Taking the lead on a mid-race restart, Rick Spencer-Walt paced the field the rest of the way en route to winning the fourth round of the Great Lakes Concrete Series at Sauble Speedway on Sunday.
It’d be Josh Stade setting quick time in the qualifying session, but Danny Benedict would lead the field to green following the invert. Lane Zardo started second followed by Rick Spencer-Walt, Jordan Lawrence, Josh Stade, T.J. Edwards, Nick Goetz, Jason Parker, Gord Shepherd, Tim Ellis, Dwayne Baker, Thayne Hallyburton, Travis Hallyburton, Kent Nuhn, and Dalen Martin.
The drop of the green saw a battle for the lead between Benedict and Zardo with Spencer-Walt running third ahead of Stade, as Edwards and Lawrence battled for fifth. Edwards got the spot on Lap 3, with Parker following through to pass Lawrence for sixth.
At the front of the field, Benedict cleared Zardo for the top spot on Lap 4, as Spencer-Walt continued to run third. He would then make his move, passing Zardo for second on Lap 5, with Stade following him through for third. Zardo now ran fourth ahead of Edwards, as Parker and Lawrence battled for sixth ahead of Goetz.
The top-three would remain close, with Stade looking for anyway around Spencer-Walt as he gave him a small nudge for second on Lap 8. Spencer-Walt held on, though, keeping the spot for the time being. Behind them, Zardo continued to run fourth ahead of Edwards, Parker, Lawrence, Goetz, Shepherd, and Baker. Travis Hallyburton would get alongside Baker for 10th, but was unable to complete the pass.
With 16 laps on the board, Benedict paced the field ahead of Spencer-Walt, Stade, Zardo, Edwards, and Parker. Lawrence then got alongside Parker for sixth at Lap 18, completing the pass one lap later. Behind them, Goetz ran eighth ahead of Shepherd, Baker, Ellis, Travis Hallyburton, Thayne Hallyburton, Nuhn and Martin.
With the race being 75 laps, the field began to string out single-file, logging laps through the first half of the event. However, that didn’t leave us without any better as Lawrence moved into fifth on Lap 24, bringing Parker through with him to bump Edwards back to seventh.
Everything would remain calm right up until Lap 29 when the first caution waved for Tim Ellis blowing a motor down the frontstretch. Unfortunately, Travis Hallyburton caught a piece of the debris, ending his race early. Under the yellow flag, three drivers went pit side for adjustments – Goetz, Thayne Hallyburton, and Martin.
The restart saw a battle for the lead between Benedict and Spencer-Walt, with Benedict holding serve as Stade got alongside Spencer-Walt for second. Stade moved into second on Lap 32, bringing Lawrence through with him to bump Spencer-Walt back to fourth. However, the caution would come out at the same time for Thayne Hallyburton and Shepherd tangling together in turn three and four, with Hallyburton done for the event.
Going back a lap to reset the running order, Benedict led the field to green ahead of Spencer-Walt, Stade, and Lawrence. This worked out to Spencer-Walt’s advantage as he was able to take the top spot, with Stade getting alongside Benedict for second. Stade was unable to complete the pass, falling back in line in third.
Behind them, Lawrence ran fourth ahead of Zardo, Baker, Edwards, Shepherd, Goetz, Nuhn, Parker, and Martin. The battle for fifth got interesting on Lap 43 with Baker tagging the back of Zardo, but Zardo hung onto it. Behind them, Shepherd got alongside Edwards for seventh, making the pass and bringing Goetz through with him to bump Edwards back to ninth.
Closer the front as Spencer-Walt continued to lead Benedict, the battle for third got interesting with Lawrence getting alongside Stade. Lawrence would complete the pass on Lap 49, while Baker continued to look for a way around Zardo.
The field would remain in a single-file formation for the most part until the third caution came out at Lap 60 for Martin spinning in turn four. With 15 laps to go, Spencer-Walt led Benedict, Lawrence, Stade, Zardo, Baker, Shepherd, Goetz, Edwards, Nuhn, Parker, and Martin.
Even with the low-groove being the chosen spot to be, Spencer-Walt would choose the outside for the restart. It still worked out for him as he held onto the top spot ahead of Benedict while Stade and Lawrence battled for third ahead of Baker, Zardo, and Shepherd.
After going back and forth for four laps, Lawrence was able to complete the pass with 10 laps to go. It started a trickle effect as Baker made his way by Stade for fourth a lap later. The fourth caution then waved a lap later on Lap 64 for Edwards stopping on the frontstretch after his hood came loose, blocking his view.
Under the yellow flag, Stade would blow the motor, laying fluid down around the entire speedway. After a lengthy clean-up, the track was deemed ready to go, but officials went with a single-file restart with eight laps to go due to the amount of speedy dry laid down.
Spencer-Walt cleared Benedict off the drop of the green flag, with Lawrence getting alongside Benedict for second with six laps to go. Lawrence completed the pass a lap later, bringing Baker through with him. Zardo would try to pass Benedict as well, but was unable to complete the pass.
Rick Spencer-Walt picked up the win ahead of Jordan Lawrence, Dwayne Baker, Danny Benedict, Lane Zardo, Gord Shepherd, Jason Parker, TJ Edwards, Kent Nuhn, and Darlen Martin.