Brian Tyler, of Mount Pleasant, NC, won tonight's USAC National Sprint Car Series, 60 lap, "Showdown at Sundown" following a lengthy rain delay at Richmond International Raceway. Tyler would hold off his determined Keith Kunz Motorsports colleague by 0.257sec. "As the track got slicker, my car got freed up and went quicker," said Tyler, as he collected his 15th career National Sprint Car Series win.
In the first segment of the race, Bobby Santos III, in the #98 Santos Motorsports car, put on a pavement driving clinic. Starting in the 10th position, Santos III, made his way, methodically, to the front. Dave Steele, who started on pole, led most of the opening half of the race, until he was over taken by the flying Santos.
Following the competition yellow after 31 laps, Santos III continued to set the pace out front. Behind him raged a battle among sets of teammates. Dave Darland moved up from his 9th place starting position to challenge Dave Steele for second. Brian Tyler and Michael Lewis then got into the mix, passing the two Walker-Guiducci Racing team mates. On lap 50 Tyler, in the #67k machine, passed Santos for the lead, with Santos falling all the way to 16th with engine failure.
Josh Wise, who finished 11th tonight, continues to lead the season point standings ahead of Levi Jones (6th) and Mat Neely (10th).
1. Dave Steele, 11, Walker/Guiducci-19.870; 2. Jay Drake, 62, BWB-19.903; 3. Levi Jones, 21, Stewart-19.920; 4. Darren Hagen, 71, Hagen-19.925; 5. Tracy Hines, 69, Dynamics-19.951; 6. Ron Gregory, 23, Irvin-19.969; 7. Brian Tyler, 67k, Kunz-19.996; 8. Michael Lewis, 67, Kunz-20.000; 9. Dave Darland, 11D, Walker/Guiducci-20.098; 10. Bobby Santos III, 98s, Santos-20.198; 11. Marc Jessup, 14J, Jessup-20.221; 12. John Scott, 83, Scott-20.224; 13. Mike Murgoitio, 80, Hamilton-20.262; 14. Josh Wise, 20, Stewart-20.321; 15. Tom Hessert, 5H, Hessert-20.346; 16. Mat Neely, 6, Neely-20.386; 17. Bud Kaeding, 2B, 2B Racing-20.473; 18. Daron Clayton, 92, Clayton-20.548; 19. Lee Boss, 8B, Boss-20.617; 20. Mario Marietta, 37, Marietta-20.752; 21. Brady Short, 36, Short-20.771; 22. Bret Sanderson, 66, Sanderson-20.954; 23. Rex Norris III, 63, Norris-20.959; 24. Cody Veenstra, 04, Veenstra-21.080.
(60 laps) 1. Brian Tyler, 2. Michael Lewis, 3. Dave Darland, 4. Marc Jessup, 5. Tracy Hines, 6. Levi Jones, 7. Dave Steele, 8. Tom Hessert III, 9. Daron Clayton, 10. Mat Neely, 11. Josh Wise, 12. Lee Boss, 13. Cody Veenstra, 14. Darren Hagen, 15. Jay Drake, 16. Bobby Santos III, 17. Mario Marietta, 18. Mike Murgoitio, 19. Brady Short, 20. Rex Norris III, 21. John Scott, 22. Bud Kaeding, 23. Bret Sanderson, 24. Ron Gregory. NT
FEATURE LAP LEADERS:
Laps 1-23 Steele, Laps 24-49 Santos, Laps 50-60 Tyler.