In one of the most intense races in Elite Series history, a couple drivers found glory for the first times in their ASL careers.
Duane Hunt didn’t lead any laps during the season finale, and is still looking for his first race win in the Elite Series, however he found himself with the ultimate prize at the end of the race, with a solid third place finish. Hunt found success by using the same formula that has brought him success all season—hanging around at the front and maximizing what the race circumstances allow. Thanks in part to a push from Steve Yenisch in the closing laps, Hunt edged out Johnny Avila for the championship.
At the front, a couple drivers looking for their first career wins battled it out in the closing laps for the race win. Tyler Saville led a race high 59 laps and held off a hard-charging Jeff Yenisch to take the checkered flag. Yenisch managed to pull alongside Saville in Turn 3 on the final lap, but Saville had the preferred line and held on for the win by 0.165 second.
Avila came very close to claiming his second series championship, but ultimately didn’t have valuable draft help at the end to stay ahead of Hunt. He led 41 laps and was closing in on the race lead late before his tires faded due to extensive side-by-side battles.
Adam Matz was also in the mix much of the race, but lost touch with the lead draft and finished 5 seconds back of the leaders. The caution Matz needed to get back into contention unfortunately never came.
The fourth championship contender, Bentley Glaser, was caught up in an incident on the first lap with David Camarra, and was off the pace the entire night. It was a sour ending for what was otherwise an outstanding season that saw Glaser collect a record six victories.
The Elite Series will take a much-needed breather for the holidays before action resumes on January 2 with the ASL Clash at Daytona. Recruitment for 2022 is now open and interested drivers are welcome to apply at the new drivers’ information page.