South Boston Speedway produced a pair of first-time NASCAR K&N Pro Series East winners Saturday night, in an eventful Twin-100 double feature at the Virginia facility.
In the first race, Tyler Ankrum cruised to victory, dominating a race marred by an early crash that took out several competitors. One of those competitors was Anthony Alfredo, who unloaded his back-up car and charged through the field to take the win in the nightcap.
The second race proved far more eventful for both Ankrum and Alfredo than the first. Ankrum started sixth, and again took a fast car to the front of the field. Ankrum challenged Chase Cabre for the lead with 15 laps to go, but the two made contact, sending Ankrum spinning.
The caution did not wave for Ankrum’s spin, as he completed a 360-degree maneuver and resumed racing, ultimately finishing third. However, Cabre’s night was not over, as then Anthony Alfredo chased him down.
Alfredo and Cabre made contact several times as they battled for the win over the final two laps, with Alfredo ultimately taking the victory and Cabre spinning to finish 10th.
Ankrum was pleased with having, in his estimation, the fastest car in both races on the night, but felt robbed by the way Cabre raced him with 15 laps to go.
“We had a really good car,” Ankrum told Speed51.com. “We had a fast car both races. Once we were out front, we were able to stay up front.
“The second heat, we were again the best car in the field by far, and Chase Cabre decides to wreck me. Even when I caught him from a straightaway and a half back. Me and him are going to have to talk later. But we had a really good car, and still got a third out of it. Awesome weekend. Best car once again, just got unlucky in the second heat.”
Alfredo said his secret to working his way through the field came from finding momentum on the higher groove around the South Boston Speedway surface, repaved prior to the 2017 season.
“I was just trying not to overdrive it,” Alfredo said. “It’s easy to do that. We rolled the top really well. Just keep working my way up there, and then we were racing for the win. I was able to beat him to the line off four.”
Despite his success on the high line, Alfredo transitioned to the bottom for the winning pass, adjusting as Cabre moved up the track to defend the lead.
“I had been working really well up top, and then I saw he moved up there, so I said I’ve got to go to the bottom,” said Alfredo. “I just tried to get underneath him once I had a good enough run.”
For Cabre, the end of race two was nothing short of heartbreak, and irritation towards Alfredo.
“[Alfredo] ran down into turn one and just ran over me,” Cabre said. “It got me completely sideways down the backstretch. We got into each other, doored each other. And then he took me into the third groove and wrecked us.”
As for his role in the Ankrum incident, Cabre admitted to overdriving and causing the incident.
“I got in too hot underneath him,” Cabre explained. “We’ll move on to the next race. We had a shot to win it. It just sucks.”
The NASCAR K&N Pro Series East returns to action on June 2 at Memphis International Raceway (TN). Memphis hosted its first K&N Series event last season, and returns to the schedule in 2018 for a 150-lap race.
Race fans can view our Trackside Now updates from theK&N Pro Series East at South Boston Speedway by clicking here.
-Story by Zach Evans, Speed51.com Southeast Editor
-Photo credit: Speed51.com.
|6||04||Ronnie Bassett, Jr.|
|7||5||Juan Manuel Gonzalez|
|9||87||Chuck Buchanan, Jr.|
|12||6||Ruben Garcia, Jr.|
|4||04||Ronnie Bassett, Jr.|
|12||87||Chuck Buchanan, Jr.|
|14||5||Juan Manuel Gonzalez|
|15||6||Ruben Garcia, Jr.|