It was a hot night at Rockford Speedway (IL) on Saturday night, both in temperature and tempers on the track for the ARCA Midwest Tour’s Kar Korner All-Star 100. At the end of the night, Austin Nason battled through it all to score his second Midwest Tour victory of the 2018 season.
While the race was scheduled for 100 green flag laps, the field ran nearly as many yellow flag laps with the large quantity of cautions throughout. The field started with 25 Super Late Models, but only had nine running at the end.
One of the drivers involved was Paul Shafer Jr, who came into the night with a victory and the Midwest Tour points lead. A hard hit in the turn four wall relegated him to an 18th-place finish.
Nason, the race winner, was not excluded from the melees. Although he took the lead on lap 16, it would only last for 15 laps before he had a tire go down in front of the field, bringing out a yellow. This allowed Nason to make the tire change and restart at the tail of the field on the lead lap.
When the race went back to green, it was clear Nason was not going to miss out on winning at his home track again. One year after losing the lead to Ty Majeski with three laps to go, Nason was hungry for redemption.
“That was definitely running through my mind as soon as I saw the caution at lap 86,” Nason said about the redemption. “I was thinking, ‘Why can’t we just make it a couple more laps?’”
Even though Nason charged to the front, Casey Johnson was not too far behind with another good run. The second-place finishes are beginning to pile up early in the season, with three in the four races so far. While Johnson is happy about the success, he has been left wanting more.
“(Second) seems to be the going rate on the Tour,” Johnson told Speed51.com. “I can’t really complain, but I know the wins will be there shortly.”
The chaos throughout the race ended up working in the favor of Jonathon Eilen, who struggled to find speed throughout the day, but ended up in third.
“You just try and stay focused as much as you can. Keep up your endurance,” Eilen said. “I ran out of my water about halfway through the race, but it was hot and the cautions just didn’t help.”
Dalton Zehr, who was just one point out of the championship lead heading into the night, finished fourth. Michael Bilderback worked his way to the front to round out the top five.
The next ARCA Midwest Tour race takes place at Grundy County Speedway on July 14. That race will be broadcast live on Speed51.com’s Summer Thunder TV.
Race fans can find on-demand updates, results and more from Saturday’s race by visiting Speed51.com’s Speed Central coverage.
-By Caleb Slouha, Speed51.com Midwest Correspondent
-Photo credit: Speed51.com