Tyler Seavey continued a dream year in the Outlaw Kart ranks by winning the QRC Speed51 Open Wednesday night at Millbridge Speedway (NC). For his win in the premier event of the season at Millbridge, the Sutter, California driver will cash a check worth $5,151.
“This has really been a dream year for me here in 2018,” Seavey said after the race. “We won the Red Bluff Outlaws championship, West Coast Nationals and now this one. I went with a hard tire there at the beginning and those guys kind of took off. My tires came in and we’re here in victory lane. I can’t thank the guys enough that helped me get here.”
Seavey started on the front row for the 51-lap main event but fell back to third early in the race. On lap 9, he worked his way by his teammate Brandon LaChance to take over the second spot as polesitter Jesse Colwell pulled away.
Trouble struck for Colwell on lap 18 when he ran out of fuel and immediately slowed on the backstretch while leading the race. That handed the lead over to Seavey, who never looked back from there.
Seavey survived a rash of cautions during the second half of the race, pulling away on every restart, before driving his No. 91 between the “Twirly Ferns” in Millbridge Speedway victory lane.
“I saw my teammate (LaChance) was behind me so I was hoping that even if I screwed up he wouldn’t be able to root me out of the way there, but you never know,” Seavey said. “I was just trying to time the restarts to where I could take off while they were still in the corner a little bit. It was working and here we are.”
LaChance battled near the front of the field throughout the race before settling for a runner-up finish.
“Needed a lot more to get around my teammate; he was really good,” LaChance stated. “I think really what cost us was those first 25 laps. We were following Jesse Colwell and I though bottom of one and two, top of three and four was the better way going around. I got a little bit too sideways out of four one lap and then my teammate snuck by me. We were able to tuck into third and then eventually second and then just kind of rode around after that, but happy with the result.”
NASCAR Cup Series driver and 2016 Speed51 Open winner Kyle Larson won the pole via the pole shuffle. Instead of starting from his front row starting spot, Larson elected to accept the “Back Row Bonus” and started at the rear of the field for a chance at an extra $25,000.
For the second straight year, Larson was involved in accidents on his way through the field and was retired from the race early after completing 10 laps.
Logan Seavey, the brother of race winner Tyler Seavey, joined his sibling on the podium after finishing third. Defending race winner Nick Hoffman and Karsyn Elledge completed the top five.
Race fans who missed Wednesday’s race can now watch an on-demand replay of Speed51.com’s live broadcast by clicking here.
-By Brandon Paul, Speed51.com Editor – Twitter: @Brandon_Paul51
-Photo credit: Speed51.com