The Western Super Series hosted a 100-lap non-points event at Five Flags Speedway to help cure the need for short track racing around the country, and it surely did not disappoint. The final laps saw three drivers duke it out for the win, with Lebanon I-44 Speedway (MO) regular Dylan Bates holding off Joe Schaffer Jr. and Ryan Kuhn to score the victory.
Bates started on the pole and led wire-to-wire, but Schaffer and Kuhn kept the Missouri native on his toes throughout the event. Both drivers had a shot at Bates in the final laps, but he was able to hold them off using both the inside and outside lanes.
“He definitely knew the outside was going to be where you have to be, when he made the move on the inside I was able to just pin him down there,” Bates said on the broadcast. “He knew he needed to be on the outside and I knew that’s what he was going to try. He probably won’t like that move too much, but it’s hard with these setup-fixed races.”
As with the real life Five Flags Speedway, tire wear played a major role in the outcome of the race. Bates suffered the same fate early and had to run the majority of the race with worn-out tires.
“Early in the race there, around lap 20, I abused my right rear tire and I was kind of limping that home the rest of the way. We were able to make it work, I guess.”
Schaffer took second from Kuhn with less than five laps to go, but ran out of time to mount a major charge on Bates. Retaking a spot lost earlier in the race, Schaffer would finish in the runner-up spot.
“That was fun, I guess I didn’t know what to expect because in the past, when I’ve raced at this track with this combo the racing wasn’t so good,” Schaffer said. “I thought I was going to get pinned there on the outside, with about 40 to go Kuhn got by me and I knew he would be really tough to pass.
“That last 15 or 20 laps I was backing it off and only driving as hard as I needed to. I guess I needed those two to fight a little harder a little earlier, I might’ve had something to get around Dylan if I could’ve had a couple more laps.”
Kuhn settled for third after 100-laps, followed by Nashville Fairgrounds Speedway Pro Late Model regular William Hale and Bill Martin.
You can catch a replay of the Western Super Series event at Five Flags Speedway for free by clicking here.
The Western Super Series will continue its regular racing season on Tuesday, March 17 at the virtual Milwaukee Mile. Click here to see a full rundown of all the sim racing broadcasts available for free on Speed51.
-Story by: Koty Geyer, Speed51.com National Correspondent – Twitter: @kgeyer3