Avila Holds Off Teammate Waters for Playoff Win at Dover

Johnny Avila took advantage of a clever pit strategy call to solidify the lead on new tires, and held off AW Motorsports teammate Hunter Waters for the victory at Dover International Speedway. For Avila, it was his third win of the season, which also earned a berth in the season finale championship race at Las Vegas.

Avila’s chances looked to be at risk early in the race, as he decided to stay out on old tires after a caution flew after 20 laps. He ended up falling to the back as a result, but a timely caution allowed him to put on his first set of tires while most of the rest of the field stayed out. Avila managed to seize the lead near the halfway point and never looked back from that point on.

The Yenisch Bros. Racing duo of Jeff and Steve Yenisch finished third and fourth, respectively, with playoff outsider Jesse Bunnell putting in a nice run in fifth. For Steve Yenisch, the fourth place finish was remarkable, considering a mishap on the pace lap looked to take the polesitter out of contention early. Steve Yenisch downshifted prior to the initial race start and spun into the outside wall, significantly damaging his Toyota. After some lengthy repairs, he was able to make up track position and was among the leaders at the end of the event.

Early crashes took out several playoff contenders early, with Joshua Sarif and Adam Matz falling back on their earned free passes to advance to the next round. Jeff Hollingsworth, Trent Ringler, Duane Hunt and Todd Cray were eliminated from the playoff bracket, as each finished in the back half of the field.

Twelve playoff drivers remain in playoff contention as the Elite Series heads to Round 2 at Pocono Raceway. Catch all the action live on Trackside Racing Network on Sunday, April 11 at 8:30 pm Eastern.

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