When Augie Grill scored his first Show Me the Money Series victory of the season with a last-lap pass back in June, he admitted that it was luck— not his Late Model— that won him the race.
It wasn’t until Grill was standing in victory lane Saturday night at Montgomery Motor Speedway (AL) for a second time that the Alabama native was finally able to give credit to his Grand American Race Car (GARC) No. 112 machine.
“We haven’t been as good as we needed to be here for a while,” Grill said in his post-race interview. “Been working hard at the shop and we won the last race, but the car wasn’t right. We just got lucky and had a flat, got a new tire. But I think that was the best car on the track tonight. Glad we’re taking the trophy home.”
Fans may have briefly turned their heads to watch Grill cross under the checkered flag 1.710 seconds ahead of second-place finisher Casey Roderick, but all eyes reverted back to the battle for third between Allen and Cole Anderson.
For a handful of laps, the two drivers played a game of cat-and-mouse. Anderson would get a run to the inside of Allen through the corner, but not enough to pass the No. 26 machine. Likewise, Allen would hold off Anderson down the straightaways, but not enough to clear him before each curve.
If the flag stand was planted in the turns of Montgomery Motor Speedway, Anderson would have ended the night with a podium finish. But lucky for Allen, a line on the front stretch determines finishing positions, and he crossed it before Anderson by a nose.
“It felt like 50 laps but man that was an absolute blast,” Allen said of his battle with Anderson. “I was real loose, so I could run the top a little bit and I think he was loose on the bottom. That’s the most fun I’ve had in a long time. When two guys can race as hard as they can go and not get into each other. I wish it would have been for the lead.”
Anderson, who has become accustomed to the short “shootouts” dirt racing is famous for, was relieved to be leaving Montgomery in one piece, let alone fourth place.
“I’m a little worn out,” Anderson said with a smile. “I’m used to 20-lap races on dirt, so coming to do 125 is a little much, but it was a good race. I could get him through the center, but he was ultimately getting that drive off and keeping that nose a little bit ahead of me. We came out clean for next week, what more can you ask for.”
Why wasn’t the battle for the lead a nail-biter too, or in other words, what happened to Casey Roderick? If you’re superstitious, you might think that the 26-year-old’s luck at Montgomery has run out since his last win-turned disqualification.
But to Roderick, it was a mixture of circumstances, none of them to do with chance.
“I feel like I waited around a little too long there and had to run pretty hard to catch [Grill],” Roderick said. “And then we caught those cautions at the end, which is what we needed, but we were off a little bit tonight. We were free and just didn’t have enough bite up off the corner to stay with him and make a race out of it. We’ll go back to the shop, work on our stuff a little bit and come back.”
Dustin Smith rounded out the top five for the night. Race fans can watch the Pro Late Model race from Montgomery Motor Speedway on-demand by clicking here.
-Story by: Melissa Strahley, Gulf Coast Editor
-Photo Credit: Melissa Strahley / Speed51.com
Show Me the Money Series
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