In an atypical carnage filled race, the season finale of the LNR Cup Series held very little drama by the end of it. Entering the night Jon Doble was just two points behind Shawn Breitzman for the season championship. With minutes left in practice, Breitzman showed up and the race was on.
The first caution of the race came when Doble got loose on the exit of turn two and tried to drive out of it. He caught grip at the wrong time and turned head first into the outside wall, taking Wade Kilpatrick with him. Thanks to the resets, both continued on.
The second caution came when Thomas Conheady got loose off the exit of turn two himself and self spun. While Conheady attempted to save the car, he nearly caught Doble’s #15 Exclaim Graphics Chevrolet. But Doble escaped to fight another day.
On the ensuing run of the race, it appeared like Doble may have something for Breitzman, working his way up into third position within striking distance of the leaders. But trouble with consistency in his marks and he fell to fourth and then began to fall further back. Running fifth the third caution of the night came when Breitzman got loose off turn two, collecting most of the field with him, including Doble. Doble’s night would be over after his crew decided it couldn’t be repaired handing the championship to Breitzman.
With three cars left in the running, on lap 32 Nathan Bowers joined the club, getting loose off turn two and backing his #85 Ford into the inside wall, ending his night. Kilpatrick would chase down Brietzman to take the lead with Breitzman conceding the win soon after.
This was the final race of 2013.1. The schedule for the 2013.2 season should be released over the next week. Thank you to everyone who showed up this season, hopefully we can build off that and grow next season.
Shawn Breitzman reclaimed his points lead after missing last week with a dominating performance in Charlotte. Chip Hansen picked up his second consecutive runner-up finish and Jon Doble rounded out the top-3. More to come.
Matt White led practice. Matt White won the pole. Matt White turned the fastest lap. Matt White led the most laps. Matt White didn’t win. On the final exchange of pit stops with 25 laps to go White decided to go with two tires to separate him from the second-place challenger of Nathan Bowers. Bowers, while he hadn’t really challenged White direction, had been stalking him most of the night. Bowers went with four tires and that was the difference-maker.
With 17 laps to go, Bowers caught White off of turn four as White battled to keep the lead. Unfortunately for Matt, it didn’t end well as he spun off of turn four handing the lead to Bowers for the final lead change.
Four tires were the difference-maker in the battle for what was second as well. Jon Doble and Chip Hansen had been battling for third and fourth most of the night and were racing each other on pit stops. With 20 laps to go, Doble hit pit road for a splash of fuel only. Hansen pitted several laps later for four fresh tires and enough fuel to get to the finish. The difference was about 11 seconds on the track, which Hansen chopped off at about a second a lap until Doble realized he didn’t get enough fuel in the car and had to conserve it the rest of the way.
In the end, Bowers walked away with his second career LNR victory, having won two weeks ago in Talladega. He has the season bookended, having won on the largest and the shortest tracks the series will compete on this season. Chip Hansen finished third and Jon Doble rounded out the top-three.
Points leader Shawn Breitzman and second-place Greg Netherwood both missed tonight’s race. That allowed Doble to vault into the points lead on the strength of having started all six races this season. He will have a four-point lead on Breitzman headed to Charlotte next week, and a 23 point lead on Netherwood.