first time winner and Dylan along with his crew and family were bouncing off the chip excited after the race. He’s come a long way in the year and a half he’s been a part of our series and it is great to see the hard work of the #91 team pay off.
You have to give a tip of the cap to Gosbee and Tucker for putting on not only some hard racing at the end but also some clean racing. We’ve seen this type of racing all season long though, think back to Riverside when we witnessed Flemming and Chisholm side by side for nearly sixty laps and those two examples were for the lead. That doesn’t even come close to covering all the battles throughout the pack in our first four races and there have been some excellent tilts. We’ve seen a lot of respect between drivers this season and it has led us to seeing a great racing product on the track!
For a while though on Sunday, it appeared the race was going to be Shawn Tucker’s 19th career victory after leading 57 laps in the race. The #52 car really came to life on our long green runs in the race and Shawn even mentioned after the race that the Chevrolet really came in after five or six laps of green. The restarts with four and three to go at the end were not kind to the Rockico Equipment Limited team and you better believe they will be ready to rock this Saturday at Speedway 660.
The rapid pace of the race and the quick #52 car left us with only six cars on the lead lap when we dropped the rag with four laps to go, which changed to five after Craig Slaunwhite ended up getting into the wall, prematurely ending his podium run in the #99 car. When you look at the back half of the top five at the end of the Lucas Oil 150, you have three drivers who are having pretty good 2013 seasons in Darren MacKinnon, Greg Proude and Jerome Kehoe. All three drivers are within the top ten in points and save for a couple drops of fuel at Scotia in the opener for the #18 and #98, they could have been a little further up the point picture.
Flemming proved this weekend that the #97 Dodge is not bulletproof. While Flemming was quick during Atlantic Tiltload Time Trials and led 58 laps in the race, the car fell off in the second half of the race and was eventually lapped en route to an eighth place finish. We saw Jonathan Hicken put up the quick time in Time Trials and he was also lapped on our long green flag run. Shawn Turple also fell one lap down as well. That’s the ups and downs of stock car racing - though some of our top teams still got top ten runs, they come out the other end one lap off the pace of the leaders. It goes to show that if something happens that you miss something in the race, either missing something on the setup or missing your marks on the track, there are a bunch of strong competitors ready to pounce.
For the third time in as many races, we have a different Exide Batteries Rookie of the Race. Denver Foran impressed in front of a lot of his fans that were in attendance at Petty Raceway by coming home with a ninth place finish and most importantly he kept his #13 MMD Mineral Sizing ride out of trouble for 150 laps. He gained a few points on Dylan Blenkhorn for the top freshman honor but it’s hard when the Big Bird car keeps having great runs. An eleventh place run for the #67 on Sunday keeps the Truro driver not only on top of the Rookie battle but in sixth overall in the standings after a third of the races in 2013.
Hats off to all the fans who came out to the track on Sunday who stuck with us through a day of weather to come out and see some incredible racing. We keep saying that we have some of the best racing in North America and the boys continue to back it up on the track. Here’s a cool little stat for you - in three of the first four races in this series, the final lead change has happened with three laps to go or less.
This is the part of the season we keep seeing some comers and goers in the standings and I believe this will keep getting closer and we continue on through the season. We’ll take a look at the standings later in the week along with a preview of what is to come Saturday night at Speedway 660 for the Irving Blending and Packaging 100. Who will be the ones to watch? Find out on Friday!
Until then, keep the hammer down and we’ll see you at the track.
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