At the halfway break of Tuesday night’s Rowdy Energy Super Select Series race, Ryan Kuhn found himself in 16th, almost one lap down to the leaders. At the end of 100 laps at World Wide Technology Raceway at Gateway, the Massachusetts driver was in victory lane for the second week in a row.
With the longest race on the Rowdy Series schedule, the winner of last week's race at Oxford Plains decided to play conservative with his strategy. It would pay off in the end, even surprising himself in the process.
“It’s unbelievable, a lot of tire saving there, almost went a lap down but it worked out in the end,” Kuhn said on the broadcast. “Wow, just unbelievable.
“I was kind of upset with myself because I didn’t pit that first time around, I pitted the second time around. I was like, oh man, I may have screwed myself here. But it all worked out in the end, just wow. That is unbelievable.”
As his second-half charge through the field took place, he channeled a fellow Northeast racer to slice his way to the front. The halfway break came as a blessing to Kuhn, who was nearly a lap down at the time.
“I was just thinking about my guy in the Modified, Matt Hirschman. I was like alright, I’m going to ‘Matt Hirschman’ this thing and see if we can pull it off in the end. I was glad for the halfway break because if we didn’t have a halfway break I probably would’ve done worse.”
After poor luck plagued him in the early races of the Rowdy Series, Kuhn has now won two straight with just two races remaining. The wins have come at polar opposite racetracks, with last week’s coming at the .375 mile Oxford Plains Speedway and Tuesday night’s coming at the 1.25 mile WWT Raceway.
“It really feels great to win the last two shows. I never thought I would win here, this has never been a good track to me. I think the tire saving won me the race, if I wouldn’t have saved the tires I probably wouldn’t have won it.”
Wisconsin racer Parker Retzlaff dominated early alongside Devon Morgan, but was no match for Kuhn late in the going after Kuhn had saved his tires. He ended the race in second, his seventh top-ten in eight races.
“Me and Devon had such a big lead, we probably pushed too much for the first 50 laps and I think we had too much fuel,” Retzlaff said. “ I think that’s where Kuhn played it perfectly and won the race.”
He was able to close in on points leader Alex McCollum during the race, whose substitute Collin Allman finished fifth in the race while McCollum took part in the eNASCAR Coca-Cola iRacing Series event at Charlotte Motor Speedway. With just two races remaining, it appears the points race will come down to the wire.
“It’s going to be a really hard championship to win but we’re going to give it our all every weekend. Hopefully we can get it done.”
Ryan Doucette made a late-race run through the field to finish third, followed by Devon Morgan and Collin Allman.
The Rowdy Energy Super Select Series powered by Speed51 will visit another mile for the penultimate race on Sunday, the famed Milwaukee Mile. Fans can see the series schedule, as well as past results, race replays and more at speed51.com/rowdyseries.
Fans can also watch a replay of Tuesday’s Rowdy Energy Super Select Series powered by Speed51 race at WWT Raceway by clicking here.
-Story by: Koty Geyer, Speed51 National Correspondent – Twitter: @kgeyer3
Rowdy Energy Super Select Series powered by Speed51 Results
World Wide Technology Raceway - May 12, 2020