Avila Wins Playoff Round 1 at New Hampshire

Johnny Avila has secured a spot in the Championship Four, winning at New Hampshire Motor Speedway. Despite starting at the rear, Avila led 63 of 125 laps, and edged Trent Ringler to the line by 0.5 seconds. The defending series champion Avila retook the lead with 11 laps remaining and never looked back. Bentley Glaser, Jesse Bunnell and Justin Gann completed the Top 5.

Duane Hunt opted to stay out on old tires with 15 laps remaining, with Avila restarting in fifth. Ultimately, the tire advantage proved decisive, and Avila only needed four laps to reclaim the lead. Unfortunately for Hunt, his gamble didn’t pay off, and contact with Justin Gann resulted in a 16th place finish.

Heavy attrition to the drivers at the playoff cutline ended up factoring into determining who advanced into the Round of 12. Ray Polking, David Camarra and Mark Jenkins each exited early after being involved in crashes. Jeff Yenisch and Ricki Williams found themselves at the end of the race battling for the final transfer spot in battered cars. Yenisch edged Williams to the line by less than a second, with his 14th place finishing position good enough to earn the final spot.

Safe to the next round were the Top 8 in points, plus Charlie Woods, Todd Cray, Patrick Desaulnier and Yenisch. The Top 3 in points–Glaser, Adam Matz and Bunnell were able to retain their free passes into future rounds.

The playoffs continue on November 21 at Iowa Speedway. Trackside E-Sports will be broadcasting live at 8:30 pm Eastern.

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