When it comes to New Paris Speedway, Tyler Roahrig is the king, especially in the Summer Sizzler, and he made sure everyone knew it. Roahrig dominated the 100-lap, $8,000 feature to claim his third Summer Shootout victory.
Brent Jack and Jack Landis led the field to the green flag with Roahrig started in the third-position. Jack held the early lead before he headed to the pits with mechanical issues.
Jack’s issues handed the lead over to Landis with Roahrig right on his back bumper. Roahrig stayed there for about ten laps before he decided to make his move.
Even though the groove is usually right around the inside at New Paris, Roahrig went to the outside on Landis in a bid to take the top spot. Roahrig and Landis battled side-by-side for three laps before Roahrig cleared Landis for the lead.
“I don’t know if he was conserving or not,” Roahrig told Speed51.com powered by JEGS in victory lane. “I just tried to jump to the outside and get a run on him as quick as I could.”
From there it was all Roahrig all the time, but it certainly wasn’t easy.
Landis stayed right with Roahrig for the duration of what became an 87-lap green flag run, even as they battled in and out of lapped traffic.
“We caught lapped traffic and I just tried to be patient,” Roahrig said.
But when the caution came out on lap 87 for an incident in turn three, everything changed. The conservation strategy went out the window as Roahrig and Landis went full-bore on each remaining restart for the rest of the race.
Caution after caution came out over the final 12 laps, which caused some stress for Roahrig as he tried to keep Landis behind him.
“We got like five cautions in a row, and that was really nerve-racking,” said Roahrig. “I think the key was those restarts at the end and being smooth and keeping the car under me.”
Roahrig held on to take the win, his third in the Summer Sizzler, breaking a tie with Jeff Ganus. Landis, JR Roahrig, Andy Bozell and Kenny Whitman completed the top five.
Now Roahrig moves on to the Kalamazoo Klash where he’s still seeking his first victory, a victory that he’s come close to scoring on a couple of occasions.
“That would be huge (to sweep those races),” said Roahrig. “I don’t think anyone has ever done that before. I’m always fast there, but for whatever reason I can never seal the deal.
“In the last two Klashes I just got beat by Terry (Senneker), so I definitely have to get better there. Hopefully that’ll happen next week.”
To catch an on-demand replay of tonight’s Trackside Now coverage of the Summer Sizzler presented by SCS Contracting, click here: http://speed51.com/trackside-now-summer-sizzler-2015-at-new-paris/
Highlights of tonight’s action from the Summer Sizzler can be seen in the coming days on the 51 Network on Speed51.com powered by JEGS.
-By Rob Blount, Speed51.com Northeast Editor – Twitter: @RobBlount
-Photo Credit: Speed51.com photo
14th Annual Summer Sizzler
New Paris Speedway, New Paris, Indiana