Columbus, OH -- Rookie phenomenon Cody Robinson secured his third NASCAR Whelen All American Series feature win Saturday at Columbus Motor Speedway. The Kettering, OH youngster charged to the front of the 50-lap Labor Day Championship contest and held off a determined Kyle Jones in route to the victory. At one point in the event Robinson squeezed between two lapped cars to retain the lead, in one of the most daring moves in some time at the speedway. His victory kept him in the thick of the championship title hunt for the 2015 season only three points out of first place. Amazingly, however, there are two drivers ahead of him in the championship battle of the historic third-mile paved oval with one event to go. In an unprecedented scenario, Chad Pendleton and Jones are literally tied going into the final event of the season each with 1,472 points while Robinson stalks in third with 1,469 points.
Daryl McKay set the pace early on in the contest followed by Donnie Hill and Ryan Fleming. Robinson started fifth and was on the move early powering around the outside of Fleming and then Hill before setting out after the race leader. He tracked down McKay and supplanted him from the top spot as lap-11 went up on the NASCAR scoreboard and all eyes turned to title contender Jones. Starting eighth, he was clamoring through the field, bypassing McKay four laps later before setting out after Robinson. He looked initially to have something for Robinson but as the laps clicked off it was Robinson pulling away. The mostly caution free affair was eventually slowed on lap-44 just as Robinson ran up on a group of lapped cars. As the driver maneuvered down the front stretch he literally drove between the cars of Bobby Justus and Howard Muncy to maintain the lead just as an unrelated caution flag flew for a spin by Josh Cahill and turn #4. Bunched up for the dash to the finish Robinson led Jones and Fleming, back to the green flag. Getting a good jump Robinson maintained a five car length advantage through the checkered flag as Jones finished second at the stripe. Fleming was third in the final analysis ahead of Pendleton and Purvis. Tied for the track championship, Pendleton and Jones will have a third dance partner to contend with in Saturday’s season championship event as Robinson is only three points out.
Pendleton, pulling double duty by competing in two different divisions, claimed his first Columbus modified feature win of the season in a dramatic open wheel event. With Terry Humphrey jumping to the early lead and pulling away, it was Shawn Gray and Jeremy Menninger initially taking up the pursuit. Starting fifth, Pendleton got busy early on bypassing Menninger for third before driving around the outside of Shawn Gray with fifteen laps remaining. By that point Humphrey was enjoying a full straightaway advantage and it looked as though time would run out for Pendleton but nobody gave the eventual winner that message. Closing gradually on the five-time track champion business was picking up at the front. Pendleton pulled alongside of Humphrey with three laps remaining and edged ahead for good one circuit later. Kyle Purvis nearly found his way around Humphrey for a runner-up result but had to settle for third in the final finish. Shawn Gray and Menninger were fourth and fifth respectively at the stripe. Title contender Shane Shirk was caught up in a minor skirmish midway through the contest damaging his racer. He settled for seventh as Purvis all but locked up his first track title. While not mathematically eliminated Shirk is 87-points behind. (1,571-1,486).
James Harding captured the 30-lap Labor Day sport stock feature event. Starting eleventh, the 2014 track champion swept past Jeremiah English on lap-22 and held off George Lindsay to secure victory. English, Kenny Simpson and Chris Meier rounded out the top five. Lindsay’s runner-up result clinched the sport stock track championship for 2015.
Corey Kyer notched his second crazy compact feature win of 2015. Kyer powered around early pacesetter Bill Ramey near the mid-point of the 25-lap contest and then staved off Ryan Smith in the waning laps. Ryan Tamburro finished third followed by Jason Grove and Trey Gregory. Smith holds a commanding track title bulge over Tamburro (1,436-1,354) and looks to close the deal and track championship next Saturday. He also continues to hold down second spot in the NASCAR National DIV. IV standings.
-Columbus Motor Speedway Press Release & Photo
COLUMBUS MOTOR SPEEDWAY RACE RESULTS - SEPTEMBER 5, 2015
Fast Time: Kyle Jones 14.246
Dash: 1) Cody Robinson 2) Chad Pendleton 3) Kyle Purvis 4) Kyle Jones
Heat: 1) Jeep Pflum 2) Josh Cahill 3) Bob Grubaugh 4) Burgess White 5) Mike Holland
Heat: 1) Ryan Fleming 2) Bobby Justus 3) Erika Newcome 4) Daryl McKay 5) Donnie Hill
Feature: 1) Cody Robinson 2) Kyle Jones 3) Ryan Fleming 4) Chad Pendleton 5) Kyle Purvis
6) Daryl McKay 7) Howard Muncy 8) Bobby Justus 9) Jeep Pflum 10) Burgess White
11) Mike Holland 12) Bill Cantley 13) Josh Cahill 14) Bob Grubaugh
15) Erika Newcome 16) Donnie Hill 17) Logan Runyon
Fast Time: Shane Shirk 14.458
Dash: 1) Kyle Purvis 2) Chad Pendleton 3) George Lindsay 4) Shane Shirk
Heat: 1) Gary Zink 2) Greg Blackburn 3) Marc Life 4) Josh Kempf 5) Anthony Heitzman
Heat: 1) Ethan Mullet 2) Jeremy Menninger 3) Buddy Townsend 4) Terry Humphrey
5) Kevin Doran
Feature: 1) Chad Pendleton 2) Terry Humphrey 3) Kyle Purvis 4) Shawn Gray
5) Jeremy Menninger 6) Buddy Townsend 7) Shane Shirk 8) George Lindsay
9) Greg Blackburn 10) Kevin Doran 11) Brian Whetnall 12) Gary Zink
13) Anthony Heitzman 14) Marc Life 15) Richie Jones 16) Josh Kempf
17) Ethan Mullet
Fast Time: George Lindsay 16.037
Fast Dash: 1) Steve Karnes 2) Mike Litchfield 3) George Lindsay 4) James Harding
Heat: 1) Bruce Snider 2) Ralph Vinson 3) Jeremiah English 4) Rich Gleason 5) Ken Simpson
Feature: 1) James Harding 2) George Lindsay 3) Jeremiah English 4) Chris Meier
5) Kenny Simpson 6) Ralph Vinson 7) Phil Gussler Jr 8) Bruce Snider
9) Richie Gleason 10) Bruce Holmes 11) Steve Karnes 12) Steve Hursey
13) Jason Parsons 14) Mike Litchfield
Fast Time: Ryan Smith 17.007
Feature: 1) Corey Kyer 2) Ryan Smith 3) Ryan Tamburro 4) Jason Grove 5) Trey Gregory
6) Herman Dauge 7) Frank Hreha 8) Gwen Welsh 9) Billy Ramey 10) Robb Gibson
11) Shawn Vansickle 12) Chris Carter 13) John Heslop 14) Lonnie Brown
15) Dusty Harding 16) Jake Rothgeb 17) Charlie Hopker 18) Mark Smith
19) Danielle Brown 20) Michael Robison