KANSAS CITY, Kan. — Nothing is as sweet as a hometown victory, and for Brian Brown, it’s a win that’s been a long time coming as the FVP/Casey’s General Store No. 21 broke into Victory Lane at the famed Lakeside Speedway for the first time in his career; topping the McCarthy Auto Group KC Klassic presented by Racinboys.com.
Becoming the fifth different winner of the season with the Lucas Oil American Sprint Car Series presented by the MAVTV Motorsports Network in 2016, Brown’s win in the Impact Signs/Weld No. 21 is the 16th time that Brown has topped the National Tour, and fifth consecutive year he has earned a Lucas Oil ASCS victory.
“We’ve led a few Outlaw races and let them slip away, but no we hadn’t before tonight,” said an overjoyed Brian Brown in Victory Lane when asked to confirm this was in fact his first Sprint Car victory at Lakeside Speedway.
“To win this close to home, we have a lot of our partners here. Obviously Casey’s General Store, FVP, Impact Signs, Weld Wheels; their on our nose wing tonight and have been a huge supporter of Brian Brown Racing since day one. Champion Oil, Ditzfield Transfer, MC Power, Maxim Chassis, Garrett Engines, Chad Morgan, Wyatt Burks, Michael Williams, my Dad, grandpa George….it seems like when he’s here, I just seem to run a little bit better. He has that calming effect on me and has been a huge part of my career and I have to also thank my wife, Heather but it’s good to win here at home I can tell you that. When you’ve won 15-20 races a year, you kind of take that for granted and this our first one this year.”
Gridding the night’s 30 lap A-Feature outside the front row, Brown would have to play the role of the hunter as Blake Hahn shot into the race lead from the pole.
Losing ground to the Lucas Oil No. 52, the pair found the tail end of the field by the 10th lap. Giving Brown the chance to make up ground as Hahn wrestled with slower traffic, however, Brown had his own battle to contend with as Aaron Reutzel moved past the No. 21 on Lap 15. Able to work back around Reutzel’s No. 87 the following laps, Brown made his bid for the lead on Lap 17.
Pulling all the way up to Blake’s rear bumper, Brown broke line to the bottom through turns three and four, but the move was quickly negated as the caution flew for Josh Baughman who had come to a stop off the back straightaway with fire on the left side of the car. Josh was okay.
Not able to overtake the No. 52 on the restart, Brown was able to hold off the Dissolvalloy No. 87, who fell to fifth on the restart as Johnny Herrera and Ian Madsen worked by for third and fourth. Working Lap 22, the red flew as Kyle Bellm and Brad Loyet tangled off the second turn battling for 10th. Both drivers were okay.
On the restart, Brown pulled even with Hahn through turns one and two, giving Blake just enough room to race between the No. 21 and the wall to hold the lead. Falling to a half straightaway, Brian was quick to regain his momentum, completing the slide job off the second turn on Lap 23 for the top spot, going on to win by 1.702 seconds.
Blake Hahn’s runner-up finish is his first podium of the year with the Lucas Oil ASCS presented by the MAVTV Motorsports Network.
“This car was dialed in tonight from Hot Laps all the way to the A-Feature. These guys did great getting the car right, but congratulations to Brian Brown on the win. If I can run second to him on any night, that’s a good night for us but we just need to get more comfortable on the big tracks. I think once I get more seat time, we’ll be alright.”
Trying to setup Hahn for a last lap pass, New Mexico’s Johnny Herrera would have to settle for the show position in the MVT No. 45x, but it was good enough to push Herrera back into the points lead by 12 markers over Matt Covington.
“We started eighth there and I really didn’t have a very good start. I don’t know what I did, if I spun the tires or what, but we ended up losing two or three spots, but the car was good the whole race and we got pretty close there at the end.”
Ian Madsen came home fourth with Danny Lasoski advancing 10 spots to complete the top-five as the KSE Hard Charger of the Night.
Seth Bergman, who started 15th, crossed sixth with Aaron Reutzel slipping to seventh after racing into the top three in the race’s midpoint. Matt Covington was eighth with Sam Hafertepe, Jr. ninth. Wayne Johnson made up the top-ten.
Four Heat Races for 35 drivers saw wins going to Blake Hahn, Matt Covington, Kyle Bellm, and Brandon Hanks. The B-Feature was topped by Brad Loyet. A regional provisional was used by Evan Martin as the night was co-sanctioned with the Speedway Motors ASCS Warrior Region presented by Impact Signs, Awnings, and Wraps. Jonathan Cornell was the highest finishing Warrior Region driver.
The Lucas Oil ASCS presented by the MAVTV Motorsports Network competes next at the Texas Motor Speedway Dirt Track for the Texas World Dirt Track Championship, happening May 13-14, 2016. Tickets can be purchased now at http://www.texasmotorspeedway.com.
–Lucas Oil ASCS Press Release
-Photo Credit: Terry Ford