The Late Models:
Only 13 late models showed up. Chris Fontaine assumed the lead fairly early and held it. But the real drama was Mike Franklin.
Returning after an 8 year hiatus, Mike reports that he is in fine equipment and they “have everything they need to win”. That includes the driver. If anything, he looks a little too aggressive on the track–much like a 20 year old–but hey, that is what you want behind the wheel.
Mike discovered yet another twist to the restarts at Showtime. One cannot pass on the bottom before the start/finish line is passed. This earned him a surprise trip to the rear of the field, and he spent 80 laps or so chasing down Fontaine as he raced through the field and caught him under green.
But, by then, his back tires were pretty much used up and he could do nothing with Fontaine.
As mentioned, there were about 13 late models. Yoho indicated that Auburndale “scheduled over top of him”. The field was good, but not of the caliber I have seen previously.
Were the real story of the evening and there was wheel to wheel action every lap. Becca Monopoli was stuffed into the backstretch wall early by eventual 2nd place finisher Cory Bigley. Perhaps it was an accident, but it was a hard hit and blew both front fenders mostly off the truck and damaged the front facade as well. But, unlike Danica, she kept both feet on the pedals and her hands on the wheel and found she still had a decent piece.
Eventually there was another big pileup not of her making and she was again involved with 3 or more trucks and the wall, with the RF visibly toed out.
Nonetheless, the lineup put her in front and she was able to hold off C Bigley for a very popular win.
Was stereotypical Yoho. Among other antics, he asked a 15 year old racer on the mic if he was “doing his homework on the cautions”, threatened to throw a fan out of the joint for using foul language, and kicked a portion of Becca’s fender off the truck and perfectly (and safely) tossed it over the fence to the spectators!
The Wrap Up:
Another great evening at the races. The events were run off more quickly that at the Eddie Brann race.