Written by Katie Dugas of Pit Pass
October 22, 2019 (KNOXVILLE, IA) – Well folks, it’s been an exciting seven weeks here at VLR as the Toughest of the Tough unloaded their trucks at some of America’s most popular dirt tracks for the Capron Screen Printing and Dirty Grass Soul Tough Truck Series. James Edens has clearly been the class of the field this season, as he comes into our final race here at Knoxville with a substantial points lead and has already locked up the Championship. With three wins in the books, folks are wondering if he can make it four tonight at the season finale.
During practice, past series winner TJ Carter would be atop the speed charts with a 22.168 lap, followed by Tyler Jackson and Devon Morgan within less than a .05 of a second difference.
We would then roll into qualifying, where Evan Seay throws down an impressive 22.568 to earn quick time, and get us lined out for two action packed heats to set the field tonight.
Heat one will be taken by Dylan Houser. Houser was followed by Evan Seay, Devon Morgan and Kevin Dedmon.
Heat two winner is third-starting Howard Weaver, followed by TJ Carter, Tyler Jackson and Dylan Thomas.
We get ready now for fifty laps here at Knoxville, twenty drivers strong in the A Main, with your pole sitter the number ten of Dylan Houser. To his outside is America’s Sweetheart, Howard Weaver in the iRacingiFlag sponsored number 07. Evan Seay starts in third alongside TJ Carter in the Team VLR machine, and Devon Morgan will round out your top five starters.
Tyler Jackson starts outside row three, leading off Dirty Grass Soul man, Kevin Dedmon, with Dylan Thomas to his outside over Baily Cardwell and Mr iRacingiFlag, Blake Brown in the #74. Birthday Boy Chris Cox starts in 11th, alongside VLR Tough Truck Series Champion James Edens, in front of the 19 of Garrett Niebruegge and the “Heilemaniac”, David Heileman in 15th. To his outside is Trevor Brownlee in the TAC3 Defense ride, with Timothy Bolander and Swindell Speedlab man, Kendal Tucker to his outside in row nine. The last two drivers to take the field are “The Gangster”, Jeremy Capron to the inside of Chadron Beem.
Well folks, Knoxville is known as the Sprint Car Capital of the World, but tonight, those boxy things have to take a back seat, as the Tough Trucks of Team VLR come to dominate the dirt.
As the pace truck ducks off into the pits Dylan Houser roars to the green flag and we are racing! Houser gets into the gas and immediately goes to the high side, while Evan Seay goes low, making a Weaver sandwich, putting the 07 truck in the middle of a three-wide battle for the lead right out of the gates! Only five laps into a 50 lap race, you’ve got to wonder why we are so aggressive already…oh that’s right, this is VLR. Gaining positions can be tough here so drivers put it all on the line lap after lap.
Houser is flirting hard with that outside wall, and must have been downing a Red Bull, because that truck got loose for a second and seemed to grow wings, leaving him spinning in front of the field after contact with Carter. The accident while running second ended up collecting a host of drivers like Evan Seay, Devon Morgan and a multitude of others with this caution on lap six.
Last week Weaver led all but the one lap that counted, falling short to Edens, and he is searching for redemption this week. As we get ready to go back to the green, Howard Weaver is still your leader on the top side, Tyler Jackson on the low side, and here comes Chris Cox moving on up. David Heileman has now moved into seventh. Davin Cardwell sits in sixth, and uh oh…the number three of Dylan Thomas sets it on spin, but makes an incredible save to prevent a caution from coming out in front of the pack.
Kevin Dedmon is now running a smooth second to Weaver after moving methodically toward the front. Heileman will slide it into sixth, leaving Cardwell fighting for his life. Weaver must be getting nervous, because Dedmon is inching closer and closer, leaving only 36 laps to go. Tyler Jackson makes a clean pass into third, and bam! Slam job by Heileman moves Jackson back a spot.
Dedmon is trying to make the bottom line work, as Weaver runs the middle to top line. Jackson throws in a slider on Dedmon and makes contact with the twelve of Heileman in the process. Edens has now snuck into 6th place after starting 12th. Garrett Niebruegge is steadily gaining positions as well.
Weaver continues to command the field with about a five car length lead over Kevin Dedmon. The caution flag is back out on lap 22, after Jackson makes slight contact with Cardwell, spinning Cardwell around. This only helps Dedmon, inching him closer to our leader, Howard Weaver. Heileman is now up to third, with Edens behind him in fourth. Niebruegge is solidly in fifth now.
Boogity Boogity Boogity, Weaver wastes no time getting on the loud pedal with Dedmon still close behind. Edens gives the bumper to Heileman for third, and just like that, the yellow is back out. From the review, it appeared the number five of TJ Carter’s motor gave him the middle finger upon restart, leaving Trevor Brownlee nowhere to go, and forcing him to load up early tonight. In the words of our broadcasters at OSRN, the season isn’t complete until we see Carter on his lid, and he didn’t let us down in the final race of the season.
Green flag is back in the air! Weaver drops low, with Dedmon closely in tow. One lap later, Heileman is now door to door with Dedmon. After an earlier caution, Evan Seay has rebounded fourth on lap thirty one. Edens has now powered into third and is side by side battling with Dedmon for second! Weaver must be eating this up, as he steady moves away from the pack. Edens will try the high side, Dedmon down low, slidejob in one and two, Dedmon with the crossover in three and four, as we go three wide with Evan Seay coming into the fold!
Lots of contact between the three, dropping Seay back to sixth. Edens moves to the inside of Dedmon, and with fourteen laps remaining, Edens will try that slider one more time. Dedmon crosses back over, putting him back in second behind Weaver. Hold on White Castle, here comes another slider, as Edens has all the momentum backing him, and is now locked in a hard battle for second, as Niebruegge and Heileman fight it out for fourth and fifth.
Ten more circuits around and it’s still all Howard Weaver. Edens is bouncing off the wall in fourth, while Dedmon falls back to third, and this changes things folks, because the caution flag is back out. Teammates Devon Morgan and Evan Seay make hard contact bringing out the yellow, and this has to be the restart of Weaver’s life if he doesn’t want it to slip away like last week. Always a bridesmaid, never a bride, as Weaver was so close to a win last week, and I can only imagine what is pit crew is saying now.
Weaver will lead us off, with none other than three time winner this season James Edens suddenly in second and charging hard. Kevin Dedmon sits in third, with Garrett Niebruegge in fourth and David Heileman in fifth. Green flag waves, and Weaver is quick on the gas. Dedmon and Edens battle side by side, and hello wall, meet Edens! This will bring out the caution and leading us into overtime after Dedmon and Edens tangle hard while battling for second. After admin review, Dedmon is given an EOL, leaving Weaver as your leader at the two lap shoot out. Niebruegge suddenly finds himself in second as he searches for his first career win at VLR but will need to fight off David Heileman to have a chance.
Let’s go racing! Weaver gets a great start, and Heileman and Niebruegge are side by side for second. Niebruegge to the bottom, Heileman to the top, and here comes the birthday boy, Chris Cox going three wide for second, as Howard Weaver rolls around to the white flag, four more left turns, and HE WILL DO IT! Howard Weaver gets redemption and parks the 07 in Victory Lane tonight at Knoxville, (and it only took a whole season to do it).
Congratulations again to Weaver for the victory, as well as Garrett Niebruegge taking home second and the Heilomaniacs must be going crazy, because David Heileman comes home third.
Huge congratulations to the series winner James Edens in the number fifty two machine with three victories, and bringing home the prize money.
I can’t tell you what a privilege it’s been getting to be a part of such an awesome series! Thanks again to all of the admins here at VLR, as well as Joe White and Tommy Rowe at OSRN for giving us an amazing broadcast week in and week out!
Keep an eye out for the Super Late Model Series starting up next Monday night!
From all of us here at Pit Pass… Thank you and Goodnight!
FULL A MAIN RESULTS:
- Howard Weaver
- Garrett Niebruegge
- David Heileman
- Dylan Thomas
- Chris Cox
- Tyler Jackson
- James Edens
- Kevin Dedmon
- Jeremy Capron
- Jonathan Lampman
- Evan Seay
- Devon Morgan
- Chadron Beem
- Dylan Houser
- TJ Carter
- Trevor Brownlee
- Timothy Bolander
- Blake Brown
- Davin Cardwell
- Kendal Tucker