Written by Katie Dugas of Pit Pass
October 8, 2019 (DE LEON SPRINGS, FL) – Week five of the Team VLR Tough Truck Series is upon us, and with James Edens confident after winning two in a row, will he be able to make it three tonight here at Volusia? It’s a smaller field compared to what we are used to seeing, but that won’t change the fact that these are the Toughest of the Tough. Capron Screen Printing and Dirty Grass Soul will bring us twenty of the best drivers on dirty for fifty laps here at Volusia. If the qualifying times were to any indiciation, the man to beat is clearly TJ Carter, with Jeremy Capron close in tow.
After two action packed heats, our grid will start to take shape with none other than Team VLR’s TJ Carter on the pole, “The Gangster”, Jeremy Capron to his outside, (pace yourself America)…David Heileman starts behind our leader, with the 112 of Devon Morgan in fourth. Rounding out your top five is HRE Motorsports superstar, DJ Kilanowski, Kevin Dedmon to his outside on row three. Starting inside row four, is Evan Seay, with the blood thirsty James Edens in eighth, over Tyler Jackson, and IracingIflag sponsored driver Blake Brown rounding out your top ten. The number 20 of Adam Elby starts in eleventh, with Chadron Beem outside, leading off Jonathan Lampmann and Chris Cox in row seven. Garrett Niebruegge takes P fifteen inside “America’s Sweetheart”, Howard Weaver after a rough heat. The Hawkeye himself, Timothy Bolander will actually be the last truck on the grid, after Josh Peacock, Thomas Darrow and Davin Cardwell fail to take the track.
Fifty laps is the mission tonight, and if its anything like our previous weeks, it will be absolute mayhem, as Randal Carter brings us across the green flag. Heilemanics know that he will waste no time, sliding to the bottom of the track, to see what kind of ground he can make up on the 23 of Jeremy Capron on the outside for second.
Three wide battle for seventh, with Evan Seay, DJ Kilanowski and James Edens, as all three came out guns blazing ready to make their way to the front. Clean racing so far, as Carter is off and away as your leader. Jeremy Capron sits smoothly in second, while they are side by side for third, with Devon Morgan and Kevin Dedmon. Right behind them, Seay and Kilanowski, are still duking it out for a top five spot. David Heileman clearly is comfortable on the bottom line, and will try to make something happen, meanwhile Devon Morgan in the 112 is sitting high side and handsome along that outside wall.
Capron is clearly on a mission tonight, but single file racing for spots one through five, James Edens will try the bottom to look for some grip to get a pass on the 22 of Kevin Dedmon, but Dedmon will shut him out, saying “Not today, I’m running for diaper dollars”. Nice three wide action with Seay, Kilanowski and Brown, now on lap thirteen, Capron to the inside and briefly goes side by side with Cater for the lead. Randall Carter is only leading by a tenth of a second, and with only thirty five laps to go, Capron will dip it off one more time, but fall short yet again.
Devon Morgan is making his name present, yet again, after having some great starts so far this season. Seay makes the pass on Kilanowski and here comes Blake Brown. Lap eighteen in the books and I can personally say, Carter might be your leader, but the Wheelman of the night is riding in second, and that’s the twenty three machine of Jeremy Capron. As close as the top five are running, with any slight mistake, it could make all the difference tonight, those top five being Carter, Capron, Morgan, Heileman and Dedmon.
On lap twenty, Morgan goes low for the pass on Capron for second, but there just isn’t enough bite on that bottom line yet. Even though they have the speed for the pass, there just isn’t enough momentum to make that pass stick yet. Dedmon moves into fourth after a slide on Heileman, and James Edens starts poking his nose out there as well, now side by side with the 33 of Evan Seay.
Devon Morgan has something figured out on that high side, as he catches up with Kevin Dedmon, and here we go, Capron is within striking distance of your leader Randall Carter. The track is finally starting to break in, with Edens now getting the pass on Heileman for fifth, and now lap traffic will start to emerge. Carter has no problem clearing the lap car of Lampmann, and now Capron gets the pass, right back on the tailgate of the number five machine.
Under twenty laps remain, and still, these guys can get close in the corners, but there’s just not enough momentum to properly execute the pass. Seay, Morgan and Edens all battle it out for top five spots, leaving Morgan outside, and Seay will take over position number four. Now it’s James Edens time to move, as he goes side by side with Morgan, Kevin Dedmon clearly has his eyes set on the top three, with Capron scrambles to catch up to Carter. Edens and Morgan still door to door, and Morgan will barley clasp the spot, David Heileman working hard at his back bumper, but Blake Brown all over the tailgate of Heileman.
Eleven to go, “The Gangster”, Jeremy Capron now at the back quarter panel of Carter, yet again, and he has done everything but shoot his tires out! Cater has clearly been the man tonight, putting on an absolutely flawless race, but look at the Dirty Grass Man, Kevin Dedmon steady reeling them in, sitting in third. Carter will bring us just under ten laps to go, as the caution flag flies, after Adam Lampman in the 61 machine got a little too close to the bottom, and makes contact with the barrier and takes a spin.
Re-rack and re-stack, top five lead us to green, with Carter still the man to beat, as Capron, Dedmon, Seay and Morgan are all hungry for the checkered flag. Carter once again with the jump on the inside, Capron to the outside, Dedmon down low, side by side battle for second. Evan Seay fights and claws for fourth, putting a bump on the 23 of Capron, and as I see the white flag wave, the flag man throws it down like a bad habit, and the yellow is back in the air, and if I was TJ Carter, my heart would have dropped to my feet.
The 36 of David Heileman gets into the wall, throwing us into overtime, for one of two green white checkered attempts. Jeremy Capron is probably getting a pep talk from his spotter, telling him “It’s now or never” as he is now to the outside of our leader, Randall Carter and the green flag is out… Carter leads it out of turn one, but Kevin Dedmon pulls a Hail Mary, going full send into turn two, Edens makes a move, bringing us three wide for second. Capron up high Edens on the bottom, making a Dedmon sandwich, leaving TJ Carter out and away to capture the win tonight here for Team VLR at Volusia.
Kevin Dedmon will bring home second after one hell of a drag race to the finish and as bad as it pains me to say it, Jeremy Capron in third after what was some incredible racing all night. Evan Seay and James Edens will round out your top five tonight, and I think all of these guys are happy to see a bye week next week, leaving only two races left before we wrap up the Tough Truck Series.
What an amazing run tonight by all of these drivers, only two minor cautions, but some serious heat being thrown down on track.
Congratulations again to you winner TJ Carter on his second career VLR victory, as well as Kevin Dedmon and Jeremy Capron on rounding out the full podium tonight. We will be back in action next week, October 15th at the legendary Williams Grove Speedway for what is sure to be another great showdown.
1.Carter 2. Dedmon 3. Capron 4. Seay 5. Edens 6. Morgan 7. Elby 8. Brown 9. Kilanowski 10. Jackson 11. Weaver 12. Cox 13. Niebruegge 14. Bolander 15. Beem 16. Heileman 17. Lampmann