Defending race winner and track champion Adam Terry held the lead in the closing laps with Roahrig hounding him. The two battled through lapped traffic in a resumption of the final laps of the most recent Intimidator 100.
However, Roahrig would not be denied this time. He took the lead for good with 13 laps to go to win his first race of the 2021 season. With the race on the line late, he took his chance and made the winning pass in thick lapped traffic.
“My car started off the race really good but I don’t know if it was the tire we’re on or because it was so cold but it seemed like nobody had any grip. My car was really good and I got to Adam and I just couldn’t find a lane around him,” Roahrig told Speed51. “I saw my chance there one time, I don’t know if he missed the corner or what happened but I saw my opportunity and took it. I knew I was faster but being faster and passing him are two different things.”
Friday night’s triumph marked his third Intimidator win, breaking a five-way tie and taking sole possession of the all-time mark for Intimidator 100 wins. That mark goes with three Kalamazoo Klash wins at the 3/8-mile oval, with those coming in consecutive years from 2017-2019.
I didn’t even know that, that’s pretty cool. It’s been around for over 20 years, it’s in memory of Dale Earnhardt Sr. Steve (Needles) has won it twice, I think I’ve got second a few times. This has always been a staple for getting the race season started around here. It’s something that everybody seems to look forward to. - Tyler Roahrig
It also continued a trend that started at the most recent Intimidator 100 held in 2019. Friday night was the fifth time Roahrig and Terry have finished 1-2 since that race two years ago, with Roahrig now holding four of those five wins.
“It does seem like that, don’t it? I’ve raced with Adam for years and I’ve known his family for years. They’re great people, he’s actually a customer of mine (Rocket Fabrication). What a good race with him and Phil Bozell, me and Steve Needles had a good race together for a while. That was a lot of fun.”
It’s a trend that Terry has also seen in recent years, though he would like to be on the other side of it like he was in the Intimidator back in 2019. Since then, he has finished second to Roahrig in the 2019 Kalamazoo Klash, as well as at South Bend Motor Speedway in the Jim Blount Memorial and at New Paris Speedway in the Summer Sizzler last season.
“Tyler has been the benchmark for our program and all of Outlaw racing for several years now, he’s going to be up front no matter what race he’s in. To be able to get up there and have our name run second to him, I guess it’s some consolation but I know we’d bring home a hell of a lot more big trophies if he wasn’t around,” Terry said. “It’s always fun to race with him and it’s always fun to have that competition.”
The defending Kalamazoo track champion started on the front row and aside from a two-lap run near halfway, had led most of the race. He found himself on the defensive through lapped traffic late once again, but lightning would not strike twice at Kalamazoo.
“The race started well and we got the lead and were able to get into a rhythm and open it up. This place is tough because there’s races that’ll go green to checkered, in my opinion when you know you have some of those guys like Tyler and the Bozell’s coming from far back, you’re better off opening up whatever sort of lead you can in case it does go green to checkered.
“Lapped traffic was great, they were really respectful. My car just wasn’t as good as it needed to be in the traffic to make those moves faster. That kept it a little more exciting but we knew that coming into this deal and the same deal happened as last year where the race was decided in lapped traffic. You’ve got to make some moves that are bold or risky but at the end you try to do it for the win and we came up a little short.”
Former Intimidator 100 winner Phil Bozell finished third, while Todd Harrington and Steve Needles rounded out the top-five.
-Story by: Koty Geyer, Speed51 National Correspondent – Twitter: @kgeyer3
-Photo Credit: Speed51 Photo
Intimidator 100 Results:
- Tyler Roahrig
- Adam Terry
- Phil Bozell
- Todd Harrington
- Steve Needles
- Brian Bergakker
- Mark Shook
- Shawn Amor
- Jaden Cretacci
- Monte Tolan
- Zack Cook
- Kody Swanson
- Austin Fredwall
- Matt Frazier
- Doug True
- Andy Bozell
- Brandon Lyons
- Kyle Crump
- JR Roahrig
- Rob Hardy
- Kevin Sauer
- Vern Sauer
- Kevin Stewart
- Billy Shannon