(Caleb Heady in victory lane in the Jones Utilities and Construction SELT event at Anderson Motor Speedway / Photo Credit : Keith H. Anderson)
WILLIAMSTON, SC : It was a very odd night at Anderson Motor Speedway as full field of 30 Southeast Legends Tour competitors made the trek to the Upstate of South Carolina for the sixth round of the 2020 race season. After several brief rain showers and a lengthy delay for track repair, the Legends finally took to the 3/8ths-mile asphalt for their scheduled 25 lap feature race.
Prior to the race the 30 drivers would go out and in European-style qualifying to set the starting lineup. Shelbyville, Kentucky’s Caleb Heady put his Miller Performance Motorsports #82 on the CamCo Landscaping Pole Award with a lap time of 17.129 seconds, which was just .012 seconds ahead of Newton, New Jersey’s Mike Alcaro in his 860 Motorsports prepared #8.
Heady rolled a three in the dice invert after qualifying which put last week’s feature winner D.J. Canipe on the inside of the front row alongside his teammate Alcaro. Heady and Daniel Wilk, who won the season opener in June, lined up in the second row.
Canipe led the first lap as the front of the field worked to get single file. It didn’t take long for Alcaro to get to the inside of Canipe as the two would race side by side for the race lead for several laps, before Alcaro would take over. Heady and Wilk were able to utilize the open door to get by Canipe, who now fell into the clutches of Colin Brown for fourth position.
The fierce battle for the lead would be halted on lap six after Jesse Hilger went around with others in turn three. All drivers were able to continue on with no damage.
On the restart, Cameron Murray had a moment and checked up the field behind the sixth place driver in turn three. The result was slight contact between Dustin Coonfield and Eric Courtney, which sent the 21 of Courtney into the outside wall to bring out another yellow flag.
Alcaro would lead the field back to green and brought Wilk up to second around Heady at the restart. On lap 9, Wilk got to the inside of Alcaro off the second turn and the two drivers would run door to door for the lead, before Wilk would take over. Heady pounced on the opportunity to move by Alcaro for second, just before a caution waved for spins by Rajah Caruth and Mitchell Thompson in turn one.
However, under the caution, one of the cars ended up with a broken axle or rear end and dropped grease all over the inside of turn two. This would put the racing program under the second extended red flag for cleanup with 14 laps to go in the Legends feature.
Wilk led the field back to green in a single file restart after the long delay and the race was on between Wilk and Heady for the lead. Heady would take the lead at the halfway point as the officials gave the drivers the chance to complete the entire 25 lap distance.
The top five cars were able to break away from the field with Heady in front of Wilk, Alcaro, Brown and Canipe and those five were bumper-to-bumper and in an all out battle for the lead.
On lap 16, rookie challenger Nick Baity spun on the frontstretch to bring out the final yellow flag in the Legends feature.
Heady brought the field down to a very slow restart, which allowed himself and Wilk to get a jump on the side by side mess behind them.
Wilk used a little aggression as the two leaders entered the first turn on lap 20 to retake the lead from Heady. It was now a four car battle for the win as the lead change brought Alcaro and Brown back into the fight in the final laps.
Heady got back underneath Wilk off the second turn with a lap and half to go and he was able to reclaim the race lead and cross the finish line first as the winner of the Jones Utilities and Construction 25 over Alcaro, Wilk, Brown and Canipe.
“I’m speechless right now. I thought we had it closed in second, but I had a good run and got that nose under the 90 car [Wilk] and we ended up in victory lane. I’m glad my grandma got to come, so to win in front of her is amazing,” a very happy Caleb Heady in victory lane.
“I have to thank my grandpa, he is the one who funds everything. I have to thank Zach Miller from Miller Performance Motorsports. He brings this car to any track in the country and it’s always fast and always up front. I’m just glad I get to drive it.”
The Southeast Bandolero Tour had four competitors make the event this weekend as many teams are home preparing for next weekend’s INEX Bandolero East Nationals.
Mardy Roberts, III qualified on pole with London McKenzie, Jacob Bradley and Kaleb Bradley the lineup for the ten lap feature race.
McKenzie would lead lap one by half a car length over Jacob Bradley. Bradley would take the lead away as the drivers began lap two and he was followed by his brother Kaleb Bradley into second.
On lap 4, Jacob had a bobble in turn four and opened up the inside line for Kaleb to take the race lead away. Kaleb would hold off his brother Jacob over the second half of the feature race for his third consecutive win of the season in the Southeast Bandolero Tour season.
“I kinda knew he [Jacob] was going to make a mistake and it was just a matter of when and I capitalized on it. We came here from Atlanta Motor Speedway on short notice, got ready, started at the back and worked our way up. I like to thank my mom, my dad, Redhead Racing, CutRite and Tretow Racing for working on our cars and making them fast,” Kaleb Bradley in the post-race interview.
|4.||55||MARDY ROBERTS, III|