While Corey Heim made the trip to Richmond Raceway (VA) victory lane in the Pro All Stars Series (PASS) Open Super Late Model division during the inaugural Commonwealth Classic, it was Austin Reed who left with the big trophy after post-race technical inspection.
The inaugural event at the 0.75-mile oval that is a long-time fixture on the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series schedule saw Heim take the checkered flag, dominating the 75-lap race. However, an engine violation led to Heim being disqualified and the victory being turned over to Reed.
“Something with the spacers in the motor,” Heim told Speed51 following technical inspection. “That’s all I know so far. I saw it, and I don’t really know what they’re talking about. I’m just kind of dejected and stuff. Just have to move on and get better from here.”
Charlie Rockwell, the head of PASS technical inspection, spoke to Speed51.com and explained the engine violation.
“The spacer plate, what we allow for this particular race is a 500 [cfm] two-barrel,” Rockwell began. “The plate underneath cannot be any taper whatsoever. It has to be a standard straight hole plate. The plate that was on this particular car was tapered, which is a point-blank advantage as far as horsepower. We just don’t allow it.
“With our series, there has never been a tapered plate allowed,” Rockwell said. “Crate, any race track, ever.”
As a result of Heim’s disqualification, Austin Reed was handed the trophy and awarded the official victory.
“This is awesome for our team, everyone involved in this, this is insane,” Reed said. “Obviously, we wanted to win it on the track, but we’ll take it how we can get it right now.”
The win in itself was an adventure for Reed. After spinning in qualifying, Reed started at the rear of the field. The Bakersfield, California driver worked his way through the field before crossing the finish line second.
“Qualifying was a little difficult,” Reed admitted. “I messed up and we had to start at the rear. To come back and win this thing is incredible. It’s a surreal experience.
“If you had asked me at the halfway break, I was skeptical at best we’d be here right now,” Reed added. “Bond Suss made incredible adjustments on the car at the halfway break. The car came alive and we made our way through the field as fast as we could. On track, unfortunately, we didn’t make it to that last spot, but it all worked out in the end and we came home with the big trophy.”
Regardless of the causes, Reed can now add his name to the list of winners at Richmond Raceway.
“It’s incredible. It’s one of those places,” Reed said. “I haven’t been racing full-time in a long time. To come back here and win this is incredible. It’s something I hope to do again someday. This track, there’s so much history and everything that’s happened here, it’s awesome to put our name on the list of winners here.”
Following post-race technical inspection, Jared Irvan was awarded the second-place trophy and 2018 PASS South champion Matt Craig completed the podium.
Race fans who missed Saturday’s action at Richmond Raceway can visit Race Day Now for updates and information by clicking here.
Fans can also stay tuned to the Speed51 Network for highlights, recaps and more from all six divisions of the inaugural Commonwealth Classic.
Official Results – PASS Commonwealth Classic (Open Division)
Richmond Raceway – Richmond, Virginia
|8||23||Eddie Van Meter|
|11||93||Ray Christian, III|
-Story by: Zach Evans, Speed51.com Southeast Editor – Twitter: @ztevans
-Photo credit: Speed51.com / Evan Canfield