Johnny Avila made use of an unconventional line, using the entire racetrack including the apron to pull away from the field at New Hampshire. It was Avila’s second career win at New Hampshire, and he now has a guaranteed spot in the Round of 8 as a result.
The only serious challenge to Avila was Joseph McWhorter, who finished second to Avila in the opening stage and kept up with Avila during the early laps of the second stage. However, Avila’s mastery of the low line and downshifting allowed him to pull away for a 7 second victory.
The race was slowed only by two cautions, only one of which was due to a wreck. However, the Lap 1 incident involving McWhorter, Jesse Bunnell and Justin Gann. The wreck had major playoff implications, as Todd Cray, Tyler Saville and Jerry Cochran III received significant damage, putting them in a hole in the playoff standings.
Finishing behind Avila and McWhorter were Adam Matz, Bentley Glaser and Steve Yenisch to round out the Top 5. Next week the Elite Series visits Talladega Superspeedway for Race 2 of the Round of 12. As always, WFO Racing Network will be carrying the race live on YouTube.
Jesse Bunnell grabbed his second win of the Spring 2023 season, edging Jeff Yenisch at Kansas Speedway. The win is Bunnell’s seventh career victory and marks the second multi-win season of his career.
Bunnell was the dominant car for most of the race, pulling out to a comfortable margin to win the opening stage, and built a solid lead during the following green flag run. A caution with 50 laps remaining bunched the field back up, allowing Richard Holland and Yenisch to challenge in the closing stages of the race.
Holland and Yenisch managed to pass Bunnell and lead six and eight laps, respectively, however they each ceded the lead back to Bunnell, who never looked back from that point on. Behind Bunnell, Yenisch and Holland in the running order were Tyler Saville and Johnny Avila.
Saville’s solid finish put him into a tie for the regular season points lead with Bentley Glaser, whose string of poor luck left him vulnerable for the season championship. Fortunately for Glaser, he held the tiebreaker over Saville for best finish and will claim the coveted 10 playoff points.
At the cutoff, Adam Matz ended the night four points back from the final transfer, Jerry Cochran III. Hunter Waters and Jason Day also did enough to preserve their spots in the playoff grid.
The playoff grid is now set and Round 1 kicks off Sunday, March 19 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway!
The Spring 2023 playoff grid will be locked in tonight at Kansas Speedway, and there is a tight battle at the cutoff line.
Bentley Glaser currently is the points leader has clinched based on points. Race winners Steve Yenisch, Johnny Avila, Joseph McWhorter, Todd Cray and Jesse Bunnell are also clinched.
That leaves six remaining spots. Tyler Saville, Justin Gann and Jeff Yenisch are likely safe with a decent showing at Kansas. Jason Day and Hunter Waters need good runs to feel comfortable.
That leaves the very tight battle between Jerry Cochran III and Adam Matz for the last spot. Cochran currently has a three point advantage over Matz, but over a dozen other drivers below them in points can leapfrog them for the final spot with a win!
WFO Racing Network will be live tonight at 8:15 pm with the Kansas 200!