The Gateway Dirt Nationals allows Modified drivers to compete with drivers they normally don’t see throughout the season. That was the case with the main event on Saturday night, which saw Indiana driver Derek Losh steal a win from Florida Late Model standout Kyle Bronson in the last corner of the 30-lap main event.
Losh started on the front row and led the majority of the race before giving up the lead to Bronson with about 10 laps to go. A string of late yellows kept the field bunched up, and ultimately led to a four-lap shootout to decide who went home with $10,000.
Bronson maintained his lead throughout the rest of the race until a divot in turn four slowed him down and allowed Losh to get by for the checkered.
“I used up this race car on the top and bottom, I believe those last few cautions saved us. I saw he was blowing steam out of the radiatior at the end and I knew if I stuck with him he was probably trying to limp it to the end,” Losh said on the DirtonDirt.com broadast. “I tried getting to his back bumper, faked him going to the top and I knew he was going to try shutting me off up there. I was able to get back to the bottom and get past him coming to the line.”
It was a huge win for the small team out of Renssalaer, Indiana, which spent the summer dominating at tracks such as Gas City I-69 Speedway. He made sure to give thanks to the group of people who helped him get there.
“This place takes so much adversity for our team. This is a hobby for us, we’re not professional racers,” he said. “To put a car together and compete at this level with these guys, my hat goes off to the crew back here, these four guys worked their butt off all week.”
Meanwhile, it was a chain of events that would cost Kyle Bronson a major payday. After giving up the lead in the final corner, he needed only a few words to describe what had happened.
“I choked, I hit a hole, and got my a** kicked.”
Bronson raced his way into the main event via Friday night’s preliminary feature, but it didn’t come without any setbacks. The motor blew on his No. 40 just after crossing under the checkered flag in the prelim, which left the team hurting in performance. However, he believes there are no excuses to be made after the fact.
“We kind of hurt the motor last night but today the track was a lot slicker so it didn’t really even matter as much,” Bronson said. “We were out there putting around that bottom, not what I like to do, the power steering was screwed up from the belts and stuff. I ran twenty-nine laps just fine the way it is, got a rhythm, and I just screwed up the last lap. No excuses, I screwed up, he passed me, he did a good job. Congrats to those guys, they busted their a** and they deserve it.”
Thursday night winner Levi Kissinger followed the two in third, with Michael Altobelli Jr and Darron Fuqua rounding out the top five.
Modifieds – Gateway Dirt Nationals Results:
1. Derek Losh
2. Kyle Bronson
3. Levi Kissinger
4. Michael Altobelli Jr
5. Darron Fuqua
6. KC Burdette
7. Josh Harris
8. Kyle Strickler
9. Trent Young
10. Jeffrey Ledford
11. Tyler Erb
12. Michael Long
13. Chris Arnold
14. Mike McKinney
15. Kyle Steffens
16. Rick Conoyer
17. Ray Bollinger
18. Mark Anderson
19. Clay Money
20. Mike Harrison
-Story by: Koty Geyer, Speed51.com State Editor (IN/MI) – Twitter: @kgeyer3
-Photo Credit: Speed51.com