After a delay of three months from rain on its original December date, and with the cloud of uncertainty hanging over the entire world, the World Championships at Cochran Motor Speedway (GA) went ahead Saturday night, with the 75-lap Dirt Pro Late Model feature featuring both a charge to the front, and some controversy among the early leaders.
For the man who took home the $10,000 winner’s check, Kyle Bronson, he staged a charge to the front after starting in the rear of the 24-car field, transferring from the B-Main. The reason he was in the B-Main, he wasn’t even at Cochran when qualifying was held on the original race weekend in December.
After carving his way through the field with the help of few mid-race cautions, Bronson set his sights on the first leader of the night, Joseph Brown, who had fallen behind Mark Whitener.
Lapped cars would prove to be Whitener’s downfall though, when an inside pass of traffic with seven laps to go went awry. Whitener slid high, allowing Brown to get to the inside down the frontstrech. Going into turn one, Brown would throw a slide job assuming the lead briefly, but Whitener did not back off, with contact sending Brown up the track and back to fourth. Whitener would also lose momentum, allowing Bronson to power past, and lead the final laps.
For Bronson, it was the combination of a great racecar and some fortunate circumstances that won the night.
“My car was really good there coming up through the field there. By the time I got to third it really latched down around the top. I felt like we had the best car and I was going to be able to pass those guys when they got into bad air behind lap traffic, but every time we got heavy into lap traffic a yellow would come out and save their day. But, we had a good car the way the racetrack was, I’m glad it played out the way it did,” said Bronson in victory lane.
In the end, Bronson was plenty happy that he got the lucky break after being stuck in third for so many laps.
“Those guys raced hard, they ran over each other a little bit, and let me slip by. Sometimes it’s way better to be lucky than good.”
Behind Kyle Bronson, frustrated Mark Whitener held on to finish second. After the race, he directed his hard feelings towards lapped cars.
“We were in the rubber behind lapped cars, should get them off the racetrack with a few laps to go, there’s no other way to put it. We had a good racecar, we should’ve won the race, it is what it is. The lapped cars wouldn’t get out of the way, the groove was dominant up top, they were up top, had to find a way around them, and dirty slide jobs was the only way to do it. I got one thrown on me and it cost me the race, bottom line.”
Corey Dunn would take advantage of the chaos to finish third, while Joseph Brown pulled back on track and held off Wil Herrington for the fourth spot. After giving a bump to Whitener on the cooldown lap, Brown gave his perspective on what happened, referencing another hard race between the two at All-Tech Raceway (FL) a week prior.
“It’s just racing in the rubber, this racetrack is tricky. The only thing was I just wish he tried to pass me, I felt like he tried to run into me. We didn’t say anything (after the race), I raced with him at All-Tech last week, and everybody’s seen the video on that deal, and I told him after they said, ‘You want to get involved in racing like that?’ I said, ‘No’. I got to fix this stuff on my own, it’s just hard racing for $10,000, I get it. But, come on man, let’s be realistic, you got slid up in the rubber, at least try to pass me.”
The weekend is not over for the Dirt Pro Late Models at Cochran Motor Speedway, as they will be back on track Sunday afternoon, for the final round of the 2020 Crate Racin’ USA Winter Shootout. Watch live on the Speed51 Network starting at 3pm ET.
-Story by: Connor Sullivan, Speed51 Northeast Editor – Twitter: @Connor51CT
-Photo credit: Speed51