For much of Saturday night’s JEGS/CRA All-Stars Tour 100-lap race at Indiana’s Anderson Speedway it appeared that it was going to finally be Jack Smith’s night to break into victory lane. Instead, Smith ended the night in the infield and points leader Cody Coughlin was the one celebrating in victory lane for the second time this season and the second race in a row.
Coughlin set fast time with a new track record, but he drew a six for the invert. That put Smith, who qualified fifth, on the front row with the second starting position.
Smith quickly jumped out into the lead of polesitter Joshua James. Smith stayed out front for the first 70 laps of the race, and at one point had a lead of almost half a lap over his closest competitor.
But then Coughlin made his way into second-place around halfway and eventually got the caution flag he needed to bring Smith back to the field.
Coughlin ran right behind Smith, who is also Coughlin’s crew chief, for about five laps after the restart just waiting for Smith to make a mistake. Eventually, Coughlin got his opportunity on lap 71 and he drove to the inside of Smith’s red No. 28 machine in turn one. Coughlin cleared Smith with ease and put his yellow No. 1 machine out front coming out of turn two.
A few laps later Smith’s night came to an end when something broke in the rear end, according to Smith.
After passing Smith, Coughlin had to deal with a couple more restarts and a new challenger in Scott Tomasik, but the Delaware, Ohio native was able to hold Tomasik off to take the win.
“I like this place a lot,” Coughlin said. “It’s just very tight so you have to be careful. Thankfully we were able to keep our nose clean and get the win.”
Coughlin entered the night as the points leader in the JEGS/CRA All-Stars Tour with Smith trailing him. With Smith’s troubles, and Coughlin’s win, Coughlin extended his points lead over Smith.
“I’ve been saying all along that winning races is the best way to win a championship,” Coughlin said. “When you win races the points situation takes care of itself. Hopefully we’ve got plenty more wins still to come this year.”
Tomasik, Dan Leeck, Phil Bozell, and Austin Kunert rounded out the top five finishers.
For an on-demand replay of Saturday night’s Trackside Now coverage presented by Ford Performance Parts, click here.
-By Rob Blount, Speed51.com Southeast Editor – Twitter: @RobBlount
-Photo Credit: Speed51.com
JEGS/CRA All-Stars Tour Pic-A-Part 100
Anderson Speedway, Anderson, Indiana
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