Is there anybody that can stop Daniel Montanari at Sunset Speedway? That’s what the whole field of Signs of Innovation Mini Stock competitors are asking at.
For the fourth straight points night in a row, the teenager made his way to the front of the field and picked up the checkered flag. Did we mention that he did it on a hat trick, too? Yes, as he won both of his qualifying heats once again – giving him nine heat wins and four feature victories just five nights into the year. It also extends his points lead, as he now leads Samantha Shaw by 15 points.
His success is not a surprise, though. He visited victory lane on multiple occasions last year as well in both features and qualifiers, and came into this season as the championship favorite after falling a single point shy of the title last year. It wouldn’t surprise anybody if he won the championship, or if he placed high in the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series Division III Standings. Last year, he made the trip down to Charlotte, North Carolina after placing second in the standings, just 14 points behind fellow Sunset Speedway competitor Eric Yorke, and picking up the UNOH Youth Achievement Award. So far this year, he currently ranks 70th with his five races compared to others who have seven counted.
But let’s not get ahead of ourselves as the year is still young, and there is plenty of time for other drivers to score victories and points to make some waves in the standings. Brad Townsend has been impressive since getting his hands on his mustang, placing second on Saturday night for his third straight top-six finish. Dylan Holmes has been equally solid as he placed third on Saturday for his third consecutive top-five and hasn’t placed outside of the top-nine all year long.
You also can’t forget about Samantha Shaw, who won the feature on opening night; she was fourth on Saturday night, giving her five top-four finishes in five races. Tyler Seaboyer rounded out the top-five for his fifth consecutive top-five.
Cameron McGlashan was sixth in his return to Sunset Speedway after a break, followed by Jason D’Antimo, Ken Townsend, Bob Phinnemore, and Eric Rainey.
Heat victories on Saturday night went to Daniel Montanari (x2), Dylan Holmes, and Chandler Bos.