Thirty of the best Super Late Model drivers from the Midwest and beyond converged at Madison International Speedway for the 10th Annual Joe Shear Classic on Sunday. The fans were not to be disappointed with the stout field that put on a competitive race that turned into an entertaining finish.

 

When the dust settled, it was Roscoe, IL driver Austin Nason snatching his first career ARCA Midwest Tour victory in dramatic fashion.

 

Twenty-eight drivers, including the likes of Bubba Pollard, Casey Johnson and Johnny Sauter, qualified for the 200-lap race. When the green flag waved, the obvious names including those above, as well as Dan Fredrickson and Paul Shafer, Jr. rose to the top.

 

While it was Jason Weinkauf who led the opening 109 laps, the lead was taken over by a patient Pollard as Weinkauf slid back through the field. The top-five battled closely over the next 30 laps with few incidents until Andrew Morrissey, the defending winner, had something break on his race car while running near the front. This started a trend for the drivers at the top of the leaderboard as the finish neared.

 

With 16 laps to go, Sauter and Jonathon Eilen made contact while battling for third. Race control sent both drivers to the rear following the incident.

 

While pacing the field under the caution, race leader Pollard unexpectedly pulled into the pits with the window net down saying on the radio that the car was “blowing up.” Pollard was relegated to a 17th-place finish, and Johnson became the new leader.

 

The green flag was displayed again with eight laps to go and Johnson led Austin Nason until a caution due to contact between Rich Bickle Jr. and Steve Apel slowed the field again. During the yellow, leader Casey Johnson came to a stop on the backstretch with a fuel pump issue, handing the lead to Nason, who held off Fredrickson to win his first ARCA Midwest Tour race.

 

“I think we had a shot at a top-three, but not winning this thing,” Nason told Speed51.com. “I think we had something for Casey (Johnson) there if it would have stayed green.”

 

It was an emotional win for Nason, who has seen races escape him in the same fashion that many of his competitors experienced on Sunday.

 

“I had one slip away several months ago,” he said. “As soon as that caution came out and I saw Casey break, I had an automatic flashback.”

 

Even with a late-race caution that put Fredrickson right behind the leader, there was not much he felt could be done.

 

“We lucked into second,” Fredrickson admitted afterwards. “We had about an eighth-place car. It handled well, just need to figure it out.”

 

The $10,000 payout is huge for Nason, a new father, and comes at a good time.

 

“To tell you the truth, I wasn’t even supposed to be racing this year,” he said in victory lane.  “I had the little one (his son Levi) on the way and I am taking over our company. The little one has been through a lot only being a month old and being in the hospital a lot, so this one is for him.

 

The next race for the ARCA Midwest Tour Series takes place on May 19 at State Park Speedway.

 

Race fans who missed Sunday’s Joe Shear Classic can now watch a full on-demand broadcast on Speed51.com by clicking here.

 

-By Caleb Slouha, Speed51.com Midwest Correspondent

-Photo credit: Midwest Tour

 

Joe Shear Classic 200 Unofficial Results

Madison International Speedway (WI) – May 6, 2018

Pos

No.

Name

Laps

Diff

1

14

Austin Nason

200

2

36

Dan Fredrickson

200

0.352

3

12

Nick Murgic

200

0.608

4

7S

Paul Shafer  Jr

200

1.37

5

119

Dalton Zehr

200

1.736

6

7D

John DeAngelis  Jr

200

1.964

7

8M

Billy Mohn

200

2.161

8

77

Jonathon Eilen

200

2.881

9

8H

Eddie Hoffman

200

3.492

10

5B

John Beale

200

3.707

11

45B

Rich Bickle  Jr

200

4.07

12

10

Andy Monday

200

4.103

13

51

Steve Apel

200

4.374

14

71

Johnny Van Doorn

200

4.619

15

18

Mike Ostdiek

199

1 Lap

16

5J

Casey Johnson

198

2 Laps

17

26

Bubba Pollard

190

10 Laps

18

5S

Johnny Sauter

190

10 Laps

19

76

Jason Weinkauf

190

10 Laps

20

5H

Jeff Holmgren  Jr

176

24 Laps

21

39

Andrew Morrissey

148

52 Laps

22

75W

Chris Weinkauf

113

87 Laps

23

45V

Jeff Van Oudenhoven

111

89 Laps

24

44

Justin Mondiek

106

94 Laps

25

52

Ricky  Baker

76

124 Laps

26

9

Kyle Calmes

72

128 Laps

27

15

Dean LaPointe

48

152 Laps

28

11

Bobby Kendall

18

182 Laps

Nason Snatches Emotional First Midwest Tour Win