Bryan Harris wins the Digital-Ally 100
at Kansas Speedway!
Following Talledega, the Norse Force Racing League turned to a duo of mile and a half tri-ovals to set up the final two weeks of the season. With the points battle close between Output Racing and Team Rubber Ducky, the teams looked to secure a solid finish to put them within striking distance at Auto Club and Darlington in the final two weeks.
With the sun setting in Kansas City, Logan McAnally took the green flag with Justin Botelho on his outside, and the 100-lap battle at Kansas Speedway was underway. Drivers quickly found that the draft would be a key component to this race, and the patience wore off quickly, with the first caution of the race coming on lap 4, as Richard D. Thomas (#4), and Chandler Parsons (#007) got together at the start finish line. .
A lap 9 restart saw the #07 of TJ Crampton and the 69 of Katey Heydt take the green, and the cars quickly fanned out as they jockeyed for position. The bottom line seemed to be the stronger line, as the #7 machine of Bryan Harris and the #20 car of Justin Botelho quickly took charge of the race.
Lap 13 would spell doom for a multitude of cars, as contact between Crampton and the #007 of Chandler Parsons would collect a bunch of cars. Those involved in the wreck included Heydt, Josh Crane (#16), Quinn Trimmer (#77), George Balfanz Jr (#15), Logan Lansford (#42), Logan McAnally (#19), Paul Perry (#11), David Ketcham (#26), Justin Walters (#46),. Presley Gibson (#40), Richard D. Thomas (#4), Tyler Logan (#5), and Jerald West (#86).
The race would restart on lap 18 with Harris leading the field, now with only 8 cars of the 24 that had started on the lead lap. Harris and Geoff Dooley (#12) would pull away from the pack. Dooley took the lead away from Harris on a lap 38 pass, and pulled away with the lap down car of Botelho behind him. Harris would fall back and be swallowed up by a pack featuring Thomas, Jarrett DeHetre (#24), Mark Striker (#077), and Bryan Pizzichemi (#78).
Dooley would concede the lead on lap 47 as he began the cycle of green flag pit stops. The rest of the field would cycle on through with no problems, with a good majority of the lead lap getting service on laps 49 and 50. With the pit window being around 31 laps, this would set up an interesting finish should green flag conditions continue. Dooley would head back down pit road for an unscheduled stop on lap 52, conceding the lead to Josh Peake (#3).
The race would stay green until lap 56 as Dooley would get into the rear bumper of Botelho, as they battled for 10th, and both drivers would be collected by the outside retaining wall. All the lead lap cars would take this opportunity to get four fresh Goodyear Eagles on the cars, and top off of fuel, possibly trying to make it to the end.
The green flag would restart the race on lap 62, as Pizzichemi led the field to the stripe. Green flag conditions did not last long however, as one lap later, Parsons would get into the back of Botelho, sending him into the retaining wall once again, and Botelho’s night would be cut short.
Striker would stay out and lead the field back to green on lap 68. On the same lap, contact between Peake and Crampton would collect DeHetre, but the rest of the field avoids this two car incident. Striker would once again stay out, as he and his crew chief began to crunch the fuel numbers.
Striker would lead the pack to green again on lap 73. Much of the lead pack seemed to have some sort of damage by this stage in the race, and the draft managed to keep most of the leaders together, as a couple of two and three wide battles would play out. Harris would gain control of the race, fending off a couple of challenges by DeHetre and Pizzichemi. The field single-filed on out by this stage, and the duo of Harris and Pizzichemi would pull away from the rest of the field during this green flag run. Pizzichemi would continue to apply pressure on Harris, staying right on his bumper for most of this run. Pizzichemi would claim the lead on lap 93.
This race seemed to be in the bag for Pizzichemi, but a debris caution on lap 99 would put the fans back on the edge of their seats, as we would have a Green/White/Checkered finish in Kansas City.
Every lead lap car would take this opportunity to head down pit lane, and it was set up for a mad dash to the checkered flag. Crampton would elect to go with left sides only, while the rest of the field took four tires.
Crampton would lead the field to their first attempt at a GWC finish with Pizzichemi on his outside. Harris would get a big run out of 4 coming to the white flag, but Crampton would slam the door and block the run from the 7, conceding the inside. On the white flag lap, Harris would get another run, receiving a great push from Pizzichemi, and Crampton was unable to block. They would be side-by-side going into 3 and 4 and coming to the finish. Peake would dive under Crampton off of 4, and they contact each other coming to the line. The run from Harris would prove to be enough, however, as he would hang up on the high line for the win, his FIRST of the season!
By Jarrett DeHetre
Norse Force Racing eSports Writer
Jarrett is a Norse Force Racing Driver in the Valhalla Cup Series and the Official eSports Writer of NFRL.
The Norse Force Racing League Staff, Officials, and Administrators congratulate Matt Kemp on a great Win at Talledega and express our appreciation for all of the Norse Force League Members who register and participate in the Valhalla Cup weekly.