Lakeland, FL -- As the weather began to cool down, the action continued to heat up as 22 drivers made there way to Auburndale Speedway (FL) for round #10 of the Brandon Ford Wheelman Series presented by Gagel’s Auto Parts and powered by Sunoco Race Fuels.
When the dust settled, it would be Sean Bass taking his first Wheelman Series victory of 2018. Bass, who raced the first 20 laps without radios, worked his was inside and outside to get the lead and was able to hold off multiple challengers on his way to victory lane.
2016 Wheelman Series champion Sean Bass made his presence felt early by setting fast time at a blazing 14.167 seconds around the tight ¼-mile oval. Auburndale Speedway veteran racer Richard Elkins Jr, Shawn Jenkins, Chad Rutherford and JR Beckner would round out the top five in qualifying. Post qualifying infractions on the No. 122 of Elkins and No. 192 of Rutherford would delegate them start 21st and 22nd, respectfully. After an invert of five, the field would be set with Brooke Storer and Brandon Morris on the front row.
After starting 21st in the field, Rutherford was able to keep his nose clean and methodically work his way up to a very respectable fifth-place finish, earning him the Velocita “Hard Charger” award and also giving him his first top five of the season.
Two-time series winner Joe Winchell was able to extend his streak of top fives once again after starting eighth and battling hard throughout the night to come home with a fourth-place finish. Winchell, who had a few mechanical failures during the summer, has rebound nicely and put together three top-five finishes in a row and now sits sixth in points.
After inverting to the pole, Brooke Storer looked to keep her hot streak at Auburndale Speedway alive. Storer was able to take the early lead and fend off side-by side challenges from Morris, Beckner and Bass before ultimately surrendering the lead on Lap 37 to Bass. After making a valiant effort to get back by Bass, Storer ended up a very respectable third place. With her eighth top 10 run of the year, consistency has been key and has Storer sitting third in points.
Fresh off his first Wheelman Series victory, Brandon Morris was a force once again. Morris would start outside front row and battle with Storer, Bass, and Beckner time and time again to have a very strong second-place run. Morris, who was able to win the Blue Gator Restaurant first-time winners award last race, proved it was not a fluke. Ten races into the season, Morris now has nine top 10s and six top fives, moving himself into second in points with three events remaining.
Other series notables include points leader Jesse Henley who finished sixth after a late-race incident with 2017 series champion Aaron Williamson. Williamson would go on to finish 10th.
Veteran Late Model racer Jeff Scofield also made his first Wheelman Series attempt, finishing 13th after a flat tire took him out of a top 10 run. Devin Mcleod would finish fourth on the track, but a post-race ride height infraction would ultimately end in a DQ for the evening. Top 10 points contenders Adam Briggs and Shawn Jenkins also had a late-race incident which resulted in finishing positions of 15th and 16th, respectively.
The next scheduled event for the Brandon Ford Wheelman Series is Saturday, October 20 at 4-17 Southern Speedway. For more information about the Brandon Ford Wheel Man Sportsman Series, find us on our Facebook page @WheelManSeries.
The Brandon Ford Wheelman Sportsman Series Presented by Gagels Auto Parts would like to recognize their marketing partners for the 2018 season which include: Brandon Ford, Gagels Auto Parts, BA Chassis, Sweet Manufacturing, Driven Steering, Five Star Bodies, Finish Line Fabrication, Allstar Performance, ARbodies, Bassett Wheels, Bilstein Shocks, Chad Pierce Motorsports, Checkered Flag Graphics, Crooms Towing & Fleet Services, Finney Racing, Howe Racing Enterprises, Intercomp Racing, JOES Racing Products, Driven Oil, Longacre Racing, Maxima Racing Oils, QA1, Schoenfeld Headers, Simpson Race Products, Speed51.com, Tilton Engineering, Tiger Rear Ends, Ultra Shield Race Products, Wilwood Engineering, Phillips Racing Wire, Royal Tees, Sunoco Racing Fuel, ButlerBuilt Professional Seat System
-Brandon Ford Wheelman Series Press Release
-Photo Credit: Brandon Ford Wheelman Series