Steve Yenisch Wins at Phoenix for Second Elite Series Championship

Steve Yenisch pulled away late for a record seventh win of the season, and in the process won his second ASL Elite Series championship at Phoenix Raceway.

Yenisch overcame several stumbles throughout the race, including putting down the second slowest qualifying lap of the field. He also dodged a couple wrecks on restarts and overcame a pit road miscue where his crew didn’t fuel him enough to complete the race. Fortunately for him, late cautions bailed him out and he was able to take control of the race late.

Adam Matz was agressive on strategy, burning a set of tires during the opening stage, which allowed him to gain track position over the rest of the Championship contenders. Ultimately, there were too many yellow flags in the closing laps, and he ran out of tires when the other contenders had a set remaining. Matz faded to an eighth place finish, despite leading a race-high 72 laps and having the pace to contend for the win if the strategy played out in his favor.

Johnny Avila led 30 laps, but steering issues with his Ford Mustang took him out of the running, and he finished 26 laps down. It was a disappointing end to Avila’s quest to win his third championship, after overcoming a challenging start to the season and coming on strong and winning two races in the playoffs.

Hunter Waters was the championship contender who was in position to challenge Steve late for the win, but his tires didn’t hold out during the final 30 lap run, and he fell back over five seconds behind and finished third. Despite the finish, it was an incredible season for Waters, as he won a personal best two races this season and a career high second place finish in the points standings.

In the running order, Jeff Yenisch finished second after passing Waters in the closing laps. Todd Cray finished fourth and claimed the Dash for Cash Bonus, with last week’s bonus winner Ray Polking finishing fifth.

In all, it was an incredible sixth season of competition for the ASL Elite Series, and its drivers will recharge before starting up the next season on January 1 in the Xfinity Series cars. During the offseason, the ASL Clash at Daytona exhibition race will take place on December 11 with the 1987-era Winston Cup Series cars featured on the high banks of Daytona.

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