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OBSERVATIONS: WhosYourDriver.org Twin 100s Race 1 at South Boston

As the fans continue to preach for more short tracks on the NASCAR National touring schedules moving forward, the NASCAR Home Tracks divisions are continuing to showcase why this needs to happen.

The NASCAR K&N Pro Series has proven to be a great division for young stars to showcase why they should compete against the stars in the national tours. As they’re pushing those envelopes, they are continuing to put together stellar finishes.

A late caution set-up a green-white-checkered finish to the WhosYourDriver.org Twin 100 Race 1 for the K&N Pro Series East at South Boston Speedway, and it impressed every fan watching the free stream on FansChoice.tv.

After giving up the lead to Sam Mayer over the course of the long run, Tanner Gray took full advantage of the restart, with a well-timed bump to the back of the No. 21 Chevrolet, followed by some rubbing well alongside on the tight track to take over the lead. He then held on through the final lap for the victory.

It’s always been stated that “racecars have bumpers for a reason,” as well as the classic stories of the “chrome horn.” Gray perfected the move in that moment as he got the position on Mayer, however he didn’t go over the limit by wrecking his competitor. 

Gray’s transition into stock cars has been interesting to watch thus far as Saturday’s event only marked his third career series in the start. He also does not have an asphalt oval background like many of his competitors, coming from the drag racing world into NASCAR. His quick ability to adapt to stock cars could prove critical moving forward.

If the caution does not fly, Mayer easily had the event in hand as he had been able to put a couple car lengths on Gray after taking the lead with a stronger car on the long run. Meyer has been equally as impressive as his counterpart, as evident by his dominating performance at Bristol Motor Speedway a couple weeks ago. 

Although everyone looked forward to seeing both of these young drivers go head-to-head once again in the second event starting up front, they also showed why they still have things to learn. Gray jumped the initial start, while Meyer made contact with the outside wall. With both being in the title fight, being able to gain ground when the race does go back green on Sunday could be a pivotal part of the season.

Certainly the youth and needing to learn showed through with other drivers, as well.

Drew Dollar gave up a top-five run in the first 100-lapper following contact with Chase Cabre as they both fought for the same piece of real estate.

Hailie Deegan may be applauded for her aggressive ability, but she showed the need to learn patience in driving over Colin Garrett in the first 18 laps of the second event before it was postponed to Sunday due to weather. Garrett showcased his frustration to his fellow competitor, resulting in shock from the fans in not being able to see a replay of the incident despite FansChoice.tv using that feature for other previous incidents. 

Garrett is not totally done for the weekend, as the rain will see him jump behind the wheel of Ruben Garcia‘s entry when the field goes back green as Garcia travels to Mexico to race in the NASCAR Mexico Series. With some time to think over what happened and running for a different team than his own, does revenge happen?

EMAIL ASHLEY AT ashley.mccubbin@popularspeed.com

FOLLOW ON TWITTER:@ladybug388

The thoughts and opinions expressed here are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of PopularSpeed.com, its owners, management or other contributors. Any links contained in this article should not be considered an endorsement.

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Tanner Gray Breaks Through For First Win At South Boston

SOUTH BOSTON, Va. — Tanner Gray wasn’t leaving South Boston without a trophy.

He made sure of it in race No. 1 of the WhosYourDriver.org Twin 100s, as he nudged Bristol winner Sam Mayer out of the way in overtime to win his first career K&N Pro Series race.

In race No. 2 on the date of his first career series start, Nick Sanchez led the field to green by virtue of his quick lap in race No. 1. He led the first 18 laps after Gray was black flagged for jumping the initial start. Then, unfortunately, the rain came.

And it stayed, forcing the postponement of the remainder of the second WhosYourDriver.org Twin 100 to Sunday.

For Gray, though, getting that inital checkered flag in NASCAR was the thing. The 2018 NHRA Pro Stock Champion has already shown to be a quick study to stock cars and oval tracks.

“It feels really good to get that first win,” Gray said, exhausted after the first twin 100. “I tried to screw it up throughout the race the whole time. I just kept getting loose, chasing it up the race track and made some adjustments there under caution before the green/white/checkered.”

The overtime finish didn’t disappoint, as Gray and eventual second-place finisher Sam Mayer were beating and banging around the entire track.

“We took off and I was hoping I could get a little better jump, hold him tight down there to the bottom,” the DGR-Crosley driver said. “But I missed it a little bit. Tried to follow behind him and got into him, and in (Turn) 3 just moved him, got underneath him, side-by-side going on the frontstretch. After that I’m not too sure what happened to him.”

Gray had come up just .030 seconds short on March 30 at California’s Irwindale Speedway, losing out on a drag race off Turn 4 to Trevor Huddleston. This time, it was Gray who was .32 seconds faster than the runner-up.

Following Gray and Mayer across the finish line was another rookie, Max McLaughlin, in third. Spencer Davis and Ruben Garcia Jr. where fourth and fifth, respectively.

Colin Garrett, Travis Milburn, Chase Cabre, Derek Kraus and Hailie Deegan rounded out the top 10.

WhosYourDriver.org Twin 100 Race No. 1 Results

The field for the second twin 100 was set by fastest lap time per driver in the first 100. That allowed Sanchez, who was 14th in his series’ debut, to assume the point alongside — albeit temporarily — Gray.

Twin No. 1 will be broadcast Wednesday, May 8 at 6 p.m. ET on NBCSN. Twin No. 2 will be streamed live on FansChoice.TV on Sunday and air on NBCSN on Thursday, May 9 at 6 p.m.

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Home Tracks

OBSERVATIONS: ENEOS NAPA Auto 150 at Irwindale Speedway

As fans continue begging for better racing in NASCAR’s top series, the manta has been “more short tracks,” with other Motorsports enthusiasts encouraging people to check out their local home track. The NASCAR K&N Pro Series West is backing up this statement, opening the season with two of the best races of the season already.

Following an exciting trip to the Las Vegas Motor Speedway dirt oval, fans played witness to a photo finish at Irwindale Speedway. Derek Kraus rarely makes mistakes and appeared to be ready to cruise to another victory, but he would get outside of the groove in turn three – opening the door for one of the most exciting battles in series history.

Both Trevor Huddleston and Tanner Gray would be able to clear Kraus in the process, with Huddleston beginning to stretch out an advantage. However, as the laps begin to count down, Gray was able to close the gap. Gray would get to Huddleton’s bumper with two to go, diving underneath in both ends as he tried to clear him. The battle would go all the way to the checkered flag. 

Any race can have an exciting finish, but the ENEOS NAPA Auto 150 went beyond that.

Throughout the entire event, drivers were battling side-by-side for position, something electing for the preferred top groove, while others utilized the traction strip put down in the bottom lane. No matter when you tuned into the event, you could see drivers alongside each other, while working their way around the lap traffic.

The doors have been threatening to close on Irwindale Speedway, but this event proved alone why that should be allowed to happen.

Hailie Deegan was in the conversation for her second straight victory, until contact with Gray sent her around in turn one. She was able to make her way back through the field back to the top-five relatively quickly and got a chance to try her hand against the top-three on a restart, but ultimately used up her tires with her rebound. As a result, the early race top-three runner and pole sitter finished fifth.

FansChoice.tv will be carrying every single NASCAR K&N Pro Series West event this season live for free through their website, and that couldn’t come at a better time. With a wide variety of young talented drivers vying for the top spot each week, combined with the push for short track racing as mentioned above, expect fans to continue to tune in to get their fix.

EMAIL ASHLEY AT ashley.mccubbin@popularspeed.com

FOLLOW ON TWITTER: @ladybug388

The thoughts and opinions expressed here are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of PopularSpeed.com, its owners, management or other contributors. Any links contained in this article should not be considered an endorsement.