Brandon Wilkinson joined the Seekonk Speedway Road Trip Tour Thursday night as they took to the virtual Lanier Raceplex for round two of the series. The spotter from Rhode Island made the most out of the appearance, taking the win from the drivers based at the Massachusetts track in the Bunny Hop 150.
The Speed51 Elite Modified Tour defending champion took the lead on lap 20 after Ryan Kuhn and Derek Gluchaki got together while racing for the lead and Kuhn went around, with both drivers being sent to the tail for their involvement in the incident. He would lose the lead for a period of time to Ryan Doucette, but regained it on a lap 84 restart and never looked back.
He gave credit to spotters Ryan Blanchard and Drew Kreibich for helping him regroup and retake the lead after falling out of the top spot.
“It’s ridiculous because when those lapped cars tangled I was a wreck because I had lost the lead. We were able to clear the head and go get it,” Wilkinson said on the broadcast. “On those late-race restarts on the bottom, Drew kept reminding me to do my job and Ryan did an awesome job on my lap times and we were able to check out.”
It was a meaningful win for Wilkinson, who up until a couple weeks ago had no plans to run with the series.
“It was a crazy race for sure with those guys tangling early on. I really wanted to get this win for everybody that funds this program, this is really awesome. A couple weeks ago Don Parsons sent me a text message and said hey man, I want to put you in one of my cars. Honestly, I had no big intentions to run this series because I had been out of a Super Late Model for a long time.”
He was followed by another driver who usually spends his time at the track outside of the race car. Richard Regan Jr. normally is a crew member for Connor Souza in the Sport Truck division at Seekonk, but spent Thursday night behind the wheel in the sim world. He was able to use late restarts to his advantage to take the runner-up spot.
“It was definitely a challenging race, the outside started to come in after halfway so as long as I got a good restart I knew I was kind of alright. When I got behind the No. 56 (Wilkinson) he told me he was going right on the pace car,” Regan said. “I was 100% content with finishing second, I didn’t want to chance anything. I obviously wanted to win the race but I didn’t want to wreck my car that late. I knew when he was going to go so it was out trying to stay on top and hang in there.”
Ryan Doucette finished third, while Kuhn and Gluchaki rallied from the early incident to round out the top five.
The next Seekonk Speedway Road Trip Tour event will take place at the virtual Southern National Motorsports Park on Thursday, April 30. Click here to watch a replay Thursday night’s race at Lanier Raceplex.
Click here to see a schedule of upcoming sim racing events on Speed51, including the April 30 event on the Seekonk Speedway Road Trip.
-Story by: Koty Geyer, Speed51 National Correspondent – Twitter: @kgeyer3