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Riggs, Oakley And Setzer Victorious In CARS Tour Duels At Dominion

Riggs, Oakley And Setzer Victorious In CARS Tour Duels At Dominion

by March 28, 2017 0 comments

THORNBURG, Va. – A pair of photo finishes and two dominant wins were the dichotomy of competition in the second CARS Tour event of the season Saturday at Dominion Raceway, the River City QDMA Duels at Dominion presented by Virginia is for Lovers. Layne Riggs and Jeff Oakley were the winners in the photo finishes, both occurring in the late model stock duels, while Brandon Setzer dominated both super late model races to claim the wins and lock himself into the US Nationals of Short Track Racing at Bristol Motor Speedway.

LATE MODEL STOCK RECAP

Brandon Grosso claimed his first Hedgecock Racing Pole Award during pole qualifying, accounting for all laps turned, but lined up deep in the field during the first duel race as his first qualifying lap (used to set race one) was not nearly as quick. Grosso’s teammate, Myatt Snider, and Josh Berry led the field to green and it was Snider who controlled the opening laps.

As the race quickly churned toward the end of its 75-lap distance, Jeff Oakley made his presence felt and ended up stealing the lead from Myatt Snider on a late race restart. Snider and Berry made contact just a few laps later which resulted in the No. 88 spinning, a move which race control deemed over-aggressive on the part of Snider and accordingly sent both cars to the tail.

On the ensuing restart, Jeff Oakley bobbled in turn one, setting up a free-for-all as the field raced into turn three. Layne Riggs was able to sneak underneath of Oakley for the lead in turn three, but Deac McCaskill also made his way around the No. 11 of Oakley. On the final lap, McCaskill got his nose underneath of Riggs entering turn three for the lead. The two made minor contact and raced door-to-door to the checkered flag with Riggs claiming the win by a .041-second margin.

“I didn’t know if I could hold Deac off, but I know I slipped up on the last lap and I know I had a really good car and I have to thank all the guys on my team and all my sponsors,” Riggs said in Edelbrock Victory Lane after the first duel. “We weren’t really sure about it in the beginning, but I kept running and being consistent. I’m just so glad I finally got my first CARS Tour win. I was trying to save my tires, so hopefully we can win again in the next race from sixth. We were pretty loose in the beginning, and it kept getting tighter and tighter and it was about right in the end. But I just got lucky, mainly.”

In the second duel event for the late model stocks, Jeff Oakley started on the front row and quickly jumped out to a dominant lead for 74.5 of the 75 laps. A caution for the spinning car of Craig Stallard came out during the final lap before the leader had taken the checkered flag, calling for a green-white-checker restart according to the CARS Tour rulebook.

Oakley once again faltered on the late race restart, allowing Jared Fryar to pilot his No. 81F to the outside and snatch the lead at the conclusion of lap 75 as the field took the white flag. Fryar then slipped on the exit of two, allowing Oakley past, but Fryar laid the bumper to Oakley in turn three coming to the checkers. The orange car of Oakley was jacked sideways, slid up the banking and opened the door for Fryar, but Oakley held on for his first career CARS Tour win by a scant .074-second margin of victory.

“My wife is at home very sick, and I’m sure she would like to be here, but it sure does feel good to come here against some of the best drivers in the southeast and be competitive, and then be able to win one,” Oakley said after exiting the car in Edelbrock Victory Lane. “That first one was awful tough, but those guys were racing hard. You can’t blame them, they were going for the win, just like the 81 car [Fryar] was there at the end. I don’t know what it looked like for y’all, but it was a lot of fun for me. That caution at the end was not what I wanted to see.

“This crew has given me a fabulous car and we got QDMA on board this year, the title sponsor of the race,” he continued. “We tested a lot to get this car to work, and we’re very pleased. I just have to thank God for the opportunity to be here.”

Riggs emerged unofficially as the points leader after two events and three races as Concord winner Josh Berry had problems during both races and ended with finishes near the bottom of the running order. Official finishing orders and point tallies are generally released by CARS on Tuesdays.

SUPER LATE MODEL RECAP

Brandon Setzer blistered the Dominion Raceway with a 14.385-second qualifying effort, winning the Mahle Pistons Pole Award and establishing the track record for super late models at the ultra-fast Virginia facility. Both of his laps were fast enough to place him on pole for each duel race, a performance his competitors later envied.

Chase Purdy pursued Setzer from the drop of the green flag in the opening duel of the day but rarely was able to pull within a second of the No. 6 Ford. It remained that way until lap 64 when Cole Rouse, who was trying to chase down Purdy for second, spun in turn one to bring out a caution, impacting the outside wall with enough force for his Kyle Busch Motorsports team to withdraw the No. 51 for the second race of the afternoon.

Soon after the restart, Virginia native Quin Houff began his charge to the front, racing with Christian Eckes for third. But contact between those two cars caused Houff to spin on lap 66, bringing out the second and final caution of the opening super late model duel.

Setzer held off Chase Purdy on the restart for his first win of 2017 and established himself as the leading contender to lock himself into the US Nationals of Short Track Racing at Bristol Motor Speedway, an honor bestowed upon the highest average finisher during Saturday’s duels.

During race two, Setzer picked up exactly where he left off, jumping out to a one-second lead over Chase Purdy’s No. 97 Toyota for a vast majority of the race.

Setzer appeared to be en route to an easy victory until lap 58 when Chad McCumbee cut a right front tire and pounded the outside wall exiting turn four. McCumbee was able to drive his car to the pits but was done for the afternoon.

On the restart, Setzer was forced to fend off a fiercely fast Chase Purdy who made a valiant effort on the outside lane entering turn one. Purdy drew up to Setzer’s door and challenged the No. 6 through turns three and four when Setzer quickly slammed the door in his face, completing the pass and putting Purdy in his rearview mirror for the final time in the afternoon.

Setzer cruised to a 1.134-second margin  of victory over Purdy, Nolan Pope, Houff and Mike Speeney. By virtue of his highest average finish (1.0 over two races), Setzer also locked himself into the US Nationals of Short Track Racing at Bristol Motor Speedway in May. While his starting spot is not certain, there will be a guaranteed provisional for him if he is unable make the field through any other qualification means at the event.

“This is awesome and like a dream come true!,” Setzer exclaimed after exiting the car in Edelbrock Victory Lane the second time. “What a beautiful racetrack and what a great fan count, so thankful for all the fans who came out to support us. But, man, what a blast. This car was so good, I just really have to thank all the guys and sponsors who help us to do this.

“We made some adjustments after the first race and I felt like the car was a lot better, but the 97, he was a bunch better there, too, and I wasn’t saving anything,” he continued. “That was all I had. He ran me really hard and clean, so that was fun and I liked racing against him and they did a good job.”

Setzer unofficially inherited the point lead by virtue of his two-win afternoon and the misfortunes of his closest point pursuer Cole Rouse.

The CARS Tour visits Orange County Speedway for their next event on April 22. The Orange Blossom 300 will feature a traditional format race with 150-lap races scheduled for both super late model and late model stocks.

For more information on the CARS Tour, visit their website at www.carsracingtour.com. Fresh content and updates can also be found on the series Facebook page (@carstour), Twitter (@carstour), Instagram (@cars_tour), Snapchat (@carstour) and Youtube channel (/carstour). The series Roku app is also populated regularly with content from CARS Tour events and special productions while full race replays and live events can be seen regularly at www.carstour.tv.

NOTES OF INTEREST:

–          Concord late model stock winner Josh Berry spun late in the first duel and was unable to recover, but his second duel lasted all of about two laps. Water began spewing from the car’s overflow and he was forced to retire early in the second race of the event.

–          Last year’s late model stock champion Deac McCaskill was poised for a solid day in both duels until a final-lap crash in turn four ended his day in the concrete. He was credited with a 12th-place finish, the first car one lap in arrears.

–          By virtue of his dual-victory afternoon, Brandon Setzer bypassed Christopher Bell and Raphael Lessard as the all-time winningest super late model driver in CARS Tour history with five triumphs compared to the aforementioned duo’s four.

THE FINISHES:

CARS Late Model Stock Tour                          
River City QDMA Duels at Dominion presented by Virginia is for Lovers                        
Dominion Raceway – March 25, 2017                          
Duel #1                            
                              
POS        NUM     DRIVER LAPS      REASON OUT
1.            99           Layne Riggs         75
2.            08           Deac McCaskill    75
3.            11           Jeff Oakley          75
4.            28           Chris Hudspeth    75
5.            8a           Anthony Alfred     75
6.            81           Jared Fryar          75
7.            88           Chris Davis          75
8.            44           Justin Johnson     75
9.            74           Ronald Hill           75
10.          22           Grayson Cullather 75
11.          88b         Josh Berry           75
12.          2              Myatt Snider       75
13.          8r            Trevor Rizzo        75
14.          42           Craig Stallard       75
15.          32           Brandon Grosso   68           Accident
16.          7              Michael Hardin    67           Mechanical
17.          18s         Evan Swilling       67           Mechanical

 

 

CARS Late Model Stock Tour                          
River City QDMA Duels at Dominion presented by Virginia is for Lovers                        
Dominion Raceway – March 25, 2017                          
Duel #2                            
                              
POS        NUM     DRIVER LAPS      REASON OUT
1.            11           Jeff Oakley          76
2.            81           Jared Fryar          76
3.            99           Layne Riggs         76
4.            32           Brandon Grosso    76
5.            8a           Anthony Alfredo    76
6.            44           Justin Johnson     76
7.            22           Grayson Cullather 76
8.            28           Chris Hudspeth     76
9.            18           Evan Swilling        76
10.          88           Chris Davis           76
11.          8r            Trevor Rizzo         76
12.          08           Deac McCaskill     75           Accident
13.          7              Michael Hardin     75           Running
14.          42           Craig Stallard        70           Running
15.          74           Ronald Hill            14           Mechanical
16.          2              Myatt Snider        12           Wheel Stud
17.          88b         Josh Berry             3            Overheating

 

CARS Super Late Model Tour powered by VP Fuels                                                       
River City QDMA Duels at Dominion presented by Virginia is for Lovers                                                  
Dominion Raceway – March 25, 2017                          
Duel #1                            
                              
POS        NUM     DRIVER LAPS      REASON OUT
1.            6              Brandon Setzer    75
2.            97           Chase Purdy         75
3.            15           Christian Eckes     75
4.            81           Quin Houff            75
5.            34           Nolan Pope           75
6.            51           Cole Rouse           64           Accident
7.            16m       Chad McCumbee    64           Running
8.            37           Mike Speeney       20           Mechanical
9.            16           Lucas Jones          0            DNS

 

CARS Super Late Model Tour powered by VP Fuels                                                       
River City QDMA Duels at Dominion presented by Virginia is for Lovers                        
Dominion Raceway – March 25, 2017                          
Duel #2                            
                              
POS        NUM     DRIVER LAPS      REASON OUT
1.            6              Brandon Setzer  75
2.            97           Chase Purdy       75
3.            34           Nolan Pope         75
4.            81           Quin Houff          75
5.            37           Mike Speeney     74
6.            16m       Chad McCumbee  58           Accident
7.            15           Christian Eckes  15           Mechanical
8.            51           Cole Rouse         0            DNS
9.            16           Lucas Jones       0            DNS

Source: CARS Tour

Photo Credit: Kyle Tretow / CARS Tour

Press Release
Press Release, source information and photo credits are located at the bottom of the article.

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