A late-race restart completely shuffled the deck in Saturday’s Show Me the Money Pro Late Model Series event at Montgomery Motor Speedway (AL), taking a pair of front-runners out of contention to open the door for a former series to score his first Montgomery win of 2019.
Alabama 200 winner Augie Grill dominated for the majority of the 125-lap race, but contact with Colby Howard on a late restart ended his night. Casey Roderick capitalized to score the victory and unofficially inherit the Show Me the Money Series points lead from Grill.
The win snaps a drought for the typically-successful Roderick, as the Lawrenceville, Georgia native had not visited victory lane since the Pro Late Model Rattler 125 at South Alabama Speedway in March.
“You know, I’m very fortunate to come home with a win here,” Roderick told Speed51. “We have struggled all year. We’ve had very consistent finishes in the top three or four but just haven’t been able to pull off a win all year since March.
“Augie told me he ran over something and broke something in the front end, which is why he shot up into the 81 [of Howard],” Roderick added. “It started sparking pretty bad going into one so I assume something broke.”
Grill believed hitting debris just before the decisive restart led to his demise.
“I think John Bolen lost a driveshaft and I ran over something over the caution,” said Grill. “It dented in the nose in front of the right front tire. We went back green and only ran two laps before going back under caution and it felt a little funny then, but I didn’t think much about it.
“We went back green there and got under Colby getting down into one. I went in there and it bottomed out there a little bit so I moved up. Then we went into three and it bottomed out a little bit and moved up even more, and then we went back into one and it bottomed out and it was like the right front was gone.
“I ran over him and I had no purpose in doing that,” Grill continued. “The tire just lost enough air and when I got back in here the right front tire had only 15 pounds in it. I guess it’s my fault for trying to race hard but I’m sorry, that’s what I’m here to do.”
Howard saw things differently after having to drive back through the field to finish second on the evening when Jake Garcia failed post race technical inspection for a left-side weight infraction.
“My mom used to say if I don’t have something nice to say don’t say it at all,” said Howard. “But he knows what happened. He knows what he did coming down the backstretch, down in three and four, and down into turn one. It is what it is.
“We can’t help somebody. We had a really fast car. We were just kind of riding there just waiting to get around him and got stuck on the outside. But Anthony Campi gave me a really fast car tonight. If that didn’t happen I know we would have been as good as or way ahead of Casey.
The Show Me the Money Pro Late Model Series will return to Montgomery Motor Speedway September 18th for their final race of the season.
-Story by: Allick Jorgensen, Speed51.com National Correspondent - Twitter: @AJorgensen24
-Photo credit: Speed51.com