The 4th race of Season 4 of our Nascar Heat League Saw Round #2 in the Playoffs kick off at a track made for action, the .5 mile paperclip of Martinsville Speedway. Last time the crew hit Martinsville was back in Season 2, which saw Micheal Caterino (vWardude) make a late race pass to take home the Grandfather Clock.
Qualifying was as tight as you would expect from Martinsville. New comer Jake Giroux (JakeGirouX24) snagged the Pole in his debut race, but it wasn’t easy. Jake clipped Kyle Spencer (KDawgHonda777) by .014 secs, and Charles Sumner (Hootius) by .041 secs. Teammates Micheal Caterino (vWardude) and Nick Michaud (NickCM12) rounded out the Top 5.
The race started out with an embarassing moment for Charles. While calling out race instructions during the pacing laps so everyone could pit for car adjustments, Charles got caught speeding entering pit road by 2 MPH and was sent to the back of the pack on the start. This worked out great for Jake and Kyle up front as they got the spacing early, and completely checked out from the rest of the pack. Both driver’s race pace were as strong as their qualifying pace, as they would lap the field on the way to finishing as they started. For Jake, he pulled off the ultra impressive Hat Trick in his debut race as he took the Fastest Lap of the Race on his way to victory. Kyle’s runner up finish was a stellar run as well with no mistakes, a great follow up to his 3rd place finish from last week. Now while Charles would not be a contender for the Hard Charger Award as he technically qualified 3rd, he definietly passed the most cars during the race as he charged all the way back up to 3rd to finish the race. Michael continued the trend of finishing where he qualified as he came home in 4th place, falling a few positions short of defending his previous Martinsville win. The streak ended there however, as Rob Besaw (Xsyse) earned the Hard Charger Award for the race, going +3 on his way to rounding out the Top 5. If you didn’t noticed, there was no talk about shuffling orders or different pit strategies in this recap. Why you ask? Because the entire field tonight deserves a round of applouse, as the crew did what was thought to be impossible, and had a Caution-Free race at the track that is historic for yellows. This was only the 2nd time in the 47 race history of the League that we did not see the yellow flag fly.
Here are the Top 10 finishers from Martinsville:
1. Jake Giroux (JakeGirouX24) – 1st Career Win
2. Kyle Spencer (KDawgHonda777) – 22nd Career Top 5
3. Charles Sumner (Hootius) – 29th Career Top 5
4. Micheal Caterino (vWardude) – 30th Career Top 5; League Record
5. Rob Besaw (Xsyse) – 8th Career Top 5
6. Adam Zemke (Zeke_H30)
7. Nick Michaud (NickCM12)
8. Christopher Johnson (MeattyLoaf)
9. Brian Mosser (BrianMosser88)
10. Owen Bridges (Habob69)
The Driver’s Championship saw the lead widen by just a little bit, as Charles Sumner (Hootius) raised his 1 point lead, up to 7 over Adam Zemke (Zeke_H30). Micheal Caterino (vWardude) is just a point back in 3rd, as Kyle Spencer (KDawgHonda777) moved past Nick Michaud (NickCM12) to take over 4th in the Standings.
The Playoff Championship is still very tight as race winner Jake Giroux (JakeGirouX24) is not in contention in the 2nd round. This means the 12 drivers still in the hunt, are within +/- 12 points from the 8 car cutoff that will happen in 2 races. Runner-up Kyle Spencer (KDawgHonda777) is the only driver that is double-digits points up on the cutoff after Martinsville.
The Team Championship still has not seen a team breakaway yet after 4 races. Car Ramrod (Charles and Christopher) gained 1 point over defending Champs One-Two Racing (Michael and Nick), bringing the lead up to 5 points. Wall Riders Inc. (Adam and Brian) are sitting in 3rd, but only 10 points away from the lead.
The crew will have a week off to show off their romantic sides for Valentine’s Day next week, and return on Febuary 21st for the only road course race on the schedule, Watkins Glen. Feel free to join in on one of the many drivers in the League who stream their POVs on Twitch every Wednesday night at 9PM EST for all of the fast paced action.