Steve Yenisch Steals Championship in Final Laps

Steve Yenisch won his first ASL Elite Series championship and the Vegas 200 in one fell swoop after overtaking Todd Guess in the closing laps at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. After leader Johnny Avila ran out of gas approaching his final green flag pit stop, the door opened for Yenisch and Guess to fight for the lead over the final 44 laps.

For Avila, it was a heartbreaking ending to an incredible season. The driver of the #4 Chevrolet appeared to be in great position for the victory, however the fuel strategy miscue spoiled a several second lead, and he fell back to fourth among those on the two-stop strategy. Ultimately, the deficit was too much to overcome, and he finished third in the running order. Adam Matz and Jeff Yenisch completed the Top 5.

Bentley Glaser, the other championship contender, was not in contention at the end after gambling on a three-stop strategy. The caution Glaser needed never came out, and he was only able to muster a 7th place finish.

Guess, the self-described underdog entering the race, put on an impressive showing, leading most of the final 30 laps. Guess was in fuel savings mode and had two lap older tires, which allowed Yenisch to close the gap. After swapping the lead several times and even banging doors, Yenisch eventually pulled a small gap over Guess.

With the championship-clinching win, Steve Yenisch moved up to fourth on the all-time wins chart, with three victories. Similar to his playoff victory at Pocono, Yenisch had to overcome a deep starting spot after serving a pre-race penalty assessed after last week’s race at Nashville Fairgrounds.

After what has been described as one of the greatest races in ASL history, the Elite Series’ Spring 2021 comes to a close and will transition to the Xfinity car for the Summer 2021 season. Applications are being accepted for those interested in joining, with the first race of the new season starting on May 2.

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