Late tangle helps K-Rob find Eldora's victory lane
ROSSBURG, Ohio (July 23) — Capitalizing on a late wreck among the leaders, Kent Robinson of Bloomington, Ind., won the first of two Dirt Late Model events Tuesday during Eldora Speedway’s CarCash MudSummer Classic. Robinson’s 25-lap victory in the invitation-only event came during practice night for the Tony Stewart-owned oval’s first NASCAR Camping World Truck Series event. | Video
Robinson started on the pole and slipped back as far as fourth, but he led the final four laps after a late-race tangle triggered by Joey Coulter’s turn-three spin.
Jeep Van Wormer of Pinconning, Mich., came from his seventh starting spot to finish second while Tyler Reddick of Corning, Calif., was third. Duane Chamberlain of Richmond, Ind., and ninth-starting Jeff Babcock of Wayne, Ohio, rounded out the top five.
Robinson got the jump at the outset but outside front-row starter Jacob Hawkins of Fairmont, W.Va., quickly got rolling on the high side to take command on the second lap.
With Hawkins in control early, Matt Miller of Whitehouse, Ohio, moved into second with Van Wormer and Robinson in pursuit.
Miller briefly got by Hawkins on the 11th lap, but Hawkins made a crossover move exiting turn two to go back ahead as the frontrunners battled through traffic through the halfway point.
Miller dove under Hawkins on lap 19 to take control with Hawkins hot on his heels in a flurry of traffic along with Van Wormer as Robinson fell a half-track behind.
Miller had a half-length lead at the stripe on lap 21, but just after Hawkins took the lead, the frontrunners came upon Coulter’s spun machine with several cars taking evasive action. Hawkins got a piece of a slower car trying to get by on the high side while Miller got sideways, backed into the turn-three wall and was rear-ended by a slower car before sliding down the banking.
Van Wormer was caught up in the contact, but he was able to steer through and inherited the lead for the restart. But with Van Wormer choosing the high side for the double-wide restart, Robinson was suddenly back up front for a pole start. He took control on the restart and pulled away for the victory.
The same 20 competitors will battle in another 25-lapper Wednesday night on a program featuring NASCAR's first major dirt event since 1970.
CarCash Mudsummer Classic: (1) Kent Robinson, (2) Jeep Van Wormer, (3) Tyler Reddick, (4) Duane Chamberlain, (5) Jeff Babcock, (6) Dale McDowell, (7) Jon Henry, (8) Mike Spatola, (9) Matt Miller, (10) Brian Ruhlman, (11) Dusty Moore, (12) Joey Coulter, (13) Brandon Thirlby, (14) Justin Chance, (15) Frank Heckenast Jr., (16) Ryan Sutter, (17) Jacob Hawkins, (18) Jason Jameson, (19) Andrew Reaume, (20) Jerry Bowersock. Fast qualifier (among 20 cars): McDowell, 18.809 seconds.