The historic South Boston Speedway proved to be a challenge for Western Super Series presented by J2Racing.parts drivers Tuesday night. At the end of the night, it was a driver from the state of Maine prevailing in a last-lap thriller to score the win at the virtual .4-mile Virginia short track.
After escaping heat races relatively unscathed, with only one caution slowing the three 10-lap qualifiers, the yellow flag waved early and often during the main event.
Steven Mastro was able to lead early on in the 125-lap main event but cautions became the story as the hot and slippery surface of South Boston proved to be a challenge for some of the best sim racers in the country.
NASCAR Ignite Series Champion Max Cookson of Pittsfield, Maine was able to take over lead, remaining solid and consistent during late-race restarts. Points leader Drew Wooten remained patient throughout the entirety of the race and took advantage of a mistake from Michael Goddard on a restart to jump from fourth to second and put himself in a good position for the final restart.
Cookson was able to hold off the hard-charging Wooten on the green-white-checkered restart after back-to-back slide jobs were thrown by the top two, leading to a multi-car crash after the leaders took the checkered flag.
Cookson was able to capture his first Western Super Series win with one final race left in the current winter season.
“The leader was at such a disadvantage on these restarts, and Wooten got a good one there at the end," Cookson said. "I thought about the inside but I knew I would buzz the tires bad, but it was really a tough call to make.”
Wooten escaped the night with the points lead, but that was not on his mind when coming to the green flag with two to go. He said he wants wins, and that was the only thing on his mind.
“That is what short track racing is all about, and when you’re up there, you compete to try and go for the win and put on a show.”
Last event's winner, Jake Watson, brought home third place after a lengthy battle mid race with Goddard.
The Speed51 Western Super Series presented by J2Racing.parts has the season finale next Tuesday at The Milwaukee Mile for 100 laps. The new spring season kicks off January 21 at Iowa Speedway.
All events can be viewed live and on-demand by visiting www.speed51.com/westernsuperseries.
-Story by: Kyler Hope, Speed51 Correspondent