John Baumeister Jr. took the lead with seven laps to go just before the rains hit the track ending the NASCAR Late Model feature at the NASCAR Whelen All American Season Opener at Madison International Speedway.
Rusty Hansen and Brent Edmunds led the field to the green flag with Edmunds grabbing the top spot followed by Hansen, Zack Riddle, Jon Reynolds Jr., and John Baumeister Jr. Back in the pack a spirited battle was taking place between Bobby Wilberg and Dale Nottestad.
Out front the top five were distancing themselves from the sixth place car of Wilberg. On lap 11 Hansen looked to the inside of Edmunds going into turn three and eventually took the top spot coming out of turn two on lap 12. Meanwhile both Wilberg and Nottestad had caught the top five. At the halfway mark Hansen was stepping away out front with a six car length lead over Edmunds. Hansen’s lead was nearly ten car lengths with ten laps to go before the caution flag came out when Zack Riddle spun on the backstretch. As a result, both Riddle and Edmunds would go to the tail of the field.
For the restart the cone came out with Hansen choosing the inside and Reynolds Jr. the outside with Baumeister Jr. and Nottestad lining up in the second row. Hansen and Reynolds Jr. would stay doubled up with Baumeister Jr. up to join the mix. With seven laps to go Baumeister Jr. powered his way past Hansen after several attempts to take the lead followed by Wilberg and Nottestad. One lap later Hansen spun coming out of turn four bringing out the race’s second caution.
Baumeister Jr. chose the inside with Nottestad lining up outside followed by Wilberg and Jerry Mueller. The caution flag quickly came out when Stephen Scheel slowed on the backstretch. At this time strong storms closed in on the track bringing the race to an end and giving the victory to Baumeister Jr. Wilberg, Nottestad, Mueller, and Reynolds Jr. rounded out the top five.
Dale Nottestad was quickest in qualifying with a lap of 18.598 (96.785 mph). Heat races were won by Zack Riddle and Bobby Wilberg.
Madison International Speedway Press Release
Photo Credit: Jess Riedner