Jesse Henley pulled up to Citrus County Speedway (FL) Saturday Night and showed the Brandon Ford Wheel Man Series exactly why he was the 2018 series champion. Leading 35 of 50 laps in a race that saw two red flags and several cautions, Henley was just glad at the end of the night to walk away with a clean race car.
“Early, I don’t know what happened. I knew something was going to happen but I wasn’t going to push the issue up front,” Henley told Speed51.com. “A couple of them got together and on top of each other, and I don’t know. But luckily we managed to make it through that. We made it through the grass and made it through that, and made it out with a pretty clean car at the end of the night.”
A lot of the carnage could be attributed to how close the field was, something Henley eluded to post race in victory lane.
“I think I qualified sixth, three one-hundredths off the pole. That shows you how tight the field is,” Henley continued. “But, it was a good run. We made the right adjustments for the long run. I can’t thank my sponsors enough. We had a great car tonight.”
While Henley parked it in victory lane in one piece, other drivers weren’t so lucky. Current points leader Patrick Thomas, who won the season opener at Crisp Motorsports Park (GA), came home third after a wild night only to find every quarter panel on his No.111 dented up in some fashion.
“I ended up in a wreck on lap one or something,” Thomas said. “I think I ended up underneath Travis (Roland), the fifth-place car. I just kind of slid and got hit. Not a straight part on the car anywhere. It’s kind of one of those things. But, it was a great run. Car was really tight, but it was something we can work with. We’ll get it better.”
After missing the season opener at Crisp Motorsports Park, Tommy Kelly came home second on the night and expressed his excitement for what’s in store for the rest of his season.
“The car was really good,” Kelly said. “I got on the outside there for the lead and thought we had (Henley) there for a minute. We got together a little bit. But that’s part of racing. We’ll take it to 417 and see what we got there.”
Speed51 Network Premium Subscribers can watch a full n-demand replay of all the action Saturday night by clicking here.
The next race on the Brandon Ford Wheel Man Series schedule is March 9 at 417 Southern Speedway in Punta Gorda, Florida.
-Story by: Allick Jorgensen, Speed51.com National Correspondent – Twitter: @AJorgensen24
-Photo credit: Speed51.com
Brandon Ford Wheelman Series Unofficial Results:
Citrus County Speedway – Inverness, Florida – February 16, 2018