It had been a long time coming, but Hunter Robbins finally got Ronnie Sanders back to the place where he felt Sanders belongs: Victory Lane.
Robbins dominated the 125-lap Pro Late Model Viper Series season finale at South Alabama Speedway on Saturday, starting from the pole and leading every single lap to score his first Viper Series win of the season.
“We won this one for Ronnie,” Robbins told Speed51.com powered by JEGS on Monday evening. “We’ve always been so close, but just never had been able to finish the deal. Now we finally did it. I was finally able to get him back where he belonged.”
When Robbins says he’s been close, he’s definitely not wrong. He and Sanders have finished second a handful of times after leading many laps in many races, but the trip to victory lane had eluded them.
“We’ve run second probably eight or 10 times over the past couple years,” Robbins explained. “It just never went our way to where we could finish the deal.”
That changed on Saturday night when Robbins and Sanders showed up to the 4/10-mile oval in Opp, Alabama with an extremely fast race car.
“We finally had a really good car that was just fast all race long,” he said. “We were fast during practice, qualified on the pole and they didn’t do an invert so I led all 125 laps.”
Robbins made it sound as though the win came to them incredibly easy, but when pressed further said that’s far from the truth.
“It was never easy. We had a long green flag run and our car started slipping away from us a little bit,” he said. “But we had an extended caution and the tires cooled off. Then we were only leading by about a car length. But over the last 25 laps we ran away with it. But it was never easy though.”
Robbins, an employee at Kyle Busch Motorsports, defeated Dwayne Buggay for the Viper Series championship, which is the Pro Late Model track championship at South Alabama Speedway. The championship is Robbins’ first at the track.
“The track championship is awesome to get,” Robbins said. “We always run ARBodies and they’re supporters of track champions so it’ll be nice to get some more parts coming in. Besides that it’s just something that I’ve been able to do in my spare time. I don’t have much spare time, but with the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series schedule it’s nice to have some off time to go race.”
-By Rob Blount, Speed51.com Northeast Editor – Twitter: @RobBlount
-Photo Credit: Johanna Long Twitter