After suffering a broken spindle a week ago at Caraway Speedway, two-time defending Southern Modified Racing Series champion Jeremy Gerstner was back on point at Orange County Saturday night with a convincing victory in the 75-lap shootout.
Prior to Saturday night, Gerstner had never come out on top in a race at Orange County, as he normally had to run conservatively to maintain a points lead. However, on this night he was able to go all out.
“I was really looking to get out front and control the race,” Gerstner said. “I knew we could run 90% for 50 laps and go hard at the end and that's what we did at the end.”
The lone caution came when Tim Brown made contact with the wall in turn three and was done for the night. It’s been a tough two weeks for Brown after they broke in practice last week at Caraway and never got to turn a lap in the twin features.
As for Gerstner, it was all smiles and celebration in Victory lane.
“I have to thank John Smith for running me clean on the restart,” Gerstner said. “We are both running for a championship and we never touched once when he could have taken advantage of it. We are gunning for that third title and there are two more races to go.
At the finish, Gerstner outran Burt Myers who never pitted at the caution and rode from the back after saving tires. John Smith recovered to finish third after mechanical problem forced them to start the race from the rear. Jason Myers and James Civalli made up the top five in the 32-minute dash.
Brown wasn’t the only car with trouble as Johnny Sutton and last week’s winner Brandon Ward each had trouble in practice. Ward stated they will be back ready to go at the next race.
The next PRA Southern Modified Racing Series event will be at Hickory Motor Speedway on October 12.
-Story by: Elgin Traylor, Speed51.com Southeast Correspondent
-Photo credit: Speed51.com
SMRS Unofficial Finish
1 Jeremy Gerstner
2 Burt Myers
3 John Smith
4 Jason Myers
5 James Civalli
6 Bryan Dauzat
7 Bobby Measmer Jr.
8 Tom Buzze
9 Mike Norman
10 Tim Brown
DNS Brandon Ward
DNS Johnny Sutton