Donnie Hamrac entered the final 10 laps of Friday night’s Modifieds of Mayhem feature running third, a full second and half behind the leaders. It was the “mayhem” of the leaders getting together and spinning that gave Hamrac the chance to get around the spinning leaders and go on to win the fifth race of the new series, and extend his points lead.
Ryan Paul set fast time in qualifying and redrew the pole for the 50-lap main, while Hamrac posted the fourth fastest time, but started back in seventh by virtue of the draw.
Billy Melvin, winner from the most recent series race at Montgomery (AL), started on the outside pole, grabbed the lead on the opening lap and looked to set sail.
After opening up just under a second advantage over Paul, lapped traffic and handling issues began to slow his pace.
Paul’s car was clearly stronger in the turns and he pulled his No. 07 right to the back bumper of Melvin with just over 10 laps to go.
Paul got a great run out of turn two and looked to the inside of Melvin in turn three where the two made contact resulting in a synchronized spin, which allowed Hamrac to drive around the outside and into the lead as the yellow flag waved.
“We’re just two guys racing for the same spot.” Melvin said of the incident in turn three, although he was not all that confident that he would have hung on to the lead even without the contact.
“It doesn’t matter. The car was just getting worse. I knew it was going away, I was hoping I could just stay out front long enough. There weren’t very many laps left.”
Paul’s recollection was not that far off of Melvin’s.
“Really it was just a racing deal.” Paul told Speed51.com powered by JEGS. “I’d like to say that Billy (Melvin) was blocking us but it wasn’t anything I wouldn’t do if I was leading the race with that many laps to go.”
Although it appeared that Paul may have made a bit of an aggressive move despite having the a faster car and 10 laps to get by the struggling Melvin, he was quick to point out that he didn’t necessarily think the race was ‘his’ had he gotten by Melvin.
“It’s hard to say that you ‘had a win,'” said Paul. “I knew Donnie was coming, that’s why I was pressuring Billy so much.
“I think we had a good shot at it had we got the lead. Donnie would have had a tough time trying to get around us.”
For Hamrac, the tangle by the leaders was just what he needed.
“I lost a little bit of forward drive about halfway through the race and started spinning the right rear,” Hamrac said.
Hamrac also described what he saw happen between the leaders because he had the best seat in the house for that while he was running third.
“It happens in this series. It’s just hard racing,” Hamrac explained. “Especially here at Pensacola with everyone trying to prepare for the Snowball Derby. It’s just good hard racing.”
The win is Hamrac’s second in the Modifieds of Mayhem series and helps to extend his advantage atop the point standings.
“This makes life just a little bit better until you get to the next race and start all over again.”
-By Mark Keeler, Speed51.com Deep South Editor
-Photo Credit: Speed51.com
Modifieds of Mayhem
Friday June 12, 2015
Five Flags Speedway (FL)
1 8 Donnie Hamrac
2 131 Jeff Letson
3 66 Ryan Redmon
4 145 Bill Melvin
5 91 Jim Walls
6 07 Ryan Paul
7 41 Rocky Rogers
8 64 Adam Crawford
9 95 Chris Comlander
10 12 Mike Maddox
DNS 50 Ty Roberts