Wild Finish Earns second season victory for Rogers in Super Late Models
The Pro All Stars Series (PASS) South Super Late Models headed to Ace Speedway in Altamahaw, North Carolina, on Saturday, September 3rd, for the “Labor Day Classic 150” event, the 11th race of the 2011 season. After multiple leaders and a wild conclusion, Clay Rogers went to victory lane, earning his second-career PASS South Super Late Model Series victory, his second win in a row.
A total of 21 Super Late Model racers headed into qualifying, looking to take top honors during the two-lap session, but it was a familiar name on top of the charts as Andy Loden set yet another track record with a 14.910-second lap.
“We had the track record here and Ryan (Blaney) ended up taking it earlier this year,” said Loden. “We wanted to try to get that back because I really like Ace Speedway and coming here. It feels good. We have a really good car.”
Blaney timed in second, followed by Steven Legendre, Jay Fogleman, Rogers, Preston Peltier, Jody Lavender, Corey Williams, Gray Gaulding and Jimmy Weller. After the redraw, Gaulding and Peltier would start on the front row, followed by Lavender, Rogers, Blaney, Legendre, Williams, Weller, Fogleman and Loden.
When the field got the green flag, Gaulding took the lead going into turn one, but by the time they got back around to the stripe to complete the first lap, Peltier worked his way in front of Gaulding to lead. Rogers also moved his way around Gaulding in the first few laps, and then worked over Peltier, taking the lead at lap four.
The first yellow flew at lap five for an incident in turn one between Weller and Williams. Weller was able to drive off, but Williams needed to be towed off the track. At the yellow, Rogers led Peltier, Gaulding, Lavender and Blaney.
Rogers and Peltier led the field back to the green with Rogers holding on to the top spot. Lavender was able to get to the third position, and a few laps later, got to the second position around Peltier. At lap 11, Lavender went to the lead around Rogers, and a lap later (lap 12) the caution flew for an incident between Legendre and Loden in turn two. Legendre was sent to the rear of the field for rough driving. At the yellow, Lavender, Rogers, Peltier, Gaulding and Blaney were the top five.
The green flew once again with Lavender holding the top spot over Rogers as Gaulding worked his way to third. Meanwhile, Peltier and Blaney battled hard for the fourth spot with Blaney taking the position at lap 20. Fogleman was also able to make it around Peltier, and then 10 laps later, Blaney moved around Gaulding, bringing Fogleman with him as the two occupied the third and fourth positions. James was also able to work his way around Gaulding, putting himself in fifth before lap 40.
At lap 50, Lavender still led Rogers, Blaney, Fogleman and James. Meanwhile, early leader Gaulding had dropped back in the pack and Peltier had to make an unscheduled stop, knocking him off the lead lap.
At lap 58, Rogers was able to retake the lead, dropping Lavender back to second. Blaney ran third at the time, but lost the position to Fogleman, who had James on his tail, which put Blaney back to fifth.
As Lavender retook the lead from Rogers at lap 73, the caution flew for Weller and Legendre coming together in turn one. At the yellow, Lavender was scored as the leader ahead of Rogers, Fogleman, James and Blaney.
On the restart, Rogers was able to get the jump and the lead. Meanwhile, Fogleman worked his way to second, putting Lavender back to third. At lap 79, Fogleman moved his machine to the top spot, opening the door for Lavender to move to second around Rogers. James and Blaney still ran in the fourth and fifth positions.
The fourth yellow flew at lap 95 for a couple cars coming together off turn two, but everyone was able to continue. Fogleman, Lavender, Rogers, James and Blaney were the top five at the yellow.
Fogleman was able to hold the top spot on the restart, but Rogers made a move on Lavender, taking the second position. Blaney was able to get to fourth, moving James to fifth.
The yellow flew for the fifth time at lap 103 after contact between Anderson and Cling sent Cling into the inside wall coming off turn four. Fogleman, Rogers, Lavender, Blaney and James were the top five at the caution.
For a handful of laps after the green, Fogleman and Rogers battled side by side, swapping positions, racing hard for the lead. Rogers was able to finally get ahead of Fogleman, stretching out to a few car-length lead. Blaney also asserted himself on the track, moving to the third position with Lavender fourth and James fifth.
The yellow flew at lap 135 as Floars appeared to have a mechanical issue with his car, stopping on the back stretch, then again at lap 138 and lap 139 for spins by Anderson after contact with other cars. Rogers, Fogleman, Blaney, Lavender and Legendre were the top five at the latest yellow.
On the following restart, Fogleman was able to get the jump, taking the lead from Rogers, heading into the final scheduled laps of the race. As Fogleman and Rogers entered turn three on their way to the white flag, Keith Oliver, who was a lapped car, drifted up the track, spinning Fogleman and causing a wreck that also damaged Rogers, James and a few other top-running cars. Fogleman was able to get his car righted, but would have to restart at the back of the pack. While Oliver was sent off the track for the incident, Rogers still held the lead with a lot of front end damage. Blaney, Lavender, McCaskill and Hindman rounded out the top five.
On the restart, Rogers and Blaney battled hard for the top spot, but just as they crossed the stripe for the white flag, a multi-car incident occurred coming off turn four involving Hindman, Anderson, Fogleman and Legendre, bringing out the yellow once again. Rogers, Lavender, Blaney, McCaskill and Cling were the top five for the final restart.
Rogers took the green flag and was able to hold on to the top spot. Despite an incident in turn one on the white flag lap behind him, damaging Fogleman and Cling’s cars, Rogers was able to come back around to take the checkered flag, earning his second win in a row this season.
“First of all, I have to say what happened to Jay Fogleman there was terrible,” said Rogers. “We wanted to race Jay to win. I felt like we could roll the center a little bit better than Jay, but he had John Force down the straightaway there. But I hate to see him get his car tore up on the last lap like that.
“That brought a couple guys into the fight for the win. Our nose was tore up and our toe was knocked out. You have to do everything you can do at that point to win.”
While he was the one celebrating in victory lane, Rogers had to thank his fellow racers for helping him understand how to race at Ace Speedway.
“Jay Fogleman and Jody Lavender, those guys know how to get around here,” explained Rogers. “I’ve learned a lot by watching them race previously and again here tonight.
“All in all I think it was an awesome show with Jody, Jay and I and a couple others during the race. I hope everybody enjoyed that show.”
Blaney, who entered the race second in points to Fogleman, was happy to have a decent finish while Fogleman finished outside the top five.
“That was unfortunate what happened to Jay there,” said Blaney. “He had the faster car two races in a row and he had bad luck. We ran decent though. We might have had something for Clay there at the end, but we will never know. It was good racing, and congratulations to them.”
Lavender was able to hang in there at the end of the event, finishing third.
“We just couldn’t keep brakes on it,” said Lavender. “When we were out front, even though I was just trying to ride, we would lose the brake pedal. I really would have liked to see what we would have been able to do if we kept the brakes on it. Congratulations to Clay and Robert Hamke. It was a blast racing all these guys.”
McCaskill and Anderson rounded out the top five.
The PASS South Super Late Model Series will be back in action at Hickory Motor Speedway (NC) on Saturday, October 29th. For more information on the Pro All Stars Series, go to www.proallstarsseries.com.
Unofficial Results: “The Labor Day Classic 150”
1st #74 Clay Rogers
2nd #10 Ryan Blaney
3rd #115 Jody Lavender
4th #18 Bradley McCaskill
5th #19 Jordan Anderson
6th #20 Steve Legendre
7th #4 Jay Fogleman
8th #29L Landon Cling
9th #91 Heath Hindman
10th #8 Colt James
11th #29 Andy Loden
12th #180 Keith Oliver
13th #23 Jimmy Weller
14th #55 Kevin Floars
15th #71 Jimmy Doyle
16th #2 Gray Gaulding
17th #26 Preston Peltier
18th #16 Hal Goodson
19th #51 Rebecca Kasten
20th #83 Cale Gale
21st #98 Corey Williams