Matz Steals Season Opener at Daytona

Adam Matz found himself in familiar territory at Daytona, winning the season opener for the second consecutive season. Matz only led the final lap, and pulled off a daring last-lap pass off Turn 4 to steal the victory from Levi Poland, who led a race high 26 laps.

Early on, AW Motorsports teammates Johnny Avila and Hunter Waters controlled the race, however, pit road speeding penalties during the first green flag pit cycle cost them and third place driver Jeff Yenisch dearly, shuffling them out of the lead pack leading to the stage break, as they had to pit to serve the penalties.

At the halfway break, Patrick Desaulnier scored his first career stage victory, passing Josh Connors on the white flag lap. Michael Trevarthen, David Camarra and Stephen LouAllen completed the Top 5 at the stage break.

In the second half of the race, Jeff Hollingsworth gambled on fuel strategy and led 15 laps before his longer refueling stop under caution shuffled him out of the lead, and he ended up finishing fourth. Levi Poland assumed the lead from Hollingsworth in the closing stages, and was in position for the win prior to Matz’ final lap pass.

Mark Jenkins ended up finishing second after making contact with the third place finishing Poland approaching the checkered flag. Hunter Waters recovered from his pit road miscue and followed Hollingsworth to complete the Top 5 running order.

It was a rough night for several championship favorites. The defending champion Avila struggled to get back into contention after his speeding penalty, and crashed after the stage break. Trent Ringler also crashed out after tangling with Todd Guess late in the race. Summer 2021 champion Steve Yenisch was unable to make the race and will be digging out of a big points hole.

The ASL Elite Series heads to Kentucky Speedway for a week 2 showdown under the lights. Tune in to Trackside E-Sports on Sunday, Sept. 19 at 8:30 pm Eastern to catch all the action live.

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