We set the over/under on cautions at 7.5 and the over hit. 9 cautions waived for 45 laps and when the carnage settled it was Jeff Green taking his first checkered flag of the season. Green, the only car that had no contact all night, used his damage free car and fresh tires to go from 8th to 1st in six laps and score the victory.
Qualifying great Gerald Campbell scored his 3rd straight pole position, the only driver to run a sub 14.9 second lap time. Short track phenom Blaine Akin once again led the most laps leading 58 of 150 laps. As the stout competition dropped back one by one, Green was able to complete a relatively mistake free race.
The race was split into three different segments so to speak with Akin leading the first 58 lap portion that included 5 cautions. Akin lost control of his car shortly after this and was retired from the race. Tyler Riggs grabbed the lead for 50 of the next 61 laps until he was passed by Bo Brady with 31 to go. Brady went on to lead the next 30 laps and looked to have the win secure. Both Riggs and Green had differing pit strategies and an extra set of tires in the pits when the 9th and final caution waived on Lap 139.
It still looked like Brady’s race to lose with Riggs and Green starting 8th and 9th respectively with 6 laps remaining. Bristol being a short track with 15 second lap times would be tough to make up 7 spots in 6 laps. Green was able to take the disadvantaged bottom line on new tires work and get to 4th coming to the white flag. Riggs made contact with Dallas Myhand as the white flag flew, causing a pileup into turn 1 that decimated the middle of the field. Up front, Brady was doing all he could to keep Kyle Johnson and John Weitendorf behind him.
Brady entered Turn 1 on the final lap a groove down from the top and got a slight tap from Johnson. The contact sent him up the track, into the bumper of Weitendorf that had the run and a nose to the outside of Brady. The checkup parted the seas for Green on the bottom as he rocketed to the lead into Turn 3. Brady was still trying to gather the car back up as he entered Turn 3 on the bottom and once again slid up into the bumper of Weitendorf. This time Brady went sliding through the final corner and Johnson got into the corner of Weitendorf sending him spinning. Johnson was able to power down the inside to finish second and Jake Hounshell snuck through to round out the top 3.
Every driver had their own set of issues to overcome this race but a few top 5 drivers put together especially inspired runs. Johnson was able to overcome no qualifying lap for the second week in a row to finish runner up to Green. Hounshell was able to avoid a second week of disaster but it wasn’t without trouble. He was involved in multiple wrecks and trucked a torn up race car around the track for a majority of the race. He was able to save a set of tires for the end and that came through big time, as he went from 6th to 3rd on the final lap. Seth Harrelson was sideways and wrecked a handful of times but kept it straight when it mattered to finish 4th. Finally, Myhand was seemingly destroyed in the first caution but continued to claw his way back for a 5th place finish.
In Gerald Campbell terms he had a bad day (9th) but still retained the points lead leaving Bristol. His finish allowed Weitendorf, Myhand, and Hounshell to close the gap. Blaine Akin’s tough night dropped him from 3rd to 5th in the standings. Jeff Green moved up 4 spots to 5th with the win. Kyle Johnson entered the top 10 with his runner up finish. Full top 10 standings can be seen below.
Next week the G-Force Grand National Series powered by the JuiceBox Podcast will visit Las Vegas for 100 laps of racing under the lights. The points are the tightest they’ve been since Week 1. Campbell is due for a win and looks to extend his points lead, with the rest of the top 7 within spitting distance. Catch qualifying and the race on Flatout Racing Netowrk on YouTube at 9 pm Tuesday December 1st.
Standings entering Las Vegas