WILLIAMSTON, SC : After over a two month delay due to the current worldwide pandemic the Southeast Legends Tour was finally able to begin their 2020 campaign this past Saturday night under ideal conditions at Anderson Motor Speedway. 24 drivers signed into compete earlier in the day for the first event of the season.
Pineville, North Carolina’s Daniel Wilk backed up his quick time in the practice sessions with the fast time in qualifying with a time of 17.241 seconds, which was just ahead of the other Mark Nahrstedt prepared car of Jaiden Reyna.
After the invert of four, Austin Thompson and D.J. Canipe would line up on the front row for the 25 lap feature as Reyna and Wilk were relegated to the second row.
Thompson would be called for a jumped start twice and subsequently sent to the rear as the field struggled to get the race under way. This would move Reyna up to the inside of the front row as the race finally got under green flag after the third attempt.
Canipe, who pulled double-duty on Saturday night by also racing in the Limited Late Model division, led the first circuit with Reyna and Wilk in close pursuit. On lap 6, Wilk made his way by Reyna off the second turn for the runner-up spot, as further back Thompson had made his way past half the field from his penalty.
The race would begin to have yellow fever as the first caution waved on lap 9 for the stopped car of Logan Drumheller in turn four. Drumheller’s day was a long one after he missed the practice sessions due to being delayed on his way to the track that afternoon.
Canipe held serve on the restart to hold the lead as that three car battle for the top spot became five with the addition of Lee Jordan and Austin Reed in their Kyle Beattie Racing prepared cars. A multiple car incident in turn two brought out the yellow flag once again.
Wilk with a little assistance from Reed on the outside line took the lead off turn two from Canipe on the restart. Canipe would retake the lead a lap later in turn one as the race for the lead intensified at the halfway point. Another yellow flag quickly followed after Colin Brown was sent for a spin in turn three on lap 11.
The battle for the lead turned into an eight car fight as 2019 Tour Champion Tyler Lester, Walker Yates and Thompson joined the party up front.
On lap 13, Wilk got underneath Canipe off the second turn and took the lead once more, but a caution would fly less than a lap later after Lester got into the back of Reyna in turn three and sent both cars around. The lineup would revert to the prior completed lap, which would put Canipe back into the top spot.
Wilk once again used the high line to take the lead from Canipe and it would once again be unofficial before the yellow waved for a spin in turn one by the 07 of Russell Shore. This brought the race to a time certain finish as the 25 minute feature limit had been reached.
Another good restart by Wilk on the outside and he took the number one position as the field headed into the first turn. Canipe settled into the second spot as the battle was hot for third with Reed, Thompson, Reyna and Jordan.
2019 Rookie of the Year Zach Helms spun out in turn four on lap 16 and that brought out the final caution flag along with the checkered flag. Daniel Wilk would come home with the feature win to go along with his pole award on Saturday night in the Temco of the Upstate feature.
“Man it was a great race. It’s always fun racing D.J. as we go way back,” Wilk in victory lane. “I have to thank God for blessing me with this ability to race and my dad, Mark Nahrstedt, Dennis Lambert and everyone that has helped us out on this car and makes us fast.”
After post-race technical inspection there was a weight issue with the driveshaft on D.J. Canipe’s second place car. INEX officials took the part back to their headquarters in Harrisburg, North Carolina for further inspection where it was found to be a half-ounce too light. The penalty was a disqualification for Canipe from the official results.
TEMCO OF THE UPSTATE OFFICIAL RESULTS
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The first race of the brand new Southeast Bandolero Tour saw three competitors show up to Anderson Motor Speedway on Saturday afternoon. Although it was a light turnout for the opener, the three drivers put on a great show for the win throughout the 10 lap feature race. In the end it was Aiden Garcia of Easley, South Carolina who held off Ola, Georgia’s Bryce Sanders for the win. Karter Beattie rounded out the field with his third place finish.