Written By Katie Dugas of Pit Pass
ROSSBURG, OH (August 1, 2019) – An exciting night of action was on tap for a packed crowd at the virtual Eldora Speedway in Rossburg, OH tonight, as the top UMP Modified racers in iRacing took to the high-banked 1/2 mile track to do battle.
Howard Weaver qualifies on the pole and wins heat race 1. He will be followed by Hayden Cardwell, DJ Kilanowski, Blake Matjoulis, and JD Brown to round out the top five starters in the A Main.
As the green flag will lead us off for thirty five ground-pounding laps, Weaver will get a great start, but so will Cardwell, when he drops low to pull a slider out of turn one. Meanwhile, around the tenth position, the #127 of Matjoulis will set up a parking lot on the track after getting contact from Blake Brown.
Here on the front stretch, the double zero of Kendall Tucker, the twenty two of Dedmon, Dylan Thomas, our current points leader, James Edens and Jeremy Capron are all grinding to a halt. Taking a look to the back of the field, the sixty eight of Darren Litteral parked on his lid.
Sitting on G waiting on O, Weaver will bring us back to the green as Cardwell goes high and makes contact with the wall, and our leader dives low, trying to hold off the number seven. Side by side, we see hard racing back to the flag stand, as Cardwell will take over the lead.
Most of the field will be running mid-line as our leader is practically the only one high on the track. Eight laps in the books, Kevin Dedmon has managed to work his way back up to sixth after the train wreck on lap two. Cardwell’s first week back on track after a suspension has come with a vengeance, ready to park his UMP modified in Victory Lane. Weaver searches hard to find his line, but is unsuccessful.
JD Brown fires hard into the wall while running third, leaving it wide open for James to drop down low attempting to take the position. Dedmon and Tucker are slinging more sliders than White Castle for fifth, as Kilanowski is on the back burner trying to get up there, and is once again falling short.
Tucker gives it one more try, and just can’t seem to make it stick, and pulls an insane crossover on Dedmon for fifth. Nearing the twenty lap mark, the fourteen of JD Brown will retake third place from James after some more contact with the outside wall.
The D1RT car of Hayden Cardwell is set out front on cruise control, here at Eldora. The caution early in the race has caused some of our biggest names to load up the rigs early tonight. Only some of these drivers being Thomas, Carter, Litteral, James, Prescott and Matjoulis.
Canadian phenom Alex Bergeron is now up to tenth, with the point leader, James Edens in the rear view fighting to hold on to his lead. Side by side for third are Brown and James, as the fourteen goes high and the three will drop low.
Howard Weaver is still searching for his sweet spot on track, as Cardwell continues to lead while also moving around searching for grip, leading twenty of twenty four laps thus far. With only eleven more times around, the pack starts to space out, other than Tucker and Kilanowski battling hard. We notice a new sponsor on that number thirteen car, of Iracing Iflag.
Kevin Dedmon has come out of the pits after the early caution. Another driver we see emerge is Darren Literall, sporting a new ride with no front end. Jacob Fields gets hard into the wall, allowing Cole Harvey and Bergeron to move up in the field. As Litteral is trying to get back up to speed, he is splitting our top four dead in half.
This leaves Cardwell and Weaver pulling even further out front of James and Brown. James will drop to the bottom of the track, and Brown is able to take third. As we look to the front, Cardwell is High side and handsome coming to the white flag, only four more left turns, and Weaver just can’t quite get there, but will take home second behind fellow Tennessee driver Cardwell, with JD Brown rounding out your top three.
What an amazing race these guys put on tonight in Ohio. Only one caution, one lead change, and one leader back on top. Congratulations to Hayden Cardwell, as well as Weaver and Brown on an exciting race finish. Two more stops left this season for the SOMTS boys, and I predict we see the best races this season over the next two weeks! From all of us here at Pit Pass, Thank Y’all and See you next week!