NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Driver, Ryan Blaney showed his rain-racing prowess to claim the Valvoline Little 600 victory tonight on a wet track. The trophy may be a minor addition to the collection on his mantle, but it was the bragging rights amongst fellow drivers that truly mattered.
The Valvoline Little 600 event format allowed fans to watch their favorite NASCAR drivers compete in three, wild heat races that set the grid for the final, 15-lap main event. John Hunter Nemecheck appeared to be the driver to beat throughout the heats. However, when a quick rain shower fell on the track right before the main event, ‘all bets were off’ as many of the drivers had never competed before on a wet track surface.
Following a mid-race caution, the field returned to green single-file for an intense shootout to the finish. Ryan Blaney had too strong of a lead, forcing Michael McDowell to settle for second place. However, it was Joey Logano who was the hard charger of the race, advancing all the way from last position to take the final spot on the podium in third.
In perhaps the most anticipated event of the night, Tyler Green (Aric Almirola’s spotter) beat out Derek Kneeland (Kyle Larson’s spotter) at the line to take home the Spotters’ Race win. After months of trash-talking, practice laps and for some, even a “new diet plan,” the NASCAR drivers’ “eyes in the sky” finally got their chance behind the wheel. It came down to a drag race to the finish as Green and Kneeland nearly drove each other off the track in a wild, side-by-side finish. Green scored the win, followed by Kneeland and Kevin Hamlin (Kasey Kahne’s spotter) in third.
Future Stars Race:
Although the heaviest of the rain fell during the IAME Mini Swift Future Stars race, the young group of 8-12 year-old karters put on an awesome show for fans. The field truly proved they were talented well beyond their years, racing in the rain on slick tires. Pauly Massimino, 12 years old, from Matthews, NC was able to score the win, followed by Connor Zilisch (Matthews, NC) and Nick Snell (Jamestown, OH).
-GoPro Motorplex Press Release & Photo