Race 5 Oct 3, 2018 – OBRL Keener Farms Truck Series at Talladega Super Speedway
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It’s A Great Day For Racing
On a partly cloudy day with a calm breeze coming from the north at 2 miles per hour. The air was warm at 78 degree giving the track a temperature of 105 degrees for the trucks to run this afternoon at Talladega Superspeedway.
Talladega Superspeedway, formerly named Alabama International Motor Speedway (AIMS), is a motorsports complex located north of Talladega, Alabama. It is located on the former Anniston Air Force Base in the small city of Lincoln. A tri-oval, track constructed in 1969 by the International Speedway Corporation, a business controlled by the France Family.
The track currently hosts the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series, NASCAR Xfinity Series, and Camping World Truck Series. Talladega is the longest NASCAR oval with a length of 2.66-mile-long (4.281 km) like the Daytona International Speedway, which is 2.5-mile-long (4.0 km). At its peak, Talladega had a seating capacity of 175,000 spectators, although its current capacity is 80,000.
With a complete field of 38 eager drivers to start the day. Qualifying was fast and close, while #54 Tim Matthews, posted the fastest qualifying lap at 54.863 to gain the pool. In second, #87 Brian Glass with a time of 54.904. Then came #4 Mike Schrader in third with a qualifying time of 54.915. Next, was #44 Niels Clyde at 54.933. Finally, rounding out the top five was #23 Joshua A Robinson with the qualifying time of 54.937. Only 0.074 separated the top five for the start of this race.
As the green flags prepared to fly and the drivers getting up on their wheels ready to start. The field comes to the checkered line tight and to the green flag 2×2 ready to battle it out on this superspeedway. Anticipation mounts as the pace car slides off into the pits to let the drivers take the lead.
At the drop of the green flag the entire field heads into turn one getting up to speed and all together in unison through turns one and two to head down the backstretch for the first time at race speed. The field seems to be showing patience throughout the field. On the front stretch #91 Kenneth Schulz has to slow and #16 Tony “Cyber” Romack gets into the back of him sending him low to catch the truck. Both drivers go on, as both were able to control their trucks at this high speed.
Lap 1 through 6 seems that both lines are equally fast as the top or bottom line is not getting away from one another. At a lap 6 we do see some action as #42 Ed Adams has to lift the throttle and #155 Mike May evades to the middle lane making contact with #00 Bill “Pops” Keener sending #00 Bill “Pops” Keener to the high side trying to gather up his truck before he hits the outside wall. #00 Bill “Pops” Keener does a great job keeping it off the outside wall and fights back as the #155 Mike May is stuck between the #42 Ed Adams and #00 of Bill “Pops” Keener.
Coming out of turn 2 #00 Bill “Pops” Keener comes down on #155 Mike May making contact with his door and #00 Bill “Pops” Keener as both now head into the outside wall off turn 2.
The #00 Bill “Pops” Keener comes off the wall and across the track right in front of #67 Steve “Mule” Thomson and #11 Thomas Ogle but T-bones the #148 Roger Craig then collects #91 Kenneth Schulz. All cars get going so no caution as the race progresses in front of them.
At lap 9 the #42 Ed Adams bump drafts the #8 Robert Smith a little too hard and sends him up the track trying to gather up the truck. The #8 Robert Smith and the #42 Ed Adams get back into line and make a charge to stay with the field. Lap 10 in position 20 and out of the draft of the rest of the field #67 Steve “Mule” Thomson gets on the mic and asks his spotters to coordinate a single file line to catch the main pack after losing momentum on lap 6. #67 Steve “Mule” Thomson: “If we get in line guys we got a chance of catching them. We don’t got a chance going side by side.”
On lap 12 the pack is catching the cars involved in the altercation at lap 6 as the train is about to take #91 Kenneth Schulz in turn 3. #91 Kenneth Schulz now a lap down gets in line with the front pack and continues forward waiting for pit stops to get back into this race. Lap 13 #148 Roger Craig is the next truck overtaken by the field on the front stretch. #148 Roger Craig is too damaged to hang on to the field as the blow by and separate themselves before the end of turn 2, leaving #148 Roger Craig all alone. Lap 18 #56 Mike Watts on the backstretch, is being be overtaken by the field and getting ready to go two laps down. Lap 1 to lap 21 nothing has changed as now the radio is full of deals being made and drivers are planning pit stops together to come out as a team and continue their drive to the finish of the race.
Positions 1 through 12 all pit on lap 21. During this pit stop sequence #87 Brian Glass in position 1 entering the pits over shoots his pit stall. Needing to backup loosing valuable time and sure to delay his exit with the rest of the field.
Lap 24 seems to shake out the field and only the top 5 are together in a pack running green flag laps collecting stragglers as the go. Some friends are on the radios trying to form up and get a move on together to track down the leaders. #157 Steve McKlin yells out “KoKo we’re coming” as #3 Peter “KoKo Puffs” KopKo is stranded an alone in front of #157 Steve McKlin and #142 Ken Aaland. We seem to have several packs running down the leaders throughout the race surface from the from straight away to turn 4.
Lap 26 the top 5 are caught by positions 6 through 11 with several lapped cars in between them. Positions 12 through 15 are mounting a charge to gain ground on this pack leading the race. Lap 30 #11 Thomas Ogle in position 13, seems to get a run down the back straight on #88 Gary Corbett. #11 Thomas Ogle pokes out of line going into turn 3 where he is hung out to dry and returns to follow the pack in position 15 losing 3 total spots as there was a a car a lap down in the pack. Position 1 through 8 get a little racy on the back stretch and go three wide into turn 3 a battle that will be fought all the way through turns one and two as well.
Positions 8 through 12 are staying in line trying to catch the pack in front as well as positions 18 through 24 in their own pack following by about a front stretch by positions 25 through 27. The rest of the field is staggered throughout these 3 packs. Lap 36 the lead pack is starting to reel in the stragglers as well as the lapped car pack in front of them. Down the front stretch the front runners gobble up the 4 pack of lapped cars. Lap 39 the radio starts with Pitting and cars coming in for green flag stops for gas and tires.
Lap 40 brings 2 packs together as the drivers go three wide going into turn 1. This late in the race we expect that drivers will begin to get up on the wheel. As the field passes, the pit exit drivers are blending in on lap 40 and 41.
Lap 42 #15 Christopher Monroe position 7 comes into the pits and comes in too hot. Locks up the brakes and slides it sideways spinning off pit road. Pitting continues from other drivers from lap 40 through 45.
Lap 45 #4 Mike Schrader and #40 Joel Kilburn hooked up and in line are taking on the field. Going in to turn two they see the number 1 position #44 Niels “Koni” Clyde exiting the pits as they blow by and continue to lead down the backstretch.
Lap 46 as pit stops iron out we find #4 Mike Schrader in position 1 with #40 Joel Kilburn in 2nd Single file working together. Not far behind is #42 Ed Adams in 3rd, #75 Don Phelps in 4th, and rounding out the top 5 is #156 Zack Calloway working together with #58 Michael Everhart (Lapped truck) working together to catch the leaders. Lap the second pack lead by #42 Ed Adams catches #40 Joel Kilburn and #4 Mike Schrader going into turn 4. Now one pack, positions 1 through 6 with the 2 lapped trucks of #154 Adam Disselkamp and #77 Vernon Margheim mixed in. head into turn one jockeying for position.
The pack formed behind being led by #67 Dwayne McArthur is trying to rundown the lead pack only 2 turns behind pushing hard to make up some ground. Lap 53 with only 7 to go the lead pack is coming up on a pack of lapped trucks doublewide and trying to stay ahead of the pack. This is going to be interesting because from the exit of turn 2 to the exit of turn 4 all packs are converging on each other. Each pack picking up stragglers along the way forming bigger and faster groups. Lap 55 in positions 16 through 22 led by #3 Peter KopKo is fast closing the gap to the pack in front for position 15 and 14 with a lapped car in between. Eager to get to the front #78 Charles Idell pushes #3 Peter KopKo down the back straight.
Lap 56 #3 Peter KopKo catches #18 Dan Berghoff on the front stretch as he moves to the middle of the track pinning the faster line down as they all have to check up. Now positions 14 through position 22 are one big pack. 3 wide going into turn 1.
On lap 58, as the faster pack merges with the slower down the front stretch and across the start/finish line, seeing the white flag. Headed into turn one is going to be interesting as we have ourselves a shootout with leaders and lapped cars with nowhere to go. Going into turn 1, 3 wide with 1 lap to go. #42 Ed Adams tries to squeeze it in between #75 Don Phelps and #23 Joshua A Robinson who is straddling the yellow line trying to give room. #42 Ed Adams makes contact with #75 Don Phelps and is turned sideways with trucks all around.
Four trucks in total collected in that wreck as the yellow flag waves and the race ends under caution. However, what a battle and what a race. Congratulations to the top 3 with #4 Mike Schrader finishing 3rd, #44 Niels Clyde finishing 2nd, and #156 Zack Calloway taking home the win.
Special thanks to “Keener Farms” for being the main sponsoring of the OBRL 2018 Truck Series
Next week Oct 6, 2018 Race 6 – the OBRL Keener Farms Truck Series heads to Kansas Speedway for another exciting truck series event. At Kansas we expect some bumper-to-bumper, door banging action with possible high emotions.
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Pete “KoKo Puffs” KopKo #3